Elevators being added as big projects approach completion, kick off.

A rendering by architect ODA New York shows what the completed trio of glass towers, known collectively as 420 Kent Avenue, will look like.

Deep Subway Stations Getting Elevators in Manhattan

Curbed New York reported in December 2018 that five uptown Manhattan subway stations will undergo accessibility improvements with the installation of new elevators. Called “much-needed” (as, for example, only 117 of the city’s 472 subway stations are considered handicapped accessible), they will require closures at two stations lasting up to a year. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced it would begin work at the “deep” subway stations in Washington Heights in January and stagger work at the stations requiring extended closure.

The “1” platform at the 168th Street station will be first and remain closed through January 2020. The 181st Street A station will follow, with work continuing from October 2019 to October 2020. Elevator entrances will be closed for that duration, but “A” train service will still be available via non-elevator entrances. The 191st Street 1 station will remain operational during work on it, from February 2020 to February 2021, with elevator entrances closed for repairs and the platform accessible via non-elevator entrances. The same situation will be in effect at the 190th Street A station between November 2020 and November 2021. Finally, the 181st Street 1 station will be closed from March 2021 to February 2022. MTA said the extended closures are due to the stations’ depth and the fact that the existing elevator components are a century or more old.

425 Park Avenue Tops Out in Midtown Manhattan

425 Park Avenue, Midtown Manhattan’s first new full-block office tower in 50 years (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2017 and August 2015), held its official topping-out ceremony in December 2018, New York YIMBY reported. The gathering included building architect Lord Norman Foster, head of Foster + Partners, and several keynote speakers, including David Levinson of developer L&L Holding Co. LLC and Masaoki Kanematsu of Tokyu Land Corp. The final structural beam, painted white, carried the message “BUILDING THE UNBUILDABLE” and was signed by many of those present. Construction workers posed for pictures with the beam.

The 41-story, 897-ft.-tall 425 Park Avenue is the 17th-tallest building under construction in New York City. The tower grew from the remains of a structure that formerly stood on site, with an undemolished section being incorporated into the new building.

There will be 670,000 sq. ft. of office space divided among three main tiers, with each floor plate getting smaller toward the top. The façade consists of a glass curtain wall and reflective panels, with lines that visually draw attention toward the top of the tower, which will hold a 36-ft.-high wall of glass that encloses office space. Three architectural fins rising atop the eastern footprint’s concrete core will be illuminated at night, creating a striking appearance on the skyline.

The view will include the towers of Billionaires’ Row, as well as 53 West 53rd Street, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the Citigroup Center. Completion of 425 Park Avenue will most likely be sometime in 2020.

High-Rise Trio Nears Completion in Brooklyn

The Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, will soon have 857 new residences as 420 Kent Avenue, a development comprising three 24-story glass-covered residential towers rising on the East River waterfront, is nearing completion, New York YIMBY reported in November 2018. Designed by ODA New York and developed by Spitzer Enterprises, the towers located south of the Williamsburg Bridge were in the process of receiving their glass façades. Each building is formed by a series of shifting and staggered rectangular boxes varying in height and size, with the spaces creating outdoor terraces for some of the residential units that face southeast toward the morning sun, or northwest toward the Manhattan skyline.

The project covers a total of 550,419 sq. ft., including 12,454 sq. ft. of ground-floor retail space. Above that will be the rental apartments, with 172 units, or 20% of the total, reserved for affordable housing. Access to the East River Ferry is only a short walk to the South Williamsburg ferry terminal, and the closest subway is Marcy Avenue on the J and M trains. The project is expected to be finished this year.

Site Testing Begins for NoMad Office Tower

Site testing has begun for “29th & 5th,” a 34-story, 551-ft.-tall office tower in New York City’s NoMad neighborhood, several blocks south of the Empire State Building, New York YIMBY reported in November 2018. The tower, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), will hold 300,000 sq. ft. of floorspace within its glass curtain wall that will feature staggered open terraces on its east side, giving office workers nice views of the city skyline. HFZ Capital Group is the developer of the project. Excavation and foundation work is expected to begin in the first half of this year, with completion likely in 2021 or 2022.

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