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East 57th Street activity
By Carter Horsley   |   From Archives Monday, August 15, 2005
The East 57th Street corridor is very busy.

In addition to the dueling new high-rise condominium towers now under construction at 207 and 212-6 East 57th Street between Third and Second Avenues, the mid-block, three-story PS 59 on the same block is being put out to bid for redevelopment by the New York City Educational Construction Fund, a new 16-story mid-block apartment tower at 330 East 57th Street is under construction and the attractive 15-story, mid-block rental apartment building at 415 East 57th Street is being converted to condominium apartments.

The construction at 330 East 57th Street will have 15 apartments and it is just to the east of the great 1930 apartment building designed by Harry M. Clawson of Caughey & Evans at 322 East 57th Street, which is notable for its double-height living rooms and for Mr. Chow?s, a restaurant. This new building is also close to the mid-block entrance between Second and First Avenues to the Queensborough Bridge.

Further to the east, another mid-block building is being converted from a rental to a condominium apartment building at 415 East 57th Street. The 60-unit building has a limestone base and quoins and polished red granite entrance surround and spandrels and string courses. The building has arched windows on the third and 13th floors and a handsome roofline with globes and a pedimented cast-iron fence. The building has brass entrance towers and a handsome paneled lobby and a concierge and sidewalk landscaping, but no garage. The Faran Center for Mental Imagery & Psychotherapy occupies the professional office on the ground floor.

The New York City Educational Construction Fund, meanwhile, plans to close the three-story, mid-block PS 59 between Third and Second Avenues and sell its ?air-rights? to a developer. According to Jamie Starr, the fund?s executive director, the "request for proposals" ("rfp") it recently issued for the site anticipates final bids by the end of next month and calls for a total development package of 627,220 square feet, or 752,664 square feet if inclusionary zoning bonuses are included. That "package" would include 211,000 square feet of the existing 7-story High School for Art & Design that adjoins PS 59 on First Avenue and which would not be demolished and a new PS 59 on East 56th Street. That would leave 416,220 sq. ft. for non-school development, that the fund?s zoning analysis suggests would be residential, or 541,664 sq. ft. for non-school development if inclusionary zoning bonuses are included.

Just to the west on this block, construction activity is still very evident where Sutton 57 and Place 57 are being built. The former is a 24-story, 38-unit tower at 207 East 57th Street that has been topped out and the latter is a 36-story, 67-unit glass tower at 212-6 West 57th Street that is now almost half-way up with its blue-gray-green glass fa?ade now visible on floors 2 to 5.
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.