Thursday, June 30, 2016

Another New Retail Mall Planned for Staten Island Waterfront

In the shadow of the Outerbridge Crossing on Staten Island’s West Shore, Melohn Properties is preparing to build a large scale retail mall alongside Arthur Kill Road.

The Riverside Galleria will connect 460,000 square feet of retail, including a multiplex cinema and restaurants, and cafes with outdoor terraces, to High Line–like bridges that direct visitors in front of stores and toward a waterfront promenade, a public park and a beach.

The complex will occupy 22 acres along the banks of the Arthur Kill, separating Staten Island and New Jersey.

Riverside Galleria is located in the Special South Richmond Development District, a special zoning overlay district designed to protect natural features, topography and aesthetics of less developed neighborhoods.

The project’s design respects the environmental sensitivities of the area by preserving natural buffers and incorporating sustainable components such as green roofs on buildings.

The complex will include:
• Major Retail Stores
• Restaurants and Cafes with Outdoor Terraces
• The Atrium - a dine-in multiplex cinema with luxury seating and rooftop bar
• Waterfront Park
• Wetland and Nature Preserve
• Interpretative Walkway Highlighting Historic and Natural Elements
• New Road and Pedestrian Connection to Water
The Riverside Galleria will provide indoor parking for more than 1,700 vehicles.

Studio V Architecture has designed a park within the parking garage. They cut out retail above it and will have trees and greenery that will grow up from underneath in the parking through the first level of retail up into the center court.

Resiliency too has been factored into the design, especially with the center court area. The Center Court will span from the lowest parking level to the street level to the upper level.

It will be landscaped and will be part of the site’s storm water strategy, helping collect water and heavy rains, and bring that back to the landscape in a very controlled manner.

Additionally, ten acres of wetland area will be preserved to act as a natural barrier, while esplanades will join observation areas where the public can look over the wetlands.

The waterfront aspect is one of the most exciting aspects of the project. In an area called the Beach, you can get down to the water itself, or sit on an overlook deck with stunning views of the waterfront.

Riverside Galleria is a project by Melohn Properties, a major privately-held real estate company active in the New York metropolitan area. The Melohn family owns in excess of 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space, residential properties and retail projects throughout the country.

The developer plans to ground to break next year with the project being fully completed in 2019.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

$1 Billion Plan for Expansion of Javits Convention Center

The Empire State Development Corp. has issued a request for proposals to three companies that will compete to expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s West Side. The contenders are Gilbane Building Company, a joint venture led by Skanska USA, and a joint venture between Lend Lease and Turner Construction.

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.

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

The winning development team will be able to use a process called design-build for the 1.2-million square-foot project, which the state says has reduced construction costs on a number of state projects, including the Tappan Zee Bridge

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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Saturday, June 25, 2016

25-Story Condo Tower to Rise by Holland Tunnel

Bizzi & Partners and developer Michael Shvo are planning a 25-story residential building across from the Holland Tunnel entrance plaza in Soho. 
The building, which will occupy the vacant lot at 100 Varick Street, between Broome and Watts, will feature 115 luxury units, 17,000 square feet of retail space on the first and second floors and a 750 square feet community facility.

The development is the largest ground-up project in Soho, and is expected to be complete by 2018.

The development team has raised $455 million for the 290-foot tall building, including a $320 million construction loan from Bank of China and a $135 million stake in the project purchased by Cindat (the U.S. branch of Beijing-based China Cinda Asset Management). 

The 320,000-square-foot, Renzo Piano-designed condominium, will house eight apartments on each of the third and fifth through 10th floors, while the fourth floor will have 10 apartments. Four duplex units will be spread across the 11th and 12th floors, while the 13th through 22nd floors will get four apartments each.

The 23rd and 24th floors of the project will house two apartments each, while two penthouses with roof access and a single apartment will top off the 25th floor. Building amenities will include a swimming pool, an exercise room and a 39-car garage.

The tower, which will have two spires, will overlook the Holland Tunnel entrance plaza just north of Canal Street, and will have views to the Hudson River, Empire State Building  and the 435-foot-tall Trump Soho at Spring Street, just two blocks away.

Renzo Piano is the architect who designed the new Whitney Museum in the meatpacking district.

The development site spans eight parcels, consisting of townhouses and vacant land along Varick Street from Broome to Watts streets.

The partners acquired Hudson Square parcel through a joint venture for $145 million in January 2014. The purchase included the main site – also known as 565 Broome Street – along with four residential buildings at 58-64 Watts Street and 94,000 square feet in air rights from 555 Broome Street. Demolition plans for the site were filed last June.

Bizzi teamed with Shvo last year on the acquisition and residential development of 125 Greenwich Street in the Financial District.

Last month, SVHO leased 12,000 square feet at One World Trade Center, with plans to use it as a sales office for the firm’s planned condo building at 125 Greenwich Street.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

$200M Lighthouse Point Project Breaks Ground

After years of starts and stops, Triangle Equities has broken ground for construction of 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 of the first phase of the project is slated for completion in December 2017, with the entire development expected to be finished by 2019.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Does Your Shanty Comply With the New Building Code?

Effective October 1, 2014, section 3303.16 of the NYC Building Code has been revised to require non-combustible shanty construction whenever a contractor’s shanty/office is within 30 feet of another shanty/office or within 30 feet of new construction or existing buildings.

The NYC Department of Buildings is trying to move the industry toward non-combustible construction in the majority of installations. New York City Shanty is the only compliant company.
Click above for more information

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

$500M Rockefeller University Expansion to Begin this Week

Rockefeller University's plan to expand its 14-acre campus on a platform over the FDR Drive stretching from East 64th to East 68th streets, is expected to begin this week. The $500 million project involves building a platform over the highway to support four new buildings, repairing the seawall, fixing up the East River esplanade and construction of a $285 million, two-story flagship building.  

The facility, which will span almost three city blocks and house labs, administrative offices and a cafeteria, will be officially named the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-David Rockefeller River Campus.

The 160,000-square-foot structure, housing two dozen labs and 440 scientists, would be built on a deck over the thoroughfare and span 927 feet. It would follow the platform the university built in 1989 over the thoroughfare for the Rockefeller Research Center.

The City Council gave the green light for the school’s expansion plan back in 2014.
The plan takes advantage of two, 1970s-era rulings that essentially gave Rockefeller University control of the airspace above the East Side traffic artery in order for it to expand, which it insists it desperately needs to do.

Such expansion is not unheard of—the university is sandwiched between highway platforms built by the United Nations and Weill Cornell Medical Center. However, the caveat has always been that the school would develop waterfront park space in exchange for the privilege.

Founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1901 to promote medical research, the school plans to construct three new buildings.As the university has done in the past, two of those buildings, a one-story conference center and a two-story research building boasting a green roof and rooftop pavilions, would be constructed atop a platform over FDR Drive.

Extending approximately four blocks from East 64th Street to East 68th Street, the new platform would join two other Rockefeller buildings straddling the highway, stretching from 62nd Street to 64th Street.

The third new building, an athletic center for students, would replace a faculty parking lot in the northwest corner of the existing campus.

"The new building is critical to maintaining the university's excellent standards for research and teaching, by allowing for the recruitment of new faculty to replace those lost by attrition, and for the renewal of laboratory space that is outdated and poorly suited to modern science," said a spokesperson.

“The low-rise buildings would not impede views of or from Manhattan, nor would they expand the university's size "in terms of personnel or activities."

This is thanks to an innovative design from local architect Rafael Viñoly, where the two-story building will actually be built into the platform, so that the roof is level with the rest of the campus. This will create a larger quad without taking up space on the expanded campus.

Rockefeller U hopes to finance the project entirely by private donations, a spokesman said.

The university will break ground on the platform in the second half of next year. Construction is expected to be finished in four years. 

This is the not the first time the university has expanded over the busy highway below. In 1987, a dormitory building opened atop a platform over the southbound lanes of the FDR between 62nd and 63rd streets.

Five years later, a new research building was finished over both lanes of the highway at 64th Street. The new platform will extend from there all the way up to the northern edge of the campus.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

$4.2B LaGuardia Airport Renovation to Begin This Summer

The $4.2 billion LaGuardia Airport redevelopment project is expected to begin this summer, creating as many as 1,500 construction jobs. The project includes a new $2.7 billion Central Terminal and $1.5 billion for infrastructure and airport roadways. 

The Public Private Partnership consists of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and LaGuardia Gateway Partners.

The LaGuardia Gateway team is comprised of Skanska USA, airport operator Vantage Airport Group, investment company Meridiam, among others. The architects are HOK.

The new Central Terminal Building will accommodate larger aircraft to meet the demand of additional passengers, whose numbers are estimated to increase over the next two decades, according to the Port Authority, which operates the airport.

In 2012, LaGuardia handled 25.7 million passengers. Port Authority officials forecast that 34 million travelers will use the airport by 2030. More than half of those passengers are expected to use the new Central Terminal Building, the Port Authority said.

The project is expected to generate $175 million in wages, the Port Authority said. The federal government will reimburse 95 percent of the project's expenditures.

The project will be done in phases, the first of which commenced last year when the Port Authority began construction on a new $82.9 million parking garage that will rise on the east side of the terminal next to the Delta Air Lines terminal.

That 1,100-car garage, and another that is slated to be built on the west side of the terminal, will allow the airport's main garage to be demolished to make way for the new terminal building, which will rise on that site. In all, the Port Authority has pledged to make $1.5 billion in upgrades to the airport that will lay the infrastructure for the new terminal building.

The amount of traffic that passes through the terminal has vastly exceeded its 8 million passengers a year it was designed to handle. In 2012, that figure swelled to 25.7 million travelers and by 2030, the Port Authority projects at least 34 million will pass through the terminal each year.

The new terminal will be 1.3 million square feet and boast 35 gates. The current terminal also has 35 gates but at 835,000 square feet, it is nearly 40% smaller than its planned successor.

The design for the new terminal attempts to solve the major problems with the current airport—notably aircraft circulation, gate flexibility, and delays—by making use of an islands-and-bridge concept. Pedestrian ramps will connect the terminal building with two island concourses, spanning above active aircraft taxi lanes. 

The new building would mark a vast improvement on the existing facilities, which opened in 1964 and are universally considered to be antiquated with undersized security and baggage processing areas, as well as undersized food concession and retail areas, that in most airports are both big amenities and revenue generators.

The Port Authority has selected the LaGuardia Gateway Partners to design, build, finance, and operate the 1.3 million-square-foot Central Terminal Building.

The project also includes replacing frontage roads and a central heating and refrigeration plant, as well as operating and maintaining the existing Central Terminal during the construction period and the new building for a specified term.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners will pay for the building, but pocket a cut of the revenue from airline leases and rents from stores and restaurants. The building has a projected price tag of $2.7 billion and is expected to be completed in 2020.

The project includes demolishing the existing terminal and its four concourses, garage, Hangar 1, and frontage roads; building temporary facilities; and designing and building the Central Terminal Building.

It also includes constructing a central heating and refrigeration plant, utilities for the new building, hydrant fueling within the project site limits; as well as operating, maintaining and managing the existing terminal and temporary facilities during construction.

So far, $2.5 billion has been raised for the construction. LaGuardia Gateway Partners will pay approximately $1.8 billion of the cost of the new terminal. The Port Authority must contribute the remaining $2.2 billion. Of that $2.2 billion, much will be used to pay for infrastructure around the new terminal.

It is expected that the majority of work for the new terminal is scheduled for completion by 2020, at which time it can be opened. Substantial completion of the whole project should be reached by 2022.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Developers Plan Giant Office Tower Near Barclays Arena

Brooklyn's largest construction site may soon begin rise at 580 Atlantic Avenue, a site directly across Flatbush Avenue from the Barclays Center. Greenland Forest City, the developers behind the $5 billion, 22-acre Pacific Park complex, once known as Atlantic Yards, are seeking to transfer development rights to Site 5, located across the street from the arena, in order to construct a 1.5 million-square-foot building – which would be the largest office tower ever built in Brooklyn.

If successful, the builders could erect a 1.5 million-square-foot office tower across from Brooklyn's largest transit hub at Atlantic Avenue, where nine subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road converge.

The tower, at 580 Atlantic Avenue (Site 5), would use up to 1.1 million square feet of air rights currently controlled by the developers in front of the Barclays Center — where the subway station, plaza and distinctive “oculus” feature on the arena are now located — combined with 439,000 buildable square feet currently allowed on Site 5

The plan hinges on securing state approvals to transfer the development rights from the triangular plaza framed by Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in front of Barclays Center to a site across Flatbush Avenue that is controlled by the developers and is now occupied by Modell's Sporting Goods and PC Richard stores.

P.C. Richard & Sons recently filed a lawsuit against Forest City Ratner over the eminent domain condemnation of its location. Greenland Forest City currently has the right to build a 440,000-square-foot office property on the site.

The plan for the office building will require an amendment to the General Project Plan for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, to be approved by the Empire State Development Corp., the state agency that oversees the project. An environmental impact statement for the building will be needed before construction can begin.

Greenland Forest City has presented its plan to both neighborhood and state economic-development officials as a way to preserve the open plaza space in front of the Barclays Center. The office tower already has the support of Tucker Reed, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a major local business group.

Another possibility is a lot at the southwest corner of Atlantic and Sixth avenues directly behind the arena known as B4. Right now, the site is zoned for residential and some retail. But if the state allows commercial rights from another Pacific Park building — 461 Dean Street on Flatbush Avenue — to be shifted to the site, a large office building could be built.

If the 1.5-million-square-foot tower is approved, it would bring a Manhattan-like aspect to the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues. Similarly sized buildings include 10 Hudson Yards (1.8 million square feet), One Vanderbilt (1.7 million square feet) and 250 South Street (1.3 million square feet).

Office tenants have increasingly streamed into Brooklyn. Real estate investors and developers have rushed to convert former warehouse buildings into commercial space and construct new office space to accommodate the demand. 

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Three New $875M Residential Towers to Rise in L.I.C.

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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