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Thread: Mercedes House - by TEN Arquitectos - Two Trees

  1. #1
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Default Mercedes House - by TEN Arquitectos - Two Trees

    Something to keep an eye on...


    A WIN IN THE WE$T

    $130M DEAL ON 11TH

    By Steve Cuozzo

    September 5, 2006 -- THE lure of the far West Side has drawn DUMBO developer David Walentas back to the Manhattan development scene for the first time in 25 years.


    Walentas' Two Trees Management Co. has a contract to buy a vast Eleventh Avenue site where it hopes to build up to 1,000 apartments, The Post has learned.

    Walentas will pay Verizon $130 million for most of the block on the east side of the avenue between 53rd and 54th streets.

    The renowned DUMBO developer wants the city to rezone the land from its current manufacturing-commercial designation to residential, which would enable him to build apartments as well as new stores, parking and community-use facilities.

    Two Trees did several successful Manhattan projects starting 40 years ago. "Then," Walentas says, "25 years ago, we went to DUMBO and fell in love. It's been a life venture, and this is our first venture in Manhattan since going to Brooklyn."

    Right now, the Eleventh Avenue site is an unsightly blur of parking lots and a few 1-story buildings. Walentas is buying the whole block except for the old Verizon building at 811 Tenth Ave.

    "Much of the land around it has already been rezoned but not this one," Walentas said. "We've already had informal talks with the City Planning Commission, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Community Board 4."
    What Walentas can build will hinge on rezoning and negotiations with the city. It could be a mix of market-rate and affordable housing.
    Although Walentas started out in Manhattan with such projects as transforming Alwyn Court, his name has been synonymous with Brooklyn for decades. He virtually owns DUMBO near the Manhattan Bridge, where Two Trees developed 1.6 million square of commercial space and 800 rental and condo apartments.

    Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

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    Senior Swanky Peteynyc1's Avatar
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    This area is a changing quickly, a result of this and other projects such as...

    Mosaic Downtown, a 24-story tower, will rise midblock between 51st and 52nd streets. The other slightly larger 24-story building known as Mosaic Uptown will rise on 10th Avenue's western block-front from 52nd to 53rd street.

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    Apparently, this one has quietly started and moving along...

    See excavation pics (2) here.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Walentas Gang Raising Hell With TEN Arquitectos

    CURBED
    Monday, October 1, 2007
    by Pete



    The Walentas family isn't sticking to Brooklyn. They're back in Manhattan and digging
    a huge hole at 770 Eleventh Avenue on the northern edge of Hell's Kitchen. According to
    the Department of Buildings, they've hired the whiz kids at TEN Arquitectos to design
    a BIG project here. Money and talent. This could be good.



    They're calling the development Clinton Park. It's an obvious choice, as the site overlooks
    the weather-beaten but well-used DeWitt Clinton Park. The Walentas parcel covers
    nearly 100,000 square feet and was a vast Verizon parking lot when they
    bought it a year ago for a cool $130 million.

    The goal is 900 apartments, but given that current zoning doesn't allow residential use,
    the plan will require major finessing. City Planning now has a whole list (warning PDF)
    of "Land Use" ideas for the Walentas site, including variances for height and set-backs along
    with a bonus for inclusionary housing. The Walentases know this could be a long shot, so
    they've even thrown in some new horse stables for our boys in blue.

    However, the gang at Community Board 4 are no push-overs and have already
    written that "In anticipation of zoning and other regulatory applications in the area,
    the Board now wishes to remind itself and others of its basic position for the area."
    Democracy In Action. Uh oh.


    The demolition in action, looking north (left) and east (right).


    The site is currently zoned as M1-5, which means residential use is a no-no.

    · Markowitz to Two Trees: Love Ya, But... [Curbed]
    · Enrique Norten Can't Play with Frank Gehry on Flatbush Ave. [Curbed]
    · NY Post: A WIN IN THE WE$T [Wired New York]
    · West Clinton Zoning – Confirmation of CB4 Position (PDF) [Manhattan CB4]

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    Senior Swanky Peteynyc1's Avatar
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    Has the zoning been changed? Would they start digging and building foundation without knowing what is to be built? Any renderings floating around?

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Not yet.
    Yes.
    No.


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    Default first rendering

    Two Trees plans 900-unit development in Clinton 29-JAN-08 David Walentas of Two Trees Management Corporation has proposed developing the western half of the block bounded by Tenth and Eleventh Avenues and 53rd and 54th Streets with a 32-story structure with a S-shaped plan with about 900 apartments, 236,000 square feet of automobile sales and repair space, 31,000 square feet of health club space, 16,000 square feet of retail space, up to 225 accessory parking spaces and 28,000 square feet of space for the New York Police Department Mounted Unit.
    Twenty percent of the planned apartments would be "affordable units."
    According to "scoping" documents filed with the city October 10, 2007, the development would have a two-story base covering the site. "Rising from the base there would be tower structures forming an S-shaped pattern and containing residential units. Along Eleventh Avenue facing DeWitt Clinton Park, the residential tower would step up from7 stories on the north...to 10-stories on the south....On the eastern edge of the site adjacent to the 457-foot tall AT&T Switching Tower, the residential portion would step up from 29 stories on the north to 30 stories plus two mechanical levels on the south. Connecting these two sections would be a tower on a diagonal alignment relative to the street grid, stepping up from the west along W. 53rd Street to W. 54th Street on the east. The portions of the base structure not covered by the residential towers would have a flat roof predominantly covered by garden terraces for use by building residents and skylights providing natural lighting for the residential lobbies."
    Two trees acquired the site in 2006 for about $130 million from Verizon, which had been using it as an automotive service/vehicle storage facility.
    The New York Police Department Mounted Unit needs a new facility because one of its existing ones on Pier 76 will be converted to a new use as part of the ongoing development of the Hudson River Park.
    Enrique Norten of Ten Arquitectos is the architect for the project, which is known as The Clinton Park.
    The proposal requires zoning map and text amendments, a special permit from the City Planning Commission relating to general large-scale development, a special permit from the Board of Standards and Appeals and approval of New York State housing Finance Agency financing under its 80/20 affordable housing program.
    A public hearing on the "scoping" documents was held November 15, 2007.
    The executive committee of Manhattan Community Board 4 sent its comments to the City Planning Commission November 26, 2007 and noted that "the board is gratified that the applicant promises to locate low-income units on every floor of the building, and not just on the lower floors as many developers do." The letter, signed by Jean-Daniel Noland, chairman of the community board, and Anna Hayes Levin, chairman of its Clinton/Hell's Kitchen Land Use Committee, however, found that the project was "significantly out of scale" and would "set an unfortunate precedent for zoning on the four remaining private development sites" in the Clinton Urban Renewal Area and in the 11th Avenue corridor to the south. "Two Trees," the letter continued, "seeks to dazzle with a marvelously creative building from a world-renowned architect, and the design has been guided by some principles we strongly support - keeping building heights lower on 11th Ave. opposite DeWitt Clinton Park, and concentrating height on the eastern portion of the site, next to the AT&T tower. But fancy architecture is no substitute for good planning....The studies of urban design and neighborhood character must recognize that while this striking design presents a varied facade from the west, from the north and south it will be a high-density modern slab in a medium- and low-density brick and industrial landscape."

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    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Well that looks different. I like it. It will sure hide that awful white transfer station building.

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    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    But fancy architecture is no substitute for good planning....The studies of urban design and neighborhood character must recognize that while this striking design presents a varied facade from the west, from the north and south it will be a high-density modern slab in a medium- and low-density brick and industrial landscape."
    Blah, Blah, Blah.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    This could be a terrific development.

    If the folks at CB5 start trying to ruin it then folks from wny should go en masse to CB / CPC meetings and give support to Two Trees / Norten.

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    WOW! I would love to see that built. A scaled down version is inevitable though.

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    It's funny that the community board should use the "significantly out of scale" and too much density claim here because just across the street is the 38-story Clinton towers (ugly red-brick slab) built back in the 70's that has nearly 400 units on half the land that this parking lot occupies.

    This is not even including the fact that there is already the recently finished Archstone Clinton Green with over 600 units on probably 1/3 the size of this site. There are also a number of apartment towers lining 10th Ave.

    The context of 11 Ave. is mostly open lots, junky auto repair shops and drab one-story warehouses. In other words, the context here is not anything worth being "preserved."

    Somehow they seem to have forgotten about these things and conveniently left them out in their letter.

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    Senior Swanky Peteynyc1's Avatar
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    Perhaps this thread should be called: Two Trees / Clinton Park (770 11th Ave)

    The next CB-4 meeting is:
    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 starting at 6:30 p.m. atFulton Center Auditorium - 119 Ninth Ave.

    Next been to one of these things. May have to go check it out.

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    VERY interesting, and it actually makes a nice transition from park to highrises beyond. You're right, what's out of scale here is the dilapidated lowrises and vacant lots.

  15. #15

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    My upstairs neighbor sits on CB4.....
    Listen to her for a while and it seems all they care about
    is inclusionary low income housing AND,
    keeping all the buildings along the north /south corridor as low
    as possible.
    It seems to me that if a building doesn't include the low income housing
    the board summarily rejects it! Go to one of the meetings and you hear very little
    about what a building esthetically looks like, but rather
    complaints about how all these new people are going to fit into the area and,
    how much more traffic they will bring into our already congested streets.

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