In 1926, the Metropolitan Opera started looking for locations to build a new opera house to replace the existing building at 39th Street and Broadway. By 1928, Benjamin Wistar Morris and designer Joseph Urban were hired to come up with blueprints for the house. However, the new building was too expensive for the Met to fund by itself, and John D. Rockefeller Jr. eventually gave his support to the project (John D. Rockefeller Sr. , his father, was not involved). Rockefeller hired Todd, Robertson and Todd as design consultants to determine its viability. John R. Todd then put forth a plan for the Met. Columbia leased the plot to Rockefeller for 87 years at a cost of $3 million per year. The initial cost of acquiring the space, razing some of the existing buildings, and constructing new buildings was estimated at $250 million. The lease initially excluded a strip along Sixth Avenue on the west side of the plot, as well as another property on Fifth Avenue between 48th and 49th streets.