Permits Filed: 8 West 70th Street

8 West 70th Street -- image via PBDW

New permits are up for a long-stalled project at 8 West 70th Street, which is being developed by Congregation Shearith Israel; the building has faced an ongoing battle from local NIMBYs. The architect of record is Platt Byard Dovell White, and the firm’s website has renderings of the planned design.

The tenacity of the neighborhood NIMBYs is evident from their website opposing the development, which looks to have been made in 2003; it has been continually updated with incoherent ramblings and frequent typographical and grammatical errors, but the ultimate motive against the Congregation’s mixed-use expansion appears to be the potential loss of views from a neighboring structure, at 18 West 70th Street. Opposition to the development hinges on it being an “inappropriate condominium tower,” when in reality it will only stand nine stories tall, and will in fact be significantly shorter than typical buildings on West 70th Street.

8 West 70th Street

8 West 70th Street — image via PBDW

A presentation by Grubb & Ellis has ample photographic evidence of the decrepit old structure that the new 8 West 70th Street will replace; it also includes images of the ‘views’ to be blocked, which are already obstructed by rooftop equipment atop Congregation Shearith Israel. The motives behind the neighborhood opposition are obviously selfish, and entirely centered on preserving perspectives that were already partially obstructed; how any nine-story development in New York City could be considered a tower is insane, especially in a neighborhood as dense as the Upper West Side.

8 West 70th Street

8 West 70th Street pre-demolition, via Google Maps

PBDW’s design for the new 8 West 70th Street is aesthetically superior to many surrounding buildings, and despite its ‘contemporary’ design, it will fit into its pre-war surrounds with ease. The expansion will enhance the street-wall along West 70th Street, while also providing Congregation Shearith Israel with much-needed space on the structure’s lower floors.

The previous new building permits were disapproved in June of last year, but indicated that 8 West 70th Street would have 41,565 square feet in total; 21,551 square feet will be split between four residences, with the top two floors to be dedicated to a duplex. Each of the other units will span an entire floor, as well, with additional details available on the project’s Schedule A.

8 West 70th Street

8 West 70th Street — image via PBDW

While the Upper West Side generally lacks ultra-luxe developments outside of its southern bounds, 8 West 70th Street could be a contender for some of the most expensive residences in the neighborhood. No completion date has been announced, but given the new filings, construction appears to be imminent.

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Posted in 8 West 70th Street | Architecture | Congregation Shearith Israel | New York | Platt Byard Dovell White | Residential | Upper West Side

Revealed: 175 West 60th Street

175 West 60th Street, viewed from the north

Major headway is occurring on the next phase of the Fordham Lincoln Center redevelopment, as work continues on Glenwood’s new tower at 175 West 60th Street. Given that foundations have now been poured, verticality should be imminent; the architect of record is The Stephen B. Jacobs Group, and the firm has released the first full reveal of the project.

175 West 60th Street

175 West 60th Street — image via the SBJ Group

175 West 60th Street will eventually stand 48 stories and 533 feet tall, with 256 units in total. The building will be slightly shorter than its neighbor at 160 West 62nd Street,but it will still be visually prominent on the Upper West Side’s relatively short skyline; the new Fordham-adjacent cluster will add significant density to the immediate vicinity, which has long been under-utilized.

175 West 60th Street

175 West 60th Street

The lower stretch of Amsterdam Avenue has long been neglected; recently, Gale Brewer killed plans to re-develop two dilapidated schools in the neighborhood — one of which is across the street from 175 West 60th Street — which would have been replaced with new and modern facilities at the base of residential towers. Nevertheless, progress is still occurring, however piecemeal.

175 West 60th Street

175 West 60th Street

In terms of square footage, permits indicate the vast bulk of the tower — which measures 289,908 square feet — will be dedicated to the residential portion, with the ground-floor retail confined to 664 square feet. That translates into an average unit size of slightly over 1,100 square feet.

Per the on-site signage, completion of 175 West 60th Street is expected in the spring of 2016.

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Posted in 175 West 60th Street | Architecture | Construction Update | Fordham University | Glenwood | New York | Residential | SBJ Group

Permits Filed: 203 West 79th Street

203 West 79th Street -- image via Google Maps

The first permits have been filed for a new 16-story building at 203 West 79th Street; the architect of record is Morris Adjmi, and the project’s developer is Anbau Enterprises.

203 West 79th Street will stand 174 feet to its pinnacle, and the filings indicate the structure will be mixed-use, with an emphasis on ultra-high-end residential. The building will measure 67,265 square feet in total, with 5,088 square feet to be dedicated to retail space; the remainder of the site will be residential.

With only 24 units, residences will average nearly 2,600 square feet each, which is on the large and ’boutique luxury’ side of things; the Upper West Side is sorely lacking in almost any new housing, and the redevelopment of 203 West 79th Street will be very beneficial to the neighborhood, where many derelict structures from the past remain due to over-aggressive landmarking.

Carlton House — which will be cleared to make way for Adjmi’s building — is a definite example of one such structure. The building only stands five stories tall, and air conditioners protrude from the facade. Improving the neighborhood’s aesthetics and its tax base will result in a win-win for both New York City and the Upper West Side.

No completion date has been announced.

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Posted in 203 West 79th Street | Anbau Enterprises | Architecture | Construction Update | Morris Adjmi Architects | New York | Residential

Permits Filed: 1047 Amsterdam Avenue

1047 Amsterdam Avenue -- via DNA Info

A slew of documents have been filed with the DOB for 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, which will add two residential structures to West 113th Street. Per Curbed, The Brodsky Organization is developing the towers, while the architect of record is Handel. The site is located adjacent to The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.

1047 Amsterdam Avenue

1047 Amsterdam Avenue — site plan, via the DOB

1047 Amsterdam Avenue will measure nearly 331,000 square feet in total; the bulk of the space will be dedicated to residential, with permits indicating the tower will hold 428 apartments, spanning 15 floors. Approximately 1,500 square feet of space will be occupied by a community facility, as well.

St. John’s has run into controversy over its plans, though the church has committed to preserving the undeveloped portions of its land following the construction of 1047 Amsterdam Avenue. The new building will sit over the quarry pits previously used for the cathedral’s stone, which could mean St. John’s will remain perpetually unfinished.

Rising 149 feet in total, the residential tower will be quite close to the cathedral, and will nestle into the northern end of the site, along 113th Street. Given Handel’s track record, the development should be contextually sensitive, and early renderings look to confirm that notion. While not totally similar, the first glimpse does bear some semblance to 170 Amsterdam Avenue, and 1047 Amsterdam Avenue’s exterior should be similarly appealing, and unique.

1047 Amsterdam Avenue

1047 Amsterdam Avenue — massing diagrams, via the DOB

Per DNA Info, Brodsky’s 99-year lease will generate $5 million for St. John’s per year, allowing the cathedral to remain open. The development will have two components — with a visual gap, so the church’s transept remains visible — and the buildings will be connected by stairs. No completion date has been announced.

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Posted in 1047 Amsterdam Avenue | Architecture | Construction Update | Handel Architects | New York | Residential | St. John The Divine | The Brodsky Organization | Upper West Side

New Renderings: 170 Amsterdam Avenue

170 Amsterdam Avenue -- image from Handel

New renderings of 170 Amsterdam Avenue have appeared on Handel’s website; the firm is the architect of record for the project, which is approaching topping-out. The 20-story and 236-unit building is being developed by Equity Residential.

Per Handel, the “building’s massing and design are driven by the site’s long, narrow shape,” and consequently, “the building’s structure [was moved] to the exterior in the form of an exoskeleton.”

170 Amsterdam Avenue

170 Amsterdam Avenue — image from Handel

Indeed, the latest imagesl depict the completed building in all its contemporary glory; the rendered view, looking west on 68th Street, invites a comparison between 170 Amsterdam’s dynamic cross-bracing, and the staid post-war architecture that typifies the vicinity — and it is unflattering to the latter.

170 Amsterdam Avenue

170 Amsterdam Avenue — image from Handel

The design is a striking contrast to most new residential construction in Manhattan, especially as the ‘exoskeleton’ is such a crucial component; facades are typically more of an afterthought. Turning cutting-edge engineering into potential aesthetic accessory benefits developers and the public, especially on difficult sites like 170 Amsterdam Avenue, where constraints lead to innovation and creativity.

Equity’s latest undertaking is expected to be complete by 2015.

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Posted in 170 Amsterdam Avenue | Architecture | Equity Residential | Handel Architects | New York | Residential | Upper West Side

What the New York Skyline Gained in 2013

Lower Manhattan - One World Trade Center

2013 was a monumental year for New York City, and as the economy has continued to rebound — and prices have risen — the first non-government-backed effects are now visible across the skyline. Work is wrapping up on the Sandy-delayed One57, which is the city’s first residential skyscraper to pass the 1,000 foot mark. Besides Extell’s first supertall, the cranes for 432 Park Avenue are also poking above the Midtown plateau, upping the ante; for a brief moment in 2014, Vinoly’s vision in concrete and ten-by-ten foot panes will become the tallest residential building in the entire world.

432 Park Avenue

432 Park Avenue

Outside of Midtown — where work wrapped up on 500′+ buildings at 1717 Broadway, the Baccarat Tower, and 250 West 55th Street — Lincoln Square saw the addition of Glenwood’s 54-story 160 West 62nd Street, which will begin a marked transformation of a forlorn section of Amsterdam Avenue. Portzamparc’s other major tower, at 400 Park Avenue South, also topped-out, and the world’s tallest Holiday Inn — at 99 Washington Street — is also nearing its opening day.

400 Park Avenue South

400 Park Avenue South

The common trait the above projects share is a sense of anonymity, lost in New York’s gargantuan scale. Even the tallest of the bunch — 1717 Broadway, at 750 feet — is nearly invisible, enveloped within the Midtown jungle. Its only identifying trait is night-time blue lighting; to most, it is just another boxy glass tower. Though the taller buildings generally have better designs, even the stunning 400 Park Avenue South is relatively ‘lost’ outside of a narrow view corridor; the fact that Manhattan can absorb so many new buildings with barely any visual impact is a testament to the island’s existing density, while also begging the question: Why not build taller, if everything is huge anyways?

A vast range of mid-rises were also completed in 2013, defining the bulk of new construction in Midtown and Lower Manhattan. In addition to 99 Washington, Kaufman’s repertoire included 237 West 54th Street, 312 West 37th Street, and 125 West 28th Street — all to be occupied by mid-range chains like Marriott and Hilton. Besides One World Trade Center’s spire, the Lower Manhattan skyline remained relatively constant, outside of its depths — its height concealed new concepts like 6 Platt Street, a hotel that masquerades as a prison.

6 Platt Street

6 Platt Street

On the far West Side, the AVA High Line and Related’s 500 West 30th Street are nearly complete. Both projects are relatively prominent on the sparsely-populated West Chelsea skyline, and will add to the neighborhood’s street-level pedestrian vibrancy. Exterior work is also wrapping up at the Whitney Museum’s Meatpacking expansion, designed by Renzo Piano.

The Whitney Expansion

The Whitney Expansion

Outside of Manhattan, the outer borough boom is just kicking into gear. 388 Bridge Street topped-out early in the year, becoming Brooklyn’s tallest building — a title it will soon lose to the neighboring Avalon Willoughby. Long Island City’s waterfront also saw major progress; TF Cornerstone’s ‘East Coast’ development is wrapping up, and the first two Hunter’s Point South towers are underway. Both DoBro and the western edge of LIC are finally developing into cohesive and vibrant neighborhoods.

Hunter's Point South

Hunter’s Point South

While 2013′s changes on the New York skyline were great, the impact of new construction in 2014 will be even larger — and detailed in a post tomorrow.

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Posted in Architecture | Construction Update | Downtown | Hotel | Midtown | New York | Office | Residential | Supertall

Construction Update: Riverside Center

Riverside Center

Work is in full swing at Riverside Center, which is the last major piece of land available for development on the Upper West Side. Located at the base of the neighborhood, the enormous lot will eventually house five new towers, some of which may keep designs by Portzamparc, which were depicted in the site’s master plan.

Riverside Center

Riverside Center

Extell has sold off portions of the property, and the first piece – where a crane is now rising – will be developed by Carlyle and Dermot, and feature a design that’s a decided departure from the Portzamparc scheme. Silverstein and Elad recently acquired a parcel as well, and that’s where the next tower after Carlyle/Dermot’s will rise.

The first tower will have 616 apartments, while the entirety of the development will have roughly 2,500 units, in addition to cultural and commercial space

Riverside Center will hem a major gap in Manhattan’s urban fabric, which formerly cleaved the Far West Side in two. The West Side will finally become seamless after the mega-project’s completion, with Durst’s Pyramid also helping to re-establish the neighborhood’s identity.

The full build-out of Riverside Center is expected by 2020.

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Posted in Architecture | Construction Update | Extell | New York | Portzamparc | Residential | Riverside Center

Construction Update: 170 Amsterdam Avenue

170 Amsterdam Avenue

Equity Residential’s 170 Amsterdam Avenue has made major progress, and the entirety of the structure is now well above ground. The tower will eventually stand 21 floors and contain 235 units, and the architect is Handel.

170 Amsterdam Avenue

170 Amsterdam Avenue

Construction of 170 Amsterdam Avenue has proceeded in a manner atypical for Manhattan; much of the site was a concrete pit as of the last update, while a small sliver of the building had risen above street level. Evidently work has been focused on the southern portion of the project, as the entirety of the structure is now even, and rising.

170 Amsterdam Avenue

170 Amsterdam Avenue

The building’s columned exoskeleton is already obvious, and – as renderings indicated – it will be the new tower’s defining feature.

Completion of the building is expected by 2015.

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Posted in 170 Amsterdam Avenue | Architecture | Construction Update | Handel Architects | New York | Residential | Upper West Side | Zell

Construction Begins: 175 West 60th Street

175 West 60th Street

Construction has begun at 175 West 60th Street, which will be the second new residential tower to rise next to Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. Permits list the architect as the Stephen B. Jacobs Group, and Glenwood is developing the property; the skyscraper will soon stand 48 floors, and hold a total of 257 units.

Glenwood is the firm behind both of the residential towers now under construction next to Fordham; work is wrapping up on 160 West 62nd Street, which will be the taller of the two buildings. Together, they will add nearly 600 apartments to the Upper West Side.

175 West 60th Street

175 West 60th Street

While 175 West 60th Street is not part of Fordham’s campus – and the lot was sold to help pay for the University’s expansion – it’s still a major component of the overall redevelopment. The site was formerly occupied by basketball courts, and like much of the super-block, the space was underused.

175 West 60th Street

175 West 60th Street

Renderings of the building are only partially visible, but it looks like it will be visually similar to 160 West 62nd Street; given that towers’ shared architect, they will likely become architectural siblings.

With work wrapping up on the first of Fordham’s new academic buildings – a new law school and dormitory combination on 62nd Street – attention now turns to the plan’s second phase. Besides 175 West 60th Street, new towers will rise along Columbus Avenue, which will enhance both the streetscape and Fordham Lincoln Center’s vertical profile.

Completion of 175 West 60th Street is planned for 2016.

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Posted in 175 West 60th | 175 West 60th Street | Architecture | Construction Update | Fordham University | Glenwood | New York | Residential

20-Story Nursing Home On the Way at 125 West 97th Street

125 West 97th Street, image via Google Maps

A new 20-story retirement home is about to begin rising at 125 West 97th Street; permits were partially approved this week, and indicate the new building will stand 280 feet.

The permits were filed on behalf of Jewish Lifecare Manhattan, and a planning PDF has the full scope of the project, which is relatively large for the Upper West Side. The neighborhood is a hotbed of NIMBY-activism, which explains why it sees hardly any new development; 125 West 97th Street is a definite step in the right direction.

125 West 97th Street

125 West 97th Street – aerial of the site via Google Maps

Perkins Eastman is designing the building, and it will be located within a ‘towers in the park’ style complex, removed from the urban scale; restoring the grid, and an urban streetscape, should be a priority for all superblocks on the Upper West Side, and 125 West 97th Street will help address this problem.

Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014, and completion is slated for 2016; the building will have a total of 414 beds.

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Posted in 125 West 97th Street | Architecture | Construction Update | New York | Perkins Eastman | Residential | Upper West Side

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