Friday, April 25, 2014

Committee Approves $550M Hell’s Kitchen Development

The City Council's Land Use Committee approved a massive $550-million development in Hell's Kitchen on Thursday, after the developer agreed to add moderate-income housing and a public school to the complex. The committee members voted to approve TF Cornerstone's plan for the 900,000-square-foot project at 606 West 57th Street. The building will stand just over 40 stories tall and have a total of 1,189 units, which will make it the largest apartment building in New York City.

Standing just 42-stories, height is not the focus here... the structure is about sheer density.

606 West 57th Street will be composed of two 28-story structures with a 14-story cube cantilevered on top; it seems that even when overhangs aren’t necessary, they are becoming a common feature to new construction these days.

The stacking of multiple boxes will help to create a building that isn’t completely overbearing, allowing light and air through the structure itself.

The committee vote came after reaching a deal with the developer that adds an additional 10,000 square feet of “affordable housing” that would be affordable only to the top end of middle-income families, earning roughly $150,000 a year.

Those 15 new units would bring the total amount of affordable housing from 205 to 220.

The council members were focused on the neighborhood surrounding the West 57th Street development, where they feel there is a need for moderate-income housing that could go to people who presently live in the community.

Extell Development’s massive Riverside Center South on the Hudson River, between West 59th and 72nd streets, already includes hundreds of such, so-called, "affordable" units.

The developer agreed to a smaller garage with fewer parking spaces, to build a public pre-Kindergarten school, and to employ only union builders and staff the complex with 32BJ employees. The project will include 60,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and underground parking for up to 500 cars.

The site is currently occupied by several low-slung buildings, and plans are moving forward for demolition.

TF Cornerstone anticipates construction will begin next spring and will take two years to complete.

Across the street, another transformative residential project – The Pyramid – is moving forward. Most of the attention 57th Street receives is focused between Broadway and Park Avenue, but the street’s largest developments are, in fact, on the Hudson River.

Although 606 West 57th Street has cleared its final hurdle, it still needs approval from the City Council before it can become a reality.

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