Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sleek New Commercial, Gallery Building to Rise near High Line

Construction is now underway on a spectacular, nine-story commercial and gallery building in the center of Manhattan’s trendy West Chelsea neighborhood.  Savanna, a New York-based real estate firm, will develop 540 West 26th Street into a state-of-the art, 160,000 square foot boutique building for offices and the arts. Plans call for gallery space on the first two levels, and 29,000 square feet for a community facility.
540 West 26th Street is located in the vibrant neighborhood of West Chelsea, home to world-renowned art galleries, fashion designers, media and technology companies and hotels. Steps from the High Line and immediately south of Hudson Yards, the new development will be a unique addition to the rapidly evolving neighborhood.

The West Chelsea neighborhood has grown exponentially in recent years and continues to flourish as new high-rise condominiums and commercial developments are built and international corporations and retailers expand their operations in the neighborhood.

Located just half a block from the High Line, the 159-foot-tall project replaces a parking lot and a two-story commercial building once home to the Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

The fa├žade of factory-sash, floor-to-ceiling windows in a bead blasted aluminum frame pays homage to the neighborhood’s warehouses while opening the building to the street.

Inside, the interiors will be detailed with blackened steel, finished concrete and salvaged wood. The lower level will house gallery spaces, while the floors above will provide full-floor commercial offices with generous floor-to-ceiling heights.

The setback of the upper two floors allow for a spacious landscaped terrace with views of the Hudson River.

Designed by Morris Adjmi Architects, the shiny, new 9-story building will cater to office, gallery and community facility tenants.

Office construction in the area is unusual, as new development in the neighborhood has been heavily skewed towards residential projects.

To retain the gallery district’s liveliness, 2003 rezoning of West Chelsea preserved the M1-5 zoning designation for the mid-blocks -- which includes 540 West 26th Street -- to prevent the gallery district from being squeezed out by residential developers.

In 2014, Savanna paid $24.7 million to acquire and redevelop the West Chelsea art gallery site.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Arab Nation to Construct 27-story Mixed-Use Tower near UN

An oil-rich Middle Eastern nation has plans to build a huge 27-story mixed-use tower, just a few blocks from the United Nations. The United Arab Emirates will soon commence construction of a new consulate building at 315 East 46th Street, between First and Second avenues in Midtown. The 392 foot structure, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, will be chock-full of space for official embassy use.

The new 165,000-square-foot building will have a lobby and an auditorium on its first two floors, a conference center on the third floor, and offices on floors four through 20.

Floors 21 through 24 will be devoted to nine luxury apartments for its ambassador and embassy officials. The top three floors of structure will hold the building's mechanical elements.

Building plans also call for a 75,170 square-foot “community facility.”

The property, located between First and Second avenues, is close to the United Nations and surrounded by consulates and permanent missions.

The United Arab Emirates bought the site for $44.7 million back in 2009 from a developer who went into foreclosure during the recession, while six-stories into building a 24-story glass tower.

Still, the property traded for $3.75 million more than what was paid for it just two years earlier.

The partially built six-story tower has since been razed, to make way for the new consulate.

Fisher Brothers, a developer based in Midtown, is the development and construction manager for the Middle Eastern government.

The project is the latest instance of New York developers working with with foreign governments on Manhattan projects.

Last year, the Republic of Senegal joined forces with a New York developer to build a 22-story mixed-use tower at nearby 227 East 44th Street.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

NYU Langone to Build $204M Center at Former LICH Site

The 12-story-tall Long Island College Hospital building located at 339 Hicks Street in Brooklyn will soon be demolished to make way for an NYU Langone Ambulatory Care Clinic. The new $204 million facility will rise five floors and span 160,000 square feet at 70 Atlantic Avenue.

The new building will be a vast improvement for the neighborhood.

With large plazas around buildings, Long Island College Hospital was not aesthetically pleasing and out of character with the Cobble Hill area. The Perkins Eastman’s plan is to construct the new building to be flush with its neighbors.

A multi-colored glassy facade will yield to a bright lobby with large floor-to-ceiling windows, which will look appealing when viewed from Atlantic Avenue.

The new building will contain:
  • A new emergency department on the first floor, which will include two inpatient beds for those who need to stay the night, as well as 10 patient bays, two resuscitation room, two triage rooms, a decontamination room, and 12 other treatment spaces.
  • An outpatient surgery center on the third floor, with four operating rooms and two endoscopy rooms.
  • A cancer center on the fourth floor with space for 22 patients, plus a pharmacy, and a laboratory.
  • A diagnostic imaging center on the lower level of the new building.

One of the stipulations of the sale of LICH’s main campus was that the community would still get medical services in the area.

NYU Langone will house those services at the corner of Atlantic and Hicks streets at 70 Atlantic Avenue, formerly known as 339 Hicks Street.

NYU Langone says the overhaul is necessary because the current site is "less than an ideal space and will not be able to accommodate the projected visit volume or provide amenities that patients expect.

The current freestanding emergency department opened last October. It has since accommodated 4,400 visits, and will have a projected 10,600 in its first year of operation.

In January, Skanska USA was selected as the winner of a $120 million contract to build the ambulatory care facility. Construction is should be completed in late 2017, with the clinic expected to open in 2018.

Fortis Property Group bought Long Island College Hospital for $204 million, and the hospital closed its doors back in May of 2014.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pre-Qualify for $750 Million in Hurricane Sandy Recovery Work

The City of New York is committed to rebuilding neighborhoods and homes impacted by Hurricane Sandy. This past spring, the City’s Build it Back program, in partnership with DDC, brought on three new construction managers to tackle $750 million in construction work.

Contractors can register to participate in Build it Back as prime contractors and/or subcontractors for the program.

If your firm provides any of the following services, you are encouraged to apply:

  • Structural repair or replacement (foundations, subflooring, framing, ceilings, walls, windows, doors, roofing, siding, etc.)
  • Interior finishes (floors, bathroom tiles/fixtures, wall fixtures, kitchen cabinets, etc.)
  • Utility and service equipment (HVAC, plumbing, electrical, lighting, appliances)
  • Environmental remediation (lead, mold, asbestos)

Types of Contracts

All construction work will take place on 1 to 4 Family homes and will be procured through Pre-Qualified Lists (PQL). The City has issued Requests for Qualifications for the following PQLs:
Contracts of $300,000 or more
  • General Construction Work
  • Electrical Work
  • Plumbing Work
  • Mechanical Work
Contracts of $300,000 or less
  • General Construction Work
  • Electrical Work
  • Plumbing Work
  • Mechanical Work

To review the Requests for Qualifications, click here:
Request for Qualifications for PQL - Department of Design and Construction.

What is a PQL?

A PQL is a prequalified list of contractors and subcontractors who meet the requirements to participate as a bidder for Build-It Back projects.

Prequalification allows an agency to evaluate vendors for the provision of particular construction-related goods or services based on the vendor’s work experience, size, the estimated cost of a project, and other factors as determined by the Agency Chief Contracting Officer (ACCO), before issuing a solicitation for a specific contract.

Pursuant to the New York City Procurement Policy Board Rule 3-10 and N.Y. General Municipal Law Section 103(15), prospective vendors must first pre-qualify for open PQLs.

Only those contractors successfully pre-qualified as a result of the RFQ process will be invited to bid on these projects.

Sandy Recovery Hiring Plan

Please be advised that for all construction contracts, the contractors and subcontractors awarded this work shall be subject to the Sandy Recovery Hiring Plan, in substantially the form included in the RFQ’s as Exhibit F.

Contractors and subcontractors awarded construction contracts above $300,000 are required to comply with the apprenticeship program and Project Labor Agreement (PLA) requirements set forth in the Sandy Recovery Hiring Plan as well as its other provisions, while contractors awarded construction contracts worth $300,000 or less must only comply with the other provisions.

In one of those provisions, the Sandy Recovery Hiring Plan encourages hiring Sandy-impacted residents as 20 percent of workers across the projects.  HRO and DDC encourage contractors in Sandy-impacted areas to apply for any or all of the eight PQLs.

The Construction Manager (CM) contract is subject to Local Law 1 of 2013, New York City’s MWBE Program.

The 25 percent MWBE Participation Goal will apply to the entire value of the contract in order to give the CM the most flexibility to meet the goals.

The goals may be met through the eight PQL contractors and subcontractors to the PQL contractors.  HRO and DDC encourage certified firms to apply for any or all of the eight PQL’s. Firms on the PQL’s will be required to identify their MWBE certification status.  This information will be provided to all CM’s.

For further information about upcoming DDC/ NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) workshops, outreach events, or MWBE certification please contact: 
Ms. Donna Pope
M/WBE Outreach Unit
NYC Department of Design & Construction
(718) 391-1156

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Massive $345M Development Coming to South Bronx

From East 149th Street and Brook Avenue all the way north to East 153rd Street remains the largest track of city-owned land in the South Bronx. Located in Melrose, adjacent to the Hub, will rise a massive 985 unit housing complex the likes of which the Bronx has never seen. La Central, as the massive development project will be called, will be constructed by BRP Development and The Hudson Companies. The five-building complex will also include a new YMCA, recording studio, an astronomy lab and observatory, plus retail space and supportive housing for veterans.

La Central will be comprised of 5 buildings with 985 units of mixed-income housing and will offer a plethora of amenities, including a 48,000 square foot YMCA, 43,000 square feet of retail space, 5,000 square foot community space and a recording studio.

The complex will be topped off with the Bronx Astronomy Tower and Lab, which will include a rooftop observatory and telescope, plus a rooftop farm. 

The project comes on the heels of the construction of the income-regulated Via Verde complex, which opened two years ago.

Construction consists of two-phases on approximately 185,000 square feet of city-owned land and has a projected price tag of $345 million.

The new development is expected to break ground late this year, officials said.

The development will also include a diabetes prevention program, operated by Bronx medical giant Montefiore Medical Center, and 96 units will be set aside for formerly homeless veterans and New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS, to be operated by health and housing service provider Comunilife.

Project Details:

    Building A:
211 affordable apartments; approximately 48,000 square foot YMCA-community facility; a diabetes prevention program operated by Montefiore Medical Center; rooftop farm; approximately 19,000 square feet of new retail space.

    Building B:
279 affordable apartments; approximately 24,000 square feet of retail space, including restaurant space; cellar level garage with approximately 138 parking spaces.

    Building C:
137 affordable apartments; 5,000 square feet of community space consisting of a recording studio and curate workshops and open the recording studio to projects for and by the community.

    Building D:
160 affordable apartments plus a 10,000 square foot mental health clinic operated by Comunilife that will work with veterans living within the development and individuals within the community.

    Building E:
198 affordable apartments, plus the Bronx Astronomy Tower and Lab – a rooftop telescope to be used by the Bronx High School of Science, and a daycare facility
click to enlarge

The approximately 7,000 square-foot triangular vacant lot at the intersection of Brook and Bergen Avenues will be developed as open space, accessible to the general public.

La Central is geared toward families: nearly 50 percent of the affordable units will have at least two bedrooms.

But unlike Via Verde, all of the nearly 1,000 affordable apartments are slated to be rentals.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Four New Towers Preparing to Rise in Long Island City

The old four-story Paragon Paint Factory in Long Island City will get a new finish — and a massive redevelopment. Midtown-based Baron Development plans to construct a 28-story waterfront tower with 296 rental apartments at the site of the former Hunters Point factory.

The developer acquired the four-story industrial building at 45-40 Vernon Boulevard for $14.7 million in late 2013. Baron is building the tower along with partner CRE Development.

Plans call for 236,230 square feet of residential space and 10,460 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Residential units will begin on the second floor, with nine to 22 apartments per floor. The cellar level of the building will hold a 24-car garage.

The new tower is being designed by SHoP Architects, and will incorporate the existing warehouse building. The rear section of the building at 5-49 46th Avenue will be demolished for the 295-foot residential tower.

The developers also plan to demolish an adjacent structure at 45-28 Vernon Boulevard to create a public park with access to the water next to the new building.

The Paragon Paint Factory site is zoned for manufacturing and owners will need to get a variance to build the planned residential and commercial property on the site.

Baron Development is currently at work on a 430,000-square-foot, 42-story residential tower at 29-26 Northern Boulevard in Long Island City that will include over 400 apartments.

41-21 28th Street

Brooklyn-based developer All Year Management is preparing to construct a 16-story apartment building between 41st Avenue and Queens Plaza North, at 41-21 28th Street in Long Island City.

The 127,000 square foot project will house 139 residential units, along with small commercial space on the ground floor. This Karl Fischer designed building will include bicycle storage, 55 attended parking spaces, storage rooms and recreation space on the roof.

In addition to the small retail space, the first floor will house eight apartments, followed by 16 units each on the second through eight floors. The building will have 11 apartments on the ninth floor; seven each on floors ten through 13; and just three apartments each on the 14th and 15th floors.

A huge penthouse with a 1,000-square-foot roof deck, will top off the building.

Demolition of the existing warehouse began in June, and excavation at the site began earlier this month. Construction is expected to wrap in fall of 2016.

All Year Management purchased the warehouse at 41-21 28th Street, last year, for $17,000,000.The site was previously home to the Buttercup Bake Shop, a part of the famous Magnolia Bakery chain.

45-24 Vernon Boulevard

Just next door to the Paragon Paint Factory project, Long Island City-based CRE Development is planning to demolish a one-story manufacturing facility located at 45-24 Vernon Boulevard, to construct a new 13-story residential building designed by SHoP Architects.

The 52,500 square feet mixed-use development will include 48 apartments and 4,570 square feet of ground floor retail space.

41-15 23rd Street

Developer Isaac Schwartz is planning to build a new 11-story residential building housing 71 apartments at 41-21 28th Street in Long Island City.

The building, designed by architect Karl Fischer, will have 59,200 square feet of residential space. A single-story warehouse and another two-story structure at the site were demolished earlier this year.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

New 47-Story Luxury Tower Slated for 126 Madison Avenue

Asian investors are going condo for Manhattan. Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group has partnered with JD Carlisle to co-develop a 47-story, 180-unit luxury condominium building at 126 Madison Avenue, in Midtown South, as it ramps up its overseas expansion. The 800-foot tall residential tower, currently in the pre-construction stage, will attract local and international buyers. Completion is expected by 2018.

126 Madison Avenue

The Shanghai-based real estate development and investment firm will own an 80% stake in the 800-foot condo tower that will rise near the Empire State Building. The tower is Fosun’s first ground-up development project in the U.S, and is a milestone in the company’s global investment initiative.

Handel Architects is designing the 350,000 square-foot residential tower, with Gachot Studios in charge of interior designs.

Amenities at 126 Madison will include a 75-foot swimming indoor pool, spa services, a fitness center as well as entertainment spaces.

The building will also boast 360-degree views, and its design offers corner living rooms in every unit.

The partnership owns multiple low-rise structures at 126 and 128 Madison Avenue, and 15 East 30th Street, which are slated to begin demolition at the end of September.

The bulk of the tower will sit just west of Madison between 30th and 31st streets, but there will be a small footprint on Madison Avenue, so that the address can be used.

JD Carlisle assembled the development sites between 30th and 31st streets in March for $102 million.

The firm is also building a new residential tower at nearby 160 Madison Avenue.

“Fosun is confident that this property will be viewed internationally as another iconic New York City tower,” said Alex Gong, executive president of Fosun Property, adding that Fosun is also open to partnering with other developers in the city.

"We have the ability to source building materials from China and also bring Chinese buyers to a development like this."

In 2013, Fosun Group bought One Chase Manhattan Plaza in downtown Manhattan for $725 million from J.P. Morgan Chase, and renamed the 60-story tower 28 Liberty. Earlier this year, Fosun signed on its first major tenant to the 60-story tower--Ironshore, a U.S. insurer in which it owns a 20% stake.

118 East 59th Street

Another Asian developer, Euro Properties, recently paid $49M for a building site on East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, where it plans to put up a $210M tower luxury tower.

The Hong Kong-based investment firm plans to build a 38-story tower at 118 East 59th Street, with 29 full-floor residences starting on the eighth floor, topped off with a $30 million penthouse. The penthouse measures 4,869 square feet and has three bedrooms.

One-bedroom condos in the building will start at $2.9 million and two-bedrooms at $3.7 million. Two duplex condos, measuring 2,989 square feet, are asking $15.5 million and $16.5 million. Storage units in the building will go for $45,000.

Current plans call for razing the existing four- and six-story buildings on the site and constructing a new structure with 76,586 square feet. 70,260 square feet would be residential space and 6,326 square feet would be commercial space.

SCDA Architects is designing the new tower at 118 East 59th Street, not far from the high-end towers rising along Billionaire’s Row.

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Details on $8 Billion Redesign for LaGuardia Airport

For New Yorkers and visitors alike, LaGuardia Airport is a confusing maze of disconnected terminals. Beset with delays, chaotic transfers, poorly designed way-finding, and congestion for both passengers and planes. The airport was recently characterized by Vice President Biden as feeling like a “third-world country.” Now the facility is slated to get a much-needed and long overdue redesign. Governor Cuomo presented a far-reaching plan to overhaul the tired facility, which would cost roughly $8 billion, and be completed over a 5-year period.

According to a proposal by Governor Cuomo, LaGuardia Airport's four terminals will be consolidated into one hub and the entire facility will be moved south almost the length of two football fields.

In addition, the airport will be connected to public transit via an AirTrain link and 24-hour ferry service.

The proposal was guided by the Governor’s Advisory Panel with recommendations from leading architecture firms. It would bulldoze the airport’s Terminal B building and essentially replace an existing series of small terminals with a single unified structure situated closer to Grand Central Parkway.

In January, the Governor proposed to build a mile-and-a-half AirTrain link along the Grand Central Parkway from the No. 7 subway station at Willets Point to the airport. The project would cost approximately $450 million—about $300 million per mile—and take about five years. It would be run by the Port Authority in conjunction with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Once the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey green light the plans, construction will commence in 2016, with the goal of opening the first half of the project to passengers by early 2019, and finishing up 18 months after.

"New York will have the newest major airport in the United States," Mr. Cuomo said.

Airport construction experts have said it would take longer than the Cuomo administration estimates, or about 10 years.

According to the plans, the redesign would include new terminal space, a new arrival and departures hall, and a connection to Delta’s Terminals C and D. In addition, the Governor detailed plans to add transit with a new AirTrain and ferry service, as well as address potential flooding by elevating infrastructure.

Construction experts estimate that rebuilding Terminals C and D alone could together cost $2 billion, though that is a conservative estimate.

In addition to the costs of constructing the terminal buildings, substantial money must be spent on the surrounding infrastructure, such as roadways, parking and a proposed $450 million AirTrain, among other improvements. That is likely to cost another $2 billion.

The cost for the new Terminal B at LaGuardia includes a total $1.6 billion for roadways, electric and other common infrastructure for the entire airport

“New York had an aggressive, can-do approach to big infrastructure in the past—and today, we’re moving forward with that attitude once again,” said Governor Cuomo in a statement.

“We are transforming LaGuardia into a globally-renowned, 21st century airport that is worthy of the city and state of New York.”

Few can argue that LaGuardia, the smallest of New York’s three airports, needs to be re-imagined, but the question is whether this proposal is a band aid solution to a much more complicated problem that requires a greater comprehensive strategy.

While the Governor’s intentions are good, the proposal is disappointing because it does not attempt to deal with the main problems plaguing LGA.

Its runways are too short, which causes safety issues, delays, and limitations on destinations. It’s in a flood zone and its level needs to be raised to deal with future storms. Furthermore, the proposed rail connection is terribly convoluted.

LaGuardia isn’t the only airport in line to be revamped. The governor stated that he will soon issue an RFP for a redesign of JFK International Airport.

In the meantime, the iconic TWA Flight Center will be transformed into a LEED certified hotel, consisting of 505 guestrooms, 40,000 square feet of conference, event and meeting space, and an observation deck. This will be JFK’s first airport hotel.

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