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Thread: Riverside South Development

  1. #421
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Architect Switch Irks City Officials

    By Eliot Brown

    Two years ago, Extell Development Co. won public approvals to build a five-tower apartment development on the far West Side of Manhattan partly by touting its use of the highly regarded French architect Christian de Portzamparc, a winner of the profession's top honor, the Pritzker Prize.

    Now, a new developer—the Dermot Co.—is taking over the first 616-unit tower on the eight-acre site known as Riverside Center, and it is replacing Mr. de Portzamparc with SLCE Architects, a local firm not known for iconic designs.

    Dermot said it feels more comfortable with SLCE, but the switch has raised the ire of city officials, as well as members of the community who say Mr. de Portzamparc's involvement was one of the project's more appealing qualities.

    Extell An early rendering from Christian de Portzamparc of Riverside Center.

    "I am extremely disappointed to learn that the developer of Riverside Center has chosen not to retain Christian de Portzamparc as architect for this project," said Amanda Burden, director of the Department of City Planning, in an emailed statement Friday.

    The design dust-up highlights a pitfall in the process of winning public approval for major projects: Specific architects and developers aren't tied to projects, allowing the reality of what is ultimately built to look quite different from early renderings.

    Top-quality architects are often used to sell projects, particularly given a push by the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg to improve design. But developers can shift course once approvals are in hand to keep costs down or because their tastes change.

    The highest-profile such case was for the Nets arena that just had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday in Brooklyn. The arena was initially meant to be designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.

    In 2009, developer Forest City Ratner Cos. received much criticism when it dropped Mr. Gehry from its plans in order to cut costs and make the project feasible. The architect was replaced by the firms SHoP Architects and Ellerbe Beckett.

    Dermot principal Stephen Benjamin said he respected Extell and the city's design work, but he wanted to use an architect that he selected himself. He also said the building's look would be similar to the prior design, given that the planning department laid out a set of requirements for size and shape, he said.

    "We're designing the building to be in accordance with that and to make it as beautiful and upscale a building we can design and afford," Mr. Benjamin said.

    He declined to discuss specifics about the role that cost played in the choice of an architect. Mr. de Portzamparc couldn't be reached for comment.

    When the Planning Department approved the Riverside Center project, it imposed particularly restrictive design requirements. All buildings must adhere to some of the distinct angles and shapes envisioned by Mr. de Portzamparc.

    "The integrity of de Portzamparc's work will be maintained," Ms. Burden said in her statement.

    Still, some details on the project—such as what type of exterior material to use—are subject to change from the green glassy building outlined initially by Mr. Portzamparc, and members of Community Board 7 shown preliminary designs by Dermot said the new design appeared more boxy.

    The building is to be the first of five planned in Riverside Center, which is the southernmost and final piece of the larger Riverside South apartment development that runs above a former set of Penn Central rail yards by the West Side Highway between 59th and 72nd streets.

    Earlier this year, the joint venture of investors that owns the Riverside Center parcel—including Extell and the Carlyle Group—opted to sell the first building site along 61st Street and West End Avenue, and Dermot emerged the winning bidder. The deal hasn't yet been finalized, but Mr. Benjamin said the firm has received a commitment for financing, and it plans to start work early next year on "one of New York's most upscale rental buildings."

    Gary Barnett, Extell's president, said Dermot was well within its rights to use a different architect.

    Mr. Barnett said the venture hasn't yet decided whether Extell or another developer will build the other parcels. But if Extell builds them, Mr. Barnett said he would likely use Mr. Portzamparc.
    "We certainly would try to have his involvement," he said.

    For members of the local community board who worked closely with Mr. de Portzamparc and his staff during the approval process, the switch suggests a broader flaw in the land-use process, which approves broad-brush building forms—known as envelopes—but not specific designs.

    "The concern is actually over the process that allows this to happen," said Mark Diller, chairman of Community Board 7. "The larger question is, why is it that we're approving envelopes for buildings and not buildings?"

    But Mr. Benjamin said there should be flexibility in the approval process for features like architecture.

    "It's very important that the design process in New York be an open process, because it needs to reflect that things change, and people change, and times change and years go by," he said. "You never know what's going to happen."

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...LEFTTopStories

  2. #422

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    At some point i read that the city/developers were planning to raze the elevated highway and place it under riverside park/condos where they are already constructing a tunnel. Unless i am mistaken, does anyone know if that is still on track to happen?

  3. #423
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    It's in the shoulda woulda coulda category. Maybe during the next boom. No time soon.

  4. #424
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    It's right up there with failing to build platforms for an upper west side rail station when the first part of this development constructed a new rail tunnel.

  5. #425

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    Extell's additions to the project:


    joejosephs

  6. #426

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    Well, I think something is happening. Perhaps just to dress it up a bit for the new developer. The parking structures in the lot in the foreground (metal elevator things that allow lot to stack cars) have all been removed, leaving only surface parking. I can think of no other reason why a parking lot would cut its capacity in half besides that it will be shutting down soon.


  7. #427

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    I used to park in that lot.

  8. #428
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Last chance to build some freaking train station platforms. This is just so awful.

  9. #429

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoldanTTLB View Post
    Last chance to build some freaking train station platforms. This is just so awful.
    The parking lot is closing on Oct. 31st. They are also starting to demolish the parking garage on 59th st, Lower left hand quarter of the picture above. I think Extell is starting to begin their building between 61st and 62 nd st along the highway. I have noticed some heavy machinery moving onto that property.

  10. #430

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    Anyone planning on doing anything with the old IRT powerhouse? I assume Con Ed is still using it.

  11. #431

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoldanTTLB View Post
    Last chance to build some freaking train station platforms. This is just so awful.
    A rail station is planned here as part of Metro North's new East Bronx line.

    There will be stations somewhere around here, and up by Columbia, as well as four stations in the Bronx. But nothing can happen until the East Side Access project opens a few years from now (thus freeing up capacity at Penn for Metro North).

  12. #432
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    They're not planning fast enough. That's the problem. They already can't put a station on the north end of the site, because the new tunnels built there over the past 10 years won't accommodate one. If the "plan" at least for a shell of a station isn't out and built underneath these new towers then the only way to get a station here is rip out 11th ave from 59th to 57th st, and after everyone has moved into this neighborhood. I can already tell you what will happen then:

    1.) Locals will fight it and MTA will give up.
    2.) Politicians won't want to fund it because "people moved there anyway" ala 41st and 10th.
    3.) It will be too far from the north side of this development (72nd st) to be worthwhile. (use this argument as necessary to support the first two).

  13. #433

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlhayes View Post
    The parking lot is closing on Oct. 31st. They are also starting to demolish the parking garage on 59th st, Lower left hand quarter of the picture above. I think Extell is starting to begin their building between 61st and 62 nd st along the highway. I have noticed some heavy machinery moving onto that property.
    With a project also starting on 61st and West End, it is going to be pretty busy around that area.

  14. #434
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz View Post
    A rail station is planned here as part of Metro North's new East Bronx line.

    There will be stations somewhere around here, and up by Columbia, as well as four stations in the Bronx. But nothing can happen until the East Side Access project opens a few years from now (thus freeing up capacity at Penn for Metro North).
    Its part of the Hudson line or West Side line as its known , the Bronx line is known as the Hell Gate line....I gave you a regional Railroad history lesson below....everything is taken from the various Capital Project lists and RPA...

    https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...99966,1.674042

    West Side line
    New York Penn Station
    West 62nd Street
    Harlem-125th Street
    Dyckman Street?

    Riverdale
    Ludlow
    Yonkers
    Glenwood
    Greystone
    Hastings-on-Hudson
    Dobbs Ferry
    Ardsley-on-Hudson
    Irvington
    Tarryrown

    Philipse Manor
    Scarborough
    Ossining
    Croton-Harmon


    Harlem Line
    Grand Central Terminal
    Harlem-125th Street
    Yankees-E. 153 St
    Morris Heights
    University Heights
    Marble Hill
    Spuyten Duyvil
    Riverdale
    Ludlow
    Yonkers
    Glenwood
    Greystone
    Hastings-on-Hudson
    Dobbs Ferry
    Ardsley-on-Hudson
    Irvington
    Tarryrown
    Philipse Manor
    Scarborough
    Ossining
    Croton-Harmon
    Cortlandt
    Peekskill
    Manitou
    Garrison
    Cold Spring
    Breakneck Ridge
    Beacon
    New Hamburg
    Poughkeepsie


    New Haven Line

    Grand Central Terminal

    Harlem - 125th Street
    Yankees – East 153rd Street (Game Days only)
    Fordham
    Mount Vernon East
    Pelham
    New Rochelle
    Larchmont
    Mamaroneck
    Harrison
    Rye
    Port Chester
    Greenwich
    Cos-Cob
    Riverside
    Old Greenwich
    Stamford
    East Stamford
    Norton Heights
    Darien
    Rowayton
    South Norwalk
    East Norwalk
    Wesport
    Green Farms
    Southport
    Fairfield
    Fairfield Metro Center
    Bridgeport
    East Bridgeport
    Stratford
    Milford
    Orange
    West Haven

    New Haven Union Station
    New Haven State street


    Danbury Branch
    Stamford
    South Norwalk

    Wall Street - Downtown Norwalk
    Merritt 7
    Wilton
    Cannondale
    Georgetown
    Branchville
    Redding
    Bethel
    Danbury
    North Danbury
    Brookfield
    New Milford


    New Canaan Branch
    Stamford
    East Stamford
    Glenbrook

    Springdale
    Talmadge Hill
    New Canaan

    Hell Gate line
    New York Penn Station
    Sunnyside?
    Hunts Point
    Parkchester
    Morris Park
    Co-OP City
    Orchard Beach - City Island?
    South Rochelle?

    New Rochelle
    Larchmont
    Mamaroneck
    Harrison
    Rye
    Port Chester
    Greenwich
    Cos-Cob
    Riverside
    Old Greenwich
    Stamford
    East Stamford
    Norton Heights
    Darien
    Rowayton
    South Norwalk
    East Norwalk
    Wesport
    Green Farms
    Southport
    Fairfield
    Fairfield Metro Center
    Bridgeport
    East Bridgeport
    Stratford
    Milford
    Orange
    West Haven

    New Haven Union Station
    New Haven State street

    I-287 Rail Corridor
    Hillburn
    East Suffern
    Airmont
    Monsey

    Spring Valley
    West Nyack
    Nyack
    Tarrytown
    Elmsford
    Fairview

    White Plains Transit Center
    Downtown White Plains
    East White Plains
    Purchase
    Port Chester
    Greenwich
    Stamford
    South Norwalk
    Southport
    Fairfield
    Bridgeport
    New Haven Union Station
    New Haven State street


    I-287 Rail Corridor - Grand Central Terminal Spur
    Hillburn
    East Suffern
    Airmont
    Monsey

    Spring Valley
    West Nyack
    Nyack

    Irvington
    Ardsley-on-Hudson
    Dobbs Ferry
    Hastings on Hudson
    Yonkers
    Marble Hill
    Harlem-125th Street
    Grand Central Terminal

    Harlem line
    Grand Central Terminal
    Harlem-125th Street
    Melrose
    Tremont
    Fordham
    Botanical Garden
    Williams Bridge
    Woodlawn
    Wakefield
    Mt. Vernon West
    Fleetwood
    Bronxville
    Tuckahoe
    Crestwood
    Scarsdale
    Hartsdale
    White Plains
    North White Plains
    Valhalla
    Mt. Pleasant
    Hawthrone
    Pleasentville
    Chappaqua
    Mt. Kisco
    Bedford Hills
    Katonah
    Golden's Bridge
    Purdy's
    Croton Falls
    Brewster
    Southeast
    Patterson
    Pawling
    Appalachian Trail
    Harlem Valley-Wingdale
    Dover Plains
    Tenmile River
    Wassaic

    West Shore line
    Hoboken Terminal
    Jersey City Heights
    North Bergen JCT

    Vince Lombradi Park & Ride
    Ridgefield Park
    Teaneck
    West Englewood
    Bergenfield
    Haworth
    Harrington Park
    Tappan
    Blauvelt
    Valley Cottage
    Congers
    Haverstraw
    Stony Point
    Bear Mountain
    Highland Falls
    West Point
    Cornwall on Hudson
    Newburgh
    Milton
    Kingston
    Last edited by Nexis4Jersey; October 19th, 2012 at 05:15 AM.

  15. #435

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post

    Fairfield Metro Center
    In service

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