Skip to content

Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute Presents Battery Park City: Coming of Age

After a half-century: Lessons learned from one of the world’s most successful planned communities

Battery PArk CityNEW YORK, NY-May 24, 2012 = Battery Park City stands in New York Harbor as a brilliant symbol of urban renewal.  What was once a swath of abandoned waterfront dotted with dilapidated piers is now a 92-acre mixed-use community bustling with commercial space, residential towers, schools, public art, community and cultural venues, museums, a library, a marina, and 36 acres of parkland.

After a half-century, the visionary plan and development are officially completed this year. To mark the achievement, the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute of Baruch College of the City University of New York will host a conference on Thursday, May 31, 2012 on the 29th floor of Four World Financial Center overlooking Battery Park City.

The program -- offered at no cost to attendees -- features an historic roster of the visionary leaders involved in Battery Park City’s past, present, and future, some of them reunited for the first time in decades. “We have an unprecedented group of participants coming from all sectors, including government, real estate, architecture, urban planning, finance, and the arts,” said Jack S. Nyman, NREI’s director. “They will discuss not just issues related to design and development, governance and politics, and the achievement of sustainability but also what happens next, for a public benefit corporation, after a build-out.”

Speakers will assess every aspect of the project, starting with the innovative master plan that extended the street grid westward to create the neighborhood, early setbacks that threatened to halt development, and the political maneuvering that saved the day.  Mr. Nyman advised that “Experts will also take a look at the neighborhood post-9/11, what the area as a whole will look like in the future, and the influence of this successful development on other master-planned communities around the world.”

Speakers include:

  • Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director, AIA New York Chapter

  • Timothy S. Carey, Former President and CEO, Battery Park City Authority

  • Alexander Cooper, FAIA, Founding Partner, Cooper, Robertson & Partners

  • Robert R. Douglass, Chairman, Alliance for Downtown New York

  • Stanton Eckstut, FAIA, Founding Principal, EE&K a Perkins Eastman company

  • Donald H. Elliott, Counsel, Bryant Burgher Jaffee LLP, Former Chair, NYC Planning Commission

  • Dennis H. Friedrich, President & Global Chief Investment Officer, Brookfield Office Properties Inc.

  • Gayle M. Horwitz, President & CEO, Battery Park City Authority

  • David G. Marwell, PhD., Museum Director & CEO, Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

  • Philip Pitruzzello, Vice President, Manhattanville Construction, Columbia University Facilities, Former President and CEO, Battery Park City Authority

  • Charles J. Urstadt, Founding Chairman & CEO (1968-1978), Vice Chairman (1996-2010), Battery Park City Authority

  • Carol Willis, Founder, Director, Curator, The Skyscraper Museum, New York and Adjunct Associate professor of Urban Studies, Columbia University

  • John E. Zuccotti, Co-Chair, Brookfield Office Properties Inc.


As a special feature, the conference will premiere an insightful conversation featuring master architect Cesar Pelli and Rafael Pelli that was specially filmed for the occasion. Father and son discuss the original design and the current renovation of the World Financial Center and their interaction with key players.

“The audience will hear things never before discussed, and that the perspective gained will jump-start thinking about future planned communities, taking into account the governance and political process that create them. And I, for one, am amazed at the willingness of these legendary personalities to come together as one group to assess what they have shaped and the lessons learned,” said Mr. Nyman

The conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; reservations are required. Go to for more information.

The conference is registered with the American Institute of Architects and the American Planning Association, which will give attendees continuing education credits for participating.


For the Battery Park City conference:

Honey Berk, Senior Projects Coordinator, 646.660.6585, c: 917.833.4829


For Baruch College:

Manny Romero, Director of Public Relations, 646.660.6141


Bookmark and Share