Monday, March 21, 2016

Electrician Plunges 800-Feet to Death from Skyscraper

An electrician in his second day on the project plunged some 800 feet to his death Thursday from a Los Angeles skyscraper that will be the tallest building on the West Coast once it's completed.

The worker fell around noon from Wilshire Grand Center onto the back edge of a passing car. It happened at one of the busiest times of day at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Los Angeles, when the streets were thronged with people.

The electrician hit the trunk of the car, which was sitting at the corner Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street with the blanket-covered body and a coroner's tent hours later. The car was badly damaged.

The woman who was driving did not appear to be seriously hurt but was taken to a hospital, city fire officials said.

The worker was an electrician with ASSI, according to a spokeswoman with California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

A newspaper reporter was on assignment at the construction site when the man fell to his death.

At about noon, the reporter took a construction hoist from the 71st floor down to the first floor of the hotel, which will be the West Coast’s tallest building when it is completed.

After stepping off the hoist he heard what sounded like “a large bag of cement hitting the ground."

The electrician was not supposed to be above the third floor and had removed his hard hat before falling 53 floors, construction company officials said.

The worker had not been wearing a safety harness because it wasn’t required for the bottom floors he was working on, said a spokeswoman for Turner Construction, the main contractor on the project.

The 73-story skyscraper will be about 1,100 feet tall, or nearly a quarter-mile, when it's completed.

A top-out ceremony was held earlier this month when the top beam was hoisted into place on the 73rd floor.

The $1 billion office and hotel tower being developed by Korean Airlines Co. Ltd. is expected to open in early 2017.

The building is near the Staples Center arena where the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers play and is at the center of the bustling and fast-growing financial district of downtown.

Chris Martin, CEO of Martin Project Management which is supervising the construction, says there were barricades around the edge of the building and other safety measures in place.

Martin said all of the building's 891 workers had undergone training.

"There's safety training for every worker on the job, and certain locations there's very specialized training. So these are all smart people," Martin said. "
We had no injuries up to this date."

Work at the jobsite, which had been suspended, will resume today.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Upper East Side’s Most Opulent Tower to Rise 54-Stories

520 Park Avenue will be one of the city's most lavish condominium towers when it's completed, but as of yet the building's just a concrete shell on the rise between East 60th and 61st streets on the Upper East Side. 

In 2017, the opulent 54-story limestone tower, designed by Robert A.M. Stern, will be the tallest building on the Upper East Side and will welcome residents with a marble and wood-decked lobby that's nothing short of spectacular.

Residents and guests will enter through a double arched entrance with a suspended bronze canopy, leading into a soaring lobby with 25' coffered ceilings and an impressive limestone fireplace.

Beyond the lobby is a vaulted salon with a fireplace at each end. The floors and walls in the lobby are limestone with French walnut wood in the wall treatment, and bronze detailing.

A finely crafted Venetian plaster ceiling carries through with the wood accents as well.

The building will be entirely clad in Indiana limestone articulated with French balconies and stone detailing evocative of the great New York apartment buildings of the 1920's and 1930's.

520 Park Avenue has already made it onto the list of the city's most expensive homes for sale.

New York's newest super-expensive condominium tower will house just 33 units ranging from a $20.5 million 4 bedroom/4.5 bath condo to a $70 million 6 bedroom /7.5 bath duplex.

Full floor units will consist of four bedroom units covering about 4,600-square-feet, with a living room, dining room, spacious kitchen, family room, private elevator landing and 4-1/2 bathrooms.

The seven expansive duplex residences will consists of a living room, library, dining room, eat-in kitchen, family room, private elevator landing and 6 bedrooms with 7-1/2 baths.

Each unit will feature select-cut solid white oak hardwood flooring in herringbone and overlay patterns and a variety of over 10 exquisite marble treatments.

All master bathroom suites will be comprised of two full baths complete with steam showers and soaking tub.

The building's triplex mega-penthouse will have with a private terrace overlooking Central Park and will cover more than 12,400-square-feet.

It is rumored to be priced at $130 million, or more than $10,000 per square foot.

Building amenities will include a 5,000-square-foot bi-level fitness center, a 2,500-square-foot "Performance-Based Training Floor", a 35-foot leisure pool, a whirlpool, steam room, sauna, and locker rooms.

The developers, Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf, worked with Robert Stern previously on the super-luxury towers at 15 Central Park West and 18 Gramercy Park, so the team knows how to build a epic building.

The 85-foot wide building will have large windows and a temple-like structure on the roof that hide the building’s mechanical elements.

The tower will also cantilever over much of the Grolier Club on East 60th Street.

As part of the agreement to obtain the extra development rights, the Zeckendorfs will fund affordable housing on the Upper East Side and make 520 Park environmentally friendly.

520 Park Avenue is one of seven super-expensive buildings rising around 57th Street and Central Park South, an area which has become known as "Billionaires Row."

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

$200M Lighthouse Point to Begin Construction This Year

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 later this year, with project completion slated for late 2019.

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Friday, March 4, 2016

LIC Makes Way for Three New $875M Residential Towers

Long Island City gets glassier by the day, and now Tishman Speyer is teaming up H&R Real Estate to build a three-tower, 1.2 million-square-foot “luxury residential rental development” with 1,789 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail space. The partners will put $875 million into the development, with construction slated to kick off this year, playing out in three phases. Phase I will see the construction of a 53-story, 501,000-square-foot building with 658 apartments. Occupancy is expected for 2018.

Tishman Speyer and H&R Real Estate Investment Trust are moving ahead with development on another phase of Long Island City’s Gotham Center.

The partnership picked up a $640 million construction loan to fund the development of the 1,789-unit luxury rental complex in the Queens Plaza area of Long Island City.

H&R paid $55.6 million for a 50% stake in the land, which it is acquired from a partnership that includes the Modell family, owners of the sporting goods chain of the same name.

Tishman Speyer, which had been one of the Modell family's partners in the site, has owned an interest in the land for over a decade, and was able to convert that stake into its ownership in the new joint venture.

The development site is bordered by Jackson Avenue to then north, LIRR/Sunnyside Yards to the south, Queens Boulevard to the east, and Orchard Street to the west.

Queens Plaza Residential Development - Site B, was assembled from eight separate properties:
  • 28-10, 28-20 & 28-34 Jackson Avenue
  • 30-02 Queens Blvd
  • 42-02 & 42-26 West Street
  • 42-01 & 42-33 Orchard Street
Click to enlarge
The three towers would rise at 28-34 Jackson Avenue, 28-10 Jackson Avenue and 30-02 Queens Boulevard.

The 53-story, 501,000-square-foot building at 28-34 Jackson would hold 658 apartments and a ground-floor retail space.

The other properties will be a 44-story, 521,000-square-foot tower with 683 rentals on Jackson Avenue and a 33-story, 365,000-square-foot tower with 448 rentals.

Construction will begin in 2016 and is expected to be completed in 2018. Tishman Speyer will act as the developer and project manager.

By the time the development is complete, Tishman and H&R Real Estate Investment Trust aim to build 3 towers, 1,789 residential units and about 30,000 square feet of ground floor retail.

Tishman was the developer of 2 Gotham Center, a 21-story building that was once the home to a municipal parking lot that is now leased by the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.

Toronto-based H&R acquired 2 Gotham Center from Tishman Speyer for $415.5 million in 2011.

“We are excited at the opportunity to participate with Tishman Speyer in the long-term growth and evolution of Long Island City,  at the intersection of two of the area’s most important thoroughfares”, said Tom Hofstedter, the president and chief executive of H&R.

“This project further diversifies H&R and expands our foothold in one of the world’s largest and most prosperous metropolitan areas.”

Real estate experts claim that the Queensboro Plaza/Court Square area can absorb the influx of new units.

“I welcome this development,” said Justin Elghanayan, president of Rockrose Development Corp, which owns the Linc in Court Square and is developing several other sites nearby.

“While in the short term competition can depress rents slightly, over time it brings in more retailers and is positive for the neighborhood.”

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