Permits Filed: 174 North 11th Street, Williamsburg

174 North 11th Street, image from Google Maps

North 11th Street in Williamsburg, right below McCarren Park, has been mostly filled out, with residential buildings rising throughout the 2000s.

And now comes a permit filing for one of the last pieces of the puzzle, at 174 North 11th Street, on the south side of the block between Bedford and Driggs. There, in place of a pair of one- and two-story commercial structures, plans were just filed for a six-story residential building.

Developed by Great Point Properties, the rental building would contain 37 apartments spread over nearly 27,000 square feet of residential space. The apartments – which will have an average size of a bit more than 700 square feet – will be fairly evenly divided across the second through fifth floors (nine per floor), with a 1,200-square foot retail space on the ground level and a full-floor penthouse up top.

174 North 11th Street, image from Bing Maps

174 North 11th Street, image from Bing Maps

While the developer may have wanted to build more commercial space on the ground floor to take advantage of Williamsburg’s ascendance as a shopping and tourist destination, it will instead be largely consumed by a 24-car parking garage, with all but five of the spaces required by the zoning code.

Kutnicki Bernstein Architects is responsible for the design, and if this building is anything like their others in northern Brooklyn, it should have their signature colorful accents.

The land was picked up two years ago in the spring of 2012 for $3.4 million, or just around $120 per buildable square foot – a bargain compared to the prices being paid today for North Side Williamsburg development sites.

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Posted in 174 North 11th Street | Architecture | Brooklyn | Great Point Properties | Kutnicki Bernstein Architects | New York | Residential | Williamsburg

Construction Update: 559 West 23rd Street

559 West 23rd Street, photo by Tectonic

This past February, YIMBY posted the first renderings for a new residential building rising at 559 West 23rd Street, as well as some construction photos. Things have changed significantly since then, and what was once an empty pit with a trickle of concrete is now a full-fledged building, and the project has nearly topped-out, with the latest photo sent along by Tectonic.

559 West 23rd Street will fall definitively within the ’boutique’ category of new construction, containing only eight units. The building stands 13 floors tall, and residences will be quite large, averaging approximately 2,500 square feet apiece.

The rendering did not show the double-height living rooms apparent in the construction shot, which span the project’s 23rd Street-facing side. Besides that feature, the development already blends into the surrounds, and it will stand the same height as its neighbor, while also enhancing the street-wall with a built envelope that’s flush with the sidewalk.

559 West 23rd Street

559 West 23rd Street

NBO4 Architecture is listed on permits as both the developer and the architect, and while more illuminating renderings remain elusive, completion is already around the corner. 559 West 23rd Street is expected to open in the spring of 2015.

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Posted in 559 West 23rd Street | Architecture | Chelsea | Construction Update | NBO4 Architects | New York | Residential

Zoning for More Housing Could Jumpstart Hudson Yards

Related's Hudson Yards towers, image by Related/Oxford and Visualhouse

Earlier this month, news broke that may force Mayor Bill de Blasio to deal with the second commercial real estate challenge left over from the Bloomberg years: Hudson Yards.

The first challenge – SL Green’s request to build an office tower called One Vanderbilt next to Grand Center, and the broader Midtown East rezoning proposed during the waning years of the Bloomberg administration – has been somewhat of an easy choice. Midtown East is the city’s premier office district, and commercial development there can yield windfall sums for the city. The only challenge is dividing the spoils.

But Hudson Yards is another story. The project to pepper the Far West Side with new office towers has stalled, years after the city’s real estate market has emerged from the downturn. JP Morgan Chase offered to jumpstart the megaproject, which only has a single tower rising, by building a nearly 4 million-square foot headquarters on the block bounded by 10th and 11th Avenues and 33rd and 34th Streets.

The cost, though, would have been enormous. The bank opened negotiations by asking for $1 billion worth of tax breaks for the $6.5 billion project, according to the New York Times, on top of the normal tax breaks that are already baked into the Hudson Yards rezoning area. De Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo wouldn’t accede to that, and the bank has now withdrawn its proposal, and will stay in Midtown East.

The administration was asked to choose between handing out more tax breaks for office developers, or letting the land continue to languish. But there may be another way: rezone more of Hudson Yards to allow for residential development.

Unlike most tax breaks-for-development deals, JP Morgan Chase wasn’t even offering to grow its job base. The bank was only pledging to have 16,000 employees at the new two-tower complex, leaving room to trim up to 4,000 from its New York City workforce.

But Hudson Yards is in dire straits. Only one tower – 10 Hudson Yards, developed by Related with Coach as an anchor tenant – is a sure thing so far. And according to CompStak data reviewed by YIMBY, only one tenant – SAP, with 115,000 square feet of space – is paying a face rent that allows for much profit (they’ve agreed to pay $83 per square foot annually for the first five years of their 15-year lease rising to $97 for the last five, according to CompStak data obtained by YIMBY, with 13 free months). It’s been over a year since the last leases were inked at the tower, which is now rising.

Brookfield’s Manhattan West got a big boost when Skadden Arps announced that they’ve signed a letter of intent to take around half a million square feet of space, but they’re likely paying the same low anchor tenant prices as Coach and L’Oréal were offered to anchor Related’s tower. The deal still leaves millions of square feet unclaimed in Brookfield’s two office towers, on top of what Related still needs to lease in its two towers.

The fundamental problem that de Blasio has inherited is that more office space at Hudson Yards does not appear viable given the tax abatements that have been approved.

The plan was for the first 5 million square feet of new commercial space in Hudson Yards west of 10th Avenue to have a 40 percent, 15-year tax abatement (plus a four-year phase-out), dropping down to a 25 percent break, and then 20 percent, and finally 15 percent for each consecutive 5 million square foot chunk. Related has eaten up the majority of the 40 percent breaks with its two Hudson Yards towers, with Tishman Speyer likely to take the remainder.

But whether anyone will be willing to build office space west of 10th Avenue for a mere 25 percent tax break remains to be seen. JPMorgan Chase apparently isn’t, and with lots of unclaimed space under construction (or soon to be) at the World Trade Center and Related’s Hudson Yards towers, among other places, it’s not immediately obvious that there will be enough demand to justify further office building in the area before the end of this market cycle.

And without more development, the city will have to continue to shell out large sums of money each year to pay off the bonds that were sold to build the 7 train extension and related infrastructure. In 2015, the cost to the city could be nearly $100 million, according to data compiled by the New York City Independent Budget Office, on top of the $334 million already paid by the city through 2014.

There is, however, one possible way out of this conundrum: rezone Hudson Yards to allow for more residential development. Right now, the land along Hudson Boulevard, between 10th and 11th Avenues in the West 30s, is mostly zoned for commercial use, as is the corridor south of 34th Street from Penn Station to the river.

Housing is much more valuable than office space, and builders could easily get $2,000 per square foot for high-rise condos on the Far West Side, within walking distance of Midtown. Compare this with the struggle to lease office space in the $80s a foot, and the switch would be a no-brainer for any towers not already rising.

The de Blasio administration’s affordable housing ambitions would complicate any rezoning, as the administration and City Council would surely insist on some percentage of affordable units. In the past, below-market units were always incentivized with tax breaks, which would at Hudson Yards mean no money to pay off the Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corporation bonds.

But the administration has also said that it wants to start requiring affordability without tax breaks, and Hudson Yards would be the perfect place to test whether it’s possible. The Hudson Yards land zoned for office space traded as prices much lower than it would have had it been zoned for housing, and rezoning for more residential space – which might require the state to ease its hard cap on residential densities – would allow the city to channel some of this increase in land value towards below-market housing.

Newly-allowed residential towers at Hudson Yards would likely not support as high affordable housing ratios – 30, 40 or 50 percent – as many politicians would want, while still paying down the subway bonds. But it could be a way for the administration to spur development on the Far West Side while still bringing in some affordable housing development, without straining the city budget.

A forest of class A office skyscrapers at Hudson Yards may have been the dream of Dan Doctoroff and Michael Bloomberg, but as the recovery gathers speed and the neighborhood is still largely surface parking lots, it may be time for the de Blasio administration to reassess whether the dream can be realized.

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Posted in Hudson Yards | Infrastructure

YIMBY Today: Renderings for 112 Atlantic Avenue, 25 Great Jones Finally Moving Forward, More

112 Atlantic Avenue, rendering by BKSK Architects

112 Atlantic Avenue [DNAinfo New York]: A proposed four-story and eight-unit residential building totaling 33,000 square feet at 112 Atlantic Avenue, in Cobble Hill, has received renderings amid the public review process; scheduled for the LPC this week, Avery Hall Investments and OTL Enterprises are developing, while BKSK is designing. An existing gas station must first be demolished.

2731 West 12th Street [Crain's New York]: A 17-acre vacant parcel at 2731 West 12th Street — technically in Gravesend, below the Belt Parkway and rail yards — is being marketed through a lease by Massey Knakal as a development site; “1.5 million square feet” of potential exists, and the site “could accommodate a variety of commercial or retail uses.”

126 South 2nd Street, rendering by Melamed Architect

126 South 2nd Street, rendering by Melamed Architect

126 South 2nd Street [Curbed]: Melamed Architecture has released renderings of a planned six-story and three-unit residential building spanning the vacant lots of 124-126 South 2nd Street, in Williamsburg; one triplex, and two duplex apartment units are to be contained within the project, with “construction expected to begin in 2015.”

25 Great Jones Street, rendering by BKSK Architects

25 Great Jones Street, rendering by BKSK Architects

25 Great Jones Street [The Real Deal]: Developer Richport Group has released renderings along with condo listings for an 11-story and six-unit residential building currently being revived at 25 Great Jones Street, in NoHo. Originally slated to become a hotel, the top three floors of the partially-built original structure are to be demolished, and the new “façade will be glass and alloyed steel,” designed by BKSK.

505 St. Marks Avenue, rendering by Issac+Stern Architects

505 St. Marks Avenue, rendering by Issac+Stern Architects

505 St. Marks Avenue [Brownstoner]: An eight-story and 147-unit residential building — totaling 99,821 square feet — has recently topped out at 505 St. Marks Avenue, in Crown Heights. Realty Within Reach is developing, while Issac+Stern is designing, with completion likely in 2015.

540 West 49th Street, rendering by Meshberg Group

540 West 49th Street, rendering by Meshberg Group

540 West 49th Street [Curbed]: Construction is wrapping up at Fortis Property Group’s — partnered with Wonder Works Construction — block-through six-story and 110-unit residential development at 540 West 49th Street, in Hell’s Kitchen; dubbed 540West, 80% of units have already been sold, with move-ins are expected in January 2015.

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Posted in 112 Atlantic Avenue | 126 South 2nd Street | 25 Great Jones Street | 2731 West 12th Street | 505 St. Marks Avenue | 540 West 49th Street

DOB Digest: 10-Story Mixed-Use Building Begins at 49 Spencer Street in Bed-Stuy, More

Existing structure at 49 Spencer Street, image from Google Maps

BRONX:

1540 Bassett Avenue: Stillwell Self Storage has filed applications to begin construction of a single-story and 9,271 square-foot commercial building at the vacant lot of 1540 Bassett Avenue, in Baychester.

BROOKLYN:

49 Spencer Street: An LLC has filed applications to begin construction of a 10-story and 59,622 square-foot commercial and community building at 49 Spencer Street, in northern Bedford-Stuyvesant; an existing single-story structure was approved for demolition in September, and Charles Mallea is designing.

1918 Avenue N: Applications have been filed for a six-story and 10-unit residential building of 12,000 square feet at 1918 Avenue N, in Midwood. An existing two-story structure was demolished in September, and Bricolage is designing.

151 Somers Street: Somers Group Realty has filed applications to begin construction of a five-story and 10-unit residential building of 7,886 square feet at the vacant lot of 151 Somers Street, in eastern Bedford-Stuyvesant; Sion Hourizadeh is listed as the architect.

45 Summit Street: SP Milestone Properties has filed applications for a three-story and three-unit residential building of 5,000 square feet at 45 Summit Street, in the Columbia Street Waterfront District; demolition of the existing single-story structure began in August, and Schneider Associates is designing.

QUEENS:

86-20 Corona Avenue: An LLC has filed applications to construct a four-story “ambulatory diagnostic and treatment heath care facility” of 11,653 square feet at 86-20 – 86-22 Corona Avenue, in Elmhurst; demolition began in August on an existing single-story structure, and An Shen Ma Architect is designing.

144-11 10th Avenue: An LLC has filed applications for a two-story and single-family mansion of 6,463 square feet at 144-11 South Drive, in Malba; an existing single-story abode must first be demolished, and JWC Architect is designing.

9013 Rockaway Beach Boulevard: Applications have been filed for a single-story commercial “medical office” building of 4,780 square feet at the vacant lot of 9013 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, in Rockaway Beach; Gerald Caliendo is designing.

8 Irving Walk: Breezy Point Cooperative has filed applications for a two-story and single-family abode of 1,600 square feet at 8 Irving Walk, in Breezy Point.

321 Beach 92nd Street: Applications have been filed to construct a two-story and single-family home of 1,336 square feet at 321 Beach 92nd Street, in Rockaway Beach; demolition began in August on an existing two-story structure.

41 West 12th Road: Applications have been filed for a two-story and single-family dwelling of 940 square feet at 41 West 12th Street, in Broad Channel; an existing single-story structure must first be demolished.

STATEN ISLAND:

224 Retford Avenue: An LLC has filed applications for a three-story and single-family home of nearly 3,200 square feet at 224 Retford Avenue, in Eltingville; the site’s single-story predecessor was demolished in September.

18 Steuben Street: Applications have been filed for a three-story and two-unit residential building of nearly 2,000 square feet at the vacant lot of 18 Steuben Street, in Park Hill.

Posted in 144-11 10th Avenue | 151 Somers Street | 1540 Bassett Avenue | 18 Steuben Street | 1918 Avenue N | 224 Retford Avenue | 321 Beach 92nd Street | 41 West 12th Road | 45 Summit Street | 49 Spencer Street | 8 Irving Walk | 86-20 Corona Avenue | 9013 Rockaway Beach Boulevard

Revealed: 305 Union Avenue, Williamsburg

305 Union Avenue, rendering by Garrison Architects

Last December, DOB permits were filed for a new seven-story apartment building at 305 Union Avenue, between South First and Second Streets in Williamsburg. Now, YIMBY has the first renderings of the project, dubbed “EcoRise Union Avenue.”

305 Union Avenue, rendering by Garrison Architects

305 Union Avenue, rendering by Garrison Architects

The 17-unit building will have a very modern aesthetic, dominated by glass and metal but softened by balcony trellises for climbing plants. The base will have a stone facing, which Garrison Architects says on their website “grounds [the building] in its hard-edged industrial environment.”

“The design of the EcoRise,” write the architects, “draws its inspiration from the Le Corbusier’s Maison Clarte apartment block to create a modern building alluding [to] its neighborhood’s industrial past.”

305 Union Avenue, rendering by Garrison Architects

305 Union Avenue, rendering by Garrison Architects

The units will be fairly large, at around 1,250 square feet on average, with a number of duplexes. While it could be rentals – the developer, Michael Schlegel, only paid around $100 a foot for the land in 2012 – the relatively large apartments and the clean, high-quality façade mean we’re betting on condos.

The building will contain 10 parking spaces on the ground level (perhaps explaining the stone and plant-covered bottom floor), just one parking spot more than required by code. The developer will be voluntarily including space for nine bicycles, as well.

305 Union Avenue, rendering by Garrison Architects

305 Union Avenue, rendering by Garrison Architects

We haven’t been by the site lately, but there have been a flurry of additional building permit filings this year, with the demolition permit for antecedent two-story building that filled part of the otherwise vacant lot filed in January. Construction is likely imminent, if it hasn’t already begun.

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Posted in 305 Union Avenue | Architecture | Brooklyn | Garrison Architects | Michael Schlegel | New York | Residential | Williamsburg

Construction Update: The Sutton, 959 First Avenue

959 First Avenue, aka The Sutton, photo by Tectonic

When we last checked in on The Sutton, at 959 First Avenue, the structure’s foundations had just been poured, and a rendering had recently been plastered to the project’s fencing. Now, six months later, the building has risen well above ground, and is at the approximate halfway point in terms of its total height.

Located between 52nd and 53rd Streets, 959 First Avenue will eventually stand 30 stories and 333 feet tall, which is about average for new developments in the neighborhood. The project is to the east of the most significant action, and two blocks to the west, buildings are also under construction at 301 East 50th Street and 305 East 51st Street.

959 First Avenue

959 First Avenue, photo by Tectonic

Adjacent pre-war structures are met by the envelope of the new tower’s base, and the bulk of the building recedes from the street after the first few floors. Still, the development maintains First Avenue’s relatively low-slung street-wall, and the eventual brick exterior should also prove appealing; Incorporated NY is the design architect, while Goldstein Hill & West are the architects of record.

959 First Avenue

959 First Avenue, photo by Tectonic

The Sutton is being developed by Toll Brothers, and a new rendering of the building has been posted on its project page, though sales are awaiting a formal launch. 959 First Avenue will have a total of 114 condominiums, and completion is expected next year.

The Sutton

The Sutton, image from Toll Brothers City Living

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Posted in 959 First Avenue | Architecture | Goldstein Hill West | Incorporated NY | Midtown | Midtown East | Murray Hill | New York | Residential | Toll Brothers

Permits Filed: 1825 Boston Road, Crotona Park East, Bronx

Old rendering for 1825 Boston Road, by Hugo S. Subotovsky Architects, via City Land

On one of the least desirable pieces of land in the city, a building will soon rise. At the intersection of the Cross-Bronx Expressway and the elevated structure carrying the 2/5 train, east of Crotona Park, a 115,000-square foot affordable housing project is being planned, according to a new application filed yesterday with the Department of Buildings.

1825 Boston Road will hold 108 units, yielding family-sized apartments averaging around 1,000 square feet, and will have over 7,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, plus a very small community facility space. Aufgang Architects is listed as the architect on the permit.

The land was once, like other areas adjacent to the mammoth highway, not zoned for residential use. But in 2010, CBC Associates and the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO) filed for a rezoning, asking to build an affordable housing project, dubbed Crotona Terrace, at a tenement-scale density on the land.

The request was granted, leading this project to be allowed, but it’s not clear that the original CBC/SoBRO – which called for 175 units and a much larger retail space – will be used. The current owner is given as Amnon Shalhov with Joy Construction Corp., though we could not get in touch with them to ask about their relationship with the original rezoning applicants.

The permit filing indicates that 47 parking spaces will be built in an enclosed area at ground level – required by a questionable city zoning policy, made all the more questionable when it is forced on even subsidized housing projects.

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Posted in 1825 Boston Road | Amnon Shalhov | Aufgang Architects | Bronx | CBC Associates | Crotona Park East | Joy Construction Corp. | South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation

Permits Filed: 246 Johnson Avenue, East Williamsburg

246 Johnson Avenue, image from Google Maps

Another day, another new building permit filing in East Williamsburg.

Today’s permit application comes for 246 Johnson Avenue, at the corner of Bushwick Place, near the Montrose L stop. There, developer Moshe Silberstein (operating under the name John Sam LLC) is seeking to build a five-story, 32-unit apartment building.

The units would be divided over nearly 22,000 square feet of residential space, yielding an average apartment size of less than 700 square feet – rentals if we’ve ever seen them (six to eight units per floor, except the penthouse level, which will have just three).

The lot is the easternmost piece of land zoned for residential development before the vast industrially-zoned lands around Newtown Creek. But despite the non-residential zoning, the area around the Morgan L station, one stop past Montrose, has become a hot area for housing. Tenants flock to what few grandfathered-in apartment buildings are there, attracted by the industrial patina that’s become northern Brooklyn’s trademark.

The site is currently home to a one-story structure, with a sign reading “Capital One Construction Group” with Chinese lettering. While the intersection is entirely non-residential, the Montrose L stop is just around the corner. The land has a commercial overlay, allowing for ground-level retail, but the permit indicates none – not surprising given the paucity of housing in the immediate vicinity. No demolition permits have been filed yet.

BMG Design/Build, based in Riverdale and led by Boaz Golani, is listed as the architect on the permit. The project will include a 16-car garage, with every space required by zoning, despite the small unit sizes and location just a few blocks from the train.

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Posted in 246 Johnson Avenue | BMG Design/Build | Bushwick | John Sam LLC | Moshe Silberstein | Williamsburg

YIMBY Today: Ritz Carlton Residences Rising in Long Island’s North Hills, More

Ritz-Carlton Residences, diagram by RXR Realty via Wall Street Journal

6000 Royal Court [Wall Street Journal]: RXR Realty is building the Ritz-Carlton Residences at the vacant parcel of 6000 Royal Court, in North Hills, Long Island. The complex is comprised of multiple five-story buildings, totaling 244 condominium units.

Harbor Station North [The Jersey Journal]: The Bayonne City Council voted to approve Fidelco Bayonne Realty’s planned 800-unit residential project for Harbor Station North at East 40th Street, in Bayonne; “the first phase will be comprised of 450 units,” and the development site awaits construction.

840 Fulton Street, rendering by KBA Architects

840 Fulton Street, rendering by KBA Architects

840 Fulton Street [Commercial Observer]: A branch of The Daten Group has acquired 840 Fulton Street — in Clinton Hill — for $7.4 million. The site is currently a gas station, and the developer plans “a seven-story [and] 40,000 square-foot building” with 3,464 square feet of retail; construction is set to begin in early 2015, and KBA is designing.

510 Driggs Avenue, rendering by ODA Architecture

510 Driggs Avenue, rendering by ODA Architecture

510 Driggs Avenue [Arch Daily]: ODA Architecture had released renderings for a planned six-story and 100-unit residential building spanning the vacant lots of 510-528 Driggs Avenue, in Williamsburg; “construction is expected to begin June 2015,” and building applications are likely to be filed imminently.

227 4th Avenue [DNAinfo New York]: Developer Greystone has acquired the low-rise landmarked building at 227 4th Avenue — in Park Slope – for $7.6 million through an auction; plans for the site have yet to be disclosed, but the strcture could be converted for a multitude of uses.

33 Lincoln Road, image by Brownstoner

33 Lincoln Road, image by Brownstoner

33 Lincoln Road [Brownstoner]: Foundation work is complete at 33 Lincoln Street, in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, where an eight-story and 87-unit residential building is rising. Anderson Associates is designing, and completion is expected late next year.

28-20 Jackson Avenue [The Court Square Blog]: A five-story tenement building is currently being demolished at the site of Tishman Speyer’s 1,600-unit project, spanning 28-10 – 28-34 Jackson Avenue, in Long Island City.

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Posted in 227 4th Avenue | 28-18 Jackson Avenue | 28-20 Jackson Avenue | 33 Lincoln Road | 510 Driggs Avenue | 6000 Royal Court | 840 Fulton Street | Harbor Station North

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