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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


Over the past few years, readily available development sites in core areas of Manhattan have become increasingly hard to come by. Part of this has to do with prescribed zoning laws that many activists and officials alike hope to change. It is unlikely that the Soho rezoning will get a vote before Mayor Bill de Blasio's term ends in December 2020, but mayoral candidate Eric Adams hopes to upzone mid-rise blocks in Chelsea and Gramercy. He also proposes giving each of the city's community boards a quota of housing units they need to be built over a given period of time.

In the meantime, the outer boroughs have seen an abundance of new construction filings and proposals. We take a look at newly announced projects and recently revealed renderings below.

Developed by CAC Development | Design by AB Architekten

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On the border of DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn, a prewar townhouse has undergone quite a change over the past few years. Permits for an interior demolition and horizontal enlargement were filed in 2017, and the end result is now on the market for $5.25 million.

The first floor is a two-bedroom, two-bath with a den and private backyard, and floors 2-3 are three-bedroom, two-bath units with private terraces. All three apartments feature open layouts, Boen wood flooring, kitchens with white quartz countertops and Bloomberg appliances, baths with grey floor tiles, and laundry rooms with Bosch washer/dryers.

Developer TBA | Design by Gerner Kronick + Valcarel Architects

90-32-Queens-Boulevard-01 Rendering via Gerner Kronick + Valcarel Architects
Gerner Kronick + Valcarel Architects has revealed renderings for a new 10-story, 180,000-square-foot mixed-use development designed to make the most of the unusual, triangular shape of its site. The ground-floor retail space is distinguished by full-height windows, and the upper levels will be clad in bronze shingles and devoted to office and residential use. A large landscaped terrace can be seen on the fourth floor, and the eighth floor and roof also appear to have outdoor space.

Hoffman Park is across the street from the site, and the Woodhaven Boulevard E/M/R stop is at the end of the block. As permits have not yet been filed, the timetable for the project remains to be seen.
(GKV Architects)

27 Cranberry Street, Brooklyn Heights

Developed by Second Development Services | Designer unknown

27-Cranberry-Street-01 Rendering via Landmarks Preservation Commission
On Tuesday, October 5, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (“Landmarks”) voted to take no action on a new four-story, single-family house to rise on a vacant lot in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. Renderings in the presentation show an unobstructive brick house with bay windows, a brownstone stucco base, and precast sills and lintels. Plans call for a basement sauna/steam room, a Great Room with porch and rear yard access, five bedrooms, five full baths, three half baths, and a top-floor multi-purpose room with skylight.

Tuesday’s hearing was not the first time this site has appeared before Landmarks. After Louis Greco of Second Development purchased the site for $1.5 million in October 2010, a four-story building was approved in August 2011; however, the certificate of appropriateness and a subsequent amendment expired in June 2017. A proposal for another four-story building was presented in October 2019, at which time locals testified against it for its size and Landmarks turned it down in spite of the previous approval.

Green-Wood Cemetery Education and Welcome Center, Greenwood Heights

749 5th Avenue
Developed by Green-Wood Cemetery | Design by Architecture Research Office

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Proposals for a new Education and Welcome Center for the historic Green-Wood Cemetery have been in the works since 2013, but there has been one constant: The landmarked McGovern-Weir Greenhouse, a Victorian-style commercial greenhouse designed by George Curtis Gillespie in 1895, stands at the nucleus of it. However, having received Landmarks’ approval, the project just got a big boost forward.

Green-wood Cemetery purchased the greenhouse from McGovern Florists for $1.63 million in 2012, and purchased the adjacent building and lawn at 242 25th Street for $1.5 million in 2015. The adjacent building, formerly the headquarters of the Brooklyn Monument Company, has since been demolished, and only the basement and foundation walls remain.
According to the presentation prepared by Architecture Research Office, the cemetery seeks to remove the foundation walls and fill in the basement to make way for a new entry courtyard. It also seeks to install a new pathway and vestibule associated with new fencing and signage related to a new building located off the landmarked site.

Renderings of the new Education and Welcome Center depict an L-shaped building with flexible space for exhibition galleries, classrooms, offices, and gathering space. It surrounds a restored greenhouse and features landscape design by Michael van Valkenburgh Associates.

295-297 Hicks Street, Brooklyn Heights

Developed by Heights Advisors | Design by CWB Architects

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When an entity dubbed Dream SDS LLC purchased the site from the Diocese of Brooklyn for $4.325 million in December 2011, a broker on the deal commented that it was the highest price per buildable square foot for a development site in Brooklyn Heights’ recorded history. Nikolai Katz Architect was the architect of record on building permits filed in 2014, but the most recent Landmarks presentation was prepared by CWB Architects. The plan calls for a new sidewalk and new curb cuts, and renderings depict a pair of contextually sensitive buildings in terms of height and materials. Indeed, following the renderings of the new houses, the presentation shows pages of similar materials and designs throughout the historic district. Landmarks was unmoved, though, and voted no action on the proposal.

If they had been approved, the townhouses would have brought incredible luxury to the area: Floor plans show on-site parking, storage, home gyms and saunas, full-floor primary suites, rear yards, and rooftops with solar panels and entertaining space in both houses. The more luxurious of the two is set to offer basement-level wine storage, a “tranquility courtyard” with meditation space, and a rooftop pool.

Bruckner Apartments, 2069 Bruckner Boulevard, Unionport

2069 Bruckner Boulevard
Developed by Azimuth Development Group | Design by Aufgang Architects

2069-Bruckner-Boulevard-01 All renderings via Azimuth Development Group
In December 2019, construction commenced on Bruckner Apartments, a new mixed-income development, on the heels of a rezoning completed at the beginning of 2019. The nine-story development will contain 330 units, a combination of mixed-income rentals and 65 units to be financed under the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Open Door program for home ownership. According to permits, amenities are set to include on-site parking, a bike room, a central laundry room, and indoor and outdoor recreation areas. An estimated completion date is not yet ready.

Developed by LTNG | Designer unknown

170-Java-Street-01 170 Java Street via LTNG
Developer LTNG has unveiled a design for a new boutique condominium at 170 Java Street, located outside the Greenpoint Historic District while still close to neighborhood dining, shopping, and transportation. The rendering depicts a pale brick building with gold-framed windows and a set-back terrace on the fourth floor. Interiors will feature one-bedroom apartments, a two-bedroom penthouse with abundant outdoor space, and a three-bedroom garden triplex. The one-bedroom units will come with private rooftop cabanas.

An estimated completion date for this project is not yet available. Demolition permits for the three-story building currently on the site were filed in June 2021, but new building permits have not yet been filed.

34 West 28th Street, NoMad

Developed by Dima Realty | Design by Tom Winter Architect

34-West-28th-Street-01 All renderings of 34 West 28th Street via Tom Winter Architect
When 34 West 28th Street was built as the headquarters for the Volunteers of America in 1907, the New York Times described it as “a very up-to-date affair both in design and construction.” More than 100 years later, permits were filed for an interior renovation and expansion so as to bring it into the 21st century.

Renderings by Tom Winter Architect show a stark, modern addition on top of the existing historic building. The building will ultimately feature ground-floor retail and six floors of office space with an amenity roof terrace. It is located in the heart of NoMad’s bustling dining scene, and the 28th Street subway is a short walk away.

The Women's Building, West Chelsea

550 West 20th Street
Developed by the Novo Foundation and Goren Group | Design by Deborah Berke Partners

Women's-Building-01 All images of The Women's Building via Deborah Berke Partners
Plans for The Women's Building were called off in October 2019, but it is hard to forget what could have been. In July 2016, Deborah Berke Partners was announced as the winner of a design competition to transform a one-time prison into The Women’s Building, a hub to provide resources and support for girls and women.

“In my more than 30 years of practice, few projects have resonated with me as personally as this one has” - Deborah Berke

Women's Building
During the design process, Deborah Berke Partners engaged directly with women’s rights activists as well as formerly incarcerated women to discuss how to make the space as inclusive, welcoming, and empowering as possible. The design features a bold new opening that spans community floors and draws in natural light. Interiors were designed with programming in mind: Sheltered spaces would be devoted to quiet work; socializing areas would offer built-in window seats and greater opening to the street; and there would be flexible gallery space and art throughout. Moreover, the new facade was designed to respond to features of the historic design.
If this design for The Women’s Building has proceeded, it would have been the latest chapter in the building’s extensive history. It was originally built in1931 as The Seaman’s House, a YMCA for sailors and merchant marines, by Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon (designers of the Empire State Building). In 1974, it was converted to Bayview Correctional Center, a medium-security prison for women. In 2012, it was closed and decommissioned in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Developer and designer TBA

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In the wake of a 2017 rezoning, more building density is permitted in East Harlem. A recent entrant is 1984-90 Third Avenue , a mixed-use development site on the corner of East 109th Street. There are plans for a 215-foot tall building with four retail spaces and 101 units. It is one block from the 110th Street 6 train.

According to a marketing page from B6 Real Estate Advisors , the corner site is on the market for $13,950,000. Conceptual renderings show a design of gridded windows and many terraces. If the buyer proceeds with the drawn-up plans, amenities would include a coworking space, bike room, gym, and indoor-outdoor pool and spa on the 12th floor. The project must abide by the city's Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program where it must allocate at least 20% of its units as affordable housing.

Twin Parks West, Fordham Heights

365 Ford Street
Developed by Winn Development | Design by Nelligan White Architects

Twin-Parks-West-01 All renderings of Twin Parks West via Nelligan White Architects
Early in his term as New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio announced NextGeneration NYCHA, a plan to protect public housing throughout New York City. One aspect of that was to invest in underused property; to that end, new affordable development Twin Peaks West is set to rise on what was most recently a NYCHA parking lot in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx.

The 14-story building is set to offer community-benefitting commercial space (think daycare and a fresh grocer) on the ground floor and 200 housing units on top. The apartments are set to surround a south-facing common courtyard, and a photovoltaic array is planned to supplement electrical needs. There is talk of building to Passive House standards and including a cogeneration plant on the site, but neither has been confirmed.

71-12 Park Avenue
Developed by Marx Development Group | Design by DSM Design Group

71-12-Park-Avenue-01 All renderings via Marx Development Group
A short distance from Queens College, a soaring two-towered development is planned for a large vacant lot in the Pomonok neighborhood of Queens. Early renderings show 42 and 50-story towers sharing a four-story podium. Each tower would be the tallest in the borough outside of Long Island City, with the taller north tower reaching at least 572 feet. Yet to be approved permits show the complex would host 873 apartments and parking for 625 vehicles (required by zoning). Amenities are set to include a bike room and automated parking. There will also be a landscaped outdoor terrace with a grill, dining area, and outdoor pool.

Hunters Point South Site B-S I and II

2-20 and 2-21 Malt Drive
Developed by Bruce Weill | Design by SLCE Architects

Housing is a major component of the Hunters Point South master plan for Long Island City, and the next phase will bring nearly 1,400 new units between two towers measuring 34 and 39 stories tall. The floor schedule indicates that these will be rentals; it also indicates that there will be cogeneration on-site. Amenities are set to include a garden, mail and package rooms, laundry rooms, children's playrooms, fitness centers, lounges, multiple outdoor recreation areas, an outdoor pool, storage, bike rooms, and on-site parking. Permits have yet to be approved, but construction is likely to begin in the coming months.

The new towers are only the latest phase of the Hunters Point South master plan. TF Cornerstone's Center Boulevard towers are now leasing, and an affordable housing lottery is on the horizon for the first of two towers in the Gotham Point development.

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