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Infrastructure

Water Street Rezoning

City Council Approves Rezoning Proposal Allowing Pedestrian Arcade-to-Retail Conversions Along Water Street, Financial District

Earlier this week, the City Council voted to approve a rezoning proposal that would allow landlords of the commercial properties with public pedestrian arcades along Water Street, between Fulton and Whitehall streets in the Financial District, to convert the arcades into retail space in exchange for renovating adjacent public plazas. The total amount of space that could be converted spans 110,000 square feet across 20 buildings, DNAinfo reported. The rezoning requires retail conversions of greater than 7,500 square feet to be approved through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). It also limits the amount of street frontage chain banks and drugstores can take up, and requires the entire height of the arcade to be built out. Future renovations to the existing public plazas in the area could include new seating and planters, among other upgrades.


50-02 39th Avenue

City Moving Forward with Public Park Plans at 50-02 39th Avenue, Sunnyside

The city’s Parks Department is planning to move forward with transforming the vacant lot at 50-02 39th Avenue, located on the of 50th Street in Sunnyside, into a public park. The city recently designated $3 million to acquire the property from its owner, DBH Associates, DNAinfo reported. DBH acquired the plot in 2007 for $1.45 million and is open to selling the property. The owner attempted to built a two-story, eight-unit apartment building at the site, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission disapproved the plans in 2014. The site is located within the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, which means the design of the park (and its structural elements) will have to be approved by the LPC.


LaGuardia Airport

Development Team Closes on Deal with Port Authority to Rebuild LaGuardia Airport

Back in March, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) officially approved plans to rebuild LaGuardia Airport, in East Elmhurst, in addition to incorporating a 24-hour ferry service and an AirTrain to help transport travelers. Now, LaGuardia Gateway Partners – comprised of Vantage Airport Group, Skanska, and Meridiam – has closed on a deal with the Port Authority to actually construct the project, and to operate the new 1.3-million-square-foot airport through 2050, according to Crain’s. Demolition is expected to begin within the next few months on the five-story parking garage in front of the Central Terminal building. The Central Terminal will be the first portion to be redeveloped and is expected to be complete by 2021, followed by Terminals C and D. The development team, which is putting up $1.8 billion of its own money, has already secured $2.5 billion in financing. The Port Authority is responsible for an additional $2.2 billion that will go towards infrastructure work.


DUMBO Heights

Two-Block-Long Public Plaza Coming To DUMBO Heights’s Sand Street Corridor

Back in 2013, Kushner Companies, RFR Realty, and LIVWRK acquired, for $375 million from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the five-building, 1.25-million square-foot commercial complex at 55 and 81 Prospect Street, 117 Adams Street, 77 Sands Street, and 175 Pearl Street. The developers have since converted the collection of mid-rise buildings into offices and retail space, dubbed DUMBO Heights. The developers are now constructing a two-block-long public plaza along Sands Street between Adams and Jay streets, according to the Wall Street Journal. The plaza will extend the 15-foot-wide sidewalk by 15 feet. It will include public artwork, seating, and planters. La Fantástica is behind the design, and the Dumbo Improvement District is associated with the project. Current office tenants in the complex including WeWork Cos., Etsy Inc., Frog Design, Alexis Bittar Inc., and retail tenants include Randolph Beer, fitness center Shadowbox, Row House, Bluestone Lane Coffee, and Dig Inn. Roughly 350,000 square feet of commercial space remains vacant, according to Real Estate Weekly.


141 Willoughby Street

ULURP Underway for 49-Story, 270-Unit Mixed-Use Tower Proposed at 141 Willoughby Street, Downtown Brooklyn

In 2014, Savanna acquired, for $28 million, the three-story commercial building at 141 Willoughby Street, in Downtown Brooklyn. Then in August of 2015, the developer submitted filings to rezone the property in order to build a 44-story, 270-unit mixed-use tower. The city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is now underway, with the latest step resulting in Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee disapproving the rezoning, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports. The project itself has grown slightly since initially being filed. Proposed at the latest hearing was a 49-story, 270-unit mixed-use building. Eighty-one of the units would rent at below-market rates. The base of the building would feature two stories (plus the cellar) of retail, followed by seven stories of office space. Morris Adjmi Architects is designing. The latest step in ULURP is merely a recommendation. The proposal will now go before the entire Community Board 2. If the rezoning is granted, Savanna would also acquire from the city, for $4.8 million, a small, triangular park located to the north of the site. It has 47,718 square feet of development rights and would permanently remain as a park.