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Cohen, Pelli wow audience at AREW luncheon.

Cesar Pelli, one of the world's top, most-innovative and successful architects, took the stage with national real estate developer/owner Charles S. Cohen, to kick off the Association of Real Estate Women's (AREW) fall luncheon programs with an outstanding visual presentation and compelling conversation.

Pelli, a former Dean of Yale University School of Architecture, principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and recipient of some of the architectural world's most prestigious awards for innovative projects, and Cohen, owner, president and CEO of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation with a portfolio of over 14 million sf of prime properties and a developer with a vision that is clearly and ultimately defined by design, were ideal partners to discuss the relevance of great architecture and its positive impact on real estate development and the cities in which the buildings stand.

They are currently working together on the renovation and re-skinning of 475 Park Avenue South in New York City and the newest addition to the Pacific Design Center, The Red Building in Los Angeles. Scheduled for 2009 completion, The Red Building is the last of a triad (the first being The Blue Tower, affectionately nicknamed "The Blue Whale", the multi-use Pacific Design Center; and second being The Green Tower office building) previously designed by Mr. Pelli with Gruen Associ ates and owned and managed by Mr. Cohen. Pelli has been working on the project, on and off, for 40 years.

The mutual admiration between the men was evident at the AREW luncheon.

Expressing the opinion that "great architecture is a great investment," Cohen referred to visiting Pelli's offices as a "candy store for real estate developers", while Pelli acknowledged Cohen to be "a great client with clear vision, willing to take on risks and who can execute plans."

Pelli is an architect who loves to wrestle with a budget that isn't quite enough and believes it is necessary to get your pants and shoes dirty, which he has done globally on creatively brilliant architectural projects, a presentation of which was shown to AREW luncheon attendees.

Asked which three buildings he considered to be the most architecturally beautiful in New York, Pelli responded diplomatically with "There are so many!" but ultimately narrowed his choices to three distinctly different style edifices: The Chrysler Building, Seagram's Building and New York Public Library.

"I consider myself to be a part owner of the Chrysler Building because if it wasn't there, I would lose a part of myself," he said with characteristic and charismatic world-class charm.
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Comment:Cohen, Pelli wow audience at AREW luncheon.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 31, 2007
Words:417
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