Thursday, March 30, 2017

Massive Housing Project in South Bronx Gets Green Light

A project that will bring nearly 1,000 new apartments to the Bronx got approval from the City Council Wednesday. The La Central development in Melrose is set to include five buildings with 992 apartments — all of them designated as affordable housing — as well as a new YMCA, skate park and observatory for The Bronx High School of Science. 

From East 149th Street and Brook Avenue all the way north to East 153rd Street remains the largest track of city-owned land in the South Bronx.

Located in Melrose, adjacent to the Hub, will rise a massive 992 unit housing complex the likes of which the Bronx has never seen. La Central, as the massive development project will be called, will be constructed by BRP Development and The Hudson Companies.

The five-building complex will also include a new YMCA, recording studio, an astronomy lab and observatory, plus retail space and supportive housing for veterans.

La Central will be comprised of 5 buildings with 992 units of mixed-income housing and will offer a plethora of amenities, including a 48,000 square foot YMCA, 43,000 square feet of retail space, 5,000 square foot community space and a recording studio.

The complex will be topped off with the Bronx Astronomy Tower and Lab, which will include a rooftop observatory and telescope, plus a rooftop farm. 

The project comes on the heels of the construction of the income-regulated Via Verde complex, which opened two years ago.

Construction consists of two-phases on approximately 185,000 square feet of city-owned land and has a projected price tag of $345 million.

The new development is expected to break ground early next year, officials said.

The development will also include a diabetes prevention program, operated by Bronx medical giant Montefiore Medical Center, and 96 units will be set aside for formerly homeless veterans and New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS, to be operated by health and housing service provider Comunilife.

Project Details:

    Building A:
211 affordable apartments; 48,000 square foot YMCA-community facility; a diabetes prevention program operated by Montefiore Medical Center; rooftop farm; approximately 19,000 square feet of new retail space.

    Building B:
279 affordable apartments; 24,000 square feet of retail space, including restaurant space; cellar level garage with approximately 138 parking spaces.

    Building C:
144 affordable apartments; 5,000 square feet of community space consisting of a recording studio and curate workshops and open the recording studio to projects for and by the community.

    Building D:
160 affordable apartments plus a 10,000 square foot mental health clinic operated by Comunilife that will work with veterans living within the development and individuals within the community.

    Building E:
198 affordable apartments, plus the Bronx Astronomy Tower and Lab – a rooftop telescope to be used by the Bronx High School of Science, and a daycare facility
click to enlarge

The approximately 7,000 square-foot triangular vacant lot at the intersection of Brook and Bergen Avenues will be developed as open space, accessible to the general public.

La Central is geared toward families: nearly 50 percent of the affordable units will have at least two bedrooms.

But unlike Via Verde, all of the nearly 1,000 affordable apartments are slated to be rentals.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

42-Story Skyscraper Planned Across from City Hall Park

Lower Manhattan will be getting yet another skyscraper. A new 42-story, mixed-use building will soon begin to rise directly across from City Hall Park at 265-267 Broadway.

The project is just one of several developments which will be getting underway this year in Lower Manhattan, including a 25-story tower planned next to Trinity Church, and a 54-story residential tower going up at the former site of J&R Music, at 23-32 Park Row.

The 42-story Gene Kaufman designed tower will soar 510-feet-tall between Warren and Chambers streets, with a hotel on the lower floors and luxury condominium residences above.

An 80-room hotel will take up the first 12 floors, including a lounge, lobby, garden, and offices on the first floor, and a restaurant and kitchen on the second floor.

The next 27 floors will be comprised of 38 full-floor and duplex condominium units. The top three floors will house to a super-pricey, ultra-luxury, triplex penthouse.

Demolition of the existing 5-story office building is expected later this spring, followed immediately by construction for the new 42-story tower.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CitiView Tower Will be Tallest Building on Queens Skyline

A new residential project is threatening to take the title of Queens’ tallest building from Long Island City’s iconic 50-story Citigroup tower.

Flushing-based developer Chris Xu plans to build a massive 66-story, 802-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, named CityView Tower, is slated to stand 984 feet tall, would loom over Citigroup tower – the tallest building in the city outside of Manhattan.

It will also be 70 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 66-story high rise will contain 802 luxury residential units and 100,000 square feet of commercial space, covering a total of 999,664 square feet.

Designed by Hill West Architects, the glass-covered tower will come with unparalleled skyline views and luxury amenities that include a pool, a communal terrace, a fitness center, and a yoga room. Some of the hi-end apartments will also have balconies.

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.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

JFK's Iconic TWA Terminal to Become a Hotel Complex

JFK International Airport is one of the few major U.S. airports without an on-site hotel, but that is about to change. This week, ground was ceremoniously broken at the six-acre TWA Flight Center with plans on turning the iconic structure into a hotel complex.

The $265 million construction project was approved The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey back in 2015 and is projected to generate 3,700 jobs.

The TWA Hotel at JFK Airport is being developed by Flight Center Hotel LLC, a partnership of MCR Development and JetBlue Airways Corporation.

MCR Development will maintain 95% ownership of the hotel and JetBlue will take 5%.

Neighboring Terminal 5 and conveniently located in the Central Terminal Area, the TWA Hotel at JFK International Airport will deliver a world-class airport hotel to New York, with 505 guestrooms.

The completely privately funded redevelopment will include 50,000 square feet of conference, event and meeting space and eight food and beverage outlets. The anticipated LEED-certified hotel will also have a 15,000 square foot public observation deck.

The complex will feature two six-story hotel towers and an energy management system that will allow the building to generate its own power.

The familiar curving 1960's-era stark white concourse with plush-red lounge area will remain in place as it has for the last 50 years due to a $20 million renovation by the Port Authority.

Built by world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen, the TWA Flight Center opened in 1962, ushering in a new era of jet air travel.

After TWA ceased operating, the terminal was closed in 2001 and has remained dark for the last 15 years.

The terminal was designated a NYC Landmark in 1994 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the New York State Register of Historic Places in 2005.

The TWA Hotel will celebrate and preserve Eero Saarinen’s masterpiece, returning the landmark to its original glory and reopening it to the public.

The complete rehabilitation of the national landmark to its 1962 glory includes restoring its iconic interiors. Plans also include an innovative museum showcasing New York as the birthplace of the Jet Age, the storied history of Trans World Airlines and the Midcentury Modern design movement.

Handling over 56 million passengers a year, JFK International Airport serves as the premiere international gateway to the United States. Rehabilitating the TWA Flight Center as JFK’s first on-site, full-service hotel will provide a game-changing amenity for travelers from across the country and around the world.

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