Search results for "world trade center transportation hub"

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Archtober Building of the Day #12> The Pavilion at Brookfield Place
Archtober Building of the Day #12 The Pavilion at Brookfield Place 100 West Street Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects It is impossible not to notice The Pavilion at Brookfield Place from almost any viewpoint near it’s location on 100 West Street. A glass curtain wall seems barely to contain the steel trees that emerge from its floor. While our Archtober tour was conducted under the noonday sun, one can easily imagine the building’s brilliance after nightfall. Our tour leader was Craig Copeland, an Associate Partner in the New York studio of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and the Design Team Leader of the Pavilion at Brookfield Place. He explained that after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the World Trade Center and World Financial Center (now the Pavilion at Brookfield Place) were left disconnected. The Pavilion now reconnects Battery Park City’s Winter Garden, the newly completed World Trade Center Concourse, and both MTA and PATH transportation hubs. And, as the complex’s front door, the Pavilion will create a welcoming pedestrian space out of a former vehicular-only zone. But, let’s get back to those incredible steel trees. In order to create them, the firm looked to “nature and trees in particular,” and as a result, created two 54-foot-tall basket-like woven steel beams which take up very little space on the ground but slowly spread as they reach for, and eventually encompass, most of the ceiling. These beautiful and unique columns solve both an aesthetic and structural solution. Precariously positioned at the edge of the Hudson River, an initial building design of four columns was deemed structurally unsound. The team was forced to envision ways in which the building’s support could be focused upon two points. While two ordinary columns would have left them with a heavy roof, the Pavilion’s “trees spiral inside and outside creating enough tension to hold the basket together” and allow for an “expressive and light” look that hides their true strength. “From there,” Copeland pointed to the ceiling, “a glass curtain wall hangs from the roof- no weight falls to the ground.” A feat that he said, “could not have been accomplished without the efforts of engineering firm, Thornton Tomasetti.” As for the whole concept of the building, Craig explained that “instead of taking the stone from around the base of the building, we took cues from the Winter Garden’s Hudson River facing view.” The result is a building that “demonstrates resiliency as a culture and promotes a feeling of transparency instead of creating another stone fortress.” Rochelle Thomas received an M.A. in American Studies from Columbia University and is the Membership Assistant at the AIA New York Chapter.
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From 67 floors above the World Trade Center, a progress report
Earlier this week, AN went up to the 67th floor of the recently-opened 4 World Trade Center to get a progress report on the 16-acre redevelopment taking shape below. Inside the wide-open and raw space, Larry Silverstein, the site’s developer, told reporters that his vision for a new World Trade Center had finally become a reality. “I’ve gotten a bit of a reputation as a wild-eyed optimist,” he said in front of a wall of windows. “But even I have to admit that I didn’t see all this coming.” Noting that it had been 13 years since the attacks, he went on to refer to the anniversary as the site’s “bar mitzvah.” From high up in Fumihiko Maki’s celebrated 4 World Trade it’s easy to see how much has changed at the World Trade Center site over those 13 years—and how much still needs to get done. Looking straight down the tower’s western edge, you can see the pools of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza which opened in 2011 and the adjacent 9/11 Memorial Museum that came on-line three years later. Next to that is Calatrava’s bird-like transportation hub where workers could be seen busily welding on the structure's skeletal wings. That project is scheduled to open in the second half of 2015, years behind schedule and at a cost of nearly $4 billion. A few blocks north of the winged creature is 7 World Trade, the David Childs–designed building that opened in 2006 and is fully leased. Across Vesey Street is another Child's tower—the site’s centerpiece—the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade. After years of delays, the building is expected to open some time this fall. As of now, the tower is about 60 percent leased. The same can be said for 4 World Trade. "I am both humbled and inspired by the process. It is never an easy process, and why should it be?" asked Daniel Libeskind, who crafted the site's masterplan. "This is New York City, there are so many stakeholders, so much to be done, and so much to think about." But there is obviously so much more to be done still—so many missing pieces in Libeskind's plan. Just this month, the board of the World Trade Center's performing arts center announced it had scrapped Gehry's decade-old design for the project. The board told the New York Times that is currently looking for a new architect to take over. And then there is Calatrava's other project at the site, the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which is still a few years off. While looking straight down from 4 World Trade shows how much has been rebuilt since 9/11, looking straight out reveals how much has not. The Midtown skyline that served as a backdrop for the event's speakers may have been impressive, but it was a blatant reminder of what has not been accomplished since the Twin Towers came crashing down. Because, at this point in the reconstruction process, employees in 4 World Trade Center shouldn’t have an entirely unobstructed view of Midtown—there should be two other glass towers in the way: 3 World Trade by Richard Rogers and 2 World Trade by Norman Foster. Silverstein said that the former should be completed by 2018, but as for 2 World Trade Center, it’s anyone’s guess. In a fact sheet distributed by representatives of Silverstein Properties, the tower's completion date is conspicuously left off.
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Boston's Green Line Extension Sending Real Estate Prices North
Boston’s subway system—the "T"—is currently undergoing its first expansion in nearly three decades, pushing the city's Green Line into the hip enclave of Somerville. And while the first stations in neighboring Somerville won’t open until 2017 (at the earliest), the promise of new transit is already transforming the city’s real estate market. The streetscape is coming next. Lisa Drapkin, a realtor in the city, told the Boston Globe, “If someone asks me how the market is doing in Somerville, I say you could put a cardboard outhouse near a [planned] Green Line stop and there’d be a bidding war.” With the first station still years away, prospective buyers and investors are snatching up property before prices spike. According to a report by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, cited by the Globe, property values near new stations could increase 16 to 25 percent over the next 20 years. Over the same time, average rent could jump 67 percent. This, of course, has many residents and politicians worrying that new Green Line stations will mean rampant gentrification. To that end, the city plans to build 1,200 affordable housing units by 2030, or 20 percent of their new stock. Of course, that could do very little to keep rent down overall. But Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone is optimistic that new transit options will help lower-income citizens connect to jobs, education and healthcare opportunities. “We don’t want to lose our soul," he told the paper. "We want that creative, original, diverse, that sort of funky, freaky mix of who we are.” When the new Somerville stations open, 85 percent of residents will be able to walk to the train, up from just 15 percent today. And the extension is expected to increase ridership by 45,000, and take 25,000 cars off the road. The Green Line Extension will also lay down a string of new architecture through the city as each new street-level station has a unique style and form. While none are as distinct as, say, Calatrava's New York City stegosaurus, they incorporate much more design than the standard-issue American transit depot. A little farther south in the Boston area, New Balance is building a commuter rail station as part of their new $500 million complex. A look at some of the new stations via Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership.
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New Platform Opens at Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub
  Santiago Calatrava’s soaring World Trade Center Transportation Hub is still a year from completion, but major developments are happening as his winged-structure preps for flight. Earlier this week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey unveiled the first platform of the new World Trade Center PATH Station. And what a platform it is. To get a sense of it, picture the typical New York City subway platform in all of its glory. And now picture the exact opposite. That is the new Platform A. Calatrava’s signature beams are canopied like fabric above gleaming marble floors. The bright lighting, LED signage, and all that white marble give the subterranean station an incredible airiness. It is pristine – and not just for a public transit station. This week’s unveiling comes four months after the transit hub’s $225 million, 600-foot “West Concourse” opened to the public. For those trying to do the math, that's $375,000 a foot. And while that pricey marble might be aesthetically pleasing, it could certainly be a problem when it rains. After already spending so much money, those New York-New Jersey commuters better hope the Port Authority has some cash left over for rubber mats. 
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Calatrava Must Pay: Spanish Architect Loses Latest Legal Saga
Santiago Calatrava has been ordered by a Spanish court to pay $4 million for problems plaguing a municipal building he designed in Oviedo in Northwest Spain. While the final fee is lower than an initial ruling, such legal problems have become something of an unfortunate calling card for the Spanish architect. The Palacio de Congresos de Oviedo was completed in 2011 and features the soaring forms and white ribs that tend to populate Calatrava's work. The suit stems from issues involving the construction of the building as well as the project's final budget, which exceeded original estimates. Calatrava's fairly loose interpretation of budgetary restrictions has come under fire throughout the architect's prolific career. He is also in the midst of a legal battle regarding an opera house in Valencia whose final cost of $455.6 million—four times greater than its original budget—was not enough to ensure structural stability for more than a decade. Part of Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences that the architect had a major role in designing, the concert hall is the biggest fish in a sea of problems besetting the complex. Practicality has also not always been a strong suit for the architect. Bridges in Venice and Bilbao have both developed reputations for the extreme slipperiness among other issues. An airport he designed for the latter city was found lacking in a sheltered arrivals hall, a problem that Calatrava himself was forced to remedy. And the list continues. Assuming all goes according to plan, by 2015 New Yorkers will be able to witness what may be the zenith of the troubled beauty that has come to define Calatrava's works. The World Trade Center Transporation Hub represents his avian aesthetic at its most striking. However, the project's completion date is six years behind schedule, while its initial budget of $2 billion has since swelled to $4 billion.
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Jersey More
Urban-Ready Living Harborside by Concrete sits adjacent the Exchange Place PATH Station.
Courtesy Concrete

Sited on the west bank of the Hudson River, Jersey City is connected to Manhattan by a web of transit lines that are making it an increasingly desirable location for new residents priced out of New York City. Developers have taken note of this trend, as evidenced by a pair of high-rise residential complexes that recently broke ground in the satellite city. When complete, the two projects—one designed by HWKN with Handel Architects, the other by Dutch firm Concrete—will be among the tallest buildings in New Jersey.

“As Brooklyn becomes more and more inconvenient due to affordability and transportation, people are warming up to New Jersey’s convenience,” said Matthias Hollwich, partner at HWKN. He noted that many of the amenities that draw people to Brooklyn already exist in Jersey City, from a vibrant dining scene to tech incubation hubs. “It’s really unknown to many people.” His firm is building a triad of towers at Journal Square, the tallest of which is 74 floors and 740 feet. “I was really amazed at the accessibility that’s completely underutilized,” he continued. “It’s only 10 minutes to the World Trade Center and 15 to Midtown Manhattan.”

   
URL Harborside is comprised of three towers grouped around a new street and retail space.
Courtesy Concrete
 

HWKN broke ground at their so-called Journal Squared, or J2, project last November, according to developer Jonathan Kushner, brother of HWKN principal Marc Kushner. The 2.4 million-square-foot plan groups three towers around a PATH station that handles 5 million train passengers annually. The first tower will top out at 54 floors and features a pixelated facade of square windows accented by a dynamic lighting scheme. Hollwich declined to discuss design specifics of the project, but initial concepts call for a series of landscaped roof terraces with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.

“We took special care in the crafting of urban qualities so not to abuse what’s already there,” said Hollwich, emphasizing that the project is a prime example of a transit-oriented development. “You can reduce the parking because its been demonstrated that you need less around transit,” he said. “Now we have a maximum of .5 cars per apartment, but it potentially could be zero, and that’s a good thing.” Jonathan Kushner told the New York Times the future phases of the project would likely take several more years.

 

   
HWKN and Handel Architects designed a series of towers dubbed J2 at the entrance to the Journal Square PATH Station.
Courtesy HWKN / Handel
 

Down the tracks toward Manhattan, developers Mack-Cali Realty Corporation and Ironstate Development just broke ground on the first of three more towers grouped around the Exchange Place PATH Station. Concrete designed the three towers as a series of stacked glass boxes rising from parking podia covered in pixelated metal and wood screens. Occupiable landscaped roofs linked by pedestrian bridges connect the overall site. Standing 713 feet tall with 69 floors, the new tower, called URL Harborside, or Urban-Ready Living Harborside, takes the state’s second tallest title behind Cesar Pelli’s 42-story, 781-foot-tall 30 Hudson Street.

“We believe there is strong demand for a live-work-play environment that offers a true sense of community—all in an amenity-rich, transit-oriented location,” said Mitchell Hersh, Mack-Cali president and CEO, in a statement. Each of the planned 763 residences is designed to be energy-efficient with innovative layouts and communal amenities that appeal to flexible, urban lifestyles. When complete, the entire project will contain more than 2,300 units and retail space. The first phase of URL Harborside is expected to be complete in 2016.

Over 5,000 residential units are under construction in Jersey City and another 12,000 have been approved, according to developer Mack-Cali. Much of this development has centered around transit hubs in the city. Hollwich attributed much of this growth to the city’s decision to allow for increased density around transit hubs. “The planning department has pushed for many years now for density close to transportation,” said Hollwich. With prime land vacant around many stations in the city, he expects growth to continue.

Jersey More

Sited on the west bank of the Hudson River, Jersey City is connected to Manhattan by a web of transit lines that are making it an increasingly desirable location for new residents priced out of New York City. Developers have taken note of this trend, as evidenced by a pair of high-rise residential complexes that recently broke ground in the satellite city. When complete, the two projects—one designed by HWKN with Handel Architects, the other by Dutch firm Concrete—will be among the tallest buildings in New Jersey.

“As Brooklyn becomes more and more inconvenient due to affordability and transportation, people are warming up to New Jersey’s convenience,” said Matthias Hollwich, partner at HWKN. He noted that many of the amenities that draw people to Brooklyn already exist in Jersey City, from a vibrant dining scene to tech incubation hubs. “It’s really unknown to many people.” His firm is building a triad of towers at Journal Square, the tallest of which is 74 floors and 740 feet. “I was really amazed at the accessibility that’s completely underutilized,” he continued. “It’s only 10 minutes to the World Trade Center and 15 to Midtown Manhattan.”

HWKN broke ground at their so-called Journal Squared, or J2, project last November, according to developer Jonathan Kushner, brother of HWKN principal Marc Kushner. The 2.4 million-square-foot plan groups three towers around a PATH station that handles 5 million train passengers annually. The first tower will top out at 54 floors and features a pixelated facade of square windows accented by a dynamic lighting scheme. Hollwich declined to discuss design specifics of the project, but initial concepts call for a series of landscaped roof terraces with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.

“We took special care in the crafting of urban qualities so not to abuse what’s already there,” said Hollwich, emphasizing that the project is a prime example of a transit-oriented development. “You can reduce the parking because its been demonstrated that you need less around transit,” he said. “Now we have a maximum of .5 cars per apartment, but it potentially could be zero, and that’s a good thing.” Jonathan Kushner told the New York Times the future phases of the project would likely take several more years.

Down the tracks toward Manhattan, developers Mack-Cali Realty Corporation and Ironstate Development just broke ground on the first of three more towers grouped around the Exchange Place PATH Station. Concrete designed the three towers as a series of stacked glass boxes rising from parking podia covered in pixelated metal and wood screens. Occupiable landscaped roofs linked by pedestrian bridges connect the overall site. Standing 713 feet tall with 69 floors, the new tower, called URL Harborside, or Urban-Ready Living Harborside, takes the state’s second tallest title behind Cesar Pelli’s 42-story, 781-foot-tall 30 Hudson Street.

“We believe there is strong demand for a live-work-play environment that offers a true sense of community—all in an amenity-rich, transit-oriented location,” said Mitchell Hersh, Mack-Cali president and CEO, in a statement. Each of the planned 763 residences is designed to be energy-efficient with innovative layouts and communal amenities that appeal to flexible, urban lifestyles. When complete, the entire project will contain more than 2,300 units and retail space. The first phase of URL Harborside is expected to be complete in 2016.

Over 5,000 residential units are under construction in Jersey City and another 12,000 have been approved, according to developer Mack-Cali. Much of this development has centered around transit hubs in the city. Hollwich attributed much of this growth to the city’s decision to allow for increased density around transit hubs. “The planning department has pushed for many years now for density close to transportation,” said Hollwich. With prime land vacant around many stations in the city, he expects growth to continue.

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World Trade Center Transit Hub Beginning to Soar
The World Trade Center Transportation Hub by Santiago Calatrava is the architect tells us "the image of a bird in flight." Yesterday we took a look at the interior retail corridor that will connect with the soaring transit hub oculus, but the structure has now just appeared above the scaffolding surrounding the entire Trade Center site and its looks nothing like a soaring bird but the bare bones of a beached carcass. It can only get better!
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Photo of the Day> Inside the World Trade Center Transit Hub
wtc_transit_01 While Santiago Calatrava's soon-to-bo-soaring transportation hub at the World Trade Center is just not starting to rise from the ground, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has given us a glimpse of what's been going on underground, complete with the classic articulated ribs that make Calatrava's train stations so dynamic. And look at all that marble! Sure beats your standard New York City subway stop. This view is actually part of the east-west connector that will eventually be lined with retail shops.
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Agencies of Change
Hunters Point South and Long Island City
Courtesy NYCEDC

The Bloomberg Administration is arguably one of the most pro-development governments in city history. Since he took office, the Mayor has used city agencies to unleash the forces of New York real estate while also steering those forces to meet goals for a cleaner, greener, and more equitable city. PlaNYC, the catch-all name for the Mayor’s bundle of 132 sustainability initiatives, creates a framework for over 25 city agencies to collaborate on a vast array of projects, from the new East River Ferry service to a $187 million investment in green infrastructure. While some programs such as MillionTreesNYC, are making streets leafier one tree at a time, many of the Mayor’s initiatives have reshaped the city in profound ways. As the administration counts down its remaining days in office, AN checks in with the individual agencies whose projects have had the most impact on development in the city.

By Alan G. Brake, Molly Heintz, Julie V. Iovine, Branden Klayko, Nicholas Miller, and Tom Stoelker.

Willets Point
Courtesy NYCEDC
 

New York City Economic Development Corporation

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is not a city agency at all but a non-profit with a mission to spur local development, but the Mayor appoints seven members of the organization’s board of directors, including the chairperson.

The NYCEDC, which has grown from a staff of 200 to over 400 during Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor, has its hand in hundreds of projects across the city. “Our goal has been to diversify development across five boroughs,” said NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky. And just because Bloomberg’s term is coming to a close, don’t think things are winding down. The Applied Sciences campus on Roosevelt Island is just getting underway and, as of June, the city had acquired 95 percent of the land required to move forward with Willets Point, a five million square foot development that includes the remediation of a contaminated site.

 
Hunter's Point South (left) and Seward Park (SPURA) (Right).
courtesy NYCEDC; HPD
 

Major Initiatives: According to NYCEDC, the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES) Initiative is a “sustainable blueprint for realizing New York as a premier waterfront city.” Under the umbrella of the initiative are 130 projects across more than 500 miles of city coastline. Twelve city agencies are involved along with investment of $3 billion over the next three years.

The City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan calls for a mixed-use neighborhood with 5,000 new units of housing plus retail, an effort the city predicts will generate 25,000 construction jobs and 6,000 permanent jobs.

The South Bronx Initiative was launched by the Mayor in 2006 to create a strategic plan to support private investment, development, and infrastructure planning in that area. Working with HPD, NYCEDC developed retail corridors that would support new housing.

NYEDC has also increased outreach to communities impacted by its projects. The State says too much, recently citing EDC for playing “a behind-the-scenes role in the lobbying activities” on behalf of Willets Point and Coney Island developments.

Coney Island
Courtesy NYCEDC
 

Status: The statistics on WAVES initiatives are detailed: 34 projects completed; 71 projects on schedule; 14 projects with delays; 5 projects reconsidered; 1 project not yet started. Projects include New Stapleton Waterfront, a seven-acre development on the site of the former Navy Homeport in Staten Island, featuring 900 rental units, retail, and a waterfront esplanade. “The RFP was issued in late 2007, then the financial crisis hit causing us to lose all the original respondents. But we managed to persevere. We found a new developer, Ironstate Development of Hoboken, broke the projects into phases, and rejiggered some of the site uses,” said Pinsky.

At Coney Island, before construction can start, the proper infrastructure has to be in place—namely sewers. “A lot of the areas had never had substantial development, and in order to build housing and retail, you need to have adequate infrastructure,” said Pinsky. As part of the Coney Island plan, the City is putting $150 million into infrastructure alone.

Impact: “There used to be vacant lots in the South Bronx, and now there’s density, a hustle and bustle. I wish that EDC and HPD would work together more to do mixed-used projects—that’s the type of synergy we need.”
Magnus Magnusson, Magnusson Architects


Zoning initiatives adopted, 2002-2012.
Courtesy DCP
 

New York City Department of City Planning

Major Initiatives: Under the Bloomberg Administration, the Department of City Planning has been more active than at anytime since the days of the Lindsay Administration’s vaunted City Planning Commission. Since 2002, 40 percent of the city has been rezoned (115 rezonings covering more than 10,300 blocks). Under the direction of Commissioner Amanda Burden, the department has adapted for the 21st century many of the initiatives first conceived under Lindsay, including large-scale mixed-use developments such as Hudson Yards (with customized zoning and financing mechanisms for infrastructure improvements) and Willets Point while amplifying community involvement through intensive public-private collaborations—the High Line, South Street Seaport—and enabling coordinated efforts across agencies in order to address sustainability goals and open space and streetscape improvements. In Greenpoint/ Williamsburg, planning partnered with HPD to structure a new Inclusionary Housing Program along the waterfront, while collaborating with the Parks Department to ensure that the new two-mile waterfront esplanade would remain fully accessible to the public.

But it will most likely be the attention to detail that will be remembered most about Burden’s reign, from the creative zoning encouraging cultural uses on 125th Street to the bar-style balustrades along the East River Waterfront Esplanade.

East River Esplanade.
Tom Stoelker / AN
 

Status: Subject to major rezonings, some neighborhoods are already reaping the hoped–for rewards although not always as originally envisioned. A 2004 rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn to transform it into a major business hub has been slow to take off, even as it has triggered a residential boom—26 new buildings; 5,200 units. This summer, the emergence of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress campus, and MakerBot’s move to MetroTech are adding some momentum. The 2005 rezoning of the Greenpoint /Williamsburg waterfronts has added fuel to the ascendance of the Brooklyn waterfront, while rezonings of Bedford Stuyvesant North, West Harlem and the South Bronx will inevitably take much longer to catch on.

Attention is currently focused on a big final push to rezone East Midtown and redirect development towards the East Side triggering changes with potentially more impact on the core skyline than anything along the waterfronts.

Impact: “Mayor Bloomberg restructured city government by having agencies responsible for land use and economic development report to a single Deputy Mayor. Strong leadership at City Hall has coordinated multiple Mayoral agencies, not just those concerned with economic development, to help shape and realize our ambitious rezoning initiatives. It has been through the coordinated and directed efforts of multiple agencies that we have been able to achieve adoption and ensure implementation of our ambitious plans.”
Commissioner Amanda Burden, Department of City Planning


In Williamsburg, developers of the Edge (Below, left) and Northside Piers (below, right) were required to build waterfront esplanades (above) as public amenities.
Jesper Norgaard
 

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

Major Initiatives: New York City comprises 29,000 acres of parkland. Over the past decade, the Bloomberg Administration has added more than 730 acres. While Central Park has long been a major economic generator of funds ($656 million in increased tax revenues in 2007 generated by adjacent properties increasing in value by proximity to the park), increasing riverside accessibility at Greenpoint and Williamsburg’s former industrial sites, Hunters Point South, Hunts Point and along the city’s 520 miles of waterfront have become key initiatives of the administration, and the progress is notable. Commissioner Adrian Benepe has made no secret that the administration’s definition of success lies in creative financing with a bedrock of public-private partnerships. The commissioner pointed to the Central Park Conservancy as the great “friends of” model, but hand-in-glove cooperation with City Planning and the Department of Transportation has reshaped waterfront parks and their upland streetscapes by courting development.

 
Jesper Norgaard; Courtesy Toll Brother
 

Status: There are 160 active capital projects in the parks department. Of several near-term priorities, three waterfront projects are engaging in public-private developer involvement. In Greenpoint/Williamsburg the city is cobbling together parcels to create public parks linked with privately owned pubic spaces (POPS). A 2005 rezoning required developers to build the POPS at the river’s edge in return for substantial floor area ratio increases. The zoning encouraged Toll Brothers to build Northside Piers, Douglaston to create Williamsburg Edge, and JMH to restore 184 Kent. The 30-acre Hunter’s Point South allowed for park designs by Balsley/Weiss/ Manfredi with Arup and residential towers developed in part by Related and designed by SHoP. In the Bronx, a grass roots riverside cleanup eventually led the Department of Environmental Protection to supply land for Barretto Park.

The city is building parks at Hunter’s Point South to facilitate development compatible with an urban waterfront.
Courtesy NYCEDC
 

Impact: “The difference between now and 1979 is that you didn’t have the dozen or so major nonprofits involved, so that I think that will insure that whoever takes over at Parks, maintenance will not be an afterthought.”
Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Department of Parks and Recreation

“Before we bought the Banknote Building we were certainly aware of what had been accomplished at Beretto Point and Hunts Point and saw that as a tangible sign of the city’s commitment to the peninsula. It was a strong symbol that things were happening here.”
Jonathan Denham, co-president of Denham Wolf


 
LPC has approved both contextual such as St. Vincent’s (left) and contemporary designs like One Jackson Square (right).
Courtesy FXFowle; KPF
 

New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission


Though Landmarks has added 31 new historic districts, landmarked structures represent a tiny fraction of the city’s buildings; Click to enlarge.
Courtesy LPC
 
 

Major Initiatives: Though landmark districts encompass a mere three percent of the city’s landmass, their effects can stretch beyond landmark borders. Developers argue that the districts inhibit growth and preservationists believe they spur it. Under Mayor Bloomberg, the Lamdmarks Commission has been known to allow huge projects within districts, such as the Rudin Managment’s St. Vincent plan, especially when highly contextual. At other times, new buildings are allowed to challenge the status quo, as in Hines’s One Jackson Square, which sits just up the street from St. Vincent’s. To make for a more transparent process, Commissioner Robert Tierney said that new rules will be introduced next year to codify procedures and allow online permitting. But this has not mollified concerns from developers. Two Trees owns more that 2 million square feet within the DUMBO historic district. “People like to live in DUMBO before it was a landmark district,” said Two Trees’ Jed Walentas. “The fact that it’s landmarked just makes it more expensive.”

Status: Pre-Bloomberg, there were 77 historic districts and 9 historic district extensions, encompassing approximately 22,400 properties.

Currently there are 108 historic districts  and 18 historic district extensions, encompassing approximately 28,500 properties.

There are 30,000 landmarked sites throughout the city, including 1,316 individual landmarks, 10 scenic landmark sites, and 114 interior landmarks.

 
Protected buildings in DUMBO (left) and the new DUMBO historic district (right).
Courtesy Two Trees; LPC
 

Impact: “Yes, it’s a process that requires significant resources and time, but maybe for the developers who are able to work through our process, it’s worth it.”
Chair Robert Tierney, Landmarks Preservation Commission

“There’s a time and a place for landmarking; where it becomes scary is when it becomes an anti-development tool during a hot real estate market.”
Brooklyn developer Jed Walentas


   
Left to right: Madison Square Plaza; Dutch Kills Green; Broadway leading to Columbus Circle.
Courtesy DOT; Linda Pollack; Courtesy DOT
 

New York City Department of Transportation

Major Initiative: Pedestrian Plazas

Status: Recognizing that streets in New York account for 25 percent of the city’s area yet pedestrian amenities were scarce, DOT created Sustainable Streets, a multimodal transportation policy for the city, calling in part for improving streetscapes for pedestrians and cyclists and creating new public spaces from underused roadways in targeted locations such as Times Square, Herald Square, the Flatiron District, and now Vanderbilt Avenue. Also in 2008 and 2009, DOT undertook the Green Light for Midtown program to improve the streetscape along Broadway, created new plazas at Madison Square’s iconic Flatiron Building, and built a ribbon of new public space along a new Broadway Boulevard connecting Herald and Times squares.

In June the study, “If You Build It: The Impact of Street Improvements on Commercial Office Space,” showed how improvements work together to create a backbone along Broadway. Hotels, in particular, are taking advantage of older building stock. In recent years, the Ace Hotel, the NoMad Hotel, and the Flatiron Hotel have all opened in previously overlooked blocks of Broadway; Marriott plans an Edition Hotel in Madison Square’s Clock Tower Building. Astor Place may be the next hot spot. With over eight acres of new pedestrian space planned there, it is the site for one of the first new spec buildings in the past 20 years.

 
Madison Square Plaza after DOT's pedestrian improvements (left) and the conditions before (right).
Courtesy DOT
 

Impact: “Once it was valuable to be right on the park, but now it’s also valuable to be near the park as the pedestrian improvements and bike lanes connect everything together. It’s not just Broadway, but areas around them forming a cohesive whole.”
Janet Liff, a commercial broker in Midtown South

“We have definitely seen vacancies decrease and rents increase. We’ve seen a massive amount of hotel development at the north side of the Flatiron District. In particular, large commercial tenants see these improvements as their front yard. It was the perfect storm of investment in the community.”
Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership


Hunter's Point South.
Courtesy HPD
 

New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development


Via Verde.
Courtesy Dattner
 
 

Major Initiative: The New Housing Marketplace Plan calls for the creation and preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014.

Status: HPD counts more than 125,000 units towards this goal. By the end of fiscal year 2011, 35% of housing started under the plan was new construction, 65% preservation. The agency has been more successful at preservation of affordable housing than new construction, due in part to the real estate downturn. HPD is currently “getting started on and finishing out” many new construction projects and closing in on construction, according to Deputy Commissioner for Development RuthAnne Vishnauskas. “You will definitely see progress towards getting towards the marquee goal for new construction sites.” Seward Park (now in ULURP) on the Lower East Side and Hunter’s Point South (under construction) in Queens are major new developments that the agency hopes to complete by 2014, each of which will include more than 900 units of affordable housing.

Impact: “New York City is lucky and unique in that we have a very strong for-profit sector that builds affordable housing. That part of the sector never really wanes. There were for-profit developers doing affordable housing even when the economy was low.”
RuthAnne Vishnauskas, Deputy Commissioner for Development


 
Two examples of Blue Roofs.
Courtesy DEP
 

New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Major Initiative: DEP signed a consent agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental Protection (which enforces federal EPA standards) to comply with the federal Clean Water Act standards, improve the health of the city’s waterways, and dramatically reduce the number of combined sewage overflows.

Status: DEP is currently developing Long Term Compliance Plans (LTCP) for ten New York City Waterways as well as a citywide LTCP, the first of which will be completed in 2013 and all of which will be finished by 2017. DEP is also expanding gray and green infrastructure throughout the city—including bioswales, and green and blue roofs—moving from pilot projects to larger scale implementation.

On July 1, DEP mandated a ten-fold increase in the amount of stormwater that must be retained on site for all new construction projects, dramatically reducing stormwater flows. DEP worked with the real estate and development community to create flexible options for retention systems, including pervious surfaces, green and blue roofs, storage tanks, and recycling systems. Cleaning New York’s waterways, from the Gowanus Canal to New Town Creek to the Bronx River, will also open up desirable waterfront sites for redevelopment. Investing in green infrastructure will in general benefit the development community, according to DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland.

Impact: “We spent a lot of time doing outreach to stakeholders, including the real estate community. They wanted more options and more guidance for how to meet the new standards. Green infrastructure improves the social spaces of the block and makes them more desirable. It improves the triple bottom line.”
Commissioner Carter Strickland, Department of Environmental Protection


 
East River Ferry Route (left; click to enlarge) and a ferry navigating the East River (right).
Courtesy Billybey Company; Branden Klayko / AN
 

New York City Economic Development Corporation/ Department of Transportation/Private Operators

Major Initiative: East River Ferry Service

Status: A three-year pilot program for East River ferry service connecting rapidly developing sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens including Hunter’s Point South and the Williamsburg waterfront launched in June 2011. The public-private partnership is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES) calling for sustainable development along New York’s waterways. Initial projections estimating 409,000 annual trips were shattered as over one million rides were logged in just over a year of service. Responding to the popularity, private ferry operator, the BillyBey Ferry Company, began offering local food options on all of its 149-passenger ships and launched larger, 399-passenger boats on weekends.

Impact: “The East River Ferry Service is still in a trial period, but so far it’s exceeded all our expectations.”
EDC spokeswoman Jennifer Friedberg

“The early signs are remarkable in terms of economic vitality. The life that’s been embedded into the neighborhoods along the ferry service is remarkable. At the Edge development in Williamsburg, once ferry service was in place, marketing for the Edge worked much better. I have heard interest from developers in Long Island City on being near the ferry. It’s easy, frequent, steady transportation, especially when the only alternative is the overcrowded 7-line in Queens. Now, we’re looking for a permanent form of subsidy to keep the pilot going. The cost is one third of the subsidy of the average express bus service, so it’s a real bargain.”
Roland Lewis, President of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance


     
Left to right: One57; The Sheffield; The Willow; 50 West Street.
Courtesy Extell; UT Borrower; AKA Partners; Time Equities
 

Back To Building

MEANWHILE, private development is beginning to rally on its own, whether driven by an economic upswing or the irresistible momentum of the pendulum swinging back into action. Condominiums and tall towers are leading the way, more than a few on 57th Street, propelled apparently by that incomparable shaper of urban form, commercial competition:

Pyramid
12th Avenue & West 57th Street
35 stories
Durst

The Sheffield
322 West 57th
58 stories
UT Borrower

One57
157 West 57th Street
90 stories
Extell

The Willow
120 West 57th Street
29 stories
Ark Partners

105 West 57th Street
52 stories
JDS Development

432 Park Avenue
& 50 East 57th Street
89 stories
Maklowe

 

250 East 57th Street
59 Stories
World-Wide Group

250 West 55th Street
39 stories
Boston Properties

Tour Verre
53 West 53rd Street
78 stories
Hines

Baccarat Hotel
20 West 53rd Street
45 stories
Starwood Capital Group/Tribeca Associates

International Gem Tower
54 West 47th Street
34 stories
Extell

 

Gotham West
550 West 45th Street
31 Stories
Gotham Organization

Hyatt Times Square
135 West 45th Street
54 stories
Extell

GiraSole
555 West 34th Street
65 stories
Moinian Group

Manhattan West
West 31st – 33rd Streets
66 stories
Brookfield

One Hudson Yards
56 stories
Extell

 

99 Washington Street
50 stories
Holiday inn

111 Washington Street
57 Stories
Pink Stone Capital

56 Leonard Street
57 stories
Alexico Group/Hines

Courtyard & Residence Inn
1715 Broadway
68 stories
Granite Broadway Development

50 West Street
65 stories
Time Equities

Four Seasons
99 Church Street
80 stories
Silverstein Properties

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Retail Reality at WTC
Westfield will partner with the Port to lease the podium of Tower Three. (Coutesy Silverstien) The Westfield Group made it official yesterday: They will be curating the 450,000 square feet of retail space at the World Trade Center, the New York Post reported. The group made a $93 million payment to the Port Authority toward the $612.5 million deal that will bring retail to the podia of Towers Four and Three, the transportation hub, and along Church & Dey streets. If all goes as planned, an additional 90,000 square feet will be added in Tower Two as well, but first an anchor tenant for Tower Three seems to be the most pressing bit of unmet business.
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Report Live from Megaprojects Conference
AN was live blogging from the Megaprojects Conference at the McGraw Hill Conference Center on May 11. The conference/symposium, sponsored by Columbia University's Center for Urban Real Estate, took a close look at a few of New York's biggest real estate projects. The World Trade Center, Hudson Yards, and Times Square. London's Docklands was also discussed. 5:00PM The panel from Hudson Yards was the last up at today’s conference, though Related’s Stephen Ross, who sat on an earlier panel was no longer in the house. Oxford Properties’ Dean Shapiro estimated that the project would be completed over the course of two economic cycles. MTA’s real estate director Jeffrey Rosen once again echoed the Port Authority transit theme with “Our paramount concern is running the rail road.” Rosen said that flexibility needs to be a part of any plan, adding that the High Line was not even on the radar when Hudson Yards planning began. As a result the project’s anchor tenant was a luxury fashion company.“Who would’ve thought that this would become Meatpacking North,” he said. Vishaan Chakrabarti who opened the conference with the statement, “Cities can cure many of the world’s ills” closed the session by explaining how and why. He said major private investment needed to be paired with greater public flexibility and more investment at the federal level. He added that a more nimble public process (that's you, ULURP) needed to be figured out. “We’re taking too long to build these kind of projects,” he said. But then he zeroed in on the major plus of the megaprojects. “They can address the alarming rate of suburbanization,” he said. “The only way to mitigate that is far denser urbanization with transportation.” 3:30PM The panel on the World Trade Center, which followed Foye’s keynote, in many ways reinforced some of the PA director’s major themes, with Rafael Pelli saying that the World Trade Center remains the predominant model for megaprojects worldwide because of the manner in which it integrates transportation. Indeed, when the Londoners took to the stage most of their megaprojects centered around if not literally sitting on top of rails. Canary Wharf features the Foster-designed Jubilee Line. Two projects presented by the British panel were based in the Earls Court residential district, with Capital and Counties Properties' $12 billion mixed-use project skirting a major rail line. Terry Farrell and Partner’s project is building a park straight over rails, which made for a nice segue into the Hudson Yards panel that will wrap up the conference. Sassen’s comment on London’s “adorably flat” qualities resurfaced  as the panel agreed that while that may be true, for now, projects like Farrell’s will likely bump up the density. With density issues prevalent, all agreed London will grow higher. 2:00PM In his remarks this afternoon, Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye reiterated the Port's intention refocus its core mission on transportation and away from real estate. “Multibillion dollar projects by starchitects don’t cut it anymore,” he said, adding later, “Governments don't have the animal spirits to get real estate done.” Though he praised the efforts at the World Trade Center it remains clear from yesterday’s very public spat with David Childs that architectural flourishes will play second fiddle to infrastructure. “There is a significant risk of backlash from the public for vanity projects that don’t get their return,” he said.  Though he praised marketable details like floor to ceiling windows at One World Trade, he quickly returned to the transit theme. “One World Trade is the symbol of our resilience,” he said, “but it can and will be more than that because it incorporates transportation.” He noted that the hub is part of the whole, particularly the inclusion of nearly 400,000 square feet of retail from Westfield that will stretch from Fulton Street to  West Street. But the biggest payoff from completing WTC is that the Port will be able to reap what Foye called the Center’s “peace dividend,” when the Port returns to business at hand. Foye discussed a variety of public/private partnerships that will shore up some plans for the future; in particular he focused on the new central terminal at LaGuardia and on Moynihan Station, which may finally be approaching reality—for real this time. He called the destruction of the original Penn Station an act of “civic nihilism.” The $250 million that the Port now has hand in hand should finally put the Farely renovation on track. “This elegant structure will be the centerpiece of the plan and this is exactly where our attention should be.” 12:30PM New York Building Congress’s Richard Anderson moderated the panel on the redevelopment of Times Square and 42nd Street. He was joined by attorney Gary Rosenberg, NYU’s Carl Weisbrod, and Columbia’s Lynne Sagalyn. The segment examined how Disney and Vogue managed to muscle out the strip clubs and prostitutes. Everyone on the panel concurred that the road to recovery was hardly smooth, but the project had the key support of three mayors and four governors. But in this 30-year public/private alliance, the public had a very different vision of what the aesthetics should be than what the private sector had in mind.  Weisbrod said that the core essence of the plan hardly changed, but the public’s affection for the Times Square flash was not something that could be ignored. “This was a lesson in how important it is for the public and private to be on the same wavelength conceptually,” he said. “When it was first started, there was this Rockefeller Center concept and the public hated it.” It took a while to coax the industry to embrace to the glitz. Rosenberg, whose fingerprints were all over the 4 Times Square deal, concurred, “The key element was that the developers had no choice, they were kicking and screaming.” But as the group gave the Lion King’s share of the credit to big businesses, including 42nd Street tenant Disney, and government support, Sagalyn gave a shout out to a nonprofit for paving the way, the New Victory Children’s Theater. “Putting the children’s theater on bad bawdy 42nd Street turned heads,” she said. 11:00AM In a panel moderated by Michael Zetlin, EDC’s  Seth Pinsky, Related’s Stephen Ross, Regional Plan Association’s Robert Yaro laid out the themes for the afternoon. With Ross and Pinsky on the panel, discussing the merits of public/private was a given. The addition of Yaro gave the discussion some pull-back perspective, beyond the Manhattan street grid. But with the conference’s full title, “Megaprojects and the New York City Street Grid: Lessons for the Future,” the conversation stayed pretty much bound to Manhattan's grid. Ross said that from a marketing perspective integrating the street is what New Yorkers have come to expect from megaprojects like his Hudson Yards, which loosely incorporates the grid on a north-south axis. Pinsky said that the city shouldn’t be too rigid, reminding the audience that Lexington and Madison were both punched through to accommodate real estate development. While disrupting the grid may seem like killing a sacred cow, this was a group intent on not succumbing to nostalgia lest the city fall behind London, the oft-cited competition at the conference thus far. “We can’t just sit on our assets here and become a museum,” said Yaro, ushering in the public/private segment of the conversation. Ross noted that on entering any public/private partnership the developer must have the same vision as the city, "If the city does well, I’ll do well," he said. Yaro agreed that partnering with the city remains important but warned of NIMBY naysayers. “You’re always going to have NIMBY opposition, but the benefits of megaprojects are region wide.” 10:00AM Sociologist Saskia Sassen's opening remarks focused on globalization’s building standards and the dangers of homogenization in megaprojects. She observed that cities have the ability to outlive all other formats because their incompleteness fosters durability.  “There is no such thing as the global economy,” she told the crowd. Instead, there are hundreds of thousands of specialized circuits that rely on imbedded knowledge. She used Chicago’s steel industry as an example, where the extraction of such knowledge can then be commodified and sold. “What a city has in its history matters,” she said. “That’s why New York doesn’t have a steel economy.”  She noted that offices are no longer about headquarters: “It’s about a networked economy.” She noted that the office buildings of the 30s and 60s served clerical processes. Though today’s buildings may look similar, today they are about infrastructure. “They announce ‘I have it all,’ but how you're going to use them, that’s up to you.”