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


Two Bridges, like the rest of Manhattan, is changing fast Two Bridges, like the rest of Manhattan, is changing fast
The Two Bridges neighborhood sits between the footings of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, from East River Drive to East Broadway and expands to the north of Manhattan Bridge to Montgomery Street. Nestled in the Lower East Side and bordering Chinatown, large mid-20th-century housing developments and tenement walk-ups have defined the neighborhood for decades, until now. In the 1930s, a large portion of Two Bridges was razed to build Knickerbocker Village, a 12-building complex that was one of the first middle-income developments subsidized by the federal government. Today, Two Bridges, like the rest of Manhattan, is changing fast as new residential projects, restaurants, nightlife, a nearby massive food hall, a new NYC ferry stop and more are coming.
But not all of the development is welcomed. There has been major community pushback to the super tall buildings, generally because of the dramatic changes they will impose on the area’s facilities and infrastructure but, more specifically, the community is concerned about the environmental impact these developments will have on the neighborhood’s open space. Council Member Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer have lead the effort to stop the towers in their tracks. As of last week, Chin and Brewer have pushed for more time from the Land Use Review & Commission to review the environmental impact statements. The hearing, which was scheduled for early September, is now not on the calendar until October 17th.
Two Bridges on the Lower East Side of Manhattan
According to the neighborhood news source, the Lo-Down, last week the developers of these projects submitted the following response, “We have been strongly committed to dialogue with local stakeholders and outreach to local residents from the inception of the projects, now almost two years ago. We will continue to honor that commitment during the Community Board phase of the process and appreciate the concern recently expressed by the Board that it require more time to review the applications. To make that possible, we have requested that City Planning push back its public hearing to a later date, allowing the Board more time to formulate its recommendations to City Planning. We look forward to a productive discussion with the Board and other stakeholders as the applications move forward in public review.”
One-Manhattan-Square-04 JDS Development's 247 Cherry Street (l) and One Manhattan Square (r)
The controversial developments include a 1,000+ foot tower at 247 Cherry Street from JDS Development Group and SHoP Architects, two 60+story towers at 260 South Street from L+M Development and CIM Group, and a 724-foot rental building from Starrett Development at 275 South Street. The biggest and most notable addition to the neighborhood and riverfront skyline so far is the massive Extell Development tower called One Manhattan Square. Ironically, Extell’s founder and director, Gary Barnett, grew up on Pike Street, in the neighborhood, and bought the old Pathmark grocery store site to build his “vertical village.”
While the retail tenant has not been confirmed for One Manhattan Square, local and national full service grocers are being identified for the largest space on two levels with square footage of 14,068 and 10,554 on the ground and lower levels, respectively, to replace the Pathmark. Meanwhile, a two-level space with wraparound frontage at the corner of Pike Slip and Cherry Street and square footage of 8,029 and 7,091 on the ground and lower levels is viewed as a prime location for a pharmacy, food hall, recreational business or large store by the developer.
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One Manhattan Square, at 252 South Street, is due to be completed in 2019. Architectural firm Adamson Associates designed the glass tower, which encompasses 815 1- to-3-bedroom homes. The standout, 100,000+ square foot amenity package includes a multi-level health and wellness center, including a spa with private treatments rooms and hammam, centered on a tranquil courtyard and relaxation garden. One Manhattan Square also features a private indoor swimming pool, fitness center, bowling alley, basketball court, golf simulator, squash court and yoga studio. As well as a state-of-the-art cinema and performance space, children’s playroom, teen arcade, culinary lounge, wine room, cigar room, cellar bar and demonstration kitchen. And, as if that’s not enough, there are 45,000 square feet of landscaped areas, including gardens, fire pits, an adult tree house, a tea pavilion, stargazing observation deck, social courtyards and a covered dog run offers residents an unparalleled outdoor living experience in Manhattan.Units in One Manhattan Square starts at $1.2 million.
247 Cherry Street via JDS Development
247 Cherry Street via JDS Development
247 Cherry Street via JDS Development
JDS Development Group’s 247 Cherry Street, is a proposed a green terracotta faced 1,008-foot, 77 story, mixed income rental with up to 660 units. 25 percent of the units will be below-market rents. Designed by SHoP Architects, this is the same team that is developing the 1,427-foot-high tower at 111 West 57th Street, the five-sided JDS tower will be partially cantilevered over the 10-story residential building at 80 Rutgers Slip. 247 Cherry includes sky decks, a community garden and meeting space in addition to what JDS says are “significant improvements to the neighboring building to ensure that it remains a source of affordable, high-quality homes for the next generation. Improvements include new neighborhood retail, landscape design by SCAPE, upgrades to common spaces, new community space, and flood resiliency upgrades.”
260 South Street (Handel Architects)
L&M Development Partners and CIM Group’s two spire project at 260 South Street, the tallest spire at 69 stories, will be 798 feet. Designed by Gary Handel, there will be a total of 1,350 rental units, a quarter will be affordable and some senior housing will be incorporated.
259 Clinton Street Starrett Development's 259 Clinton Street
Starrett Development’s 259 Clinton Street, 724-foot, 62-story tower with 765 rentals, a quarter will be affordable. Josh Siegel, the president of Starrett, told the Lo-Down, he was proud of their long history of providing affordable housing. “We’re really trying to answer the mayor’s call for affordability. That’s what this project is aimed at. We are trying to answer that call to increase affordable housing, which as we all know, is always desperately needed in New York City.”
100 East Broadway
Not all the development in Two Bridges is on steroids. In some smaller news, 100 East Broadway’s 180-foot, 14-story boutique office condominium is one of Chinatown’s largest and most upscale office projects. With its glass curtain wall facade and clean lines, the Studio C Architects designed building will bring International Style modernism to the neighborhood.
201 East Broadway and 193 Henry Street 201 East Broadway and 193 Henry Street
Aerial rendering of 193 Henry Street via Google Earth
Brooklyn-based Think! Architecture and Design’s project at 193 Henry Street, the new modular condominium building. It was fully constructed from start to finish over the course of six days. The supertall opponents should be thrilled their opposition can’t grow as quickly at this.
And in non-residential news, the SHoP Architects’ designed East River Waterfront & EcoPark at Pier 35 is progressing, albeit at a snail’s pace. The city has opened the first, second, and third phases of this two-mile-long project to improve the waterfront.
Pier 35 East River Waterfront & EcoPark at Pier 35
With all of the development in Two Bridges, Extell’s Gary Barnett still says, "If the neighborhood is rough around some edges, it’s far better off than it was in the 1960s.” What is best for the neighborhood is clearly up for debate but one thing that is indisputable is that things are changing, fast.
Two Bridges One Manhttan Square and the Two Bridges waterfront in June 2018 (CityRealty)
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Contributing Writer Michelle Sinclair Colman Michelle writes children's books and also writes articles about architecture, design and real estate. Those two passions came together in Michelle's first children's book, "Urban Babies Wear Black." Michelle has a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a Master's degree in the Cities Program from the London School of Economics.