Vision: 1393 York Avenue

1393 York Avenue, image by TEN Arquitectos

TEN Arquitectos has had several recent projects make headlines, but one that’s been out of the spotlight is 1393 York Avenue, at the northwest corner of 74th Street and York, on the Upper East Side. The site is currently home to the Church of the Epiphany, and plans for redevelopment were actually filed and disapproved back in 2008.

The old permits show a total scope of just over 120,000 square feet; the tower would have risen 29 stories and 340 feet tall, with 51 units in total. While filings do not break out the development’s various components, the Church of the Epiphany would have remained on site, occupying the base of the new scheme.

1393 York Avenue

1393 York Avenue, image by TEN Arquitectos

Though the initial opportunity may have faded with the crash of 2008, 1393 York Avenue remains a prime candidate for redevelopment, as the church has extensive air rights; the site is also located near the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway, and once it opens, transit access will greatly improve.

Potential at 1393 York Avenue is obvious, and TEN Arquitectos’ plans were attractive; per the firm’s own description, the “design proposes the creation of a new series of exterior spaces,” which would have opened up a formerly hidden courtyard while also connecting the site’s “disparate” built elements, dominated by the glassy condominium tower.

1393 York Avenue

1393 York Avenue, image by TEN Arquitectos

The development’s impression on the streetscape would have also been positive, and improving access to the formerly hidden church courtyard would have been a major plus.

Ghosts of the 2008 crash have persisted across New York City, but many stalled projects are now moving forward, and as the opening day of the Second Avenue Subway approaches, pressure on sites like 1393 York will increase. At this point, TEN Arquitectos’ plan will probably not materialize, but with prospects for the neighborhood looking increasingly bright, redevelopment of the Church of the Epiphany seems like an eventuality — and soon, something will surely replace the existing structure.

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Posted in 1393 York Avenue | Architecture | Church of the Epiphany | New York | Renderings | Residential | Ten Arquitectos | Upper East Side

Permits Filed: 1717 First Avenue

1717 First Avenue, image from Google Maps

The first permits are up for a 34-story tower at 1717 First Avenue, just to the southwest of First Avenue and 89th Street, on the Upper East Side. Anbau Enterprises is the developer, and SHoP is the architect of record; the site also has an address at 356 East 89th Stret.

Filings reveal the building will span a total of 189,890 square feet, which will be entirely residential besides a 3,558 square-foot retail component on the ground floor. The high-rise will have a total of 78 units, and the tower will top-out 351 feet above street level.

Residences will average nearly 2,400 square feet apiece, which means 1717 First Avenue will cater to the luxury market; Anbau recently completed 155 East 79th Street to the project’s southwest, and the firm’s penchant for high-end designs should manifest in an attractive addition to the skyline of the Upper East Side.

While 1717 First Avenue won’t be all that prominent, 34 stories is somewhat substantial for the neighborhood, and views will be comprehensive.

Design details remain lacking, but SHoP has several luxury towers in the works, and the firm’s 111 West 57th Street will be iconic. In terms of height, 1717 First Avenue will be closer to 616 First Avenue in Midtown East.

1717 First Avenue

1717 First Avenue, image from Google Maps

No completion date for 1717 First Avenue has been announced, but demolition permits for the site’s existing low-rises were filed in June, so construction is likely imminent.

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Posted in 1717 1st Avenue | 1717 First Avenue | 356 East 89th Street | Anbau Enterprises | Architecture | New York | Residential | SHoP | Upper East Side

Revealed: 501 East 74th Street

501 East 74th Street -- image via Google Maps

The first renderings are up for a new residential tower at 501 East 74th Street, on the corner of York Avenue; the site’s developer is Benjamin Ohebshalom of Sky Management, and the architect of record is the Stephen B. Jacobs Group.

Permits reveal a total scope of 71,703 square feet, and the 205′ building will have 20 floors and 83 residences. The DOB filings were approved last week, and with fencing up, construction is just around the corner.

501 East 74th Street

501 East 74th Street — image by the Stephen B. Jacobs Group

501 East 74th Street already has a live website, though it currently has no information. Still, the rendering gives a relatively comprehensive view of the building, which will fall into the ‘completely average and unremarkable’ category. Its form will enhance the street-wall, and while upper floors may have awkward massing, they will be invisible on the skyline.

Location-wise, 501 East 74th Street is in a somewhat inaccessible area, as York Avenue is several blocks removed from subway access. The transit situation will improve once the Second Avenue Subway opens, and the line’s 72nd Street stop will be a short walk away. Despite the lackluster design, the building will contribute to the neighborhood’s continued evolution, and the additional housing will be beneficial.

No completion date has been announced, but with permits now approved, verticality would appear imminent.

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Posted in 501 East 74th Street | Architecture | New York | Residential | SBJ Group | Sky Management | Upper East Side

Penthouse View: Azure, 333 East 91st Street

The Azure, looking South

YIMBY stopped by Azure on the Upper East Side for a tour of the tower’s two penthouse units, which enjoy spectacular views over Manhattan and Long Island. The building’s relative isolation on the skyline — given its location, at 333 East 91st Street — allows for comprehensive vistas, and units are nearly sold out.

The Azure

The Azure — rooftop panorama looking north

The northern panorama (zoomable photo at link) includes Yankee Stadium, and the George Washington Bridge also figures prominently; looking east, the view is slightly more pedestrian, as Queens and Long Island offer a relatively drab backdrop.

The Azure

The Azure, looking west

While western views are the only perspective to be somewhat compromised, the Park is still slightly visible. Regardless of obstructions, the southern perspective is what’s most interesting, especially as the 57th Street supertalls are beginning to make an impact on the Midtown jungle; while One57 is already prominent, 432 Park Avenue is about to dominate the frame.

The Azure

Southern Panorama; zoomable photo at link

Azure’s developers are DeMatteis and The Mattone Group, and the architect of record is SLCE; the penthouses are located on the 34th floor, and the project has 128 residences in total.

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Posted in 333 East 91st Street | Architecture | New York | Residential | The Azure | Upper East Side

Semi-Revealed: 301 East 61st Street

301 East 61st Street -- image via Google Maps

Construction has finally begun at 301 East 61st Street, on the corner of 2nd Avenue, which had been in limbo for several years; the site’s developer is Chance Gordy of Real Estate Inverlad Development LLC, and the architect of record is Manuel Glas.

Permits for the building indicate it will stand 19 stories and 210 feet to its roof; the project will measure 44,730 square feet in total, the vast bulk of which will be residential. A retail component on the ground-floor will take up 1,035 square feet, while the remainder will be split between 30 residences.

301 East 61st Street

301 East 61st Street — zoning diagram

Design-wise, the building’s specifics remain unclear; while zoning diagrams are missing on the DOB file, they are posted to the site’s construction fence, giving a glimpse at potential massing. While Manuel Glas’ website is non-functional, another architect had apparently worked on the site previously, and Garrett Gourlay’s website gives an in-depth look at that plan for the development.

301 East 61st Street

301 East 61st Street — image by Garrett Gourlay Architect

Rising 19 stories, the future 301 East 61st will nestle into a storage building that forms an ‘L’-shaped barrier to the north and east of the site. Given the available air rights — which are rather limited – most of the future structure will be boxed-in, with units only able to take advantage of southern and western perspectives.

301 East 61st Street

301 East 61st Street — image by Garrett Gourlay Architect

Gourlay’s plan pushed the building above its neighbor, allowing more comprehensive views from upper residences, and the on-site zoning diagrams indicate that the final scheme will take a similar tact, ensuring that the top floors enjoy relatively unobstructed views. Given the small number of units, condominiums seem to be the most likely product.

Completion is expected in November of 2015.

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Posted in 1162 2nd Avenue | 1162 Second Avenue | 301 East 61st Street | Architecture | Manuel Glas Architects | New York | Real Estate Inverlad Development LLC | Residential | Upper East Side

Interview with the Developer: Anbau on 155 East 79th Street

155 East 79th Street, lobby facade

YIMBY sat down with Barbara van Beuren and Stephen Glascock of Anbau to discuss their latest project, at 155 East 79th Street. The building will have seven duplex residences; contemporary interiors by Pembrooke and Ives combine with a more traditional exterior by BKSK to create a perfectly contextual structure.

YIMBY in bold.

What’s the site’s total square footage?

About 38,000 square feet — there are seven duplexes. The concept is stacked townhouses. The site is so narrow — as you can see, they are literally townhouse layouts. You have an entry hall, your bedrooms on the second floor; every unit is a duplex. It has the things that you like without maintenance issues. And if you want privacy — well, it’s a very small building.

155 East 79th Street

155 East 79th Street

How did you pick BKSK?

They did two of our past projects — one on 23rd Street, and another on 72nd. So we have experience with them, and we like working together. But this building is much smaller than our previous collaborations.

155 East 79th Street

Entry Foyer

Growing up on the Upper East Side, how have you seen the neighborhood evolve over the years?

Well, 135 [East 79th Street] used to be a school for Hunter College, then it was sold to Brodsky. 155 East 79th used to be a Schrafft’s, before that closed — my bedroom was literally right next door. We lived at 151 [East 79th]. My bedroom was literally next to the current site we’re working on.

Did you ever imagine the potential for next-door?

No, I was a little kid!

What years did you live at 151?

In the 70s. We were not there for a long time, but it was still a generous slice of childhood. And now, it’s nice to be making an impact on the same neighborhood.

You began your career as an architect; how did you make the switch to developer?

Early on in my training, it became obvious that the way you could really impact the appearance of a building was to develop the project yourself, so we decided that was the route we wanted to take. In architecture you have to leave your ego at the door, but if you work on a project as a developer, you put yourself in another position – and can build in a more attractive way.

155 East 79th Street

Bathroom

What was the overall inspiration behind 155 East 79th Street’s design? It seems classically-oriented.

It is and it isn’t; the details are actually pretty modern. I mean, each building we do, we do within a different context; we think that architecture should respond to site-specific surrounds. One of the things that Pembrooke and Ives does very well is the juxtaposition of old and new, and that’s the feeling that we went for inside 155 East 79th. Given the lot, you’re not going to design Park Avenue apartments; the layouts wouldn’t make sense. It’s the width of a very wide townhouse. What [Andrew Sheinman] does very well is combining the old and the new, and that’s what we wanted at 155.

155 East 79th Street

Media Room

Beyond the apartments, Andrew really wanted the lobby to be a comfortable place, so people are happy when they come home — no fuddy-duddy older decorating. You have a lot of traditional materials, and Andrew uses traditional molding, but there’s also a lot of metal — it’s very, very clean.

155 East 79th Street

155 East 79th Street Building Lobby

It seems much less stodgy than the older buildings on the street, and geared towards young families or couples who are moving back to the Upper East Side; have prospective buyers reflected that demographic?

You know a lot of people — with 135 [East 79th] and 151 [East 78th], they basically designed pre-war buildings. This is a much more contemporary, but definitely not modern. The materials give it a classic feel, and a certain richness. But they’re townhouses — they are literally stacked townhouses, with all the privacy benefits and outdoor space a townhouse would have, but with the convenience of a doorman. And each unit has an outdoor space. So they are really built for anyone who wants the benefits and privacy of that kind of living.

155 East 79th Street

Outdoor Terrace

What are units priced at?

They’re selling from $8.9 to $18 million. They’re pretty much all the same size, but the penthouse has a huge extra terrace on the roof; the inside measures 4,464 square feet, the outside, 900 square feet. The maisonette on the ground floor is a little bit smaller than the other units. But it has its own private backyard.

Have you sold any units yet?

Not yet! But we are optimistic.

And when is the building expected to be complete?

We’re aiming for early 2015.

Posted in 155 East 79th Street | Anbau Enterprises | Barbara van Beuren | BKSK Architects | Pembrooke and Ives | Stephen Glascock | Upper East Side

Revealed: 1562 Second Avenue

1562 Second Avenue -- image from Isaac & Stern

The first renderings are up for a new building that will rise at 1562 Second Avenue, on the corner of 81st Street; the images come from architectural firm Isaac & Stern, which will apparently be designing the project. While permits are currently lacking, following the paper trail for 1538 Second Realty LLC — which owns the assemblage — indicates that Icon Realty Management is the developer; the firm has worked with Isaac & Stern on other buildings, as well.

1562 Second Avenue

1562 Second Avenue — image from Isaac & Stern

Despite the lack of permits, information on Isaac & Stern’s website gives additional details for the tower, which will apparently stand fourteen stories tall, and measure 47,000 square feet; 1562 Second Avenue will also include a commercial component, likely on the ground-floor.

Given the building’s specifications, its twelve units will average approximately 3,500 square feet each, which is enormous; each residence will also apparently be full-floor, besides a duplex penthouse. While demand for super-luxury apartments is red-hot, 1562 Second Avenue’s target market is relatively niche, and the lack of new development on the Upper East Side limits significant competition, likely signaling a bright future for the project.

1562 Second Avenue

1562 Second Avenue — image from Isaac & Stern

The images depict a classic design, keeping the project in character with its Upper East Side surrounds. Developments in the neighborhood seem to be embracing pre-war aesthetics; besides 1562 Second Avnue, Peter Pennoyer’s 151 East 78th Street is another notable example of a new building with deeply historic roots.

No completion date for 1562 Second Avenue has been announced.

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Posted in 1562 Second Avenue | Architecture | Icon Realty | Isaac & Stern | New York | Residential | Upper East Side

Interview with the Architect: Peter Pennoyer

Peter Pennoyer and 151 East 78th Street -- image by Julie Skarratt

YIMBY sat down with architect Peter Pennoyer of the eponymous firm to discuss his latest project in New York City, at 151 East 78th Street. The building offers a classic take on new construction, with a commitment to authenticity that is difficult to achieve. Besides Pennoyer’s first major ground-up building in Manhattan, discourse touched on the architect’s inspirations, as well as his hopes for future skyscrapers in Manhattan.

YIMBY in bold.

You grew up in New York City, correct?

I grew up on 65th Street between Lexington and Third; I love that street because it had all the stores on Lexington, and it had some very grand houses; David Rockefeller’s house, by Delano, was just three houses away. But then it had a little house that was an art gallery, and the mother gave Italian lessons; I liked the blend of all of that happening on one block. And the corner house was unoccupied for 40 years — it was owned by a Mrs. Kean who lived in New Jersey. Where the Toll Brothers building is now — that was a house with a bronze collection. We had a store around the corner called Lucchesi which sold plaster casts of architectural fragments. So New York was cool. And then they built an ugly building at the corner of Third, called The Phoenix – which is concrete and brick, and really bad. So I wrote a story in my sixth grade school journal comparing The Phoenix to The Plaza Hotel, drawing a conclusion that one was not that nice, while the other was very admirable.

You specialize in classical design; what schools/styles do you come from, what do you try to emphasize in your designs?

My personal favorites are federal and regency architecture — so I like architecture that’s done with a very light hand. The details aren’t too rich or heavy. And I also like classicism that was done by people who didn’t have the materials, money, or cultural environment to do things in a full-blown way — so that’s why I love Monticello and Mount Vernon. They’re classical, but still a little bit crude and rudimentary. So simple classicism.

151 East 78th Street

151 East 78th Street, image by Williams New York

So your style is rooted in the timeframe following the Revolutionary War? And how does that translate into 151 East 78th Street?

[151 East 78th Street] comes from a different direction. The first great American architects, all of whom studied in Paris, learned about total design — which means you’re learning about the plan, the elevation, the details, the artwork — the whole thing. And they were completely immersed in this method of French architecture. But then they came back to New York, and they suddenly had to design buildings that no-one had to do before — the high-rise apartment house simply didn’t exist at that point. So they had to come up with a new approach, and it was to take the building and to make the scale appropriate to the street. And we did that on one level by having a stone base with fairly delicate details — rustication, carved rackets on the door, and some metalwork to try and bring the building into a dialogue, and into context with the street. And on the other hand you have the skyline, and you can do more exuberant, fun, and sculptural gestures. The urns atop the project are there for the skyline; the street experience is very different. And I think all of that comes from studying classical architecture.

And the other thing about classical architecture is it teaches that you can add ornament or you can shift materials, so that the way the building appears — the proportions aren’t just about the specific plan. If a building has 150 windows on it, you don’t have to look at something that has 150 rectangles; you can join them together as we did, with stone spandrel panels and moldings; 151 East 78th has these nice, clean, brick-banded windows, and then you’ve got windows called out as individual elements on the facade. It’s all about manipulating the proportions of the building by shaping the massing and using ornament to organize an overall design.

It’s much more interesting — in my view — than just building a glass facade. And those buildings don’t age well; buildings that are made of stone, brick, and real materials look more beautiful with their patina and aging, and become part of the city. Glass buildings just die, and they need to be completely re-surfaced. If you’re a landmark, and you have some pockmarks, and you’re a stone building, Landmarks doesn’t even allow you to change the stones, because they’re the real thing. But Lever House — its glass curtain walls were literally  sick. So they had to take the entire facade off. Same thing with the facade of the UN;  it failed.

But it looks good now, don’t you think?

Yes, great — they did a great job. But is it worth $2 billion? I don’t think so.

151 East 78th Street

Terrace atop 151 East 78th Street, image by Williams New York

On that note, do you think 151 East 78th looks further back than some of its neighbors on the Upper East Side?

No, it looks back to the 1920′s — to Rosario Candela, Whitney Warren, and Mott Schmidt. It doesn’t look back beyond that, but it does look to what they were doing, and it has things that no-one has done in all these new buildings. This has real double-hung windows with mullions; that’s one of many differences.

151 East 78th Street

Living room at 151 East 78th Street, image by Williams New York

What are some other differences between 151 East 78th Street and buildings from contemporary architects that draw from classic inspiration?

The difference is that the details are drawn by hand, by someone who is completely knowledgeable and fluent in that kind of architecture, instead of someone trying to imitate a past style. The partner in my office, who is not me, who drew that is a genius — he’s better at it than I am!  It’s convincing and it’s not like you’re quoting a historical source and being ironic about it. It’s the real thing. It’s strange that there are so few architects alive who can draw these details correctly; but some of the few work here. Also, people either go for symmetry or asymmetry, and something that’s unusual is that 151 East 78th Street has symmetry up to the first major terrace, and then the massing above becomes asymmetrical; that hasn’t been done much, except for 15 Central Park West which also takes liberties with the window grids like 740 Park Avenue does. The scale of the panes of glass — there’s no other building that I know of, other than Roman & Williams’ Viceroy, where they actually do mullions instead of big sheets of glass.

The Viceroy? Roman & Williams shares your knack for authenticity rather than replication. Maybe you should work together?

We were going to work together. We even had a conversation. But the client had a budget for talent.

One day. Hopefully soon. 

Yes. I admire  Stephen. I saw his drawings years ago on a jury  – he deserves a prize for those incredible drawings. But yes, it’s thinking about the view from the inside out. Most people think, ‘well why would you put in mullions?’ but it’s about the scale. It makes the room seem thirty percent bigger if you’re not looking out from a sheet of glass.

So you think you would be more satisfied with the evolving skyline if more buildings looked to the past?

Yes. And I think stone is a better material for New York — stone works better because it ages more beautifully, and it reflects light more beautifully. It connects buildings with other buildings. Glass seems brittle and unfriendly; I also think stone looks much better at night, and to look up at a stone building and see its lights on the city skyline has always appealed to me. Especially in art, as New York has been the model for many great artists, including Martin Lewis. When I look at glass buildings at night, I don’t see anything about the architecture, so much as I see a beehive of human habitation — of flickering TV screens. I find too much glass a bit depressing.

So you find the evolution of 57th Street to be a bad thing?

I take it on a building by building case. The new one by Bob Stern — at 220 Central Park South – that will be good.

Do you have any other ground-up projects on the horizon in the city?

We’re in discussions with someone who has a great site.

Do you have any interest in doing something on a larger scale?

Yes. I think I would feel strange about doing something really really tall, and I’ve been involved with groups that have tried to stop people from doing that.

Unfortunately. But that’s ok… 

Like the Municipal Arts Society. But I am also pro-growth. I’m just worried that if we do too many glass buildings, we’ll lose the character New York has; traveling in Asia some of those cities are character-deficient.

But what if you can build these new buildings in historic-minded styles?

I would love to do that. And I’d be leaving some trace of history.

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Posted in 151 East 78th Street | Architecture | Construction Update | New York | Peter Pennoyer | Renderings | Residential | Upper East Side

Revealed: 405 East 60th Street

405 East 60th Street today, image via Google Maps

The first renderings for 405 East 60th Street on the Upper East Side have been posted on SLCE’s website; the building will be developed and occupied by Ronald McDonald House — which serves pediatric cancer patients — though plans have been on-hold for several years.

405 East 60th Street

405 East 60th Street — image via SLCE

The Ronald McDonald House is currently located at 405 East 73rd Street; the charity’s move will be minor, keeping it on the Upper East Side. RMH’s website has additional details on the organization’s mission, but maintaining proximity to treatment facilities is crucial. At both its former and current location, patients are close to thirteen treatment facilities, providing access to some of the best healthcare in the world.

While the eastern edge of the Upper East Side has traditionally been a nexus for healthcare, local NIMBYs would rather scuttle plans for state-of-the-art facilities; the battle over Memorial Sloan Kettering’s new cancer treatment center was vigorously opposed by neighborhood activists, though Kettering’s facility was ultimately approved. Besides MSK’s new building, another outpost for New York Presbyterian will soon rise at 445 East 68th Street.

Renderings of the new Ronald McDonald House depict a 16-story structure that will be fairly simple, with aesthetics characterized by large, floor-to-ceiling windows. 405 East 60th Street traversed ULURP early last decade, and the site has all the allowances needed for the new development, though DOB permits were disapproved in 2008. Nevertheless, those documents revealed the new RMH will have slightly over 90,000 square feet of space, with 74 units.

405 East 60th Street

405 East 60th Street — image via SLCE

Recent filings – approved on the 14th — indicate the existing 405 East 60th Street will see “facade and roof repairs,” possibly as a pre-cursor to demolition. No completion date for the re-development has been announced, but per SLCE, construction was initially planned for 2010.

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Posted in 405 East 60th Street | Architecture | Hospitals | New York | Ronald McDonald House | SLCE | Upper East Side

Permits Filed: 151 East 78th Street

The former 151 East 78th Street -- image via Google Maps

Plans are moving forward for a 16-story residential development at 151 East 78th Street. The site comprises two townhouses — bought back in 2012 — as well as the former Ackerman Institute, which spans 149-151 East 78th Street. Renderings appeared late last year, and permits for the new building indicate the developer is Spruce Capital, while the architect is the highly-acclaimed Peter Pennoyer.

The first images paint a classically-inspired picture, and though the glimpse is limited, the structure will be clad in traditional brick and limestone, blending seamlessly with its Upper East Side surroundings. Though the development will be visually similar to existing neighborhood buildings, its prices will likely be far higher, given the spacious layouts and state-of-the-art finishes.

151 East 78th Street

151 East 78th Street — image via Spruce Capital

Besides the enhancement of the street-wall, the facade’s aesthetics appear to be stand-out, and should guarantee that units fetch top-dollar. Plans for 151 East 78th Street include fourteen units in total; all residences will be full-floor or larger, including a maisonette and three penthouses.

151 East 78th Street

151 East 78th Street — image via Spruce Capital

Permits indicate the project will total just over 58,000 square feet; that translates into an average of approximately 4,000 square feet per unit. 151 East 78th Street is clearly aiming for super-luxury status, which is warranted by the location, and its ambitions will be assisted by the design. No completion date has been announced, but demolition of the existing structures is underway, and sales are about to begin.

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Posted in 151 East 78th Street | Architecture | Construction Update | New York | Peter Pennoyer | Residential | Spruce Capital | Upper East Side

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