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Carter's View

The land-use committee of Community Board 8 last night approved with no negative votes an application for a special permit for the construction of a 34-story condominium apartment building 1765 First Avenue at 91st Street by the city's Educational Construction Fund as part of a mixed-use project that will include a new 520-seat Middle School.

James Davidson of SCLE Architects, shown in the photograph at the right, told the committee that the residential tower will have about 150 apartments and a 30-car garage and will use air-rights from four adjacent low-rise residential buildings on the avenue.

As part of the city's inclusionary housing program, the project will provide about 10,000-square feet of affordable housing and committee members indicated they wanted that housing to be located within the board's boundaries.

The Educational Construction Fund was created in 1966 and it best known for its mixed-use developments such as the office-building/Norman Thomas High School on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and 34th Street and the apartment building/Robert F. Kennedy School on 88th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues.

James Smart, executive director of the fund, told the committee that the new school will replace P.S. 151 that has been vacant on the site since 2000 and that the project will permit the creation of a $40-million, "modern, 21st Century school at no capital or expense outlay for the city." It will be known as the East Side Middle School and it has been operating in cramped quarters at P.S. 158 and its student enrollment will now be permitted to expand by about 200 students to 540 students.

Mr. Smart noted that the city will retain ownership of the land and Mr. Davidson said that as a result the residential tower will be a condop.

The special permit involves waivers of some height, setback and rear-yard zoning requirements as well as transfer of air-right regulations.

The DeMatteis Organization is the developer.

Mr. Davidson said the residential tower will have a 60-foot-high base and the tower floors will be about 6,500-square feet.

The four-story school will have a red-brick facade on 91st Street and contain 14 classrooms, two science labs, a music room, an art room, a multi-purpose room and a cafeteria and will have planters and benches in front of it on 91st Street and recreational playgrounds on 92nd Street.

It is anticipated that the project will be completed by September, 2008.
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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