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


Various new developments proposed for NYC Various new developments proposed for NYC
While it's always exciting to see what's next to rise in New York, the city's historic architecture remains precious, a point sadly driven home by the tragic fire at the East Village's Middle Collegiate Church over the weekend. To that end, the Landmarks Preservation Commission ("Landmarks") is in place to protect existing masterpieces and ensure that new development is consistent with its historic surroundings. We take a look at this week's upcoming Landmarks hearings and new construction projects on the docket.

2926-West-19th-Street-01 Renderings of 2926 West 19th Street via L+M Development Partners
Developers BFC Partners, L+M Development Partners, and Taconic Investment Partners are at the helm of a new housing development at 2926 West 19th Street in Coney Island. Renderings of Phase 1, to be designed by Handel Architects, show two 16-story towers over a seven-story podium and design elements to reflect its beachfront location and the context of the Coney Island district. The groundbreaking took place in November 2018, and the opening is estimated for 2021.

Upon completion, the development will include 446 affordable apartments, 66,000 square feet of office space for the New York City Human Resources Association, approximately 15,000 square feet of retail space, and 96 residential and commercial parking spaces. There will be two landscaped outdoor decks, and permits indicate that indoor amenities will include bike room, storage, laundry room, and elevator. Moreover, Real Estate Weekly points out that developers have taken such precautions as deployable flood barriers at the main residential entrances, flood-proof retail space, and the placement of all residential units and mechanical equipment above the ground floor.
The new project is part of a development boom that took place in Coney Island following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. It is across the street from Coney Island North Venture, a planned mixed-use complex developed by Taconic Investment Partners and The Prusik Group. Down the block, an affordable lottery took place at Surf Vets Place last January. And down the street, permits were just filed for a 26-story building at 2910 West 15th Street to feature floodproof lobby and retail space, beach showers and lockers, and 322 residential units. An extensive amenity package will include parking, bike room, mail and package rooms, storage, third-floor terrace, game room, media lounge, sports court, fitness center with cycling and yoga rooms, outdoor pool, indoor/outdoor lounge on the ninth floor, 25th story lounge, 26th story lounge, and green roof.

At the beginning of 2019, the first look was revealed for 2033 Fifth Avenue, a new 20-story building being developed in partnership with National Black Theater and L+M Development Partners. And at the end of 2020, that got one step closer: Demolition permits were recently filed for a full block of buildings to make way for the new project.

One of those buildings was the longtime home of National Black Theater, one of the oldest Black theaters in the country, but it is not being displaced. On the contrary, National Black Theater will occupy the second through fourth floors of the new building with a double-height theater in the round, black box, and classrooms and offices. In the meantime, it will partner with the Apollo Theater to use their office space and two new flexible performance spaces at the new Victoria starting in fall 2021 (by which time we hope it will be safe for live theater to resume).

In addition to the new theater space, 2033 Fifth Avenue will include ground-floor retail space and 240 residential units on floors 5-20. A percentage of apartments will be affordable, but criteria and lottery information are not yet available. The project has the blessings of Community Board 11 and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
2033-Fifth-Avenue-01 2033 Fifth Avenue outline via City Planning Commission

Goodbye B Bar & Grill - 358 Bowery, NoHo
358-Bowery-01 Google Streetview of 358 Bowery
When the Lower East Side’s B Bar & Grill first opened at 358 Bowery in 1994, it caused some controversy for its site on the former home of a gas station. However, EV Grieve says it “helped usher in a new upscale era on the Bowery.” In the site’s next chapter, demolition permits have been filed for its building.

Plans for a replacement building have not been filed, but the site is home to some interesting news as of late. Hospitality impresario Eric Goode, whose work includes the Jane Hotel, the Bowery Hotel, and the Waverly Inn, bought the property for $5.5 million from Cooper Union in 2004 and has since been assembling air rights to build a larger project. In October 2019, CB Developers bought an interest in the site for $59.5 million. A hotel may be in the works, but it should be pointed out that the site is located within the “housing opportunity area” of a proposed Soho-Noho rezoning.

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On Tuesday, December 8, Landmarks will hear a petition for a penthouse addition on top of 13 Harrison Street, a condo conversion located on a cobblestone street in the Tribeca West Historic District. A presentation by Bialosky New York Architect calls for brick to match the existing, a glass skylight, aluminum louvers, and a metal panel bulkhead. It cites several examples of penthouse additions in other historic districts that have been approved, and the mockup is not overly conspicuous.

13 Harrison Street was originally built in 1887 for liquor merchant Alexander Halliday. In the mid-1900’s, Henry Heide Candy Company purchased it as a manufacturing headquarters for its creations, which include Jujubes and Gummy Bears. Most recently, it has been converted to a two-unit condominium. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin once lived in the building, and the permits for the penthouse addition were filed on behalf of owner Arnulf Damerau, chairman and founder of the EuroAtlantic Group.

The Oasis, Long Island City
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Passive House residential construction has been on the rise all over New York City, and that has extended to office space: JNY Capital and United Hoisting Company have unveiled plans for The Oasis, an 11-story office building to take shape at 38-42 12th Street. At 425,000 square feet, it is set to be the largest speculative Passive House office development in the United States. Sustainable features will include a super-insulated building exterior, triple-glazed windows, LED lighting, solar panels, and a green roof. Groundbreaking is anticipated for the third quarter of 2021, and completion is estimated for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Not only is Passive House construction good for the environment and the wallet (in the form of lower energy bills), but its high-efficiency ventilation system is also good for bringing in outside fresh air, which should ease fears of returning to the office after the coronavirus pandemic. A design by Archimaera shows the project organized around a center courtyard, and there will be more than 30,000 square feet of terraces and outdoor space. Additional offerings will include a rooftop bar/restaurant, 30,700 square feet of event space, and 34,700 square feet of ground-floor retail. The building is targeting biotech, life sciences, media, engineering, commercial office and retail tenants for its expansive floor plates.

56-Middagh-Street-01 Rendering via Platt + Black Architects for Landmarks Preservation Commission
On December 8, Landmarks will hear a petition to build a four-story townhouse on the lot next door to 56 Middagh Street, a Federal-style clapboard house dating back to 1829 and owned by Tara Comonte, Shake Shack president and CFO. The site, which is currently being used for parking, is located in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.

Tuesday will mark the project’s second trip before Landmarks. After preservationists had concerns about the materials and commissioners took issue with the proposed building’s typology, no action was taken at a January 2020 hearing. A presentation prepared by Platt + Black Architects shows a bulky new building with a separate garage. The brick in the rendering is congruent with its historic surroundings, and the presentation offers no shortage of examples of similar materials and designs.

Long Island City aerial court square queenboro plaza Bird-eye view of LIC's Court Square/Queensboro Plaza area
The Long Island City building boom shows no signs of slowing down, and the latest entrant is a 12-story condominium at 42-62 Hunter Street. Demolition permits for the two-story house formerly on-site were filed in August 2020, and permits for its replacement were filed at the end of last week. The owner is listed as Hunter Square LLC, and the Flushing-based Michael Kang Architects is the designer of record.

The new project calls for 3,357 square feet of commercial space and 27 residential units. Amenities will include a bike room, storage, and a second-floor terrace. However, its greatest perk may be its address between the Queens Plaza and Queensboro Plaza subway stops, allowing no shortage of ways to make a quick commute to Manhattan.

39-Chauncey-Street-01 Rendering of 39 Chauncey Street via NV Design Architecture for Landmarks Preservation Commission
On Tuesday, December 8, Landmarks will hear a proposal for four townhouses to rise at 39 Chauncey Street and 437-441 Lewis Avenue in the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District. Renderings show four-story houses with brick facades, mansard roofs, and standing seam zinc wall panels.

The site is currently an empty lot, but was once home to a neo-Georgian/Romanesque Revival-style apartment building and a vernacular house, both of which date back to before 1900. The Department of Housing Preservation & Development demolished them in 1995 and 2002, respectively, after emergency declarations of unsafe conditions. A presentation by NV Design Architecture sites other corner housing sets as inspiration for the new buildings, but these are a decidedly more modern take.

The Brill Building, Midtown West
1619-Broadway-01 All images of The Brill Building via Bergmann Architects for Landmarks Preservation Commission
In 2010, the Brill Building at 1619 Broadway was designated an individual New York City Landmark for its Art Deco design and rich contributions to music history; songwriters like Carole King, Paul Simon, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil were among those who worked in the building when it was home to so many music publishers and businesses that it was described as “the Art Deco sweatshop of smash hits.” But while the cast iron building’s architecture is protected, the Landmarks designation was not enough to preserve its culture. The musicians have moved on and the building is seeking new office tenants; moreover, its retail space is now occupied by yet another CVS, but spent four decades as the home of Colony Records, a popular store selling cast recordings and sheet music (RIP).
On Tuesday, December 8, Landmarks will hear TD Bank’s application to install new bracket signage. A presentation by Bergmann Architects points out that on that block alone, the neighboring bodega and Duane Reade have erected similar signage. Further south, it cites Hard Rock Cafe, Carmine’s, and Bubba Gump Shrimp as examples in Times Square.

Flushing Waterfront Development
Flushing-Waterfront-01 Rendering via Jeff Stikeman / Architectual Art
A stretch of Flushing’s waterfront is currently home to a U-Haul storage facility and parking lots, but developers F&T Group, Young Nian Group, and United Construction & Development Group have much grander plans in store for the site: They have proposed a massive development that could bring as many as 13 high-rises to an 11-block area. These will contain 1,700 apartments, nearly 900 hotel rooms, and 700,000 square feet of commercial space.

The City Planning Commission and local community board have already approved the project, but the New York Post reports that activists who brought down the Long Island City Amazon headquarters and Industry City plan are speaking out against the project. They say it needs to do more for the local community than clean up Flushing Creek and construct a 40-foot-wide esplanade to open up the waterfront. Moreover, while the developers have set aside up to 90 affordable units (as only one site would be rezoned under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program), a City Council subcommittee says much more than that is needed in the wake of the city's housing crisis.

The City Council's Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises has just approved the development; it will now go before the full Council. It remains to be seen whether the number of affordable units will increase, but a deal between the developers, 32BJ and the New York Hotel & Motels Trades Council was instrumental in it reaching this point.

Futurists at CAZA to design new Upper West Side townhouse
CAZA CAZA's LIC Oyster design for public land near Anable Basin (CAZA)
Paramount to New York's economic recovery are forward-thinking minds who see beyond the status quo. The experimental, Brooklyn-based design studio at CAZA (Carlos Arnaiz architects) will be behind a new six story apartment building at 229 West 71st Street on the Upper West Side. While the new build appears to be a two-family townhouse for an uber-wealthy client, it replaces a rather mundane red-brick structure that no one should miss. CAZA believes inventive breakthroughs transform material culture into social expression and their work represents an engagement with the history of making buildings, in other words don't expect a Robert A.M. Stern here. Not to worry however, the site is within a recent extension of the West End-Collegiate Historic District and its exterior design will need to win the good graces of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Here's a look at the firm's past and current work and here's a look at their Queens waterfront scheme Long Island City Oyster.

A wave we can look forward to...
Last but not least, here's a quick Google Earth mock-up of the Midtown skyline that includes next wave of lordly towers intent on making the MetLife Building look cute. Tower Fifth, 270 Park, and Project Commodore promise to be among the skyline events of the next decade. The line-up of supertalls does appear to return some grace to the somewhat unbalanced/slightly jarring Midtown skyline.Their fruition likely depends on a swift economic recovery.

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