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Tall buildings multiply throughout boroughs.

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This 62-story tower being developed by Starrett Corp. is among projects planned in the Two Bridges neighborhood; image from Perkins Eastman.

Two Bridges Neighborhood Sizzles

The Two Bridges neighborhood on the Lower East Side is bustling with activity with at least four towers on the drawing board in what has been described as one of the last bastions of affordable housing in New York City (NYC), various news outlets reported. J+M Development Partners and CIM Group hope to get the green light for a pair of 69- and 62-story towers linked by a podium at 260 South Street, The Lo-Down reported. Containing up to 1,350 apartments (including 338 “affordable” ones), ground-level retail and landscaped public areas, the project is being designed by Handel Architects, which envisions a pair of slender towers standing 60 ft. apart at ground level with setbacks as they rise. In addition, Starrett Corp. hopes to build a 62-story, 724-ft.-tall apartment building designed by Perkins Eastman at 259 Clinton Street, Curbed New York reported. That building would contain approximately 730 apartments, including more than 180 “affordable” ones, along with ground-level retail.

If all goes well, Starrett will start construction in 2018.  Previously, a 77-story tower planned by JDS Development drew grumbles from residents (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2016) who are concerned about density, safety and displacement. If J+M and CIM win approval to build their project, they hope to start construction in 2018 and complete it in 2021.

1 Manhattan West’s Unique Pedestal Taking Shape

Construction on the podium at 1 Manhattan West was described by The New York Times as “a mammoth steel structure, as long as a city block, that seems to float 51-1/2 ft. over the ground at Ninth Avenue and 33rd Street.” The 1.2-million-cu.-ft. structure will “balance” a 995-ft.-tall building, extending 42 ft. beyond its core to the north and south. The south overhang will suspend the tower over three parallel Long Island Rail Road tracks, with the north overhang acting as a counterbalance.

“Nothing that is going to happen on this site is going to be conventional,” stated Gary Haney, a design partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the architectural and engineering firm of the overall Manhattan West project. It is being developed by Brookfield Properties, which has owned part of the Manhattan West site since 1985, through its corporate predecessor, Olympia & York. 1 Manhattan West is to have 67 occupied floors. Priced at US$1 billion, its construction is to be completed in 2019.

World’s Tallest Modular High Rise Opens

Tenants began moving into 461 Dean (formerly called B2) (EW, August 2015), a central Brooklyn residential building described by designer SHoP Architects as “the world’s tallest modular tower,” in November 2016. dezeen reported that the 32-story tower is billed a solution to meet the high demand for urban housing. It is the first residential building to open in Pacific Park (formerly called Atlantic Yards and Greenland USA and Forest City Ratner Cos.), a 22-acre mixed-use development begun in 2003.

Sitting near a major transit hub and adjacent to the Barclays Center (a sports arena SHoP also designed), the building contains 363 rental apartments with 23 different configurations. Its 930 steel modules were fabricated offsite in the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard and shipped by truck. The apartments’ countertops, stone backsplashes and stainless-steel appliances were also installed in the factory. Chris Sharples, principal of SHoP, explained, “Offsite construction reduces environmental impact and offers a creative way forward for the construction industry to address the intersecting needs of cities today.”

The edifice took four years to complete. dezeen stated this was much longer than anticipated, largely due to a dispute between the developer and its partner, Skanska, which served as construction manager and ran the prefabrication factory. Construction was temporarily halted in 2014, with Forest City eventually buying
out Skanska.

Trio of Residential Towers for Upper West Side

General Investment and Development is developing a trio of residential towers — a 38- and 25-story structure connected by a base, along with 36- and 34-story towers — on a prime five acres on the Upper West Side overlooking the Hudson River, Curbed NY and New York YIMBY reported. Rebranded Waterline Square, each has a different architect: Richard Meier and Partners Architects for the 36-story One Waterline Square, Rafael Viñoly Architects for the 34-story Three Waterline Square and Kohn Pederson Fox for the double-tower structure, Two Waterline Square, with Goldstein, Hill & West as executive architect. All will house condominiums on the upper floors with rental units below. Completion is expected in 2018.

NYU: Subway Elevators Needed to Ease Access-A-Ride Burden

Additional subway elevators are among measures that would ease budget pressure on NYC’s federally mandated paratransit service, Access-A-Ride, according to a New York University (NYU) report, the Village Voice reported. Only 112 of NYC’s 491 subway stations are fully accessible, and advocates for the disabled say the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has not delivered on promises to improve access. The MTA says it is working on a US$739.5-million full-accessibility program in 11 key stations scheduled for completion in 2020. It would cost US$9 billion to make the system fully accessible with 870 elevators in approximately 350 stations.

South Brooklyn’s Tallest Residential Tower in the Works

Cammeby’s International Group was driving piles in late 2016 for the retail portion of what promises to be the tallest residential tower in south Brooklyn at 40 stories and 430 ft., New York YIMBY reported. Designed by S9 Architecture, the golden, gridded structure known as Neptune/Sixth in Coney Island will eventually replace Trump Village Shopping Center. It is located at 532 Neptune Avenue and is slated to include approximately 540 apartments, 90,000 sq. ft. of retail and 15,521 sq. ft. of community space. It will be the fourth and final phase of a development that also includes a seven-story, 161,000-sq.-ft. office, retail and medical building expected to be complete sometime this year.

68-Story Residential Tower Planned in East Harlem

If all goes according to plan, there will be a 68-story, 1,100-unit residential building at 921 E. 96th Street in East Harlem by 2023, DNAinfo reported. It is part of a larger plan that includes expanding and improving public schools in the area. AvalonBay won a competitive bid to handle the project, set to include approximately 330 permanently affordable rental units. The residential portion of the project encompasses approximately 1.3 million sq. ft. and the school portion 270,000 sq. ft. A slew of community meetings will be held to help bring the project from concept to reality.   

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