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Towers of all kinds rise across the boroughs, and an important safety-training compliance date is extended.

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Ground floor of 111 Varick Street; rendering by S9 Architecture

Proposed Lower Manhattan Jail Tower Sparks Heated Debate

A proposed 45-story jail tower at 125 White Street in Lower Manhattan sparked heated debate during public hearings in the spring, with Tribeca, Chinatown and Soho residents raising concerns including cost, shadows cast by the structure and a loss of history, The Architect’s Newspaper reported. Part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to close Rikers Island and replace it with four

borough-based jails, the White Street structure would replace 13- and nine-story towers that make up the Manhattan Detention Complex, also known as The Tombs, which includes an Art Deco/ Art Moderne tower. Together, the four new jails would cost roughly US$11 billion, while renovating Rikers, some tower opponents said, would cost only US$1 billion. Building a tower would result in larger inmate cells, better lighting and ventilation and additional programs. A de Blasio spokesman said Rikers, home to approximately 9,000 inmates, is “too archaic and old” to be renovated.

Second Tower in Greenpoint Landing Nears Completion

The 40-story Handel Architects-designed 41 Blue Slip, part of Greenpoint Landing, a 5,500-unit development on the East River in north Brooklyn, topped out in May, New York YIMBY reported. Developed by Park Tower Group and Brookfield Property Partners, 41 Blue Slip is distinguished from its predecessor, 37 Blue Slip (ELEVATOR WORLD, October 2018), by its height and an elongated, cylindrical top. Once it opens in 2020, 41 Blue Slip will add more than 400 apartments to Greenpoint Landing, which also involves L+M Development Partners and is set to include a new K-8 public school and waterfront park.

Site Safety Training Extension

An amendment to NYC Labor Law 196 has extended the deadline for the second compliance date of new construction site safety training to June 1, 2020 (previously June 1, 2019). The final date remains September 1, 2020. However, according to National Elevator Industry, Inc. Vice President, Codes & Safety Kevin L. Brinkman, an OSHA 10 card (certifying the 10-hour class has been completed) is still required, and some local contractors are already requiring the additional training. The second compliance date will require an OSHA 30 card, with the final one requiring an OSHA 40 card, The Real Deal reported in May.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Rising Quickly in Times Square

NYC’s first Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville (EW, July 2018) is rising quickly at Seventh Avenue and West 40th Street in Times Square, on its way to anticipated completion next year, New York YIMBY reported. Developed by partners including Soho Properties and MHP Real Estate Services, the 29-story resort will include 234 hotel rooms, a three-story restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a rooftop bar and ground-level retail. The foundations and cellar floors were completed in May as steel rebar, floor slabs and columns went into place. Margaritaville’s glass curtain-wall façade promises to stand out, with elements such as a large LandShark Bar & Grill sign and a frieze of neon shark fins on the third-floor perimeter.

Hudson Square Residential Tower Making Upward Progress

Construction on the reinforced concrete structure of the 27-story residential tower at 111 Varick Street in Hudson Square had reached the first of several architectural setbacks in late April ahead of an anticipated fall 2020 completion, New York YIMBY reported. The structure will have 100 market-rate and affordable units, as well as ground-level retail, a 15-car parking garage, a roof terrace, bike storage and a laundry room. Madigan Development is behind the project, designed by S9 Architecture with an undulating steel-panel façade “that will catch sunlight from different angles throughout the day and create a lively play of shadows.” Upper floors will boast views of the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan.

World’s Tallest Modular Hotel Rising in NYC’s NoMad

A new high rise going up in NYC’s NoMad neighborhood will be the tallest modular hotel in the world, according to Marriott International, Inc., the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reported in April. The AC Hotel will hold 168 guest rooms, which are being assembled in a factory in Poland, shipped to NYC and hauled to the site in the dark of night, where they are being stacked into a 26-story tower.

Marriott is pressing for more modular construction because it speeds up the process of opening new hotel properties, which boosts revenue. The time-saving process allows site work and the offsite building of the rooms to go on simultaneously, a Marriott official said.

The AC Hotel would claim the title of world’s tallest modular hotel from CitizenM, a 19-story building on NYC’s Lower East Side that opened in 2018, and would rival 461 Dean Street in Brooklyn, a 32-story residential tower that opened in November 2016 that currently holds the title of world’s tallest modular building.

The AC Hotel is being built on a 90-day timeline and is expected to open in 2020. The project comes at a time when a shortage of construction labor has resulted in longer development timelines, the source said, adding that Marriott has turned to financial incentives to bring lenders, contractors and architects onboard with its push to increase the use of modular construction techniques.

Brooklyn Tower Heavy on Views, Resident Amenities

New York YIMBY recently toured the topped-out 123 Linden Boulevard in Prospect Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn, describing a 467-unit residential tower that boasts an impressive array of amenities and views including Prospect Park, downtown Brooklyn, Lower and Midtown Manhattan and, from the rooftop, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and Statue of Liberty. Designed by Hill West Architects and developed by Moinian Group and Bushburg Properties, the 26-story, 229-ft.-tall tower features private balconies for 85 units and 50,000 sq. ft. of amenities such as outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a rooftop terrace, a dog run, a fitness center and a business center. Also included are parking spots for 288 vehicles and nearly 200 bikes.

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