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The Benson rendering and ad mounted at construction site;  (Images via Instagram @thebensonresidences) The Benson rendering and ad mounted at construction site; (Images via Instagram @thebensonresidences)
Over the summer, New York saw coronavirus cases drop to a point where the city stood as a model of low transmission and safety standards. But cases have begun to climb in recent weeks, and it has reached a point where New York City may find itself in an "orange zone," with all the restrictions that entails, after Thanksgiving.

Nevertheless, New Yorkers are not discouraged. The results of the presidential election at the beginning of the month gave many a boost, as did encouraging news on the vaccine front in recent days. And all the while, people continue to plan city moves, design new buildings, and plan new developments in acts of hope that New York will not only recover, but come away from this experience stronger than before.

The Benson mounts tribute to Jerry Seinfeld's NYT op-ed

1045-Madison-Avenue-01 The Benson via Instagram
The Benson, Naftali Group's first Upper East Side condominium, is a topped-out 19-story development located at 1045 Madison Avenue in an area largely dominated by prewar cooperatives. All 15 half-floor, full-floor and duplex units will feature oversized windows, soaring ceilings, custom crown moldings, luxurious master suites, and bespoke kitchens by Christopher Peacock. Most homes will have private terraces.

The Benson's jewel box lobby and private cinema room were designed by Italian designer and architect Achille Salvagni. Additional offerings are to include a state-of-the-art fitness center, half basketball court, spa with sauna and steam room; library with adjoining garden; art studio; pet spa with washing station, and landscaped rooftop lounge with fire pit and Central Park view.
The-Benson-004 Rendering of great room of a residence at The Benson (The Naftali Group)

Details revealed for Gowanus Green, massive new affordable development

56-5th-Street-01 Rendering of Gowanus Green via Marvel Architects/SCAPE Landscape Architects
Hot on the heels of the long-awaited dredging of Gowanus Canal, further details have been revealed on Gowanus Green, a new development bordering the canal. The New York City Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD) announced that the housing will be 100 percent affordable. In addition to approximately 950 new housing units spread over six buildings, Gowanus Green will feature a 1.5-acre public park, nearly 30,000 square feet of commercial and community space, and 850,000 square feet of space for a new public school.

At least 50 percent of the rental housing will be dedicated to extremely-low/very-low income households with incomes at or below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI), and no more than 40 percent of units will be dedicated to moderate income households with incomes between 80 and 120 percent of the AMI. There will be a certain number of senior and supportive housing units.

“This will be a transformative project to open an amenity-rich, transit-accessible neighborhood to more New Yorkers...with rents affordable to a wide range of individuals and families” - Vicki Been, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development

The project is being developed by Gowanus Green Partners, a joint venture of Fifth Avenue Committee, the Bluestone Organization, the Hudson Companies and the Jonathan Rose Companies. Marvel Architects and SCAPE Landscape Architecture have been tapped for the design, and a robust infrastructure will capture 100 percent of stormwater on-site with green roofs, stormwater harvesting cisterns, rain gardens, bioswales, and more.

Further details on the housing, amenities, and affordable lottery are not yet available. Click here for a list of ongoing affordable housing lotteries.
Gowanus-Green-05 Site of Gowanus Green in January 2020 (CityRealty)

New designs from DUMBO-based Tankhouse

450-Warren-Street-01 Rendering of 450 Warren Street via Tankhouse
When Tankhouse announced their new project at 219 Jay Street, it was the latest in a line of local work from the DUMBO-based developer. Construction recently topped out on 450 Warren Street, a mixed-use 18-unit condominium in Boerum Hill. Renderings show a textured masonry facade with multiple setbacks and punchout windows, and permits indicate that there will be no more than five units per floor. And at a time when outdoor space is more appreciated than ever, the building will offer private and semi-private balconies in every unit and three lushly planted courtyards. Completion is estimated for 2021.
491-Baltic-Street-01 Rendering via Tankhouse
Also in Boerum Hill, a five-story, 13-unit residential building is in the works at 491 Baltic Street. The rendering on Tankhouse’s website shows a simple facade with large triangular windows. Kane Architecture and Urban Design is listed as the designer of record on permits, which call for such amenities as a recreation room, roof terrace, bike room, and 10 enclosed parking spaces. Completion is estimated for 2023.

An offering plan has not yet been filed for either building, but CityRealty listings show that the media price of a Boerum Hill condo is $1,585,000, or $1,308 per square foot. Contact CityRealty for assistance on finding an apartment in your dream neighborhood.

With New York’s rental market poised to be the country’s priciest, see recently reduced rental listings

25-Tudor-City-Place-01 Tudor Tower via City Connections
During the coronavirus pandemic, New York’s rents have fallen to recent lows, including the median rent’s dip below $3,000/month at one point. But according to Zumper’s State of the American Renter report, New York remains among the country’s most expensive cities with a one-bedroom median rent of $2,550/month, second only to San Francisco. However, the study states that people are starting to move to New York and shy away from San Francisco; if this trend continues, New York could emerge as the country’s most expensive city for renters.

The study comes out at a time when approximately 2,600 rental listings throughout Manhattan, northern Brooklyn, western Queens, and parts of the Bronx have experienced price reductions. Notable among them is a studio in Tudor City that has been reduced to $1,300/month. Please be advised that the figures for this listing, like all those quotes in the chart, reflect cumulative price cuts as opposed to the most recent reductions.

NoMad Update: One Madison Avenue breaks ground, skybridge comes down

Madison-Avenue-skybridge-01 Skybridge circa Klaus-Peter Statz
NoMad's evolution shows no sign of slowing down, but sometimes that can come at the expense of architectural standouts. Locals noticed the Art Deco skybridge between 1 Madison Avenue and 11 Madison Avenue coming down, and Untapped Cities confirmed that it is in the process of being demolished.

The skybridge was originally constructed by MetLife, the insurance firm that developed and owned 1 and 11 Madison Avenue, the former of which was the tallest building in the world from 1909 to 1913. Most recently, Credit Suisse used to have office space in both buildings on the floors connected by the skybridge. Both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, but the skybridge is not.

Skybridges are few and far between in New York because they block light and views as well as cause regulatory headaches - Crain’s New York Business reported that owner SL Green would have to pay almost $600K to operate it. On the other side of Madison Square Park, a skybridge was demolished at 5 Madison Square West, which was once the International Toy Center. A notable exception to this can be seen at the American Copper Buildings.
One-Madison-Avenue-01 Rendering of One Madison Avenue via SL Green
News of the skybridge’s demolition comes hot on the heels of the groundbreaking ceremony at One Madison Avenue, a marquee office tower developed by SL Green, Korea’s National Pension Service, and Hines (the same team behind the recently-opened One Vanderbilt). The design by Kohn Pedersen Fox calls for a 13-story addition on top of the existing 14-story limestone building. As part of the redevelopment, SL Green will donate $250K to the Madison Square Park Conservancy to assist in the completion of the dog run and ongoing park maintenance.

Upon completion, One Madison Avenue will have 1.4 million rentable square feet of office space as well as amenities like outdoor roof terraces, event space, a food market, a lounge, and a fitness center. The building will be LEED Gold and WELL-certified, and its use of DOAS HVAC, a system that employs circulation of outdoor fresh air, will be instrumental in the latter.

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