I think you've just coined the perfect word for what is actually happening.
I think you need to find a new word, because gentrification doesn't fit that definition. Luxurification, maybe?
I think you've just coined the perfect word for what is actually happening.
The number of units have increased just a tad. O'Hara's still the architect however.
Not a great looking design but I applaud this project nonetheless because building over unsightly railroad tracks is always a great idea.
The site from the 48 St. side:
A peek inside...
Same Old Tune: Sony Sells Hell’s Kitchen Studio For $44 M., Condos Planned
447-453 West 53rd Street
by Eliot Brown
Published: November 20, 2007
Condos will soon replace a storied Hell’s Kitchen recording studio as Sony sold it last week for $44 million to a partnership of Jamestown Properties and Alchemy Properties.
The sale of the recording studio complex at 447-453 West 53rd Street, 450 West 54th Street and 452-460 West 54th Street—reportedly home to the filming of Miracle on 34th Street and On the Waterfront—and the planned 96-unit, 130,000-square-foot condo to take its place tell a tale both of the rising real estate market and the declining music recording industry.
Sony put about $40 million into new equipment at one of the buildings almost 15 years ago, according to a 1993 article in The New York Times, but the growing demand for luxury condos—yes, in Hell’s Kitchen—coupled with society’s waning desire to pay for its music all but sealed the fate of the site.
“Demolition is most likely going to start immediately,” said Jeffrey Schwartz, an attorney at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, who represented the buyers on the deal. “This area is up and coming.”
Mr. Schwartz was joined in representation by Raphael Tawil of Wolf Haldenstein, and Andrew Charles and Joseph Bartlett of the law firm King & Spalding. Sony was represented by the Paul Hastings law firm.
Copyright ©, The New York Observer, L.P.
By the way, the photo accompanying the article above is somewhat misleading because the properties in question is not the playground/courtyard but the two red/pink colored buildings on the left hand side.
School seats borne out of HK residential project
By Heather Murray
A real estate developer presented its plans to the local community board for a 1,300-unit Hell’s Kitchen residential complex that would also provide funding for a brand-new public school building.
The multi-building development by the Gotham Organization, brought before Community Board 4’s Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Land Use Committee on Weds., Jan. 14, would span almost an entire square block from 44th to 45th Sts. between 10th and 11th Aves. and include 600 units of permanently affordable housing.
The project dates back to negotiations with the city prior to the 2005 Hudson Yards rezoning, when the community recognized that the rezoning of 59 West Side blocks mostly south of 42nd St. would encourage an enormous wave of residential construction in areas previously designated for manufacturing uses.
“As a community, we were determined that out of this whole rezoning we would also get a strong commitment to develop affordable housing,” said committee chairperson Anna Hayes Levin. Roughly 40 percent of the housing is currently planned as family-size two- and three-bedroom units, with the rest studio and one-bedrooms.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn negotiated an agreement with the Bloomberg administration that the city-owned site, which includes PS 51/Elias Howe School, be used to develop 600 units of affordable housing, Levin said. The project initially proposed expanding the school by 110 seats rather than building a new one but was revised to include a five-story, 95,000-square-foot school with approximately 630 school seats—a potential increased capacity of more than 300 from PS 51’s current enrollment.
“As a community, we’re united that it will be the best possible school,” Levin added.
Melissa Pianko, Gotham’s vice president of development, has been working on the project with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development for the past four years. She said the developer reduced the planned residential tower on 11th Ave. from 44 stories to 31 to address residents’ concerns that the building would appear out of character for the area and not conform with efforts to limit heights there as part of the proposed 11th Ave. rezoning.
To accommodate the truncated building without decreasing density, Pianko said the developer has “effectively smushed the site” and now plans to build more over the eastern side of the property. There will be less open space available because of the move, she noted, including just a 12,500-square-foot playground for the school.
Parents of PS 51 students complained that the playground is oddly shaped—made up of one long rectangular piece with a pair of smaller rectangular portions that surround two sides of the school building. Kenrick Ou, the city School Construction Authority’s director for real estate services, said that the city typically attempts to set aside 35,000 square feet to 1 acre for playgrounds in the outer boroughs, while state guidelines recommend four acres. He added, though, that the new school would have a gym not available in the existing school, which would likely reduce demand for the playground.
Pianko explained that the developer has several goals for the project, including constructing a new PS 51, providing 600 units of affordable housing and paying an additional $35 million to the city to help fund the school and affordable housing initiatives.
Ou added that the SCA and Department of Education would pair Gotham’s $15 million school contribution with its own funding, likely in the “tens of millions,” to build the school. The other $20 million will go into an affordable housing fund that could be used for housing either in Board 4’s area or citywide.
PS 51 students will remain in the old school during construction of the new school, and after they move into the new location in the next three or four years, Gotham plans to adaptively reuse the school for additional residential housing.
Several community members lobbied the developer to consider the possibility of allowing the old school to be converted for ancillary use for the new school or a community facility. Pianko told the committee that the developer would consider that option providing it is “value neutral to us.”
Although several parents and community members asked for details about the school’s design and whether it would remain an elementary school or be expanded to include grades six through eight, Ou said he was unable to comment yet. The design process likely won’t begin for several more months, he noted, adding that the SCA’s mandate was to build something that is “flexible.” The DOE often doesn’t finalize plans for a school until much closer to its opening and prefers to review more current information on the neighborhood’s population when making that designation.
Ou also highlighted one of the key changes DOE announced in its five-year capital plan, which is currently undergoing public review before possible implementation in July. He said the DOE is committed to focusing on school needs on more of a neighborhood basis instead of district-wide.
All the parents who spoke at the meeting opposed including middle school grades at PS 51, claiming that the move would make the already-overcrowded school even more packed despite the 300-seat addition.
“We don’t want to hear that you’re finalizing discussions,” Board 4 chairperson JD Noland told Ou. “We need to see something concrete.”
Other board members asked that Gotham, HPD and the SCA coordinate their approval and construction processes to keep the community better informed of the project.
Katherine Johnson, PS 51 PTA president, asked about plans to mitigate noise and ensure good air quality during construction.
David Picket, president of Gotham Organization, assured her that the company would maintain an ongoing dialogue with the school and surrounding community as the project gets under way. Bob Davis, the developer’s land use counsel, added that monthly meetings are often held with the community regarding large projects such as this.
PS 51 teacher Shelley Grant, who has worked at the school for the past six years, asked why the school site is being moved from 45th St. to 44th St. when “44th Street is filled with taxis and tour buses.” She also felt “there is a lot of unusable space in the schoolyard,” with shadows cast over it much of the time. Committee members said they would stipulate in their letter to the city that measures be taken to lessen the taxi traffic, like barring taxis from parking along 44th St.
Committee member Chuck Spence also voiced the community’s need for a supermarket in the neighborhood, and although Pianko said it’s too early to tell what will go there, she noted that Gotham would consider a supermarket among other uses.
Davis explained that Gotham is proposing to change the site’s zoning from manufacturing to mixed commercial and will ask for two amendments and five special permits from the city.
“We fought for a residential designation up 11th Avenue,” said committee member Sarah Desmond regarding the proposed 11th Ave. rezoning, questioning whether Gotham could request a purely residential zoning designation with text amendments.
Davis said he would look into the possibility and wasn’t against the residential designation, but indicated the approval process could be more cumbersome for the residential designation as opposed to commercial.
Pianko said a scoping meeting on the project will be held on Jan. 30 with the Department of City Planning. Written comments on the draft scoping document can be submitted through Feb. 9 to HPD’s Office of Development and Planning. Pianko added that the developer hopes the ULURP process will begin by April 20.
The project’s site plan shows the collection of residential buildings on the square-block parcel, with the planned new PS 51 building (shaded darkest) near the southeast corner of 44th St. and 10th Ave.
Strange that they are so compelled to minimize building height that they are content with reducing the school's playground space instead.
"Smushing" the tower down will probably only make the building less attractive and a more of a wall. But of course when this monster goes up and the community is aghast, they'll all breathe a sigh of relief, grateful that the monstrosity didn't rise taller. Not thinking we'd have a more elegant/slender design without the limits. Retarded.
We'll never learn...
You mean, they'll never learn. We already know.
What's going on at 54th st and 10th avenue and also at 54th and 11th?
Does anybody know what is planned for the lot bounded by 57th Street, 58th Street, 11th Ave, and 12th Ave?
There's a rendering on SLCE's website for Studio City in Hell's Kitchen under "Current Projects".
It should be a crime to build (crap) buildings with a base that
take up an entire city block