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PODCAST: Don Peebles On Hopes For Affirmation Tower, Building Affordable Housing Over Labs

Bisnow's audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunesSpotify and Amazon Music, or scroll down to listen in your browser.

Peebles Corp. CEO Don Peebles

Peebles Corp. CEO Don Peebles sat down with Bisnow to talk about his vision for Affirmation Tower, his plan to develop the first supertall in New York City largely built by women and minorities.

The project, which is slated for a state-owned lot across from the Jacob Javits Convention Center on Manhattan's West Side, is a long-held dream for Peebles. His team’s current plan is to build a nearly 2M SF building with hotel, office and retail and could be home to the Museum of Civil Rights, a concept championed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, whom Peebles has known for years.

But it is far from a done deal. Last year, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office canceled the request for proposals for the site, but Peebles remains certain his team’s proposal is the best use for the land and is confident they will be awarded the project.

“This would have been very helpful to the governor politically, she is going to be in a tougher primary than she thought. And she's going to be in a general election, it's going to be tough, too,” he said. “Affirmation Tower, I think, would have been something that [Hochul] could have pointed to and said, ‘Here's a message of what we're going to do going forward, this is how development is going to be under my watch.’”