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Thread: Riverside South Development

  1. #376
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    East Midtown


    Quote Originally Posted by NoyokA View Post
    That patterned glass looks horrible.
    Definitely. This seems to be one of the latest trends and it almost never looks good.

  2. #377


    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post
    Council Approves Five Towers of Fun at the UWS's Riverside Center

    December 20, 2010, by Joey Arak

    You know when's a perfect time to push through controversial neighborhood-altering megaprojects? Shortened holiday work weeks when most people are traveling, of course! And so today the City Council unanimously approved Riverside Center following an extremely bitter public review period—though the project's opponents can't say they didn't see it coming. Extell's development, which will take the place of an eight-acre lot between West 59th and 61st Streets from West End Avenue to Riverside Boulevard, will be dominated by five towers (the tallest climbing to 44 stories) designed by French starchitect Christian de Portzamparc. There's a whole lot more, which isn't a surprise if you've been following along, but here's a quick review via Extell's press release:
    Overview of new Riverside Center development:
    · 2,500 apartments
    · 250-room hotel
    · 140,000 sf of retail and service space
    · 104,000 sf of office space
    · K-8 public school (Extell pays for construction of the core and shell for the full 100,000 square foot school, with the School Construction Authority finishing at least 85,000 square feet of it)
    · Cinema
    · Parking for 1,500 cars
    · Affordable housing (500,000 sf - 20% of the project's residential floor area)
    · 2.76 acre public park and playground designed by Mathews Nielsen
    · Extell will add $17.5 million to the City's $2.5 million to finish the renovation and modernization of Riverside Park South and also to renovate the West 59th Street Recreation Center
    What, no shout-out for the water scrim?! Also not mentioned: a construction start date. Details, details. Here once again is layout of the plan, which is the final piece of the "Riverside South" community.

    Riverside Center []

    Any recent news on Riverside Center? Curbed hasn't written about it since last year, and the bare bones official website doesn't seem to have anything recent either. Is there any pre-construction activity down there?

  3. #378


    Extell will build the last Riverside South tower before starting here.

    Last news I read:

    Dattner to design Extell's Riverside school

  4. #379
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    Speeding Through an Intersection of New and Old

    November 27, 2011

    Riverside Boulevard at 72nd Street, where a barricade preventing access was removed last month.

    For years, the prospect of an oblong intersection on West 72nd Street was part of a larger battle over the future of the Upper West Side. Now that that future has arrived, the intersection has become a gateway between two parts of the neighborhood with very different approaches to resolving community problems.

    At the northern end of the intersection is Riverside Drive; to the south is Riverside Boulevard. The two Riversides share a name and a Hudson River view, but they are separated by more than geography. Riverside Drive is old-school, with prewar buildings and brownstones; Riverside Boulevard is the main thoroughfare of Riverside South, an enclave of modern luxury high-rise buildings that originally was developed by Donald J. Trump.

    Mr. Trump and his partners faced blistering community opposition to the Riverside South project before finally winning approval from the city in 1992. The fight over the intersection at 72nd Street began in earnest in 2004, when city officials announced that the northbound exit ramp from the West Side Highway at 72nd Street would be permanently closed to make room for the growing apartment complex on Riverside Boulevard.

    The exit ramp was closed in 2007. And last month, after years of bickering, a barricade blocking access from Riverside Boulevard to 72nd Street was removed, forcing the two Riversides to meet. Motorists on Riverside Boulevard can now get onto both Riverside Drive and the Henry Hudson Parkway.

    That has meant more traffic on Riverside Boulevard — and complaints about cars driving too fast. Yet while a traditional Upper West Side response might have been to, say, circulate petitions, pack a community board meeting or organize a rally, Riverside South residents have so far been taking a different approach.

    Gary Katz, a resident and condo board member of a Trump-managed building that overlooks the intersection, said his board had hired a traffic consultant to plead with the city to address some of the traffic problems.
    “It’s not a ‘take to the streets’ type of protest,” Mr. Katz said, adding, “It’s still a major concern for everybody on this street.”

    Thomas Pienkos, senior vice president for operations for the Trump Organization, which manages four Riverside Boulevard buildings, complained to city officials that more drivers were speeding on the boulevard and nearly causing accidents. He added that this was especially worrisome because so many families had moved into the area.

    Batya Lewton, 80, the president of the Coalition for a Livable Upper West Side, spent more than two decades protesting aspects of the Riverside South project. As Riverside Boulevard was created and buildings sprouted up alongside, Ms. Lewton watched traffic spill over to West End Avenue, a block east of Riverside Drive. She said the newly opened intersection had not helped at all.

    “They may have the beginning of a community there,” Ms. Lewton said of the towers along Riverside Boulevard, “but right now I don’t see anything where there’s a sense of community. That does not make it conducive to people becoming active.”

    Indeed, though the plan for the new intersection had been the subject of enough traffic studies and legal filings to paper any of the area’s most spacious apartments, its opening did not prompt the uproar that might have been expected. When Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer held a news conference to mark the opening, no one showed up to protest. Since then, only three residents have complained to Ms. Brewer’s office, a far cry from what she said she had grown to expect from her constituents.

    Douglas Heddings, a real estate broker and 20-year resident, said that, in the past, complaining about changes was part of being an Upper West Sider, even when changes were beneficial.

    “You’ve got this old-school guard on the Upper West Side, and their mission has always been to resist change or improvement,” Mr. Heddings said. “Yet every time one of those things happens, it’s a positive thing for the community and housing values.”

    City officials say that by their measurements the connection has been successful. Seth Solomonow, a Transportation Department spokesman, said that workers from his agency, along with the Police Department, had been monitoring the connection since it opened on Oct. 23 and that so far there had been no surprises.

    “With the exception of some double-parking, which N.Y.P.D. is working to address, we have not identified any significant issues to date,” he said.

    Yet when Andrew Albert, a co-chairman of Community Board 7’s transportation committee, looked at the new intersection on a recent morning, he was alarmed by the sight of many drivers dodging lanes and perilously weaving onto the Henry Hudson illegally. He watched speeding taxis and even an Access-a-Ride van barrel onto the highway from the ramp.

    He suggested that those on Riverside Boulevard who still opposed the intersection might yet make their voices heard.

    “They have money,” Mr. Albert said. “But that doesn’t mean they’re any less West Siders, just because they haven’t lived in a rent-stabilized apartment for 100 years.”

  5. #380
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    No-brainer. Has to be Trumpville. Or, umm...Riverside Boulevard?

    All This Neighborhood Needs Is a Name


    TWENTY years after Donald J. Trump envisioned a series of apartment towers on the old Penn Central rail yards south of 72nd Street on the Upper West Side, a small city has risen there, with some 8,000 people living in 4,000 apartments — and plans for thousands more on the drawing board.

    The neighborhood, on 77 acres stretching from 59th to 72nd Street, doesn’t have an official name. Some brokers and residents refer to it as Riverside Boulevard, for the new street that runs along its western edge. Others jokingly call it the Strip, a reference to the dozen high-rises that march up the boulevard, a mix of condos and market-rate and subsidized rentals.
    The buildings front the green lawns and ball fields of Riverside Park South along the Hudson River. Six more towers with about 3,000 apartments, along with an elementary school, retail space and a hotel, are planned between 59th and 62nd Streets.

    From its inception, the Trump project faced stiff opposition from residents and preservation groups worried about overcrowding and the potential loss of light and views. It also ran into bigger roadblocks along the way. Mr. Trump lost control to the big developer Extell, and in 2009, some buyers at the Rushmore, one of the newest condos, sued to get their deposits back.

    The litigation has dragged on so long — Extell is appealing a decision in favor of the plaintiffs — that those buyers may be regretting that they ever filed their lawsuit. In the last year, sales along Riverside Boulevard have outperformed the rest of the Manhattan market, and the condos, many with sweeping views of the Hudson, have attracted celebrities like Alex Rodriguez and Plácido Domingo.

    In the fourth quarter of 2011, the average price per square foot of a condo increased 10 percent from the previous year quarter, to $1,552. Meanwhile, in Manhattan as a whole, the increase was 4 percent to $1,417, according to data provided by the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, which is marketing Extell’s newest high-rises, the 40-story Aldyn and the 42-story Rushmore.

    The total number of sales increased 23 percent in 2011 over the previous year; Manhattanwide, that increase was 6 percent.

    “All these many years of the neighborhood becoming a more mature, more accepted, more recognized neighborhood in New York have finally taken hold,” said Beth Fisher, a senior managing director of Corcoran Sunshine.

    Sales at the Rushmore, which has 271 units, started in 2006, and 26 apartments remain, ranging from two- to four-bedrooms, said Donna Gargano, a senior vice president for development of Extell, which has four buildings in the area.

    The 150-unit Aldyn, which is 68 percent sold, has 48 apartments remaining, ranging from two- to seven-bedrooms and including two duplexes with large terraces and private swimming pools, Ms. Gargano said. Both buildings have been selling at about $1,500 a square foot.

    Gary Barnett, the president of Extell, says he believes the apartments are undervalued. He compared apartments at the Aldyn and the Rushmore favorably with those at the Laureate, a swanky new Upper West Side development on Broadway, or older apartments at Sutton Place on the East Side, which have views of Queens. Both sell in the mid-$2,000s per square foot, he said.

    “The prices on Riverside are very low in comparison to comparable product in the rest of the city,” Mr. Barnett said. “It’s a great buy now, and I think it has a lot of room for appreciation.”

    Brokers say Alex Rodriguez’s five-bedroom condo on the 39th floor of the Rushmore is a fantastic example of rising value — or maybe the power of celebrity. In mid-January Mr. Rodriguez signed a contract to sell the 3,600-square-foot apartment, asking price $8 million.

    He bought the apartment last March for $5.5 million.

    “That precisely speaks to my point,” Mr. Barnett said.

    Spencer Sloan, an investment banker who has a wife and two small children, bought a three-bedroom apartment in the Rushmore almost two years ago after looking in other neighborhoods, including Battery Park City and TriBeCa. Mr. Sloan said Riverside Boulevard won out, in part, because of its many preschools and the child-centered amenities at the Rushmore.

    “We throw a lot of events in our building in the common spaces,” he said. “Baby classes, birthday parties, holiday parties, music classes. We’ve become very close friends with a lot of the families in the building, in the same age bracket, and going through the same things.”

    Mr. Sloan said he was particularly excited that a school, to house prekindergarten through Grade 8, is to be built nearby. He described the neighborhood’s access to both Central Park and Riverside Park South as its other draw.

    “During the spring, summer and fall,” Mr. Sloan said, “the whole area around the park is full of people. You have Pier i Café right on the water, which is a happening spot, with people drinking or eating along the water. They would also put up a big screen and have movies every week or two, and they would have fairs in the summer along the pier.”

    This being New York, and specifically the Upper West Side, both the neighborhood and the park had contentious births. When Mr. Trump proposed a megadevelopment that included a 150-story tower for the former rail yards, many members of the public flat out opposed him and demanded instead that the rail yards be turned into a park. But Mr. Trump scaled back his proposal to 5,700 apartments in 16 towers of 30 to 40 stories, and offered to build a 21.5-acre public park in phases alongside the high-rises and to pay half of its annual maintenance costs, winning city approval in 1992.

    Even with approval, however, Mr. Trump could not line up the financing to build his first two towers. He finally sold the 77-acre project in 1994 to Hudson Waterfront Associates, a consortium of buyers from Southeast Asia, staying on as the developer. Although plagued with issues including the seismic instability of the site, inferior and potentially dangerous concrete, and vociferous objections from neighbors angered by growing traffic snarls, the partnership built three rental buildings and four condo buildings now known as Trump Place over the course of a decade.

    Then, in 2005, to capitalize on the raging real estate market, Hudson Waterfront Associates agreed to sell the entire project, including the land zoned for the remaining undeveloped towers, to Extell and the Carlyle Group for $1.76 billion. Mr. Trump tried to stop the sale with a lawsuit against Hudson Waterfront Associates, contending that it had worked out a deal with the buyers and failed to get top dollar. The sale eventually went forward.

    Once Extell and Carlyle gained control, the three rental buildings were sold to Equity Residential, and an eight-acre parcel of the rail-yard site to the south was rezoned. The parcel had been approved for two apartment towers and a television studio, but Extell received approval for five residential towers, to include 3,000 apartments; the “core and shell” of a school; a hotel; and space for retail shops, restaurants and a cinema. The developers planned a 3.4-acre park winding among the buildings and about 500,000 square feet of affordable housing.

    Extell and Carlyle now appear ready to sell the land approved for the two towers where the school and some of the affordable housing are to go; the buildings will still have to conform to those uses under new owners. Other than confirming the listing, neither Extell nor the Carlyle Group would comment on the sale.

    But critics pounced on it. “We knew that once that land was zoned to maximize their building area, they weren’t going to build it,” said Batya Lewton, the president of the Coalition for a Livable West Side. “They went through the planning process to maximize their lot area and the value.”

    The coalition has objected to Riverside Boulevard since the first Trump proposal back in the late 1980s, and Ms. Lewton said the group hadn’t grown any fonder of it in the interim. She said she was particularly offended by the 421a tax breaks given to the towers, which translate into huge tax breaks for buyers.

    “When A-Rod bought an apartment there,” she recalled, “they talked about his real estate taxes, and people laughed.” Mr. Rodriguez was being billed about $1,500 a year when, without the tax break, he would have owed something like $60,000. “So taxpayers basically are subsidizing that luxury development.”

    The Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, said he had repeatedly tried to get traffic lights, speed bumps and more enforcement along Riverside Boulevard.

    “Riverside Boulevard is not a boulevard, it’s a highway,” said Mr. Stringer, who opposed the project as an assemblyman representing the area.

    But current residents and their real estate brokers, when asked about traffic, seem to have other concerns. The lack of neighborhood restaurants and cafes frequently comes up.

    “I think, really, we’re gastronomically challenged over here,” said Katerina Soukhopalova, who lives with her husband, Vasken Demirjian, and two children in a four-bedroom apartment in the Aldyn. She believes Riverside Boulevard could develop into something like the south bank of the Thames in London between the London Eye and the Tate Modern, an area full of residences, cafes, galleries and boutiques.

    When Ms. Soukhopalova moved to Riverside Boulevard from Broadway and 68th Street last fall, she assumed she would continue to order takeout from her favorite Upper West Side restaurants. She had a rude awakening: no restaurant would deliver.

    “They would say, ‘Oh, but we don’t go beyond West End Avenue; it’s one extra block too far,’ ” Ms. Soukhopalova said. “And I’m, like, yelling, ‘You’re missing out on incredible business — it’s a short strip, but there are so many residents here.’ ”

    Ms. Soukhopalova didn’t give up, and quickly educated Cafe Fiorello, at Broadway between 63rd and 64th.

    “I yelled at them, and I made them deliver,” she said. “And later, the manager called me back and said: ‘Thank you. I didn’t realize how many people live on that block.’ ”

  6. #381


    I've been calling it Trumpville for years. But at this point, isn't his involvement minimal?

  7. #382
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    The only thing left of him is his name. I believe it's licensed.

  8. #383
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    in Limbo


    That plus a few strands of that famous 'comb over' hair may be all there is.

  9. #384


    Umm... how about Riverside South? I thought that was the obvious one.

  10. #385
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Just what I was going to say.

  11. #386


    does anyone know whats going on at 40 riverside boulevard? This is supposed to be extell's last tower before riverside center

  12. #387
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Broomfield, CO


    Nothing had been going on for the longest time, but I feel like the last few times I've ridden by in a cab that construction trailers have been popping up. There definitely wasn't heavy equipment at the site as of last Wednesday, but there might be now.

  13. #388

  14. #389


    I'm curious if they are actually following through with putting that stretch of the west side highway below ground

  15. #390
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Broomfield, CO


    So part, but not all of the necessary tunnel is there. I have heard they will keep it going under all of this new build as well. That means the tunnel will be missing from the first few Trump buildings, and then there's the work of connecting it. I still think the ownership over here would like to, but I'm not sure NYSDOT has much to offer, even though they'd have to be at least partially involved.

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