Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Super-Tall Residential Tower Planned for Broad Street

A long-vacant lot in the heart of the Financial District at 45 Broad Street will soon be redeveloped into an 86-story residential skyscraper. 

The tower at 45 Broad Street will stretch 1,115 feet into the sky, putting it among the ranks of New York’s super-tall buildings.

The building’s 206 residential units will feature studio to four-bedroom condominiums ranging in size from 600 to 3,066 square feet that will cater to entry- and mid-level buyers.

Luxury amenities will include a 60-foot indoor swimming pool, an outdoor garden, a library, a fitness center, two lounges, a game room and media and entertainment areas located on the ninth, tenth and eleventh floors.

Although the building is being marketed as 86 stories, it will only have 66 actually floors.

CetraRuddy is designing the building, which will be a towering, gold-framed colossus with a slim midsection and a hulking top.

CetraRuddy is the design firm behind One Madison and Walker Tower.

45 Broad Street will be crowned by a distinctive pitched roof and an angling cantilever located 400 feet above street level.

As a result, a substantial number of 45 Broad’s units will possess incomparable views of the harbor and skyline.

Residential super-towers that flare outward as they rise or cantilever over their neighbors have grown more common in the city as development sites have grown tighter and developers aim to maximize the amount of square footage placed in valuable, view-capturing upper stories.

Prices will be relatively low compared to recent projects, with average asking prices below $2,000 per square foot.

Pizzarotti’s website states that units “will be priced to sell to young singles and family buyers at very affordable prices in today’s market.”

The average asking price for units will be $2.7 million.

By contrast, the average price for units at nearby 50 West Street is nearly $4 million. Sales of units at 45 Broad Street are expected to raise $560 million.

To finance the project, the developers are seeking to raise $75 million from Chinese investors, who will contribute money through the EB-5 visa program.

Madison Equities and Pizzaroti Group, which purchased the 12,603 square foot site last fall for $86 million, expect to break ground in late 2016.

When completed in 2019, 45 Broad Street will be the city's sixth tallest building - and the highest condo in Downtown Manhattan - towering over its neighbors at 40 Wall Street and One Wall Street.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Plans for $1 Billion 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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Thursday, August 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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Monday, August 22, 2016

Big Plans for Giant Office Tower Near Barclays Center

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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Friday, August 19, 2016

'Scuse Me, While I Kiss the Sky: One Vanderbilt

The city’s largest office landlord is now free to move ahead with construction of a 65-story tower directly west of Grand Central Terminal at 41 East 42nd Street. A lawsuit that had threatened to derail construction of One Vanderbilt was settled this week. The agreement eliminates any uncertainty surrounding SL Green's development of the 1,514-foot office tower. 

The 1.6-million-square-foot tower, which will be more than 450 feet taller than the nearby Chrysler Building, will occupy the entire block bound by 42nd and 43rd Streets between Vanderbilt and Madison Avenues, and would be the corporate home for TD Bank.

Last year, the City Planning Commission unanimously approved SL Green's plans for the 1,514-foot-tall One Vanderbilt and a rezoning of the Vanderbilt Avenue corridor.

The new zoning only regulate density and square footage on new construction projects, with no restrictions on building height.

One Vanderbilt will be the first tower to rise as part of the Vanderbilt Avenue corridor re-zoning.

When completed in 2020, the skyscraper's roof will reach 1,401 feet -- with its spire extending to 1,514 feet -- making it the city's third-tallest building, after One World Trade Center and the soon to be built Nordstrom Tower.

The project would transform the block between East 42nd and 43rd streets into a pedestrian plaza and create an underground connection between the new skyscraper and Grand Central.

The plan includes a public waiting room in the lobby of the tower for commuters, which would serve as a street level extension of the terminal, with its own train board.

The tower is part of a plan by Mayor Bill de Blasio to allow for new, taller office towers in one of New York’s premier office districts, while addressing the need for better transportation around Grand Central.

“We are going to keep New York City competitive, and do it through strategic investments and ground-up planning,” Mr. de Blasio said.

“These are the kind of policies that won’t just pay off today, but will lay the groundwork to keep districts like East Midtown thriving and attracting new business for decades to come.”

The initiative is designed to ensure that property owners provide for much-needed improvements at Grand Central Terminal to relieve subway station bottlenecks and create new public open space sought by local stakeholders.

SL Green will spend $210 million on transit infrastructure, which would help alleviate congestion in an area mainly served by the overburdened 4/5/6 line.

The city’s proposal revives a plan by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to rezone a 73-block area surrounding Grand Central.

During his election campaign, Mr. de Blasio promised to have his own plan and address community concerns.

As part of the first stage, city planners last year approved a zoning change for what is called the Vanderbilt corridor, from 42nd to 47th Streets along Vanderbilt Avenue.

Developers would be allowed to build taller and larger buildings than currently permitted in exchange for substantive transportation improvements.

SL Green, the city’s largest commercial landlord, dusted off its plan to build a 65-story tower on the 42nd Street block it owns, which had been a part of the Bloomberg proposal.

Developers could buy air rights from two landmark properties, Grand Central Terminal and the former Bowery Savings Bank building at 110 East 42nd Street.
In exchange for its package of transit improvements, the city is granting SL Green 535,644 square feet of extra development rights. The company also intends to transfer the air rights above the Bowery Savings Bank building, which it owns, to construction of One Vanderbilt.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tallest Residential Building on Earth Gets Chinese Partner

Extell Development has agreed to a $300 million partnership deal with a Chinese investment firm to keep its Central Park Tower afloat. The $3 billion project on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row will now be a joint venture with China’s SMI USA, a subsidiary of Shanghai Municipal Investment.

Central Park Tower, presently under construction on the increasingly crowded Billionaire’s Row, will soon become the tallest residential tower in the world. 

The giant building being built at 217-225 West 57th Street will rise 1,550 feet above street level, putting it 182 feet taller than One World Trade Center - without its spire.

Once again, the city will boast the tallest roof in the country, robbing Chicago of the honor with its 1,451-foot Willis Tower.

When completed in 2019, Central Park Tower (aka Nordstrom Tower) will rank second only to One World Trade Center, among the city's tallest buildings.

The new luxury condominium building, just east of Broadway between 57th and 58th streets, will offer sweeping views of Central Park a block to the north.

Construction of the building is moving forward quickly at a time when a new type of skyscraper is beginning to emerge on the Manhattan skyline.

The skyscraper at 217-225 West 57th Street is expected to rise 1,550 feet, as it glides to a pointed peak above the skyline. The 85-story building will be just up the street from Extell's One57.

Central Park Tower will become the latest in a family of super-tall buildings in the area—111 West 57th Street, One57, 432 Park Avenue, 53 West 53rd Street, among others.

The tower's bottom seven floors will host a massive Nordstrom department store—the city's first.

For decades, office towers accounted for most of the towers built more than 600 feet high, while top residential apartments were generally found in Upper East Side cooperatives.

But now a handful of developers are building very tall, slender luxury residential towers, betting that the wealthy will pay for great views.

Extell, currently one of the city's most prolific developers, has been on the vanguard of this change.

A few blocks east of the Nordstrom tower site on 57th Street, the company is wrapping up work on One57, a 1,004-foot tower, where two buyers have agreed to pay more than $95 million each, for two penthouse apartments there, a record price.

As with all skyscrapers, it's the economics that makes them possible - and it is a strong market. Moreover, In Manhattan particularly, people are willing to pay a great deal—millions and tens of millions of dollars for apartments in the sky. There is a huge market for that.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Tishman Speyer to Build Twin 27-Story Towers in Queens Plaza

Tishman Speyer has secured a loan from Bank of the Ozarks and anchor tenants, including WeWork, to construct a pair of new office towers in Long Island City. The 1.1 million-square-foot, $700 million office project will break ground early next year.

The 27-story buildings, which will sit atop a four-story retail base, will rise at 28-10 Queens Plaza South, adjacent to a 700,000-square-foot office building that Tishman Speyer built in 2011.

They will be located across the street from three large residential spires that the firm is in the process of erecting.

In the early 2000s, Tishman Speyer won a bid to acquire the city-owned sites where the new office tower, the recently-built office tower and the residential buildings are located.

As part of that deal, the developer received tax breaks for the projects.

The developer will save nearly $65 million on 28-10 Queens Plaza South—that includes an exemption of roughly $4.5 million in mortgage recording taxes, which would normally be assessed during Tishman's purchase of the site, and nearly $4 million in sales taxes for construction materials for the development. It also got more than $56 million in property-tax discounts for 30 years. 

"Thanks to the city of New York's investment in the area's infrastructure, enlightened policy decisions and the active support of the New York City Economic Development Corp., the local community and its elected officials, Long Island City has become a model for 21st-century urban development," said Rob Speyer.

"Tishman Speyer is proud to continue our role in unlocking the area's full potential as one of the most dynamic, live-work-play neighborhoods, not just in Queens but in all of New York City."

Tishman Speyer is seeking $145 million in EB-5 funding for the new twin-spire office property. That controversial program allows developers to tap foreign investors in exchange for allowing them to apply for green cards.

The developer has partnered with a Qatar-based investment firm, Qatari Diar, to construct the project.

Additionally, WeWork will be one of the project's anchor tenants and will take about 250,000 square feet. The developer said that 800,000 square feet of the two towers' 1.1 million square feet has already been spoken for.

"This will be a fantastic space for us to bring our community of creators to this thriving and dynamic neighborhood,"  WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann said in a statement.

Tishman Speyer built the neighboring office tower after it secured a deal for the city's Department of Health to take the entirety of that building's space. The three residential towers, which together will hold 1,900 rental apartments, received 421-a benefits before the tax-abatement program expired at the beginning of the year.

However, because of loopholes in the 421-a program, none of the towers' units are required to be affordable in return for the tax breaks.

The buildings at 28-10 Queens Plaza South, designed by architect Raul De Armas of MdeAS Architect, are expected to be finished in 2019.

The properties will be connected by 40,000 square feet of retail at the base, which will feature a food hall, space for a major restaurant and shops, and a parking garage.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Video: Is You Jobsite In Compliance With the New Code?

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. 

Here's how your jobsite can comply with these new requirements:

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