Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fifth Avenue Office Building to be Expanded into Super Tall Skyscraper

Developers Vornado Realty and Kushner Properties are a planning to convert the office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue into a slender, super-tall mixed-use skyscraper with a vertical mall, a hotel and a residential podium.

The spectacular new tower, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, involves a stacking scheme whereby new construction will sit on top of the current building’s square base, eventually topping out 1,400 feet above the sidewalk.

The expansion of the existing 41-story aluminum building will fall just short of the Empire State Building’s stature and offer hotel guests unobstructed views of Central Park.

The project on the East 52nd to 53rd Street block front would create a new 50-yard line for high-end retail along the most expensive corridor in the world. It would become the first new major tower on Fifth Avenue since Kushner’s father-in-law developed Trump Tower in 1983.

Real estate experts believe the move is a no-brainer, since New York is retail rich and going vertical has proven successful in the past.

The 58-year-old building currently standing on the site was designed by New York architects  Carson & Lundin and was purchased by Vornado and Kushner for a record-breaking $1.8 billion in 2006.

Vornado already controls the property's retail condominium, which it bought from from Kushner, Carlyle and Crown Acquisitions for $710M in 2012.

Known as a visionary, Vornado’s Steve Roth is now developing the 950 foot-tall 220 Central Park South, which has sold over $1.6 billion, including a $200 million-plus penthouse. When the developer moves ahead on the plan, they will control the tower with a combined retail and office space.

“It is an extraordinary product and it’s a super location,” Roth recently enthused.

The Zara store—a separately owned condominium—will be unaffected by the plan, but Colliers International and other office tenants would be forced to move.

Iraqi-born, British architect Zaha Hadid, recently made her first foray in New York with a residential block at 520 West 28th Street on the High Line in Chelsea.
The Kushner Cos. owns over 100 buildings in New York and is a major builder in New Jersey.

It turned the top of the Puck Building into luxury penthouses and is redeveloping portions of Dumbo, Gowanus and Williamsburg.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Brooklyn May Join the 1,000-Foot Tall Skyscraper Club

Brooklyn may soon be getting a residential skyscraper nearly 1,200 feet tall - twice as high as the next tallest building in Brooklyn. JDS Development and real estate developer Chetrit Group have struck a $90 million deal to acquire the former Dime Savings Bank of New York, located adjacent to the famed Junior's restaurant in downtown Brooklyn. The developers have also acquired air rights in the deal which would enable them to build a building on an adjoining lot taller than the Empire State Building.

The bank at 9 DeKalb Avenue is a 150-year-old landmarked building with a domed roof and an ornate interior.

But more important than the building, which might be repurposed as an event space or high-end retail outlet, are the development rights that come with it: roughly 300,000 square feet.

That’s all the partners need to build a super skyscraper on the site they own next door at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension. Combined with existing air rights, a nearly 600,000-square-foot tower could rise more than 1,200 feet there.

Towers that tall are hard to come by even in Manhattan, and there aren’t any plans to build anything that large in any other borough yet. No building has ever eclipsed 1,000 feet in any of the boroughs outside Manhattan and only a handful of towers have crossed that mark in Manhattan, though that list is growing.

But there’s plenty of demand for a super-tall residential tower in Brooklyn—and now, one of the developers who has nurtured Manhattan’s Billionaire’s Row has the air rights to build something as tall as the Empire State Building in downtown Brooklyn.

A source familiar with the deal suggested that JDS is planning to build a tower potentially higher than the Empire State Building, whose spire stands at 1,454 feet. Only one other residential building in the city is expected to rise above that height, the 1,775-foot-tall Central Park Tower, which is currently under construction at 227 West 57th Street, known as Billionaires' Row.

The skyscraper that could rise in downtown Brooklyn will be, far and away, the tallest building in the borough – and one of the tallest buildings in New York City. Presently, the tallest tower in Brooklyn is 388 Bridge Street at 590 feet, followed by The Brooklyner, at 514 feet tall – half the size of what Stern has planned for his site.

JDS Development, which is building a super-skinny 1,400 foot tower at 111 West 57th Street in Midtown, may wind up building a similar tower in Brooklyn.

That project, which is currently underway, incorporates an existing landmark at its base - the former Steinway & Sons piano showroom and hall. The downtown Brooklyn tower may absorb the classical bank structure at 9 DeKalb Avenue in the same way.

Chetrit and JDS purchased the triangular site at 340 Flatbush Avenue in June of 2014 for $43 million. The developers had originally planned to construct a 775-foot tower on the parcel, but cancelled the project after they were turned down by the family that owns Junior's Most Fabulous Cheesecake and Deserts, who briefly put their Flatbush Avenue storefront on the market before deciding on tradition.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011

Friday, September 18, 2015

JFK's Landmark TWA Terminal to Become Site of $265M Hotel

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has picked a partnership between JetBlue and MCR Development to transform the former TWA Flight Center at JFK into a $265 million world-class hotel - the airport's only on-site hotel.
The distinctive building, which is next to JetBlue’s flagship T5 terminal, was designed by famed architect Eero Saarinen and built in the early 1960s.
The project is expected to break ground on a six-acre site next year and generate 3,700 jobs by time it is completed in 2018.

JFK is one of the few major U.S. airports without an on-site hotel.

JetBlue and MCR will build a pair of six-story hotels with 483 rooms and 22 suites, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, up to eight restaurants and an observation deck from the ground up next to the terminal.

The complex will feature an energy management system that will allow the building to generate its own power.

The developers will refurbish the interior of the landmarked building to become the property’s main lobby, with the rest of the hotel set back from it in a pair of new six-story buildings.

The iconic building, with its wing-shaped roof and expansive walls of windows showcasing jets departing and arriving, has been closed since 2001.

Beyer Blinder Belle and Lubrano Ciavarra Architects have been hired to design the Flight Center hotels.

The terminal would be JetBlue’s first hotel project open to the public. The airline recently developed a boutique hotel in Orlando, Florida, for use only by its employees. 

Other hotels are located just outside the airport and employ shuttles to ferry passengers to and from the airport. The vast majority of the world's major airports have hotels on their grounds.

Manhattan-based MCR, which owns and operates 89 hotels around the country, will own 95 percent of the project.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to charge the partners a fixed rent, which it estimates will total $70 million over the life of the lease, according to a statement from the agency.

“First-class hotels are a mark of a 21st-century airport and JFK and LaGuardia are among the very few major airports without this amenity, Joe Sitt, the chairman of the airport advocacy group Global Gateway Alliance, said in a statement.

“We applaud the Port Authority for moving ahead with plans to develop the iconic TWA Flight Center, because it's past time for a smart use for the building and for an on-airport hotel available to millions of JFK passengers.”

The TWA Flight Center was built in 1962 and served as the airline’s terminal until 2001, when it declared bankruptcy and stopped operating. The center was too small for modern aircraft and couldn’t accommodate enough passengers, making it unsuitable as an airline terminal, according to the Port Authority.

The now-vacant building was declared a national historic landmark in 2005 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The new hotel is projected to open in late 2018.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

70-Story Condo Tower Planned for Mosque Site near Ground Zero

Developer Soho Properties is preparing to build a 667-foot condominium tower at lower Manhattan's 45 Park Place. The 70-story glass skyscraper, anticipated to break ground before the end of the year, will include at least 15 full-floor super-luxury units of 3,700 square feet, with private elevators and average prices higher than $3,000 a square foot. The tower is scheduled for completion in 2017.
It's been four years since Manhattan developer Sharif El-Gamal shelved plans to build a 15-story Islamic cultural center —two blocks north of where the former World Trade Center towers stood—that drew international debate.

Protesters called it the "Ground Zero mosque" and said its placement near the site of the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history would be an insult to those who were killed there.

The developer is now looking to attract a different kind of attention for his current project on the site.

The ultra-luxury focus of the building highlights the newfound allure of lower Manhattan as an upscale destination, yet it comes amid growing concern about an oversupply of apartments for multimillionaire buyers.

The planned 70-story skyscraper, with varying tiers of balconies slightly offset from its core, was designed by Michel Abboud, founder of New York architectural firm SOMA. Ismael Leyva Architects is translating the exterior design concepts into floor layouts and detailed construction plans.

Unobstructed views to the north begin at close to 300 feet, above which all the apartments will be full-floor units with private elevators. Those residences will have 12-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, offering panoramic views of Midtown, the Hudson River, and the Statue of Liberty. Two duplex penthouses will sit on the uppermost floors of the skyscraper.

Luxury amenities aim to evoke a five-star hotel, with a 50-foot Olympic-size swimming pool in the basement, concierge service, and a high- ceilinged private lounge. Adjacent to the tower, Soho Properties will build a public plaza connected to a three-story Islamic museum and prayer space to be designed by architect Jean Nouvel.

"The tower is going to be a market-maker," Mr. El-Gamal told us. "We're planning a building that's really going to share in a unique moment."

Mr. El-Gamal is now seeking to take advantage of Manhattan's luxury-condo boom and a downtown renaissance that has sent home prices up 28 percent since 2012.

The median price of apartments that sold in the area south of Chambers Street this year was $1.15 million, a 6.4 percent increase from all of 2014. In 2012, the lower Manhattan median was $895,530. The area has gained 3,000 residents since that year.

It’s been a long road toward building the tower, which is scheduled for completion in 2017. Soho Properties bought the lot in 2009 for $4.85 million. The project has $33 million in preconstruction financing from Madison Realty Capital, and construction loans will be in place shortly.

About 5,500 units are being planned or are under construction in the area south of Chambers Street, according to the Downtown Alliance.

Elsewhere in Manhattan, developers are shifting toward less-pricey condos because the surge in new units has been priced at levels that only the ultra-wealthy can afford.

Mr. El-Gamal sees a rosier picture of a neighborhood in which a penthouse in the Woolworth tower is listed for $110 million, luxury retailers are opening stores, and such media and technology companies as Conde Nast and Time are relocating.

45 Park Place will still have a lower price per square foot, on average, than the towers being constructed on midtown's 57th Street, a corridor that's been dubbed Billionaire's Row.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011

Sunday, September 13, 2015

$200M Lighthouse Point Construction to Kick off This Fall

After years of starts and stops, Triangle Equities is preparing to kick off construction on the $200 million Lighthouse Point mixed-use development, at a long-vacant three-acre site on the Stapleton waterfront in Staten Island. The long-stalled waterfront project is the largest new project in the area since Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012.

Directly adjacent to the St. George Ferry Terminal and the Stapleton waterfront, Lighthouse Point will span 485,000 square feet and include more than 100 residential units, 20% of which will be permanently affordable; a hotel; a diverse mix of retail shops and dining options; considerable public open space; and parking.

New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, and the New Stapleton Waterfront, Lighthouse Point is a key element of city’s effort to transform the St. George waterfront into a dynamic civic hub that will drive economic growth, create thousands of jobs, support existing waterfront amenities, and provide new waterfront uses to the benefit of visitors and residents alike.

The project is the product of a public-private partnership with the City of New York.

At full build-out, Lighthouse Point will create 85,000 square feet of retail; a restaurant and entertainment space; a 12-story, 94,000 square foot residential building housing 120 rental units - with 20% of the units set aside as permanently affordable; a 180 room hotel; a communal-style workspace for local start-up businesses; an urban beach; and a series of outdoor recreational areas throughout the site—all with unmatched views of New York Harbor, lower Manhattan and the forthcoming New York Wheel.

Project construction will be phased, with each portion of the project opening to the public as it is completed. 
Lighthouse Point consists of a 62,000 SF retail building on the corner of Bay Street and Borough Place with retail stores, fresh food supermarket, restaurants and entertainment space.

Above this retail building, a residential tower will be constructed for approximately 109 rental apartments.

Along the waterfront esplanade, the four historic buildings of the U.S. Lighthouse Depot Complex will be repurposed into over 23,000 SF of restaurant, office and hospitality space and provide a linkage to the 140,000 SF, 180-room new hotel tower.

Parking for 400 cars will utilize the site topography and be built into the hillside in a new garage.

Twenty percent of the residential units have been newly designated as permanently affordable for New Yorkers earning 60% or less of the area median income, reflecting the de Blasio administration’s commitment to creating 200,000 affordable housing units across the five boroughs.

From 1863-1966, the site housed the U.S. Lighthouse Service Depot, which was the center of lighthouse operations for the United States during that time. The site was largely vacated in 1966 when the Coast Guard relocated to Governor’s Island and fully vacated upon the departure of the New York Harbor Pilots’ Association in 1984, at which point the property was transferred to the City of New York.

Click to enlarge
The Lighthouse Point Redevelopment is expected to create approximately 374 permanent jobs and over 688 construction jobs.

Construction is anticipated to commence this fall, with project completion slated for late 2019.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

60-Story Condo Tower, 33-Story Hotel Coming to Seaport

Fortis Property Group’s sky-high South Street Seaport tower is moving forward after years of planning. The developer will soon begin work on the gleaming new 60-story condominium tower in the Financial District, on a site just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. The 670 foot helix-shaped glass tower will be known as One Seaport, and will contain just 80 ultra-luxury units along the East River near the South Street Seaport.

Featuring a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, apartments in the building will have terraces, and no less than two exposures.

Low-floor one-bedrooms will start at just over $1 million and will reach up to $20 million, for the building's collection of penthouses.

Formerly known as 151 Maiden Lane, the Goldstein, Hill and West-designed tower will stand a whopping 60 stories tall, tall for the Seaport, but it's among a new class of sky-grazing residential towers along the East River.

The project counts as its companion Extell Development’s One Manhattan Square, now rising just north of the Manhattan Bridge.

The developer bought the two-parcel site at 151 Maiden Lane for $64 million in the summer of 2013, and the project has since gone through several different designs.

Originally, the tower was planned to be 51 stories tall and contain 95 condo units.

According to zoning, the block-long property has no height restrictions and can accommodate a building with up to 138,500-square-feet of residential development.

One Seaport's 80 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments will be designed by AD100 Architects, who’s other NYC projects include 1212 Fifth Avenue.

As is expected with pricey new development, the building won't be short on amenities.

Its 27th floor will be a dedicated Water Club. Residents will also have access to an attended private motor court and a 24-hour concierge.

One Seaport will adjoin a 33-story Marriott Hotel designed by renowned architect Peter Poon. Richard Lou is developing the hotel site, and Pizzarotti-IBC is building the project, which will span 110,207 square feet and rise 345 feet to the roof.

The future 271-room hotel will take the address 151 Maiden Lane and is expected to be completed in 2017.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011

Friday, September 4, 2015

Update on Building Boom in LIC's Court Square

Long Island City is one of the busiest neighborhoods for new construction in New York. Presently, eight major developments are under development and more than 22,500 units of new housing are in the pipeline.
Once a hotbed of industry, over the last decade, it's become a hotbed for residential development thanks to a 2001 rezoning.

Since then, more than 5,000 units have been added to a 37 block area that encompasses the Court Square and Queens Plaza neighborhoods. And many more are still in the planning stages.

From warehouse conversions to the tallest residential building in Queens, there is a lot on the rise.

42-12 28th Street

Rising 635 feet, 42-12 28th Street will one day be the tallest tower in Queens. It will bring 447 apartments to the area by June 2017.

44-26 Purves Street

Brause Realty purchased this stalled development site at a foreclosure auction in 2013. Plans call for construction of a 33-story apartment tower with 270-units.

29-26 Northern Boulevard

Simon Baron Development plans to build a 43-story, 415-unit residential tower with glowing wings on its roof.  The developer acquired the property at 29-26 Northern Boulevard in late 2013 and the site is still little more than a pile of dirt.

28-10 Jackson Avenue

Foundation work is currently underway for a colossal three-tower project being developed by Tishman Speyer. The development at Jackson Avenue and Queens Boulevard will add 1,789 apartments to the neighborhood.

27-21 44 Drive

Silvercup Properties is preparing to construct a 26-story apartment tower at 27-21 44 Drive. The 115-unit building is being designed by GF55 Partners.

27-17 42nd Road

Foundation work has started for another high-rise in Court Square. The large, boxy building will rise 25 stories and reach 258 feet to the roof. The 221,266 square foot development will bring 184 apartments to the market, with retail occupying most of the ground floor.

25-21 43rd Avenue

A nine-story, 86-condo building is on the rise at the corner of 43rd Avenue and Hunter Street in Long Island City. Ekstein Development tapped architecture and design firm GF55 Partners to design the nine-story residential building for the site that sits on top of a subway tunnel.
The project is expected to be completed by 2017.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Swarm of Residential Projects to Rise along DeKalb Avenue

DeKalb Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant is becoming a hotbed for development. At least nine new residential buildings are set to rise along a four-block strip of DeKalb Avenue, meeting the demand for more modern units in the neighborhood, which is becoming a desirable location for young professionals.

Bedford-Stuyvesant is the city’s most active neighborhood for new residential building applications in 2015’s first quarter, with developers filing for at least 33 projects.

A large stretch of the avenue is in proximity to the G and J trains and is zoned to allow buildings up to seven stories high. Such features make the thoroughfare an attractive option to developers.

Here are nine new projects which will soon begin to rise along DeKalb Avenue:

627 DeKalb Avenue

Situated at the corner of Nostrand Avenue, a seven-story apartment building is set to rise at 627 DeKalb. A total of 28 units are planned with a first floor garage to accommodate 15 vehicles. The new building is being designed by Issac & Stern Architects.

641 DeKalb Avenue

Developer Guy Iber will bring a five-story, eight-unit residence to this presently vacant lot. The first and fifth floors will have one apartment each and two units will be located on the second through fourth floors.

740 DeKalb Avenue

A seven-story building is being constructed between Marcy and Tompkins avenues with 37 apartments and 19 indoor parking spaces. The 25,525 square foot building is being designed by Brent M. Porter Associates.

785 DeKalb Avenue

SSJ Development purchased this development site for $2.7 million with plans to construct a six-story building with 70 apartments Original designs for the building near Tompkins Avenue drew complaints from local residents who criticized its spaceship-like structure. The design has since been revised

806 DeKalb Avenue

A six-story, 16-unit building is planned for the lot near Throop Avenue, replacing a single-story structure torn down in 2014. The city’s Department of Buildings approved an application for the new building on June 5th.

820 DeKalb Avenue

A former three-story walkup is being replaced by a 10-unit apartment building at 820 DeKalb Avenue. The new building will be a four-story structure with a penthouse and cellar.

855 DeKalb Avenue

The property between Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Throop Avenue will soon be home to a five-story residence. Plans call for the conversion of a three-story commercial space to a building with 15 apartments spread throughout 15,000 square feet.

875 DeKalb Avenue

Developer Simon Kaufman purchased this vacant lot in South Williamsburg for $3 million last June. He is planning to construct a new a six-story, 35-unit structure designed by architect Charles Mallea. The new building will have terraces and green space on the top floor.

880 DeKalb Avenue

Just across the street from 875 DeKalb, a seven-story building is planned for the former one-story commercial building at 880 DeKalb Avenue. Construction of the 46-unit building was approved by the city in March 2014.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011