Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Massive $10 Billion Overhaul Planned for JFK Airport

John F. Kennedy International Airport just got the thumbs up for a massive revamp. Governor Cuomo this week unveiled a massive $10 billion plan to transform JFK into a new state-of-the-art facility.

Cuomo outlined a project to create better cohesion between the sprawling airport’s terminals, simplify its tangle of roadways and build a cavernous parking lot—potentially topped with green space—at the center of it.

It would also add a lane to the Van Wyck Expressway, a notoriously congested artery that state Department of Transportation Commissioner Michael Driscoll called one of the worst in the nation.

The overhaul will create an interconnected terminal layout, increased flights, centralized parking lots and new lanes on the unceasingly congested Van Wyck Expressway.

A state-of-the-art security system that would include facial recognition technology is also planned.

The Air Train would also gain benefits from the revamped airport, with service doubling and the number of cars increasing from two to four cars per train.

Other changes include world class amenities, expanded taxiways, and increased mass transit to the airport.

JFK's makeover is projected to cost a staggering $10 billion, exceeding LaGuardia Airport’s soon-to-begin $4 billion renovation.

Governor Cuomo stated that the plan to transform JFK is part of a “greater plan for reimagining our crossings and rebuilding our infrastructure in New York.”

The number of passengers moving through JFK every year is expected to nearly double over the next few decades, reaching 100 million by 2050 from around 60 million this year, according to the governor. 

Road improvements will be paid for by the state Department of Transportation and could cost $1.5 billion to $2 billion.

Cuomo did not disclose an estimated cost for the mass transit upgrades, but the scope of his plans would likely put the expense at more than $1 billion.

In 2015, plans were released for a luxury terminal for pets, named The Ark, along with an expansive 24,000-square-foot farm just outside of Terminal 5 for JetBlue Airways.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Sloan-Kettering Preparing to Construct $1.5B Tower

The city has approved a plan by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the City University of New York for the construction of new, 1.15 million-square-foot medical complex on the Upper East Side. The partnership will build adjacent towers along the FDR Drive on the entire block between East 73rd and 74th street,s where Hunter College will erect a 403,000-square-foot structure for its nursing school and science research labs. Memorial Sloan-Kettering will take the eastern side of the site to build a new 750,000 square-foot, 23-story outpatient treatment center. The project is expected to cost upwards of $1.5 billion.

The city sold the 66,000 square-foot site at 525 East 73rd Street -- formerly home to a Department of Sanitation garage that was demolished in 2008 -- for $226 million, to construct the new state-of-the-art science and medical facilities.

At the time, then Mayor Bloomberg called the deal “easily one of the largest real estate transactions the city has ever been involved in.”

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center will construct an up to 750,000 square-foot cancer care facility and CUNY Hunter College will build a 403,000-square-foot Science and Health Professions building to upgrade its science and nursing facilities. [See ElectricWeb | Blogger, Mar 6, 2013]

Preliminary work has already begun at the site, with construction planned to begin in 2014. The project, which is slated for completion in 2018, will create more than 3,200 construction jobs and nearly 830 permanent jobs according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

“Thanks to our innovative approach to economic development, today’s announcement is yet another step towards making New York City home to the world’s most talented workforce,” Bloomberg said.

“Not only will these two great institutions play a critical role in creating great jobs in one of the city’s growing industries, but they usher in the innovators and medical advancements of tomorrow.”

The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center will be well-positioned near the hospital’s main campus at 1275 York Avenue and will provide outpatient treatment programs for patients with lung, head, neck and hematological cancers and will include state-of-the-art outpatient bone marrow transplantation services.

The site will also enable CUNY Hunter to create consolidated science and nursing facilities, eliminating the need for duplicate eating halls, libraries and other facilities at the current 25th Street campus, which will ultimately be vacated.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

NY University Plans Massive $1Billion Glass Building

New York University has announced its plans for a new $1 billion, all-glass academic building, the largest such structure ever built by the university. The 735,000-square-foot building will be located at 181 Mercer Street and is scheduled to be complete in 2021.

For the past 35 years, the Southern tip of NYU’s main campus has been delineated by a 20-foot brick wall separating the school’s campus from the neighborhood of Greenwich Village.

Now, as part of NYU: 2031, the approved 6 million square foot city wide expansion, that wall and its attached school gymnasium, the Coles Sports Center, are coming down.

The replacement will be a $1 billion translucent university compound, made of various glass shapes and sizes, opening the campus to be more inclusive and unsheltered from the outer community.

The new building will rise 23 stories and will feature an underground gym and swimming pool, 60 new classrooms, a 350-seat proscenium theater, two smaller theaters, orchestra space and practice rooms, faculty and student housing towers and a green roof, with hallways and staircases along the perimeter of the transparent facade.

University officials and designers said the see-through aspect of the building is meant to help it blend into the community, which lost a court challenge to stop the school’s plans to extend its presence in the neighborhood.

The facility, designed by Davis Brody Bond and Kieran Timberlake, will become NYU’s largest classroom building and will include 420 freshman housing units and 60 faculty apartments.
Local residents, students and preservationists had opposed the project for years, but a court decision last year gave it the green light.

Many activists, who include faculty and students as well as those from the surrounding neighborhood, said the land should be turned into a public park.

The parcel, which is part of a "super block" site established in the 1940s and 1950s when famous city planner Robert Moses proposed New York build an expressway through lower Manhattan, was purchased by NYU in the 1960s.

According to the New York Building Congress, NYU and Columbia University are leading a higher education building boom in the city.

NYBC President Richard Anderson said in April that both schools had multiyear growth plans and that the city’s university and college community overall was on track to contribute to the New York construction industry well into the future.

According to the NYBC, New York City’s investment in school construction tripled from 2014 and 2015, and it has quadrupled from the period 2010 to 2014.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Developer Selected to Build Large Affordable Housing Project

The City of New York has selected a developer to turn a former NYPD parking garage in Jamaica, Queens, into a large, mixed-use complex with more than 350 affordable apartments.

The project, which will be developed by Omni New York, is a key component of the de Blasio administration's 2015 economic development initiative called the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, which aims to spur job growth and retail development in the neighborhood.

"This proposal builds on southeast Queens' strengths as a commercial and transit hub," said Maria Torres-Springer, president of the city's Economic Development Corp.

A request for proposals for the site was issued in February 2015, with Manhattan-based Omni submitting the winning bid. All of the units in the new building, located on 168th Street between Jamaica and 93rd avenues, will be enrolled in the city's affordable-housing program, and a portion of the parking in the building will be dedicated for NYPD use.

The project, which will also include ground-floor retail, is the first milestone of a larger effort to foster job growth in Jamaica, which is served by four subway lines, a major Long Island Rail Road junction and the AirTrain to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Yet, despite those existing transit advantages and a 2007 rezoning that allowed for the construction of ample commercial office space and hotels, job growth and economic activity have declined during the past decade, according to the city.

De Blasio's plan calls for improving streetscapes and storefronts to entice more retail shoppers, launching job programs for residents and unlocking vacant lots for housing and commercial development. The neighborhood will also be the first in the city to get free WiFi.

The NYPD parking garage development is the only residential project specifically outlined in the plan, and was hashed out with input from local stakeholders, ensuring community support.

The mayor's initiative is the latest in a series of attempts to foster economic growth in the area.

A neighborhood nonprofit called the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. has been working for years to encourage development on a handful of large sites, and some of those projects are now starting to rise. An affordable-housing project called the Crossing at Jamaica Station is under construction, for example, along with a Hilton Garden Inn.

In August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $10 million grant that includes funding for a staff of planners to assess tweaks to the neighborhood's transportation junctions and potential new apartment projects.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

NYS Considers Giant Development Over Bronx Rail Yards

New York State is considering building a deck over a 13-acre rail yard in the South Bronx to allow for a massive waterfront development. The depressed urban area has been attracting more and more private investment as land costs rise elsewhere in the city.

The Empire State Development is inviting developers to present offers for leasing or purchasing the land, decking over the yards, then building a sizable residential or mixed-use project on top.

The parcel sits along the Harlem River, just north of the Willis Avenue Bridge. It is currently used as a transfer station to move goods between cross-country trains and trucks that traverse the tristate area—a use the state plans to maintain going forward.

The site is part of a 96-acre area called the Harlem River Yards, which is owned by state Department of Transportation and leased to a private company, which in turn leases out many of the buildings to industrial tenants.

Because the zone is governed by something called a general project plan, the state does not need to get any local approvals to change the zoning—say from manufacturing to residential or retail—which can instead be implemented through a state approval process.

In addition to maintaining the transfer station beneath the deck, the state wants proposals that cover opening access to the waterfront, boosting the local economy and creating affordable housing.

At 12.8 acres, the site is slightly less than half the size of the Hudson Yards development going up over rail yards on Manhattan's west side, and is on par with the scale of a proposal released last year by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

That plan called for decking over a 13-acre rail yard near Lehman College, between the neighborhoods of Bedford Park and Kingsbridge Heights, farther north in the borough. Diaz predicted such a project could create more than 1,000 apartments.

"New deck construction has the potential to bring transformative development projects to many Bronx neighborhoods," Diaz said in a statement. "I look forward to examining the level of interest this [request] brings to the Harlem River Yards and how that interest could inform future opportunities for platform projects."

Click here to view the PDF 

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Super-Tall Residential Skyscraper Planned for Financial District

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.

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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