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NEW YORK CITY-The city will put in $25 million toward the cost of building a $60-million new home for the Signature Theatre Co., which will be part of the Related Cos.’ forthcoming 59-story mixed-use project on 42d Street west of Times Square. The developer recently resumed work on the $800-million tower, which had been suspended in late 2008, after reaching a project labor agreement with construction unions.

Star architect Frank Gehry is designing what will be known as the Signature Center, a component of a 1.2-million-square-foot project at 440 W. 42d St. that will also include a hotel and 800 residential units, including 163 affordable rentals. Along with the Bloomberg administration’s $25-million commitment, Signature Theatre has raised $16 million and plans to raise $19 million more, according to a release. The Related tower, which is aiming for LEED certification, is scheduled for completion in 2011, with the Signature space opening in 2012.

Signature’s new home, which at one time was to be built at the World Trade Center site, will feature three distinct theatres, rehearsal studios, a café, bookstore and administrative offices. It will allow Signature to more than double its audience, with anticipated annual attendance of more than 80,000, the release states.

“The fact that Related Companies is moving forward with the major development project now is great news and will have a profound impact, not only on the cultural industry and the City’s skyline, but also on the local economy,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference Tuesday announcing the public/private partnership. “There was a period when the future of the project was in question, as were its 700 construction jobs and hundreds of units of much-needed housing. But the construction unions, contractors, architects and engineers worked together to reduce costs, and today it’s serving as a prime example that–despite the national economic downturn–large-scale projects are still happening.”

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