Tuesday, May 31, 2016

First Skyscraper at Hudson Yards Makes its Debut

The first building in the massive Hudson Yards project is finally ready for business. At 52 stories, the glass-and-concrete skyscraper at 10 Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s Far West Side officially opens today, with its first commercial tenant in place.

On Tuesday, fashion retailer Coach will begin to move about 1,400 employees to its new headquarters in the tower, consolidating its offices from a few blocks away. The move is expected to take several weeks.

 “It’s really the beginning of seeing the result of our vision,” said Stephen Ross, chairman and founder of Related. “It’s a realization moment, but it’s just the beginning.”

For Coach, now in its 75th year, the move to 10 Hudson Yards signifies an important turning point as it rebuilds the luxury image of its namesake brand and brings in the Stuart Weitzman shoe brand, which it acquired last year.

Hudson Yards’ more than 17 million square feet is bounded by West 30th and West 34th streets, 10th Avenue and the West Side Highway.

By the time the mega-project is complete, developers Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group expect to have spent more than $20 billion to fill 28 acres—much of it on platforms above working rail yards—with offices and shops, apartments, affordable housing, a public green space and even a school.

Project Overview:

10 Hudson Yards
52 stories, 1.8 million square feet.
Tenants include Coach, BCG, Intersection, L'Oréal, SAP, Sidewalk Labs and VaynerMedia.
Opening Tuesday.

The Retail Building
Seven stories, 1 million square feet.
Tenants include Neiman Marcus, Zara, Tory Burch, Stuart Weitzman.
The shops and an expected 12 restaurants to open in fall 2018.

30 Hudson Yards
90 stories, 2.6 million square feet.
Tenants include Time Warner, KKR, Wells Fargo Securities.
To be completed in 2019.

50 Hudson Yards
62 stories, 2.3 million square feet.
Still in the design phase.
55 Hudson Yards
51 stories, 1.3 million square feet.
Tenants include Boies, Schiller & Flexner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.
To be completed in 2017.

35 Hudson Yards
70 stories, 1.13 million square feet.
A mixed-use building - hotel, residential, retail, office, fitness club and spa.
To be completed in 2019.

15 Hudson Yards
70 stories, 960,000 square feet.
A residential building, including rentals and condos.
To be completed in 2018.

Culture Shed
A 180-square-foot building with six levels.
Under construction.

Public Square
A 6-acre park to open in fall 2018 with retail.

Hudson Yards will have two cogeneration plants, one at 10 Hudson Yards and one at the retail center, producing about 60% of the neighborhood’s power and efficiently distributing it throughout its buildings, which are on a microgrid.

The plants, combined with emergency generators, will be able to power the neighborhood during bad weather outages, and the system is expected to save on greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to the amount released by 2,600 homes each year.

In the past year, the pace of development on the eastern side of Hudson Yards has picked up speed. Five buildings are under construction, including an office tower and a seven-story retail building anchored by New York City’s first Neiman Marcus. In the fall, a subway station for the No. 7 train opened; also last year, Related and Oxford secured more than $7 billion in financing.

While Related and Oxford have the biggest project, they aren’t the only developers in Hudson Yards.

Brookfield Property Partners LP began building one of the office towers that will be part of its $4.5 billion Manhattan West development just east of Related and Oxford’s Hudson Yards. Tishman Speyer also has plans to build a $3 billion-plus office tower in the district.

When Related and Oxford started in earnest to pitch potential tenants at the beginning of the rebound from the 2008 financial crisis, they had to sell a neighborhood that didn’t exist and their ability to make it a reality.

Coach set the tone by being the first company to sign on, Mr. Ross said.

The willingness to take a risk came with rewards for Coach, which invested $750 million to buy its space and build out the interiors.

The tower bridges over a section of the High Line now called “Coach Passage,” a nod to the company’s longtime support of the park.

The lobby will have a replica of Coach’s product library, displaying 2,000 handbags from past and present to walkers on the High Line.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Monadnock to Develop Flushing Affordable Housing, Retail Project

The city’s department of Housing Preservation and Development has selected a development team for a 208-unit affordable housing and retail project on a Flushing municipal lot at 133-45 41st Avenue, near Main Street. The project, called One Flushing, will be constructed by a team comprised of Brooklyn-based Monadnock Development, nonprofit Asian Americans for Equality and HANAC Inc., which was selected following a request for proposals process.

The development, which will be built according to the design principles of feng shui, is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiative to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in 10 years.

The development is part of an effort to build housing on vacant or underutilized property, and this particular plot was sold to the developers at an undisclosed price that was well below market value.

The Bernheimer Architecture-designed building will have large windows that are reinforced to reduce noise from the LIRR station behind the property.

The complex will have eco-friendly features such as solar panels on the roof. Amenities will include a gym, community room, laundry rooms, a 15,000-square-foot second-floor terrace and a green roof.

The complex, which will include 208 units including 60 for seniors and 147 for families with varying income levels, will be built according to the design principles of feng shui.

Feng Shui (or Wind and Water) is the Chinese practice of arranging your environment so that energy or “chi” flows gently and smoothly through your home or business environment. In this way your space just feels good–and supports what you want out of life-whether it’s a better career, new romance, improved health, or more income.

The apartments will be available to individuals earning between $24,200 to $72,600 annually and $34,520 to $103,560 annually for a family of four. Housing in the building will be divided between 60 apartments reserved for senior citizens and 147 for low and moderate-income households. There is also one unit for a superintendent.

The current parking lot on the site has 156 parking spaces on 43,200 square feet. When complete, the project will have more than the current amount of parking spots, according to HPD.

“The One Flushing development plan is an example of a dynamic proposal that encompasses affordable housing, supportive senior housing, and services for the community as a whole,” HPD Commissioner Vicki Been said.

“I look forward to seeing this development take shape and will be thrilled to welcome future residents to their new homes.”

Under the deal, the city sold the land to the developers at a price that is well below market value, making the affordable-housing project financially feasible.

The city has also been looking to rezone part of the neighborhood to the north of the project site. In November, the administration announced it would study an industrial section of Flushing that sits along a polluted creek to encourage more development there and require the construction of affordable housing.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pair Accused of Stealing $250,000 in Electrical Supplies

A former police officer and his wife are accused of the theft of approximately $250,000 in electrical materials from an electrical supply company in West Monroe, Louisiana. According to the arrest warrant, a manager at Elliott Electric Supply, "conspired with and aided her husband in stealing electrical supplies from the warehouse."

Paul Dunn Jr., and his wife, Martha Denese Dunn, were booked into Ouachita Correctional Center, accused of felony theft and felony criminal conspiracy.

A representative from Elliott Electric Supply said that approximately $250,000 in electrical merchandise went missing over a two-year period.

As part of the theft investigation, business inventory, invoices, order tickets, ship tickets, video surveillance, job estimates, security system logs, job blueprints, employment statements and additional documentation were examined.

Investigators found that items invoiced to Dunn's electrical contracting company, Service Electric Co., did not coincide with estimates of the materials that should have been needed on those jobs.

The arrest warrant states other electrical suppliers said Service Electric only obtained a small amount of materials from their firms during the time period investigated.

Dunn's employees told investigators they would text Dunn most evenings and detail the amount of materials needed for the next day. They would then pick the materials up at Dunn's house or he would bring it by the site the next morning, according to the arrest records.

According to the warrant, security system logs indicated from Jan. 1, 2015, to Sept. 28, 2015, Denese Dunn's scan code accessed Elliott Electric 384 times after hours. Video surveillance recordings are reported as showing Paul Dunn loading electric materials alone after closing time.

The warrant also states documentation and employee statements show some tickets and invoices to SEC were never billed or were deleted by Denese Dunn, who had started work at Elliott approximately eight years ago while Dunn started his electric business approximately three years ago.

As part of the theft investigation, police officers obtained a warrant to search Paul Dunn's phone and located photos and text messages containing electrical material lists. The lists were determined to contain estimated materials in keeping with what Dunn should have used for major jobs.

Specific missing items or items not billed delineated in the arrest warrant include a 100-Kilowatt generator valued at approximately $25,000, four smaller generators valued at $3,000 each and $90,000 in wire.

One generator was reportedly installed at the Dunn's home while another was in an ex-relatives home. It also estimated Service Electric would have used a similar quantity of wiring over the past two years.

Court documents said Paul Dunn was fired from the Monroe Police Department and charged with malfeasance in office and felony theft in 2000. On Sept. 27, 2004, he pleaded guilty to theft.

Dunn is also due in court for a trial on charges of violating a protective order, reportedly stalking his ex-wife.

Bond for Paul Dunn and Denese Dunn was set at $100,000 each for felony theft and $25,000 each for felony conspiracy.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tishman Speyer Plans $3 Billion Spiral Tower by High Line

At the northern end of the High Line, Tishman Speyer is aiming to extend the park's wild, natural beauty 65 stories into the air. The developer plans to build a $3 billion office tower in the Hudson Yards district that will feature cascading terraces decked with foliage, atriums with ceilings as high as 23 feet and a glass facade. 

The Spiral will rise 1,005 feet at 66 Hudson Blvd., filling the block between West 34th and West 35th streets and Tenth Avenue and Hudson Park and the boulevard.

It will have 2.85 million square feet, with about 27,000 square feet devoted to retail shops.
The tower will sit one block north of Related's Hudson Yards, at the northern terminus of Manhattan’s High Line Park, once an abandoned train trestle.

Designed by renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the skyscraper has an outdoor terrace on every tenant floor with an adjacent atrium. A glass wall will separate the spaces.

In all, The Spiral will have 2.85 million square feet, of which 27,000 will be devoted the retail. Tishman Speyer has already secured $1 billion in equity from international investors, and is looking to pre-lease about 30-percent of the tower.

At 1,005 feet, The Spiral will stand exactly as tall as One57, and will become the fourth largest tower in the Hudson Yards neighborhood.

The tower is Tishman Speyer’s entrant in the race to extend the Midtown business district west toward the Hudson River.

Related Cos. is leading development in the area with its 28-acre Hudson Yards project, built mostly over a railroad yard that serves nearby Pennsylvania Station.

Three skyscrapers are rising at that site. Moinian Group is planning a tower close to Tishman Speyer’s site, to be called 3 Hudson Boulevard.

Tishman Speyer—which operates Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building and MetLife Building—said it’s obtained more than $1 billion of equity for the project from a group of international investors. The company intends to use the funds partly to acquire additional development rights.

Ingels, 41, is one of the world’s most sought-after architects, with New York projects including a pyramid-shaped apartment tower on 57th Street near the West Side Highway and 2 World Trade Center.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Queens’s Tallest Skyscraper to Break Ground in 2017

Queens will soon be getting it’s first super-tall skyscraper, situated on 23-15 44th Drive in Long Island City. Rising to 984 feet, the 78-story building will house 774 luxury apartment units, as well as retail and commercial space and 225 parking spots. With Midtown Manhattan less than five minutes away, the 969,000 square foot building will be known as City View Tower. The project will take the title of Queens’ tallest building away from Long Island City’s iconic 50-story Citigroup tower.

Flushing-based developer Chris Xu plans to build a massive 79-story, 774-unit building at 23-15 44th Drive, next to the CUNY School of Law, directly across the street from Citigroup’s 1.4 million-square-foot, 50-story One Court Square tower.

The building, which is slated to stand 964 feet tall, would loom over Citigroup tower – the tallest building in the city outside of Manhattan.

It will also be 50 feet taller than a skyscraper planned for 29-37 41st Avenue near Queens Plaza, which made headlines last year for its potential to become Queens’ tallest tower at 914 feet.

Flushing developer, Chris Xu, purchased the Court Square site from Citigroup last summer for $143 million.

According to United Construction and Development Group, Xu’s development company, the project will be called “Court Square City View Tower.”

Located in the most desirable neighborhood in Long Island City, and with its proximity to the 7, E, G and M subway lines, as well as the East River Ferry, the development will provide unprecedented convenience for its occupants.

Midtown Manhattan is less than five minutes away by subway or by car. The residential tower will be surrounded by a vibrant dining scene with some of New York’s most innovative eateries and taverns; lush riverfront parks with playgrounds, fishing piers and running paths; and notable art galleries and studios, including MoMA PS1 and Sculpture Center.

The 79-story high rise will contain 774 luxury residential units and 100,000 square feet of commercial space, covering a total of 999,664 square feet. The architect firm is Goldstein, Hill & West Architects.

Plans indicate that 20,000 square feet of retail space and a residential lobby will occupy the ground floor, with parking for 103 vehicles located on the second floor.

The number of apartments varies from 32 units on the fifth floor and 24 units on the sixth, to 11 units each up to the 60th floor.

The three highest residential floors will hold just three apartments each.

Citigroup had originally planned to build a third Court Square tower on the 36,000-square-foot site, but put the site up for sale over post-recession concerns.

The project is expected to break ground in early 2017.

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Friday, May 6, 2016

$1 Billion Javits Expansion Takes Big Step Forward

The State of New York took a major step toward expanding the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this week, when it released a request for qualifications to potential builders for the 1.2-million square-foot project. Interested construction firms will be able to use a process called design-build, which the state says has reduced construction costs on a number of state projects, including the Tappan Zee Bridge.

In January, Governor Cuomo revealed plans to expand the convention center, located between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues between West 34th and 39th Streets on the far West Side, by 1.2 million square feet. 

The announcement came four years after Cuomo proposed razing the Javits Center and replacing it with a new convention center in Queens.

Because of its size and lack of facilities the Javits Center loses about 15 major conventions a year and unlike the boat show and the car show where people come for the day and then go home, these are conventions where people stay for days and spend a lot of money.

Cuomo in 2012 called the Javits Center “obsolete and not large enough to be a top-tier competitor in today’s marketplace.”

“Javits is the busiest convention center in the nation—but we need to keep building and growing if we want to remain competitive, and that is exactly what we are doing," said the governor.

The already enormous convention center covered more than 2 million square feet when it opened in 1986. With the expansion, the facility would measure 3.3 million square feet in total, 665,000 square feet of which would include brand-new meeting rooms and an exhibition hall.

The 1.2 million square-foot addition would be built on a swath of vacant land to the existing building’s north.

The project will create a 58,000 square-foot ballroom (the largest ballroom on the east coast), 22,000 square feet of outdoor event space, and a 633,000 square-foot truck garage.

The addition will also have a green roof terrace with views of the Hudson River and a 34,000-square-foot solar panel that will make the center LEED Platinum certified.

Responses to the RFP are due May 10. The state will then pare the companies down to three finalists which will be asked to submit their vision for the project. 

> View the Request for Proposal
Cuomo expects to select a developer by the end of the year. Early-stage construction work is scheduled to begin later this year. 

Click images to enlarge

Design-build is a construction technique where an architect and a contractor bid together as a team to design and build a project through a single contract, rather than having the state first award design work and then separately bid out construction work.

The method aims to cut costs on major infrastructure projects, though to date it has only been used sparingly in New York compared with other parts of the country. 

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