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Thread: Lower East Side Development

  1. #166
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Hip Hip SPURA! Land-Use Committee Approves LES Development After 40-Year Slog

    By Jonah Wolf

    SPURA springs eternal. (NYC EDC)


    The development sites. (NYC EDC)

    It took 40 years, but the transformation of the Seward Park urban Renewal Area, better known as SPURA, may finally be here. While everyone seemed excited at the prospect of this finally happening, the opinions were far from unanimous about what the city came up with for its plan for the seven undeveloped acres south of Delancy Street on four forlorn parking lots.

    But there was unanimity today, when the City Council’s land-use committee approved the 1.65 million-square-foot plan for SPURA by a vote of 16-0. Attendees of last week’s public hearing on the development south of the Williamsburg Bridge will be relieved to hear that 50 additional affordable housing units (offset by another 50 at market rate prices) have been added to the project, for a total of 1,000 units, half of which will be affordable, half not. The administration also agreed to that now de rigueur piece of rezoning negotiations, a new public school.

    “The City has stated that they will give preference to a proposal that provides income bands that are at the lower income level on multiple tiers,” local Councilwoman Margaret Chin announced in triumph. “All along there have been a lot of discussions of all the different items but because of the ULURP process, we were able to get it on record and get a firm commitment that this is what will be beneficial to the community, especially to the Lower East Side.”

    The Bloomberg administration also agreed to to create another affordable housing project off-site, at 21 Spring Street. Other modifications included the creation of a community task force to assist in the selection of developers, with the city agreeing to give preference to local development partners; to minority- and women-owned businesses in the conception and construction of the project; and to local hiring through HireNYC.

    The city also made a commitment that if a new Essex Market is built, current tenants would be offered comparable rent and square footage and “reasonable” relocation costs. The administration also “affirmed their commitment in terms of diversity of retail and numbers of storefronts on the site to create more opportunity for small businesses,” as language in the rezoning puts it.

    Councilwoman Chin’s modifications were approved first by three members of Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions, and then by the 16 present members of the Committee on Land Use, many of whom prefaced their “aye” votes with words of congratulation to Ms. Chin. Fellow downtown Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, who worked closely with her colleague on the project, joked, “Let me see, I’m not sure how I’m gonna vote on this.”

    “I’ve seen the ongoing perseverance, and that’s what it takes,” said Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez of Brooklyn. “This is almost a town I think.”

    The project still awaits approval from the full City Council, but approval by the land-use committee almost certainly guarantees that will happen.

    http://observer.com/2012/09/hip-hip-...elopment-plan/

  2. #167
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    Comment> Spurning SPURA

    David Bergman protests the planning strategies of the proposed Lower East Side mega-project.

    by David Bergman


    Rendering of proposed plan for SPURA on the Lower East Side. Courtesy NYC HPD

    Forty-five years ago, when the lots on the south side of Delancey Street in the Lower East Side (LES) of Manhattan were first cleared for “urban renewal,” the prevailing planning theory called for “towers-in-the-park.” Indeed, that was what was installed slightly south and east of the site: one of the many bastardizations of Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin for Paris. To the north and west, the landscape of low-rise walk-up tenements largely remained.

    In between them is a hole, the black hole of the Lower East Side. If you arrive by the Williamsburg Bridge or emerge from the Delancey Street subway station, look south and you’ll see entire vacant blocks occupied mostly by parked off-duty delivery trucks.

    This site, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) has a long and contentious history. And finally a plan for its redevelopment is near approval. Community Board 3 and the City Planning Commission both recently gave the go-ahead.

    Community groups and elected officials fought hard for a primary need of the neighborhood: affordable housing. Reaching a successful accord on that, though, seems to have distracted attention from the two disastrous backbones of the plan, both of which rely on old school ideas of urban renewal and zoning. Even more frustrating, newer enlightened policies are being promoted by the city’s planning department, while the outdated and discredited ones are still retained by another city organization which happens to be SPURA’s owner, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

    The EDC policy derives from the continued presumption of the primacy of cars. A basic tenet of what’s known as transit-oriented development involves restricting the amount of parking in order to both discourage driving and congestion, and to free up funds and land for other, more valued uses.

    But the EDC insists on pursuing the opposite track: requesting an exemption to provide additional parking spaces beyond what the current—yet to be updated—zoning allows. With the confluence of mass transit and existing density around the site, there is no justification for this outdated approach. (Please recall this is from the agency that brought us the white elephant of a parking structure sitting empty at the new Yankee Stadium.) People do not come to the LES by car to shop. Nor should we want them to. Delancey is already one of the most dangerous and difficult streets to cross in the city. While the city is in the midst of some safety improvements following a rash of fatal accidents, adding parking and traffic will just worsen the situation.

    There’s an even more significant flaw in the EDC’s master plan. Though it’s informed enough, thankfully, to avoid repeating the street life-draining nearby towers, it doesn’t really get that it’s not just a matter of building to the street line.

    In the 1970s and 80s, the low-rise sections of the LES might have been mistaken for some of the worst areas of the South Bronx, replete with trash-filled vacant lots and burned out shells of six-story walk-ups. In the following 20 to 30 years, the neighborhood picked up dramatically, coat-tailing on the bubble economy.

    Unlike some other Manhattan neighborhoods, the Lower East Side managed its mini-boom fairly gracefully, at least at first. Abandoned walk-ups that no longer had stairs to walk up were gutted and repopulated. Some of the vacant lots were “infilled” with new buildings similar in height to the adjacent survivors.

    Yes, gentrification took place, but there was a bit of a difference here from the typical pattern. Because of a combination of tenant protection rules and the availability of vacant space, the gentrifiers (myself included) often ended up meshing into the existing fabric, which, in turn, was strengthened with newly infused economic vitality. It wasn’t a perfect evolution, to be sure. But the LES became a rare example of change without upheaval and, aside from the inevitable issue of rising rents, few questioned whether it was an improvement over the previous decades.

    Things started to change in the mid-2000s. High-rises began to appear. Not on the city-owned SPURA parcels, but on nearby privately-owned property where developers had bought up the air rights from the surrounding low-rise buildings, and then stacked the accumulated floor area into heights that were far, far above the existing walk-ups. Several of the new towers were hotels, which frequently hosted raucous—often open-air rooftop—parties.

    One could actually make an argument, unpopular as it might sound, that these towers are not the worst possible form of development for the LES. Concentrating the allowed construction into these small parcels has had the unintended side effect of preserving the majority of the adjacent older, smaller buildings. Since they have sold their air rights, there is little incentive to tear them down to rebuild—the new buildings could not be any larger than the existing ones. In an odd way, the result is an urbanized version of the tower-in-the-park, except that the “park” is the existing fabric of the neighborhood.

    The EDC—which in other undertakings is very supportive of local business development—is insisting on the inclusion of big-box space in SPURA, claiming they are required in order to “anchor” the shopping district. Never mind that the LES is a community, not merely a shopping district. The term anchor store comes from the world of shopping malls. But that approach doesn’t apply in an urban situation where the customers are already there and therefore don’t have to make the decision to travel a longer distance.

    Increasing density in built areas is practically a given in planning circles. For a number of years planners and policy makers have emphasized smart growth, new urbanism, and now transit-oriented development. In general this logic is accepted as good policy. However, density is a positive factor only up to a point. Once a city or a neighborhood has achieved a density sufficient to support local businesses and mass transit, adding more to it does not bring additional benefits. It’s the backside of the diminishing returns curve where, really, the only ones who gain are property owners who can sell out, the developers who come in, and city governments that stand to reel in more taxes.

    There is a subtler aspect to density and it is a major determinant of the quality of a community. It’s what urban theorist Richard Florida and others have started calling “Jacobs density,” named after Jane Jacobs, and what has also variously been called the “Popsicle test,” the “twenty-minute neighborhood,” and the “pub shed.” The counterpoint to Jacobs density is “crude density,” where the mere presence of tall, densely-packed buildings does not automatically create vitality or spur creativity and innovation. New Urbanist and architect Steve Mouzon refers to “walk appeal,” arguing that neighborhood quality is defined not just by how close services and amenities are, but by the appeal of the walk to get to and between them: Are you walking through a parking lot or an inactive street or sidewalk versus a streetscape full of things to see and do?

    The LES is decidedly past that point of diminishing returns. Our sidewalks, streets, subway stops, and buses are not wanting for more people. Stores, for the most part, do not lack customers. Like virtually all of Manhattan and many parts of the outer boroughs, the LES has all the density and more that’s needed for a vital urban neighborhood.

    Except, that is, in the blocks comprising SPURA. Mending the fabric of the LES by filling that half-century hole is wholly desirable. What’s not desirable is turning it into another version of Broadway on the Upper West Side or into a generic “modern” street you might find in any number of other cities.

    But that’s what the plans for SPURA endorse. Looking at the renderings, which admittedly are not specific architectural proposals, you see block-long masses that could be dropped in anywhere. And that’s precisely what the LES does not need.
    You won’t find many chain stores in the LES. Few bank branches have opened. There’s a refreshing paucity of Starbucks and Duane Reades. Those are about the largest stores here, with the exception of Whole Foods, which occupies the entire ground floor of a post-millennial complex not unlike the ones envisioned for SPURA.

    The wonderful thing about an urban street is the activity. That’s understood and accepted by all, it seems, except developers. There’s a vibrancy in seeing the unexpected or bumping into your neighbors. But the level of street life outside a long row of Bed, Bath & Beyond or Home Depot windows is nothing like what occurs where you have a different storefront entrance every 20 feet or so, where the owner hangs out and knows what’s going on in the neighborhood. The atmosphere in our tiny local pharmacy—where they know us and come out from behind the register to greet our dog—doesn’t compare to the antiseptic and Muzak’ed Rite Aid a few blocks away.

    Some will say that discount retailers provide a service: more goods at lower prices. But that’s often an illusion, particularly when the big box forces locally owned stores out of business, causing the neighborhood to lose not just flavor but jobs and income as well. Never mind what happens when the discount chain’s distant office decides that the branch isn’t making quite enough profit and closes it, leaving a desolate stretch of unoccupied street, now with no shopping alternatives. Urban blocks can withstand and absorb a closed storefront or two when there are ten others still open. When a block-long store shutters, so does the life of the street.

    Cities thrive on that life, or fail without it. Neighborhoods thrive on their individual character, not on imposed generic developments with mega stores.

    Community Board 3’s resolution approving the SPURA plan understands this. In their “Conditions of Approval,” in addition to sections regarding affordable housing, the beloved Essex Street Market and other neighborhood needs, they strongly oppose big box stores. And their appended guidelines specifically restrict the location and size of “mid-box” stores and promote local service and convenience stores on the narrower streets.

    But these are only guidelines and the EDC proposal, the one recently approved by the planning commission, does not appear to embrace them. Their vision for filling the LES’ black hole, in its bland suggested form and massing, and with its anti-urban emphasis on parking, has nothing to do with the nieghborhood. It defies current precepts of urban design and place-making.

    The next step in the approval process is the City Council, where the plan first goes through a committee and may emerge for a vote in November. This means it’s not too late to recognize the shortcomings of the proposal, while retaining the hard-won agreements on affordable housing. It’s not too late to make something that doesn’t merely fill a hole, but builds upon and strengthens the character of the LES.

    http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=6270

  3. #168
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    City Council Unanimously Approves SPURA Plan

    by Elie


    Source: Community Board 3

    As expected, the SPURA re-development plan sailed through City Council with unanimity. The decision comes just a couple weeks after the Land-Use subcommittee approval, and is more than forty-five years in the making. 1.65 million square-feet of space for the taking. Let the gold rush begin!

    Just a few bullet points regarding the plans, some of which we’ve previously mentioned in these pages:


    • More affordable housing – 100 new units were added to the plan, half are earmarked as affordable. This brings the total housing unit count to 1,000.
    • Public school – the city will reserve 15,000 square-feet of Site 5 for a potential public school.
    • Offsite affordable housing – the city will commit to additional affordable housing at 21 Spring Street.
    • The displaced – former tenants of the SPURA area before its demolition will receive priority.
    • Essex Street Market – it will remain a public amenity. If it does indeed move, vendors will be given first opportunity for comparable square-footage. Rent schedules and planned increases in any new facility for existing vendors will be commensurate with their rent at the time of the move. There’s still a possibility of ESM staying put.
    • Local hiring – the goal is to fill 50% of all new permanent jobs from the local population who are making below 200% of the poverty level. They hope to retain 40% of these hires for at least nine months.
    • Retail Diversity – stringent requirement to enforce retail diversity.


    “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in the long history of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area,” Council Member Stephen Levin said. “Thanks to the diligent work of Speaker Quinn, Councilmember Chin, the Community Board members, and everyone who spent countless hours to craft this proposal, residents of the Lower East Side will finally have access to affordable housing, needed commercial and retail space, and usable open space at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge,” said Councilmember Levin. “While it took many years to get to this point, the high level of community involvement and the willingness of all parties to maintain a constructive dialogue is a model that we can all look to as our city continues to evolve.”

    http://www.boweryboogie.com/2012/10/...wery+Boogie%29

  4. #169
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Am I the only one appalled that this entire freaking site is only getting 1000 units of housing? That's no commitment to affordability at all. I mean, Rockrose has crammed something on the order of 5000 units of housing in the same area in LIC. Why would we want to make the same mistake here as we did tearing down the dense housing across the street for cruciform building on lawns? If we're not to build these lots out densely now, then when?

    I mean, 1.65m sqft sounds like a huge number, but just from a rough measurement this is about 220,000 sqft of land. That's FAR of 7.5. Is this some kind of cruel joke? Is this all we can rise to? Even a FAR of 11 would generate another million square feet of housing (approx. 1000 additional 1000 sq ft apts), and we're only talking about going from a 50ft street wall (10 story buildings with 5 taking the full far and 5 more with half the footprint) to to an 80 ft street wall (13 story buildings where 8 stories at the full far and 5 at about half). We're talking about an entire area named for THE PARK IT IS NEXT TO, so there's not much need to set aside additional park space (although there's nothing preventing green space on the roofs of these buildings either). I just don't understand. At 13 stories, we're not hitting some kind of diminishing return of cost to build, it's not like the city is trying to stuff affordable units into the 82nd floor of 432 Park or something. Buildings of this stature seem trivial to build in Williamsburg. Even Gene Kaufman can do it.

  5. #170
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The park you mention, Seward Park, for which SPURA (aka Seward Park Urban Renewal Area) is named, is actually 2-3 blocks to the south of the southern edge of the redevelopment area; it covers ~3.5 acres:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The SPURA site is basically 5 nearly-full block plots that will include ~15,000 sf of additional open space, about 1/3 of an acre spread about within the actual site.

    I understand the argument for increased density, but not for a decrease in new open space. The plan is not for towers in the park.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The site, recently:


  6. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoldanTTLB View Post
    Am I the only one appalled that this entire freaking site is only getting 1000 units of housing? That's no commitment to affordability at all. I mean, Rockrose has crammed something on the order of 5000 units of housing in the same area in LIC. Why would we want to make the same mistake here as we did tearing down the dense housing across the street for cruciform building on lawns? If we're not to build these lots out densely now, then when?

    I mean, 1.65m sqft sounds like a huge number, but just from a rough measurement this is about 220,000 sqft of land. That's FAR of 7.5. Is this some kind of cruel joke? Is this all we can rise to? Even a FAR of 11 would generate another million square feet of housing (approx. 1000 additional 1000 sq ft apts), and we're only talking about going from a 50ft street wall (10 story buildings with 5 taking the full far and 5 more with half the footprint) to to an 80 ft street wall (13 story buildings where 8 stories at the full far and 5 at about half). We're talking about an entire area named for THE PARK IT IS NEXT TO, so there's not much need to set aside additional park space (although there's nothing preventing green space on the roofs of these buildings either). I just don't understand. At 13 stories, we're not hitting some kind of diminishing return of cost to build, it's not like the city is trying to stuff affordable units into the 82nd floor of 432 Park or something. Buildings of this stature seem trivial to build in Williamsburg. Even Gene Kaufman can do it.
    I agree. I'm sure it's because of fears of "congestion, overbuilding, and overcrowding" by the community. I hope they understand it's so expensive to rent an apartment in LES because there is such a small supply of new units. But after seeing this plan meander for years, I'm glad something is finally being built and what's proposed looks much better than what was done over at the Cooper Square Redevelopment.

  7. #172

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    Odd that after the downzoning the LES will see it's tallest new buildings in decades. Just for reference, the much maligned by acrophobes Blue Condo is only 169 feet.


    215 Chrystie Street
    25 stories, 350 feet


    HFZ Capital


    180 Orchard Street
    24 stories 262 feet


    Brack Capital


    CitizenM Hotel Bowery
    19 stories 240 feet

    Brack Capital
    Last edited by Derek2k3; January 12th, 2013 at 09:13 PM.

  8. #173

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    Those are all hotels, correct?

  9. #174

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    Some are mixed-use buildings where there is only a hotel 'component' consisting of about 10 or so floors; the other parts being anything from the retail, parking, condo, or commercial office mix.

  10. #175
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    How Will the Lowline Make the Leap From Idea to Reality?

    by Jessica Dailey



    Since Dan Barasch and James Ramsey unveiled their plans for an innovative underground park, the project, known as the Lowline, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, gained the support of government officials, and won the hearts of many local residents. But how will the Lowline move from being an idea that people really like to being a physical place that people actually visit? We recently sat down with Barasch to talk about the future of the underground park, and he shared with us details from the Lowline's comprehensive vision and planning study, developed by HR&A advisors, engineering firm Arup, and law firm Kramer Levin, among others. We learned what needs to happen next, why the space can't be reused for transit, and how it would be a new cultural amenity for the neighborhood.



    Gaining access to the underground site

    The Lowline is proposed for the former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal, a three-block long acre of land that sits below Delancey Street in the Lower East Side. It's currently controlled by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and for anything to actually happen, the Lowline creators need access to the site. Getting access to the site is complicated because the MTA can't just hand it over. The site would need to be put up for a competitive public bidding process (like the Fulton Center, Grand Central Apple store, etc.) to find a tenant, and the MTA has way bigger things to worry about than this acre of land. Barasch said that they are working to give the MTA as much information as possible to make it as easy as possible for the MTA to move the Lowline site up on the agenda. The team has spoken with people in the MTA, and they generally support the idea, but it's just not a priority right now.

    The timeline

    "I'm hopeful that we could do it in under ten years," said Barasch, who thinks the space will follow the timeline of SPURA. "If you could tell me when the first SPURA building will open, I bet that's around time the Lowline will open." Now that the nine parcels of land that make up SPURA, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, are actually being developed, there will soon be a lot of attention on the area, and it could really speed along the Lowline. This year, the Lowline hopes to continue fundraising and work with the MTA to make the site more of a priority.

    Speaking of SPURA, how is that connected to the Lowline?

    The Journal ran an article that highlighted the fact that the Lowline could boost the property values of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. These numbers came from HR&A Advisors, who have been working with the Lowline to create a business plan and project the economic benefits of the park (HR&A also worked on the High Line). The Lowline site actually sits right in the middle of the SPURA parcels, so HR&A estimated what the value of having a cultural amenity in the midst of that development would be.



    The Lowline would not be just an underground park

    Many people have wondered why they would visit an underground green space when there are plenty of above ground green spaces with lots of sunlight. But calling the Lowline a "park" isn't totally accurate. It would be a culture park that hosts art shows, performances, and events, and it would be tied to the neighborhood gallery scene. Preliminary designs call for a densely planted "ramble," but this would be accompanied by a gallery, plaza, and connecting grassy common. The whole site is currently dotted with support columns, and the design would remove ten of these to created a 5,000-square-foot column-free plaza. Sunlight would be piped in using fiber optics and a light filtration system created by Raad Studio. Of course, all design plans are "very, very preliminary," as they would need to go through an official design process with public input, and many factors (like SPURA, requirements from the MTA and the DOT) could influence the design.

    The cost to build and operate

    Engineering firm Arup worked with the Lowline team to determine the cost of building the underground park, putting the estimate at roughing $55 million, but up to $72 million. The team plays to raise "a significant amount" of the funds through private donations, much like other parks and cultural institutions do. As evidenced by the Lowline's extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the plan has received a lot of support and interest, but many larger donors are reluctant to commit until the plan has public approval. Operating costs would run between $2.4 to $4 million, and the Lowline intends to be self-sufficient, earning revenue from events, sponsored public programs, and fundraising.



    The connection to the subway

    The Lowline would provide two additional access points into the J/M/Z subway station at Delancey and Essex Streets while also provide a unique subway-viewing experience. The Lowline site runs adjacent to the J/Z track, and the space would have a promenade alongside the tracks. If you're thinking, "wow, that sounds loud/dirty/unsafe," think again. The park's design would incorporate a demising wall or transparent material as a border, providing protection and noise and air quality while framing views of the subway. Additionally, the design would preserve the trolley tracks and infrastructure in the terminal, much like the High Line preserved the elevated tracks.

    Re-using the space for transit is not feasible.

    Some people have made the argument that the space should be used for transit. Benjamin Kabak of Second Avenue Sagas suggested it be used as a bus depot for a rapid transit bus line. But Barasch says the space would not be big enough for this, and there are no vehicle access points. It was built for the very specific purpose of turning trolleys around and trolleys don't exist anymore. Plus, no one, not the state or the MTA, has shown interest in this site in a really long time.

    Working with the community

    Because the Lowline is such an unusual and innovative idea, some people assume that the creators are oblivious to what the community wants. But Barasch stressed the fact that they have been reaching out to all community groups and businesses (see a list of local supporters here) and regularly updating the community board about the project. They want the Lowline to be "an authentic extension of the Lower East Side's identity."

    The future

    It's common knowledge that beneath New York City, there are dozens of abandoned and unused tunnels and stations. In an ideal world, Barasch sees an entire network of Lowlines that transform these spaces into historic artifacts and cultural amenities. "This will be a really unique space," says Barasch. "We are trying to make the underground sexy in a way that it's not."

    Lowline [official]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/0...ality.php#more

  11. #176
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Doesn't blend in with its surroundings (and vice versa).


    Norfolk Street's Glassy New Pendant Tower Unveiled

    by Sara Polsky


    [Renderings via ODA]

    The former Ratner's office and refrigeration space at 100 Norfolk Street will become…this. The building sold for $8.8 million in cash in April 2012, and the new owner announced that it would be replaced by a 44,000-square-foot condo building. That building, Bowery Boogie and ArchDaily reveal, will be this glassy, cantilevered structure designed by ODA. The apartments—38 in total—will get larger the higher one goes, and atop the 12 stories will be two green spaces of 5,000 square feet and 2,000 square feet.

    The archibabble describes 100 Norfolk as expressing "unlimited potential and ambition hidden with its block…The unexpected massing, cladded in a glass curtain wall, reflects a paradoxical mid-block freestanding building offering striking views and strong interior light exposure for an array of residential spaces – a pendant above the city." From another angle:



    Renderings Unveiled for 12-Story Cantilevered Condos at 100 Norfolk [Bowery Boogie]
    100 Norfolk Street [ArchDaily]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/0...omment-1189146

  12. #177

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    BLUE and now this have to be the most interesting developments on the LES by far. They look like something that would be built along the High Line to show off. I know many people have disdain for what they represent and I'm not going to totally disagree on the social issues but on purely architectural merit I applaud the designs. Look at the other condo boxes going up around the LES; they are all bland boxes trying to be edgy. At least these two accomplish what they set out to be. Hell, I'd even argue that these two embody the creative soul of the contemporary LES, the artist that came to be different, in your face, and standing apart. If only there were equally interesting and quality affordable housing developments to compliment these luxury apartments.

  13. #178

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    Quote Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
    Hell, I'd even argue that these two embody the creative soul of the contemporary LES, the artist that came to be different, in your face, and standing apart.
    Good point: once edgy, avant garde, creative new york city is typically telling new arrivals to 'fit in' be 'contextual' and polite. Political correctness in architecture is not 'modernism' or 'cutting edge creativity: it is sedate traditional brick buildings that look like 'ye olde new york', modest and non-threatening but 'quaint looking' buildings.

    I sense that there is a good deal of 'class envy' at work here; but envy cloaked behind seemingly kind hearted requests to 'fit in', to be polite, and be politically correct. I don't know: but something stinks. LOL

  14. #179
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The trouble with the new one is that it somewhat assures a crappy continuation along Delancey Street. The low lying taxpayers fronting Delancey apparently gave up it's air rights so this upside down wedding cake could rise behind.

    But what we see here is undoubtedly better than the behemoths that have recently risen nearby.

  15. #180

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    Last Post: October 8th, 2002, 01:00 AM

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