Downtown Housing Complex May Downsize

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At 76 stories, the Beekman Tower on Spruce street was supposed to be the tallest residential building in New York City. But the developer may stop work at half-the-height because of the poor economy. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: The sleek, narrow tower, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, was to include 900 luxury apartments. It was billed as part of the post September 11th recovery for Lower Manhattan. The developer, Forest City Ratner, qualified for extra height by including a school in its bottom floors.

But Ratner may not need that extra height after all. This week, shortly after the structural concrete reached the 38th floor, the developer received a building permit that treats the top of the current structure as a roof.

Neighbors report that consutrction has slowed to just six hours a day. A spokesperson says Ratner has made no final decisions, but is "conducting a study to assess costs, risks and overall timing". For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.