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

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.
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.