Revealed: SoMA Newark

SoMA Newark, image from Richard Meier & Partners

Plans for the first phase of the Richard Meier-designed Teachers Village in Newark have been closing in on completion, but it appears that something slightly larger is on the horizon, in the form of SoMA Newark. RBH Group, which is the firm behind the Meier project, has posted new renderings of their greater plan, and — assuming the scheme is actually built — the collective change will result in the complete rebirth of the city.

While Teacher’s Village will likely result in positive changes for the surrounding neighborhood, the up-swing in Newark is clearly just beginning. Bringing Richard Meier into the project could have an avalanche of positive benefits, and the starchitect’s brand should provide the necessary pull to begin attracting additional young professionals back to the city.

SoMA Newark

SoMA Newark’s residential district, image from Richard Meier & Partners

Per RBH’s page on the project, the group working on the scheme includes “Richard Meier & Partners Architects, LLP, landscape architect Field Operations, engineers ARUP USA, Inc., and LEED consultant Viridian Energy & Environmental, LLC,” as well as others that joined “as the concept matured and the first phase development known as Teachers Village emerged.”

Clearly, RBH has a comprehensive team working on its vision for Newark, and the quality of the new renderings — as well as Richard Meier’s involvement — gives credence to the idea that a massive transformation for the city is on the near-horizon. Indeed, RBH has acquired 79 different parcels encompassing 23 acres, which have collective development rights of over fifteen million square feet.

SoMA Newark

SoMA Newark in 2025, image from Richard Meier & Partners

Converting Newark into a ‘Living Downtown’ is an equally important part of RBH Group’s vision for the city, with the SoMA plan bringing a significant amount of mixed-use space to the neighborhood, which will truly re-activate the old Downtown. Per renderings, the enormous office buildings are clearly the most obvious aspect of the plan, but the amount of residential space will also be significant, resulting in an active and vibrant streetscape.

Newark has a tremendous amount of potential and promise, and its recent revitalization is only beginning to accelerate; Teachers Village will open this year, but other major projects currently underway include new office buildings for Prudential, and a host of smaller residential developments. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the gradual and sometimes rocky transition the city is facing, while still highlighting its upwards potential.

SoMA Newark

SoMA Newark’s landscape today, image from Richard Meier & Partners

The SoMA scheme would boost Newark’s vertical profile significantly, and looks to include at least one potential ‘supertall’ standing over 1,000 feet. Altogether, the plan would add three major office towers, in addition to several slender residential skyscrapers. Collectively, the high-rises could even push Downtown Newark’s height past Jersey City and Downtown Brooklyn — though the apparent goal of a 2025 completion date leaves room for alterations before all aspects are constructed.

SoMA Newark in 2015

SoMA Newark in 2015, image from Richard Meier & Partners

As prices in central locations continue to escalate into the stratosphere, the spread of development is inevitable, and pressure on New York’s peripheral nodes is finally reaching a boiling point. Imminent changes in Journal Square have so far been the best example of vertical potential, but in the near future, the growth of Newark could be even more significant. With a major airport nearby, and excellent accessibility to regional transit, the city’s renaissance is only just beginning — and as the SoMA plan illustrates, Newark may soon regain both regional and national stature.

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Posted in Architecture | Hotel | Newark | Office | RBH Group | Renderings | Residential | Richard Meier | SoMA Newark

Revealed: Liberty Harbor North’s 235 Grand Street

235 Grand Street, image via HLW

The first renderings are up for yet another skyscraper that will soon begin construction on the Jersey City waterfront, at 235 Grand Street. The tower will be part of Liberty Harbor North, and Ironstate is the developer; the architect is HLW, and their website has additional images of the project.

235 Grand Street

235 Grand Street — image via HLW

Several complications must be addressed before work can start on the project, as the site is currently occupied by an old coal bunker that houses a non-profit. The organization is moving to another new Ironstate building at 18 Park — designed by HWKN — which is opening this June. Once the re-location is complete, demolition can begin on the old building, and construction on 235 Grand Street is expected to start later this year.

235 Grand Street

235 Grand Street’s base — image via HLW

Ironstate’s website indicates that the tower will stand 45 stories tall, with 670 units in total; an additional mid-rise component will be located next-door. While Liberty Harbor North has a long ways to go before full build-out, the progress at 235 Grand Street will further enhance the Jersey City waterfront, which is booming with new development.

235 Grand Street

235 Grand Street’s base and the neighboring mid-rise; image via HLW

In terms of design, the architecture of 235 Grand Street is fairly standard for Jersey City, but its ground-level presence will revitalize a former dead zone. The plan incorporates an extension of Grove Street, and will also add green space to the neighborhood.  The tower itself is tall, glassy, and typical of large-scale luxury developments across the Hudson; its mid-rise neighbor will also add density and bulk, further extending the pedestrian-friendly realm of Liberty Harbor North.

235 Grand Street

235 Grand Street’s mid-rise neighbor; image via HLW

Completion of 235 Grand is expected in 2015.

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Posted in 235 Grand Street | Architecture | HLW Architects | Ironstate Development | Renderings | Residential

Revealed: 65 Bay Street

65 Bay Street at right -- image via Humphreys & Partners

Last night, NJ.com reported on the passage of a tax abatement for a new tower that will rise next to the existing Trump Building in Jersey City, which will soon stand 50 stories tall. YIMBY has renderings of the skyscraper, which will join a slew of developments rising across the Hudson River; the architect is Humphreys & Partners, and the developers are the Kushner Companies and the KABR Group.

65 Bay Street

65 Bay Street on right, next to existing Trump Building — image via Humphreys & Partners

A presentation via the EB5 & US Immigration Fund has additional details on the project, which will become a substantial addition to the Jersey City skyline. While the building’s address is 65 Bay Street, its name will be 88 Kushner-KABR.

Per Humphreys’ page on the development, 65 Bay Street will have 446 units, ranging in size from studios to two bedroom apartments. 88 Kushner-KABR will also have 41,000 square feet dedicated to amenities, and a pool atop the tower’s base is visible in the renderings.

65 Bay Street

65 Bay Street amenities — image via Humphreys & Partners

In terms of design, the building looks fairly standard for high-rise housing in Jersey City, though the limited glimpse of the ground level reveals a base that interacts with the street in a Manhattan-like manner, as the entirety of the development will be flush with the sidewalk. As Jersey City continues to densify, encouraging pedestrian-friendly design is a must.

The neighborhood is finally emerging as an actual contender to parts of Manhattan in terms of scale and scope; translating its newfound verticality into an attractive street-scape is the next step, and 65 Bay Street should be an improvement over nearby towers, many of which were built with a suburban mentality.

65 Bay Street

65 Bay Street site plan — image via Humphreys & Partners

While no completion date is contained in the EB-5 info packets, construction is evidently about to begin.

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Posted in 65 Bay Street | 88 Kushner-KABR | Architecture | Humphreys & Partners | Jersey City | KABR Group | Kushner Companies | Residential

Interview: Market Trends with Douglas Elliman’s Clifford Finn

Go East! Long Island City and Brooklyn are booming.

YIMBY sat down with Clifford Finn, Executive Vice President of Douglas Elliman’s new development marketing team, to discuss his thoughts regarding what’s up and coming in New York City, the latest happenings in NoMAD, and the continued ramifications of Hurricane Sandy. YIMBY in bold.

Have you heard anything about Journal Square, and do you see it becoming more like Downtown Jersey City or Long Island City? How quickly is it going to develop?

It’s interesting. You know, in the past, Jersey City was more of a suburban mentality; that goes for the people building there, and the audience that was going there. Although many Manhattanites found their way there, a wide audience was filling those buildings; it was a little bit different than crossing the other rivers. But that’s changing, because now everybody is looking there due to the increase in land costs. Brooklyn is not a huge discount to Manhattan anymore, and Long Island City is not far behind it; everybody is looking for the next great, convenient, commutable destination, and they are setting their sights back on Jersey City and the surrounding area.

Journal Squared

Journal Squared – image via Handel Architects

Moving back to Manhattan, YIMBY attended 1182 Broadway’s opening, which is a converted building in NoMAD; what are some features that make conversions in NoMAD stand apart from new developments in the neighborhood, and what’s special about The Centurian?

In the past, conversions of this type were typically larger buildings that go condo — like 10 Madison Square West. But for rent, you either had the Sixth Avenue high-rises and the few hot buildings off that corridor, or much older conversion stock that doesn’t have the luxury standard of today’s market. And I think what sets The Centurian apart from the rest is that it’s rental, but was built with a condominium sensibility and comparable finishes.

The Centurian

The Centurian — image from the Museum of the City of New York

It seems geared towards wealthy bachelors in technology.

Well, some units were; on the typical floor-plates before you get to the upper, larger apartments, we have two loft-style layouts that don’t have a formal bedroom. And then we have two [layouts] that have formal bedrooms, and they’re all similar in size. So I think it’s not just about singles; definitely couples too, and more established people. In that neighborhood, we’re seeing a cross-section of different types of people; it really speaks to a lot of audiences.

And do you think the broad appeal of NoMAD heralds its emergence as one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city?

I think that it’s one of them, because there’s a lot of similarities between NoMAD and neighborhoods like SoHo and Tribeca — but you have a park, and you’re more centrally located. It’s convenient to Midtown, Uptown, and Downtown, and it’s a great spot if you have to get out of the city quickly because it’s so close to the bridges and tunnels. You’re a little bit more centrally located, but you still have the flavor and feel that you’re not in Midtown.

1165 Broadway

A new building set for 1165 Broadway — image from Spector Group

Where would you say the neighborhood’s boundaries are? Because it’s still emerging.

Madison Square Park ends at 26th Street, so up to about 30th. I think once you cross 30th it gets much more Midtown-like. And then down to 23rd Street; below 23rd people consider it to be Flatiron. And it extends between Broadway and Park Avenue.

Sandy devastated sections of the city; do you see prices being affected in areas like the West Village and the Seaport, if measures to mitigate future events are not taken? If there is another event, do you think the double-whammy could result in a sustained drop in prices?

Not in the immediate future, I mean I myself live in a Zone 1 neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, and it didn’t affect the market for those neighborhoods at all.

But if there was another one?

I think it depends on if they get worse. I think that everybody feels like what happened was very inconvenient, but there was nothing truly devastating. I think the Seaport was much more affected, and that neighborhood is a little more sensitive to future impacts than the West Side. We have a lot of projects that are in flood zones, and plans have remained the same, it’s just that some components have been elevated. And that’s the way things need to be moving forward; you have to build for the tide to go through the property, and not disrupt the tower. We have to build to accommodate; I don’t think people are scared as long as they know that the issues are being addressed.

What about insurance companies?

It’s hard; again, I’m in a Zone 1 building, and our insurance premiums doubled. And that’s unfortunate, but if you have a house on the ocean, it’s a risk you take to be on the ocean. And it’s the same with living in these prime neighborhoods.

As prices in Manhattan rise, Brooklyn and Queens are becoming go-to destinations for luxury real estate. What do you see in the future for Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City; will the impending development boom keep prices steady, given the amount of supply that will soon be coming online?

No, prices are climbing, and I think they’ll continue to rise. Everything that we’ve been touching has been climbing, and I believe that the bulk of the rental marketplace out there is really what isn’t being built in Manhattan, so it’s not like it’s in addition to anything going up in Manhattan — so there isn’t an abundance of new product. Those price-points won’t exist in brand-new developments on the island, so people have to go to Queens and Brooklyn for these buildings, and I don’t see supply hitting demand — at least in any of the studies we’ve looked at. And the discount, even with future conservative growth, is respectable.

CityPoint phase I and 388 Bridge Street

CityPoint phase I and 388 Bridge Street

What about Harlem? It seems like people neglect it even though prices there are also increasing.

I think people focus on where the obvious discounts are, and when those go away, they set their sites on the next ones. It’s like Bushwick; is that the next one? No, now it’s Bensonhurst. It keeps moving farther out, and farther up; everything is cyclical. I think people were hot on Harlem a few years ago; people caught on, then the obvious discounts were gone, so the momentum shifted elsewhere. But now everything has elevated, and they are re-visiting Harlem, because what might have not seemed like a discount previously is now well-priced. I think we’re going to see a lot of movement in East Harlem in particular.

But what about all the public housing? Don’t you think that will prevent revitalization?

Yes and no. Anything that’s a destination — a building’s presence will overshadow that. I think people in New York City are accustomed to public housing being all around them. If you look at the West Side, you have the Amsterdam Houses by Lincoln Center; twenty or thirty years ago, you would never walk around back there. But now, it is completely surrounded on all four sides with extremely expensive luxury housing, and neighborhoods that didn’t exist back then. I think people are accepting, and if it’s a neighborhood on the verge, people are likely to take the discount. You don’t have to twist anybody’s arm to buy near the Amsterdam Houses today.

So, finally: If you could pick the top three neighborhoods to invest in today, which would they be?

I think one of the best — and I’m not just saying this because we have a building going up there — but I think Inwood is one of the very few sleeper neighborhoods still around, and I really like it. I still think, for different reasons, that FiDi is still comparatively undervalued. You’re starting to see the trickle-down effect from the Village and SoHo, as it heads Downtown. With North FiDi, especially; all those buildings on the border of Tribeca.

Like 56 Leonard?

Yes, 56 Leonard, 101 Leonard; they’re on Broadway, or Worth, or Leonard. They’re at the cross-roads of entering the Financial District, and we’re seeing those numbers shoot up. And as we see businesses populating the World Trade Center — plus the Fulton Center and the new malls — basically they’re going through the process of building an infrastructure that never existed Downtown, so that it can compete with other residential neighborhoods. It always catered to the business community, and I think the FiDi has been around for long enough as a residential destination that we’re just now seeing the makings of a true residential area in terms of amenities. So I like it for those reasons; it still has a lot of room to grow.

It would be difficult to pinpoint a neighborhood in Brooklyn, but I love Gowanus; I think it’s like a case-study.

56 Leonard

56 Leonard

Have you been there?

Yes, we’re working on projects there. The thing about Gowanus is that it’s the epicenter of many other neighborhoods. It’s between Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, which are two fabulous neighborhoods.

Isn’t it centered on a toxic canal?

For many years the canal was toxic and polluted, and not very attractive –

So it’s basically like Greenpoint-lite.

Yes, but that’s changing; it’s being cleaned-up and redeveloped. There is a population of young artists and creative types that have been living in that area, and it’s been one of those sleeper neighborhoods for a long time. And as pricing continues to escalate in adjacent established neighborhoods, Gowanus is on the verge of major change.

And why has it remained so undervalued; the pollution?

Well because it had a very old stigma attached to it because of the canal, so people stayed away. But at this point we’re out of land, and it’s there, and it is a very good location — and the pollution is being addressed, and re-mediation has been ongoing for years, though it has not been obvious to people. But it’s really on the way. And Whole Foods is opening a Gowanus location, and I think that says a lot.

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Posted in 1182 Broadway | Clifford Finn | DoBro | Douglas Elliman | Downtown | FiDi | Gowanus | Jersey City | Journal Square | Long Island City | Midtown | New York | Residential | The Centurian

Revealed: The San Remo

The site for the San Remo next to the Monaco Towers -- via Google Maps

New plans have been unveiled for the long-stalled development dubbed The San Remo in Jersey City, which is not to be confused with the original building on the Upper West Side. The project — which is being built by Mack-Cali — was originally slated to begin construction prior to the recession, but economic conditions halted progress.

Since entering hibernation, The San Remo’s design has seen a dramatic shift; the initial plans were conceived by SLCE as part of a larger project, which includes The Monaco Towers. The recession killed the first version, and Humphreys & Partners — the firm responsible for the design of City Center Towers in Journal Square — has been brought in to helm the revived development.

The San Remo

The San Remo — image via Humphreys & Partners

The change in plans has been beneficial to the tower’s aesthetics, and the new version is taller and sleeker than the old. The development’s ‘Monaco’ towers were completed in 2011, and the latest  addition will be a decided contrast to the first phase of construction; while The San Remo’s appearance won’t be knock-out, it will still be palatable for mass-market luxury housing on the Jersey City waterfront.

The San Remo

Old plans for The San Remo — image via SLCE

A PDF via Humphreys’ & Partners website has additional details on the tower’s specifications; it will rise 61 floors, and hold 518 apartments. Units will range from studios to two-bedrooms, and in terms of size, residences will vary from 380 to 920 square feet.

No completion date has been announced, but given the new plans, construction is likely imminent. Mack Cali is also involved in Urban Ready Living – another mega-development set to transform the waterfront — and the collective amount of construction will have an enormous positive impact on Jersey City.

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Posted in Architecture | Humphreys & Partners | Jersey City | Mack-Cali | Renderings | Residential | SLCE | The San Remo

Revealed: 30 Journal Square

30 Journal Square today, via Google Maps

Yet another tower is in the works for Journal Square, which is apparently about to become home to the fourth most impressive skyline in the New York City region; renderings have been posted on Kushner Companies’s website for an Ismael Leyva-designed skyscraper set to rise at 30 Journal Square.

30 Journal Square

30 Journal Square, rendering via Kushner/Ismael Leyva

The limited glimpse is still comprehensive, and the skyscraper’s bulk will be impressive; the tower will step-down towards the old Jersey Journal building at 30 Journal Square. While structures worthy of preservation are few and far between in Journal Square, the Jersey Journal’s headquarters definitely fits the bill.

Integrating the historic building will keep some element of the ‘old’ Journal Square alive, even as the neighborhood sets a rapid course for revitalization; besides the latest proposal, two additional mega-projects — City Center Towers, and Journal Squared — will also rise in the vicinity. Together, the developments will play a crucial and beneficial role in transforming the neglected hub, which has massive potential and capacity as a residential commuter node.

In terms of form and function, 30 Journal Square looks to be significantly more attractive than typical outer-urban developments, and besides incorporating the building currently on-site, it will create a street-wall along the rest of its block, which speaks to the project’s pedestrian-friendly form. The rendering comes with a description noting the tower will have 525 apartments, and a floor count reveals the skyscraper will stand slightly over 40 stories tall.

No completion date has been announced, but Douglas Elliman’s website has the data for the sale of 30 Journal Square, which went for $3.525 million. Given the project was included in Kushner Companies’ 2013 brochure, it seems the acquisition was recent — and with a surge in activity encompassing surrounding blocks, construction may begin sooner rather than later.

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Posted in 30 Journal Square | Architecture | Ismael Leyva | Journal Square | Kushner Companies | New Jersey | Renderings | Residential

Revealed: City Center Towers

City Center Towers -- image from Humphreys & Partners

While the recent focus on Jersey City’s Journal Square neighborhood has centered on KRE’s ‘Journal Squared‘ project, new renderings are up for the long-stalled City Center Towers site, which promises additional changes for the long-neglected area. The images were posted on the website of architectural firm Humphreys & Partners, and the site’s developer is Multi-Employer Property Trust.

City Center Towers

Both plans for City Center Towers — via Humphreys & Partners

The renderings have no specified location, but the background is ‘photo-bombed’ by the Port Authority’s Journal Square Transportation Center, and the back-end of the images are also labeled with ‘Journal Square Towers.’ The Transportation Center is a testament to Journal Square’s current state of desolation, as the eyesore is one of the neighborhood’s most prominent structures.

Luckily, the surge in new development will relegate the Transportation Center to visual irrelevance, as newer urban-friendly projects begin to sprout nearby. City Center — also known as One Journal Square — was initially conceived prior to the recession, but the site has since changed hands; earlier renderings were fuzzy, depicting two high-rises that totaled 1,500 units.

Humphreys & Partners’ latest images of the site depict two possibilities for the design, which may or may not include a sky-bridge that would link the 60-story buildings. City Center Towers will be nearly as prominent as the nearby Journal Squared project; beyond the 1,500 residential units, the development will feature 150,000 square feet of retail at its base, which will help revitalize the street-scape.

City Center Towers

Both plans for City Center Towers — via Humphreys & Partners

The scope of City Center Towers appears slightly larger than the initial plans, and the new renderings paint a much clearer picture for the project’s eventual design — assuming they actually come to fruition. The site has been fraught with controversy, after initial deadlines for ground-breaking were ignored; the recession was chiefly to blame, as most development came to a halt across the Hudson River.

City Center Towers

City Center Towers — image from Humphreys & Partners

No completion date has been announced, but with demolition of the site’s former buildings now complete — and pressure from local officials to proceed continuing to mount — activity is likely imminent.

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Posted in 1 Journal Square | Architecture | City Center Towers | Humphreys & Partners | Jersey City | Journal Square | Multi-Employer Property Trust | Renderings | Residential

Construction Update: Journal Squared

Journal Squared

Jersey City entering a new development boom, and one of the largest projects underway is ‘Journal Squared,’ which promises to help revitalize the Journal Square neighborhood. The project’s architects are HWKN and Handel, and Kushner Real Estate is developing the site.

Journal Squared

Journal Squared

As the construction photos show, demolition on whatever used to exist is now complete, and excavation for the new towers is imminent; the trio of buildings will completely dominate the Journal Square skyline, which currently has no skyscrapers. The neighborhood is removed from the main cluster of waterfront high-rises in Jersey City, but it enjoys transit accessibility that compares with the city’s Downtown node.

Once Journal Squared gets underway, development is likely to ensconce surrounding blocks; the entirety of the project will have 1,840 units, which should be enough to provide a critical pedestrian mass. Journal Square has a wealth of opportunities, given its lack of density despite proximity to Manhattan, and Kushner’s mega-project should be enough to activate the neighborhood.

Journal Squared

Journal Squared

Phase I of Journal Squared will result in a 54-story building; the other two towers will stand 60 and 70 floors, with full build-out likely before 2020. Ground-breaking was expected this past December, but there does not appear to be any excavation equipment on-site; nevertheless, the site is clear, and activity appears to be imminent.

Journal Squared

Journal Squared – image via Handel Architects

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Posted in Architecture | Construction Update | Handel Architects | HWKN | Jersey City | Journal Square Project | Kushner Real Estate Development | Residential

Rockefeller Group Hoboken Development Jeopardized

Hoboken Terminal -- image from NJ Transit

The scandal surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has another twist, and this time, a development by The Rockefeller Group could be threatened. Mayor Dawn Zimmer has asserted that Christie officials forced her to support the project — which she should have done anyways — and she is now publicly attacking the Governor. The ensuing battle could ensnare Rockefeller’s proposal in the process.

In addition to The Rockefeller Group’s project — which is on the city’s northern end — Hoboken’s transit terminal is also being redeveloped. The common thread between the developments is a lack of mayoral leadership and the fostering of barriers against growth, rather than the creation of solutions that could benefit the entire community.

Hoboken Terminal has seen little press, but the proposal is impressive, and would convert vacant, unused railyards into a thriving mixed-use hub, in a plan devised by SOM. The entirety of the development would comprise nearly three million square feet of new space, adding over five acres of parkland in the process, but approval has been held up by NIMBY politics. Nearby residents prefer that the land stay dilapidated and unused.

Hoboken Terminal

Hoboken Terminal — image from NJ Transit

In addition to the actual development, NJ Transit’s PDF of the project indicates it would create 11,000 new jobs, and generate $15 million in additional yearly tax revenue for Hoboken. The plan is split between nearly 1.3 million square feet of residential, and 1.5 million square feet of office, with an additional 162,000 square feet of retail space.

Hoboken Terminal

Hoboken Terminal — image from NJ Transit

The Rockefeller Group’s plans would be a similar boon to the city, and the proposal — which has not been publicly revealed — is worth $1.1 billion. Rockefeller will build 1.8 million square feet of office, as well as 300 condominiums and 85,000 square feet of retail space. The redevelopment would be an economic boon to the community, which suffered enormously during Sandy.

While it is unfortunate partisan politics are clouding the development’s future, it is clear that Hoboken could stand to benefit from the project’s completion. If Mayor Zimmer had actual foresight, the allegations against Christie would not have come at the end of a bandwagon that began in Fort Lee, and perhaps she could have bartered additional development rights for funds to protect Hoboken from climate change during the negotiation process.

Indeed, at Hoboken Terminal, concessions were made during the proposal phase, and the overall scope of the plan was reduced; the community was heavily involved in the discussion, which resulted in the current, scaled-back version.

Hoboken Terminal

Hoboken Terminal initial concept — image via the Hoboken Journal

Despite knee-deep evidence, NIMBYs in Hoboken have failed to notice that rising sea levels pose a greater threat to the city than anything else; while locals may be fighting development, the real threat comes from the Hudson River, which caused enormous flooding during Hurricane Sandy.

Hoboken Flooding

Hoboken Flooding — image from 10 News

Combined, Hoboken Terminal and the Rockefeller project promise major benefits to the community, providing a crucial injection of capital following the city’s submersion at the hands of Sandy. But protecting Hoboken from additional storm surge events is crucial, and seems to have been ignored by city leaders. There is room for a solution that benefits everyone, and it would include coastal defenses to protect the city.

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Posted in Architecture | Construction Update | Hoboken Terminal | Hotel | New Jersey | New York | Office | Residential

Supertall City: New York’s 2014 Boom

175 Greenwich Street

A number of towers that began work in 2013 will begin to make an impact on the skyline in 2014, including several supertalls. Activity is booming throughout the city, with major new developments rising in several core Manhattan neighborhoods, in addition to Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City. Altogether, seven buildings of 1,000 feet or greater will start or continue construction in 2014; currently, New York only has six towers that pass that mark.

NYC 2020

Mock-up of the NYC skyline in 2020

In Midtown, 432 Park Avenue is the most obvious candidate to change the skyline this year, as work is already so far along; the building will likely reach its 1,398-foot pinnacle within the next twelve months. Construction is also in full swing at 217 West 57th Street, and about to commence at both 111 West 57th Street and the MoMA’s Torre Verre; while those developments will still be in the excavation phase at year’s end, blasting for the projects will likely be audible throughout the neighborhood, a constant reminder of the rapidly evolving cityscape.

111 West 57th Street

111 West 57th Street, Image from SHoP

Further South, 10 Hudson Yards will continue to advance, followed by 15, 30, and 35 Hudson Yards; the latter two buildings will become the first supertalls of the far West Side. With the platform for Manhattan West also under construction, the entire neighborhood is rapidly turning into a hive of activity, and its evolution this year will be quick.

Simultaneously, the fourth major tower of the new World Trade Center complex — 175 Greenwich Street — will resume its rise. The building will be the lone commercial giant of the structures rising on the Downtown skyline, and the others fall short of the 1,000 foot mark; in addition to 30 Park Place and 56 Leonard — both of which rose above ground last year — 22 Thames and 50 West Street will also be going vertical in 2014. All of the aforementioned will stand over 750 feet tall.

30 Park Place

30 Park Place

Soaring supertalls may be the most visible legacy of the current wave of construction, but high-rises will also make an impact on the city, especially in the Outer Boroughs. Several projects underway in Downtown Brooklyn will approach the 600-foot mark, and with excavation beginning on both the Avalon Willoughby and The Hub, the DoBro skyline will see significant infill this year. That will also be the theme in Long Island City, though projects in Queens are — on average — slightly shorter, and the CitiGroup Tower will remain unchallenged.

100 Willoughby Street

100 Willoughby Street

Perhaps the most overlooked neighborhood in terms of potential is Jersey City; it will have two three-towered complexes under construction, both of which will enhance the pedestrian sphere and the skyline. Urban Ready Living will add three buildings of approximately 70 floors to the waterfront, while ‘Journal Squared’ represents the first major push of new development into the Journal Square neighborhood, with the first 54-story skyscraper set to rise soon.

Journal Squared

Journal Squared – image via Handel Architects

Taking everything together — even without noting the Pyramid under construction on West 57th Street, or the 795-foot tower about to rise at 41 East 22nd Street — it is clear that development trends are pointing upwards in 2014, in every sense. New York is about to see an unprecedented vertical expansion, and its unique case of purely market-driven growth that is globally unrivaled will finally become visually apparent in the new year.

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Posted in 111 West 57th Street | 217 West 57th Street | 432 Park Avenue | Architecture | Construction Update | Downtown | Hotel | Midtown | New York | Office | Residential | Supertall | Torre Verre | Uncategorized

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