Monday, March 30, 2020

COVID-19 Response: Suspension of all work on non-essential construction sites


Issuance Date: 03/30/2020
To: Owners and Contractors
Purpose: Guidance to owners and contractors regarding enforcement of Essential vs. Nonessential construction in accordance with NYS Governor’s Executive Order 202.6 and subsequent orders, and the Guidance on Executive Order 202.6 published by NYS ESDC Item 9
Related Code/Zoning Section(s):
  • AC 28-103.8
  • AC 28-201.1
  • New York State Gubernatorial Emergency Order 202.6 and subsequent orders and related Empire State Development Corporation guidelines
  • New York City Mayoral Emergency Order 103 and subsequent mayoral emergency orders

_________________________________________________________________
In accordance with NYS Governor’s Executive Order 202.6 and the Guidance on Executive Order 202.6 and subsequent orders published by NYS ESDC Item 9, (1) All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site). (2) Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation. (3) For purposes of this section construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.
Only the following construction projects permitted by the NYC Department of Buildings or otherwise regulated by the NYC Construction Codes and the NYC Electrical Code shall be permitted to continue until further notice. This guidance does not apply to construction on roads, bridges, and transit facilities that is allowable under the Governor’s Executive Orders and ESDC Guidance.
Melanie E. La Rocca
Commissioner

280 Broadway (7th Floor)
New York, NY 10007
Tel 212 393 2002


1. Emergency construction (ESDC Item 9, bullet 1):
a. Project necessary to protect the health and safety of the occupants:
i. Emergency work ordered by the Department;
ii. Restoration of essential services – heat, hot water, cold water, gas, electricity, or other utility services; or
iii. Work necessary to address any condition requiring immediate corrective action that severely affects life, health, safety, property, or significant number of persons.
b. Project required to continue to the extent it would be unsafe to allow work to remain undone. Such project may continue only until it is safe to shut the site.
2. Essential construction (ESDC Item 9, bullet 2):
a. Utilities;
b. Hospitals or health care facilities;
c. Transitional and/ or Homeless shelters;
d. Affordable housing: Construction work on public housing, or a private or multiple dwelling or real property that is a new building (NB) or that is 100% vacant; or is work on unoccupied public housing units for the designation as housing for specific populations (i.e. shelter set aside, domestic violence referrals), or work on the exterior to address emergency conditions requiring immediate corrective action, set forth in Section 1(a)(iii) or within public housing, correction of critical systems for seasonal preparedness for the 2020-2021 heating season of an existing public housing building. Construction work on a private or multiple dwelling or real property that is a new buildin (NB) or that is 100% vacant that is now used or will be converted to such use: (i) For the provisio of affordable inclusionary housing or mandatory inclusionary housing pursuant to the New Yor city zoning resolution; or (ii) Where no less than 30% of the residential units are subject to a regulatory agreement, restrictive declaration, or similar instrument with a local, state, or federal governmental entity or a local housing authority in a city with a population of one million or more.
e. Other essential construction as approved by the Department.
3. Work that is limited to a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site (ESDC Item 9, bullet 3)
                                          ALL OTHER WORK TO CEASE
All other construction and demolition work permitted by the NYC Department of Buildings or otherwise regulated by the NYC Construction Codes and the NYC Electrical Code shall cease and comply with Buildings Bulletin 2020-004.
All complaints from the public or workers should be directed to 311 where a Class “A” complaint will be generated for DOB to address.
For a determination that work is either essential or emergency work in accordance with New York State Gubernatorial Emergency Order 202.6 and subsequent orders and related Empire State Development Corporation guidelines shall be submitted to the Department in a form and manner acceptable to the Department.
Reference
NYS Governor’s Executive Order 202.6 (MARCH 30, 2020 at 11:00 AM)


Monday, March 23, 2020

Master Plan for Williamsburg Waterfront Development

A new waterfront park and two mixed-use towers will soon come to the Williamsburg waterfront, north of the Domino Sugar Factory redevelopment site.

Developers Two Trees Management—also behind the Domino megaproject—unveiled a proposal to build two mixed-use towers, up to 650-feet-tall, and a six-acre park with access to the East River. The waterfront development will stretch from Grand to North 3rd street on River Street.

“We put a world-class team here together ... and really challenged ourselves to build another park with the impact and significance and social benefits as Domino Park,” said Jed Walentas, principal of Two Trees Management, at a project presentation.

The new towers will have 1,000 residential units, 250 of which will be below-market rate. They will also include a 47,000-square-foot YMCA, 30,000 square feet of retail space, and 57,000 square feet of office space.


One of the main missions of the project is to close the gap between Grand Ferry Park and the North 5th Pier to create a “continuous journey” of public space along the waterfront.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy aspects of the project is its public waterfront park, which will have a circular esplanade extending into the East River, a sandy beach, tidal pools, a fishing pier, salt marsh, a boating cove on North 1st Street, and an amphitheater. 

There will also be community kiosks with 5,000 square feet worth of space available to community partners, kayak rental, among other things.


One of the project’s goals is to increase resiliency on the waterfront, to really expand the river in order to create a softer shoreline and have one that has active ecological benefits as well as access benefits, and part of this strategy, is really to increase resilience.

Built on the former Con Edison North First Street terminal site, the developers will seek a rezoning to get approved in the next two years, and that construction should take around five years. Two Trees recently bought the 3.5-acre site for $150 million.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Two New Residential Towers Planned for East Side

310 East 86th Street 


Another playfully designed residential building is slated to begin construction at 310 East 86th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. 

Designed by ODA Architecture, the new building is reminiscent of the firm’s previous designs, which are characterized by expressive cubic features. 

The 68-unit tower will have a series of boxy setbacks and graceful cantilevers that will incorporate private outdoor spaces on the upper levels.

Plans called for a 21-story, 145,000-square-foot structure covering five neighboring parcels. 

Residential amenities include a music room, a laundry room, a children’s playroom, and a teen-oriented lounge. The building will also include ground floor retail space.


New 35-Story Residential Tower slated for Kips Bay


368 Third Avenue in Kips Bay will soon be the site of a new 35-story mixed-use residential tower. Located between East 26th Street and East 27th Street, the building is designed by SLCE Architects. 

Plans call for a 388-foot tall, 145,000-square-foot structure with 100 rental apartments, averaging around 1,110 square feet apiece.

The slender building will rise prominently over the surrounding low-rise structures, and allow it to be seen clearly from across the East River. 

Three to four apartments will cover floors 2 through 25, with two units per floor on the next six levels, and two penthouses on the top two floors. 

Amenities will feature a fitness room, a residential lounge, and a children’s playroom. The building will include 3,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

The property was formerly occupied by five pre-war structures that ranged from four to six stories high and housed 53 apartments which have been razed for the construction of the new tower.

Minrav Development purchased the site for $64 million and estimates a completion date in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

950 New Apartments Planned Along Gowanus Canal

A decade long plan for a barren swath of city-owned land in Gowanus will soon transform the toxic site with a mix of middle- to high-rise housing.

Gowanus Green will be a sustainable mixed-use community along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn that will feature approximately 950 new residential units, neighborhood serving retail and community space, and a future potential school across from a new public park.

Co-developed by Jonathan Rose Companies, The Hudson Companies, The Bluestone Organization, and Fifth Avenue Committee, Gowanus Green will transform the site of a former manufactured gas plant into a resilient and environmentally healthy community that reconnects the surrounding neighborhood to the Gowanus Canal.

Gowanus Green will be comprised of six residential buildings with approximately 950 units of housing serving a wide range of incomes and needs, including housing dedicated to formerly homeless, senior and extremely low-income New Yorkers. 

The development will feature retail space along Smith Street, and neighborhood serving uses and community spaces, such as early childcare, healthcare, senior programming, and a range of space for artists and makers that reflect the neighborhood theme.

The project will feature a network of unique open spaces that connect people to the proposed esplanade and public park after the site has been fully remediated, including a pedestrian-oriented Shared Street, active and meditative Rain Gardens, and other community gathering areas. 

Gowanus Green is committed to being a sustainable, resilient and environmentally healthy community that improves site resilience, generates renewable energy, and implements innovative stormwater management strategies that reduce combined sewer overflows into Gowanus Canal.

The 5.8-acre site, bounded roughly by Smith Street and the Gowanus Canal between Nelson and Fifth streets, was once a manufactured gas plant. The coal-tar contaminated land sat empty for decades until the city acquired it, designating the plot a “public place.”

Such a provision prohibits residential development unless the land is rezoned, and neighbors who had hoped the site would largely convert into parkland with low-rise buildings were skeptical of the latest vision for the “Gowanus Green” project with seven buildings that could rise from five up to 28 stories. 

In 2008, a development team made up of Hudson Companies, Jonathan Rose Companies, Bluestone Organization, and the Fifth Avenue Committee were selected by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to realize the project. Gowanus Green would be the area’s largest affordable housing development and is on the doorstep of Carroll Gardens, one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

The development will include 950 apartments, a public school, retail and community space, and a variety of resiliency measures to defend against flooding. The project could be entirely affordable, or at least have 74 percent of its units at below-market-rate. 

The Gowanus rezoning plan will boost density and encourage mix-used projects in the neighborhood. City planners expect the rezoning to create a whopping 8,200 new apartments by 2035.

“The purpose of the new density is to make it possible for people—working class folks, low- to-moderate income folks—who cannot possibly afford a unit in the district,” said City Council member Brad Lander.

The Department of Environmental Protection will oversee the remediation of the land, which is a Brownfield site due to its history as a manufactured gas plant.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Major League Soccer Stadium to be Build in the Bronx

After a seven-year search for a home for the New York City Football Club, the search appears to have ended right down the street from Yankee Stadium.

New York City Football Club’s circuitous search for a permanent home — a seven-year quest that generated frustration for the team, exasperation among its supporters and endless ridicule from rival fans in Major League Soccer — has come full circle.

The team’s owners, in conjunction with a group of local developers, are preparing an agreement with New York City that would allow the team to construct a privately financed, 25,000-seat stadium in the South Bronx as part of a development project costing more than $1 billion.

The new stadium, the anchor of a plan that will replace parking lots and an elevator parts factory with affordable housing units, a new school, a hotel and retail stores, would rise just a short walk’s distance down River Avenue from the team’s current home at Yankee Stadium.

The group of developers, which includes Jorge Madruga’s Maddd Equities, says the project has the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio and James Patchett, the president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

“It’s long past time to make the underutilized parking lots around Yankee Stadium into something more,” a representative for the E.D.C. said in a statement Friday. “The city has been approached by a team of affordable housing developers, the Yankees and the N.Y.C. Football Club.

“A deal has not been reached, and more conversations are needed. We are hopeful for a future where these lots can better serve the community. The first step toward achieving that is engaging the community on their needs and vision for this area.” 

 “We have been honored to call the Bronx our home for the last five years playing at Yankee Stadium, and we will keep our neighbors and our dedicated fans informed as we participate with Maddd and others in any related consultations and the public approval process,” the team said.

The stadium will be built on the current sites of one of the old parking garages currently used for Yankee games and the GAL elevator parts factory across East 153rd Street. 

In order to connect the two plots on which the stadium will sit, that block of East 153rd, from River Avenue to the Major Deegan Expressway, will become part of the playing field. An off ramp from the Deegan will be closed as well; it is set to become a pedestrian walkway to a new waterfront park.

Construction will not begin until 2022 and will take several years, making it unlikely the team would move in until the 2024 season.

The complicated plan was made possible when the Yankees’ president, Randy Levine, approached Maddd Equities, a developer that produces affordable housing in the city, and said the team would be willing to scale back its requirement for thousands of parking spaces in the immediate area of Yankee Stadium, allowing Maddd to purchase them.

The Yankees own 20 percent of N.Y.C.F.C., part of a joint venture with an investment group led by Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi, who also controls the English soccer champion Manchester City.

By purchasing the six scattered parking lots (five outdoors and one indoor structure) for $54 million, Maddd Equities will help the Bronx Parking Development Corporation, a nonprofit set up when the new Yankee Stadium was built, get out from under crippling debt, a problem that has vexed the city for years. Some of the lots will be used for the housing and some for the stadium and hotel.

Maddd and N.Y.C.F.C. also are in contract to purchase the GAL factory. They would then convey the property to the city, which would then lease the land back for the stadium. 

The project will be a tight fit, with everything tucked into a parcel of land a few blocks south of Yankee Stadium, hard by the Metro North train tracks and a short walk to the Harlem River.

A similar proposal for the site in 2018 collapsed, but this time the team and the developers are working closely with city and state officials, and expressed confidence that they would gain full approval. 

When New York City F.C. was founded in 2013, it arrived in M.L.S. with deep pockets and a public pledge to build a stadium within the city’s five boroughs. That proved to be a daunting task.

Every time a site was identified — in the Bronx, on the edges of Manhattan, in Queens or just beyond its borders — it was just as quickly ruled out, running up against one obstacle or another.

As the search dragged on, the team and its frustrated fans persevered in temporary conditions at Yankee Stadium that were far from perfect. Each time a scheduling conflict with the Yankees arose, it was the soccer team that hit the road: The team has played regular-season, cup and even playoff games on college fields at St. John’s and Fordham; hours away at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.; and even at Citi Field in Queens.

When N.Y.C.F.C. joined forces with the Yankees in 2013, it not only gave the soccer club an alliance with one of the most venerable institutions in the city, but it also gave the team access to Levine, a former deputy mayor familiar with the complex web of public and private bureaucracies in the city.

Levine was part of the search for the new stadium from the beginning. He said De Blasio, Patchett and community leaders in the South Bronx were instrumental in shepherding the project, and that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s transportation team has been helpful in opening up the waterfront.

Previous plans to build a soccer stadium for N.Y.C.F.C. in Queens or Manhattan drew widespread criticism from residents and community leaders concerned about the effects on their neighborhoods. This time, the developers said, they began with community outreach and sought input long before they presented any concrete proposals.

The affordable housing units, set to be built on several existing outdoor parking lots along River Avenue and atop the site of a current self-storage facility, will be built, owned and operated by Maddd Equities, which has built and owns about 3,000 units of affordable housing units in the Bronx.

At the core of the deal, though, are the parking lots, which have been a money-losing fiasco since the new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009. 

When the new Yankee Stadium was built, the Yankees demanded about 9,300 spaces to accommodate their fans on game days, but the team has agreed to reduce the number of spaces by about 3,000 to accommodate the new project. That reduction was made possible because more people are using public transportation and ride-share options that did not exist when the stadium opened in 2009.

“That’s what made this deal happen,” Madruga said of the Yankees’ relaxing their parking covenant. “Without the Yankees, the reality is that this deal does not happen.”

Friday, February 14, 2020

Yet Another $3.5B Development Planned for Bronx

A massive $3.5 billion project to redevelop an industrial wasteland on the Eastern edge of The Bronx could soon begin construction. 

The project, known as Fordham Landing, will be located between the Harlem River and the Major Deegan Expressway, immediately adjacent to the University Heights Bridge. 

For decades, the vacant lot at 320 West Fordham Road in the Fordham section of Bronx has sat desolate on the Harlem River.

The enormous project will cover 5 million square feet, including office space, a mix of affordable and market rate apartments, a new hotel and conference center, community spaces, and 12 acres of open spaces.

Developer Dynamic Star is planning to construct several large towers on the site. One of these will hold a 700,000-square-foot Life Sciences Center for the gene therapy industry and offices. 


A total of 2,800 residential apartments are planned to be built under the 70/30 scheme, with 30 percent of units set aside as affordable and the rest as market rate. 

Additional offerings will include retail space, a hotel, a conference center, community spaces, and an e-sports stadium.

The project’s 12.5 acres of outdoor space will be transformed into a welcoming waterfront oasis with esplanades, playing fields, and water activities like kayaking. 

Additionally, a dilapidated cove between sections of the site would be turned into tidal gardens and wetlands with an urban beach and boathouse.

Fordham Landing would certainly have an impact on the surrounding community, which has not been forgotten in the plans. 

The site is very close to the University Heights Metro North stop, and improvements to the station are being planned. 

Additionally, a new K-5 elementary school is being planned for the local community.

A development this size 3 miles north from the current Port Morris/Mott Haven Harlem River Waterfront hot spot where thousands of units are planned or under construction simply demonstrates how eager developers are to develop anywhere there is sufficient land size in The Bronx.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Cylindrical 1,300-Ft Tower Planned for 265 West 45th Street

The developer behind some of New York City’s most prominent projects  - such as Central Park Tower, One57, Brooklyn Point, and One Manhattan Square - Extell Development, is preparing to raze two vacant four-story buildings at 724 and 726 Eighth Avenue in order to construct another supertall tower in Midtown West.

The photos in this article are a proposal for the chrome-clad cylindrical 1,312-foot-tall office building Extell is considering to construct on the site at the corner of West 45th Street and Eighth Avenue.
The super-slender building at 265 West 45th Street.will have sky lobbies on the eighth, 28th, 49th, 71st, and 81st floors, offices on floors 81-93, an observation deck on the 96th floor, and and underground parking garage. 

The A, C, and E trains and the buses at the Port Authority Bus Terminal are a short walking distance to the south. 

There are also connections to the 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, W, and shuttle to Grand Central via 42nd Street-Port Authority Bus Terminal. 

The heart of Times Square is to the east, while a plethora of dining, retail, nightlife, theaters, and other entertainment options surround 724-726 Eighth Avenue.

A start date to the demolition and completion of the project has not been announced yet.



Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Giant Waterfront Development to Rise in South Bronx

One of the largest and most expensive developments in the South Bronx is preparing to get underway. Developer Brookfield Properties has unveiled new renderings for its massive seven-building Bankside project along the Harlem River in Mott Haven.

The development will span 4.3 acres on either side of the Third Avenue Bridge, with more than 1,350 apartments (30 percent of which will be “affordable”), a new park fronting the Harlem River, and ground-floor retail that includes a tech-focused community center. All told, Brookfield will invest $950 million into the massive mixed-used project.

But Brookfield wasn’t originally attached to this development: The site was previously owned by Chetrit Group and Somerset Partners, which had originally planned a similarly enormous complex along the waterfront. 

In 2018, those developers sold the sites to Brookfield for $165 million, for reasons that were not disclosed. Chetrit and Somerset are behind a handful of other developments throughout the South Bronx, and had unsuccessfully tried to rebrand the area as the “Piano District.”

When Brookfield took over, they kept some things—including the scope of the entire development and the architect of record, Hill West Architects—but changed up others, including the number of affordable units and the energy efficiency of the towers. The developers will aim for LEED certification.


Construction is already underway, and will be completed in two phases: The first will bring 450 apartments to the north side of the bridge at 2401 Third Avenue, with an expected completion date of 2021. The rest will rise on the south side of the bridge, at 101 Lincoln Avenue, with a completion date in 2022. 

A significant chunk of space will also be given over to a new, 34,000-square-foot waterfront park, designed by MPFP, which will have sections for “passive and semi-active use,” according to the developers.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Master Plan for Williamsburg Waterfront Development

A new waterfront park and two mixed-use towers will soon come to the Williamsburg waterfront, north of the Domino Sugar Factory redevelopment site.

Developers Two Trees Management—also behind the Domino megaproject—unveiled a proposal to build two mixed-use towers, up to 650-feet-tall, and a six-acre park with access to the East River. The waterfront development will stretch from Grand to North 3rd street on River Street.

“We put a world-class team here together ... and really challenged ourselves to build another park with the impact and significance and social benefits as Domino Park,” said Jed Walentas, principal of Two Trees Management, at a project presentation.

The new towers will have 1,000 residential units, 250 of which will be below-market rate. They will also include a 47,000-square-foot YMCA, 30,000 square feet of retail space, and 57,000 square feet of office space.

One of the main missions of the project is to close the gap between Grand Ferry Park and the North 5th Pier to create a “continuous journey” of public space along the waterfront.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy aspects of the project is its public waterfront park, which will have a circular esplanade extending into the East River, a sandy beach, tidal pools, a fishing pier, salt marsh, a boating cove on North 1st Street, and an amphitheater. 

There will also be community kiosks with 5,000 square feet worth of space available to community partners, kayak rental, among other things.

One of the project’s goals is to increase resiliency on the waterfront, to really expand the river in order to create a softer shoreline and have one that has active ecological benefits as well as access benefits, and part of this strategy, is really to increase resilience.

Built on the former Con Edison North First Street terminal site, the developers will seek a rezoning to get approved in the next two years, and that construction should take around five years. Two Trees recently bought the 3.5-acre site for $150 million.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Major Revamp Slated for Chelsea’s Terminal Warehouse

Chelsea’s historic Terminal Warehouse, a remnant of the area’s industrial past, will soon get a revamp. The Landmarks Preservation Commission recently approved plans to revitalize the site and add more commercial and office space.

Developers L&L Holding and Normandy Real Estate Partners, who bought the building last year for $880 million, are spearheading the project.

The massive 1.2-million-square-foot structure—which sits between Eleventh and Twelfth avenues and West 27th and 28th streets—was first owned by the New York Terminal Warehouse Company and built between 1890 and 1891. It’s part of the West Chelsea historic district.

The developers will transform 500,000 square feet of the building’s storage sections into office space and a courtyard. The train tunnel with exposed rails inside the building will be restored while shops and restaurant space will be added to the surrounding space.

The plan also includes refurbishing the building’s brick and exposed rail tracks and restoring its arched entrances on both Eleventh and Twelfth avenues, while reclaiming and reusing as much of the interior’s heavy timber as possible.

Through a revitalization plan that emphasizes restoration, authenticity, massive open floor plates and natural sunlight, the Terminal Warehouse will be artfully transformed from a purpose-built storage facility into a thriving state-of-the-art workplace that also celebrates its place in New York’s remarkable history.

The building once played a vital role in goods entering and leaving NYC as it served as a tunnel passage with twin rail tracks running across the building, connecting the Hudson River’s docks to the freight line along Eleventh Avenue—but business at the warehouse declined with the collapse of the Eleventh Avenue rail line.

A large part of the building’s space has been long dedicated to storage (Chelsea Mini Storage is still located in the building) and between 1986 and 2001, it served as the home of the fabled Tunnel nightclub. The building now has commercial and office space, with tenants like Uber and L’Oreal.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Two New Towers with 800 Apartments Slated for Pacific Park

In the 13 years since the megaproject formerly known as Atlantic Yards was granted city and state approval, work at Pacific Park has progressed in fits and starts.

Construction was originally due to begin in 2004, but was delayed for a number of reasons. It was only in 2014, after China-based Greenland Group came on board, that construction really began.

Now, four buildings are finished and another two are under construction. In the next year, work will also begin on two parcels at 615 and 595 Dean Street, located between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues. 

In advance of the anticipated groundbreaking, the developers have unveiled renderings of those two buildings, once known as B12 and B13 to longtime followers of the site’s saga.

The original plan for 615 Dean Street was for a single 26-story condo tower, but current plans call for two buildings that have a similar look—slender tower rising from a blockier base—and materials inspired by the variety of architectural styles that surround the development.

The new buildings will have some 800 apartments between them, along with a 72,000-square-foot park, and ground-floor retail stores. The two new buildings will also sit atop a 455-car parking garage. 
A new outpost of Chelsea Piers will also be built, bringing youth classes and facilities to the neighborhood.

The Dean Street buildings are two of nine that are left to be completed before the megaproject is fully finished. According to the original timeline, everything would be scheduled for completion by 2025, although that may be a bit too optimistic.


Monday, January 20, 2020

Two New Residential Towers Planned for East Side

310 East 86th Street 


Another playfully designed residential building is slated to begin construction at 310 East 86th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. 

Designed by ODA Architecture, the new building is reminiscent of the firm’s previous designs, which are characterized by expressive cubic features. 

The 68-unit tower will have a series of boxy setbacks and graceful cantilevers that will incorporate private outdoor spaces on the upper levels.

Plans called for a 21-story, 145,000-square-foot structure covering five neighboring parcels. 

Residential amenities include a music room, a laundry room, a children’s playroom, and a teen-oriented lounge. The building will also include ground floor retail space.

New 35-Story Residential Tower slated for Kips Bay


368 Third Avenue in Kips Bay will soon be the site of a new 35-story mixed-use residential tower. Located between East 26th Street and East 27th Street, the building is designed by SLCE Architects. 

Plans call for a 388-foot tall, 145,000-square-foot structure with 100 rental apartments, averaging around 1,110 square feet apiece.

The slender building will rise prominently over the surrounding low-rise structures, and allow it to be seen clearly from across the East River. 

Three to four apartments will cover floors 2 through 25, with two units per floor on the next six levels, and two penthouses on the top two floors. 

Amenities will feature a fitness room, a residential lounge, and a children’s playroom. The building will include 3,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

The property was formerly occupied by five pre-war structures that ranged from four to six stories high and housed 53 apartments which have been razed for the construction of the new tower.

Minrav Development purchased the site for $64 million and estimates a completion date in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

950 New Apartments Planned Along Gowanus Canal

A decade long plan for a barren swath of city-owned land in Gowanus will soon transform the toxic site with a mix of middle- to high-rise housing.

Gowanus Green will be a sustainable mixed-use community along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn that will feature approximately 950 new residential units, neighborhood serving retail and community space, and a future potential school across from a new public park.

Co-developed by Jonathan Rose Companies, The Hudson Companies, The Bluestone Organization, and Fifth Avenue Committee, Gowanus Green will transform the site of a former manufactured gas plant into a resilient and environmentally healthy community that reconnects the surrounding neighborhood to the Gowanus Canal.

Gowanus Green will be comprised of six residential buildings with approximately 950 units of housing serving a wide range of incomes and needs, including housing dedicated to formerly homeless, senior and extremely low-income New Yorkers. 

The development will feature retail space along Smith Street, and neighborhood serving uses and community spaces, such as early childcare, healthcare, senior programming, and a range of space for artists and makers that reflect the neighborhood theme.

The project will feature a network of unique open spaces that connect people to the proposed esplanade and public park after the site has been fully remediated, including a pedestrian-oriented Shared Street, active and meditative Rain Gardens, and other community gathering areas. 

Gowanus Green is committed to being a sustainable, resilient and environmentally healthy community that improves site resilience, generates renewable energy, and implements innovative stormwater management strategies that reduce combined sewer overflows into Gowanus Canal.

The 5.8-acre site, bounded roughly by Smith Street and the Gowanus Canal between Nelson and Fifth streets, was once a manufactured gas plant. The coal-tar contaminated land sat empty for decades until the city acquired it, designating the plot a “public place.”

Such a provision prohibits residential development unless the land is rezoned, and neighbors who had hoped the site would largely convert into parkland with low-rise buildings were skeptical of the latest vision for the “Gowanus Green” project with seven buildings that could rise from five up to 28 stories. 

In 2008, a development team made up of Hudson Companies, Jonathan Rose Companies, Bluestone Organization, and the Fifth Avenue Committee were selected by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to realize the project. Gowanus Green would be the area’s largest affordable housing development and is on the doorstep of Carroll Gardens, one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

The development will include 950 apartments, a public school, retail and community space, and a variety of resiliency measures to defend against flooding. The project could be entirely affordable, or at least have 74 percent of its units at below-market-rate. 

The Gowanus rezoning plan will boost density and encourage mix-used projects in the neighborhood. City planners expect the rezoning to create a whopping 8,200 new apartments by 2035.

“The purpose of the new density is to make it possible for people—working class folks, low- to-moderate income folks—who cannot possibly afford a unit in the district,” said City Council member Brad Lander.

The Department of Environmental Protection will oversee the remediation of the land, which is a Brownfield site due to its history as a manufactured gas plant.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Long Awaited Armory Conversion to Begin in Crown Heights

Two years after receiving City Council approval, a plan to redevelop the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights will finally begin to materialize, as construction launches for the site’s conversion from a 20th-century cavalry base into an expansive recreation center.

The city-owned armory, bounded by Bedford and Rogers Avenues and Union and President Streets in Crown Heights, is in the midst of a transformation by developer BFC Partners and the NYC Economic Development Corporation after years of sitting vacant. 

The more than century-old castellated hall, which once hosted horse stables, a firing range, and administrative offices for cavalry troops, will soon be repurposed with several sports fields, a swimming pool, and space for local non-profits and civic groups.

Ultimately, the armory is intended as a nexus for the neighborhood, as it works to meet the area’s dearth of recreational spaces while preserving the neighborhood’s history and diverse cultural legacy.

“The community has been living with this building for decades, and to be able to bring it to fruition, we want it to be not just about the future but also have it acknowledge the history and culture of this community,” says James Patchett, the CEO of NYC’s Economic Development Corporation

Under the redevelopment plan, the project will also include 415 rental apartments—250 of which will rent at below market rate—in a pair of 8- and 15-story buildings adjacent to the armory. 

Initial plans called for 60 luxury condominiums, but officials scrapped those after fierce community pushback. New York City will retain ownership of the armory under a long-term lease.

Excavation and demolition has recently wrapped up at the site; now, the work of actually building out the armory will be commencing. 

Within the next six months, crews will carve out a space for the six-lane swimming pool and begin laying down sub-flooring. 

A smoked-glass wall will separate the pool from the main space, which will include a synthetic turf multi-sports field, three hardwood basketball courts, and bleachers throughout.

Individual organizations will operate each component: Imagine Swimming will run the pool, Globall Sports will operate the multi-purpose field, and New Heights Youth will oversee the basketball courts. Groups such as these will offer an array of athletic and academic programming. Ten organizations have signed leases—at $6 a square foot—for space in the armory, and that number could eventually triple.

The main floor also features a sort of all purpose gathering space that is expected to serve as an arts venue for film screenings, performances, and gallery space; Brooklyn Community Board 9 has expressed interest in hosting meetings there. 

Down the hall, there will be a public cafe, which currently features the remnants of a floor to ceiling fire place adorned with a painted-gold lion head.

Of what can be salvaged, BFC says it plans to preserve 80 percent of the armory’s architectural details. Those will either be revitalized or worked back into the design elsewhere. 

Nearly 100 wooden bleachers that date back to the early 1900s, for instance, will be restored and used in the rooftop gardens of the residential buildings. And salvaged brick is being re-laid in its original herringbone pattern to help divide five dance studios on the second floor, which will be run by Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy.

The revamped armory is expected to open in November 2020. The 8- and 15-story residential buildings are expected to respectively wrap up in April 2021 and April 2022.