Search results for "Hudson Yards"

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Waterfront Windfall

New Jersey waterfront is transformed in massive $2.5 billion master plan proposal
New York-based Cooper Robertson is set to master plan a $2.5 billion ground-up community along the Raritan River in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The site’s owner and developer, Atlanta-based North American Properties (NAP), announced the project on Monday and released a first look at what would become the largest mixed-use development in New Jersey’s history. Located less than 20 miles from Manhattan and covering a 418-acre site, the new community combines residential, retail, office and hotel spaces with a fully walkable city layout. Named Riverton, the  town will focus on building a street-level pedestrian experience and open waterfront access, including a marina. Cooper Robertson has also filled the plan with public recreation spaces along an unrestricted mile of riverfront esplanade along the Raritan. An update of an earlier 2014 plan, the expanded Riverton will also be the state’s largest brownfield remediation. Besides counting on the proximity of the site to the Garden State Parkway to drive demand, NAP is also banking on an influx of potential residents who have been priced out of New York and are looking for a development with a “hometown” atmosphere. Although none of the others can match its scale, Riverton is the latest project to crop up in New Jersey hoping to court New Yorkers as rents on the other side of the Hudson River continue to rise. Cooper Robertson is no stranger to waterfront development. Besides contributing planning work to Hudson Yards in Manhattan, the studio is currently working on a separate 1,300-acre master plan for the Charlotte River District near Charlotte, N.C. Co-developed with New Jersey-based PGIM Real Estate, Riverton is shovel-ready but is still waiting on a new round of local and state approvals. No estimated construction dates have been released at this time, but NAP hopes to complete the 5 million-square-foot project by 2021.
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All Glassed Up

First look: REX’s sleek retrofit of Brutalist 5 Manhattan West
REX has bestowed a shiny new skin on a late Brutalist office building that was, until recently, one of the ugliest buildings in Manhattan. Up until the renovation, the building was known as the elephant's foot, in dubious honor of a horrific 1980s renovation that left the elegant concrete structure clad in brown metal panels and beige paint. Now called 5 Manhattan West, the building has undergone yet another makeover, spearheaded by REX, to update its facade with the latest in form-fitting fenestration. The Brooklyn-based firm ultimately devised a pleated glass facade that ripples down the building like a stretched ziggurat to flood the large, open interiors with light. These pleats are composed of panels angling out toward each other from the floor and ceiling, a design driven by the need to mitigate the structure’s slope, which limited the leasable space along the interior perimeter. But the unique form is more than just window dressing. According to Joshua Prince-Ramus, REX's founding principal, “What’s interesting about the geometry is that the sun doesn’t hit the lower piece of glass, so we can have a building that is transparent and simultaneously energy efficient." Prince-Ramus praised REX's client, Brookfield, for its holistic approach to sustainability that centered reuse—not just LEED-level performance. "In our lifetimes, adaptive reuse is going to be the stuff from which we make 'capital A Architecture,'" he said. The pleating also complied with ADA standards for head strike, allowing for uninterrupted exterior views while maximizing tenants' floorspace, and allowed the designers to rigorously test the concrete from the 1960s, which was cast using different standards from today. The structural maneuvering honestly exposed concrete from Davis Brody's (now Davis Brody Bond) original design, a move that was especially evident on the east-west breezeway. The renovation was done with tenants in place, on a feverish nights-and-weekends schedule. Although some floors have yet to welcome new tenants like J.P. Morgan Chase and Amazon, 5 Manhattan West's common spaces and outdoor areas by James Corner Field Operations are largely complete. The squat, 1.7-million-square-foot structure features ground level retail, a two-story elevated breezeway on the southern side, and a full interior renovation, with open floor plates ranging from 86,000 to 124,000 square feet (no, that's not a typo). With ceiling heights from 15 to 17.5 feet, the super-sized office spaces allow the old-new building to compete with Hudson Yards' office spaces, which feature large, and largely column-free, interiors. Adamson served as executive architect for the $350 million project. The 5 Manhattan West re-clad slots the office building squarely into Brookfield Office Properties’ Manhattan West development. Bounded by Ninth Avenue to Tenth Avenue and 31st Street to 33rd Street, Manhattan West encompasses nearly six million square feet across six buildings.
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Water's Edge

Towering development to reshape Manhattan-adjacent Edgewater, NJ
Four new towers proposed for the eastern shore of Edgewater, New Jersey, are set to bring the tiny borough out of the shadows cast by neighboring Manhattan and Jersey City. Providing approved plans for a site at 115 River Road, New York YIMBY has revealed glimpses into a 1,919-unit project that may jumpstart development in a city that has remained mostly low-slung. Built on top of a 50-foot-tall landscaped podium that covers most of the site, the towers would range from almost 600 to more than 700 feet in height and would be split 50-50 between rental and condo buildings. The site’s developer, Fred Dabies, has also integrated a parking structure within the podium, walkable waterfront access, and proposed a suite of amenities for condo owners. The massive, blockish towers would not only dwarf all other buildings in the surrounding city, but also stand taller than any existing residential developments in Brooklyn or Queens. Waterfront property across New Jersey is becoming increasingly valuable along the Hudson River, as development tries to keep pace with rising costs in Manhattan. With more businesses moving into Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, it’s expected that office workers will continue to seek out housing across the river. Edgewater is no stranger to ambitious proposals. Thanks to expanded ferry service into the city, combined with building booms in neighboring Jersey City and Hoboken, Edgewater has been struggling to retain its share of lower income housing. The city government is currently fighting with a separate developer at 615 River Road over a similar 1,800-unit project, where Mayor Michael McPartland chose to seize the parcel through eminent domain to head off future construction. Divided between a population of longtime locals and former New Yorkers who chose to leave for a more affordable alternative, it remains to be seen if the 115 River Road project will continue in its current form or be scaled back. No completion date or names of attached architects have been announced yet.
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Chevron Clarity

A closer look at Zaha Hadid’s first residential property in New York
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Originally unveiled in 2013, Zaha Hadid’s first residential property in New York is nearing completion. Situated on the High Line in close proximity to Hudson Yards, one of NYC’s largest developments, the intimate building offers 39 condo units, many of which include private vestibules and entrances. The project is perhaps the epitome of luxury “21st-century dwelling” in New York, but for all of its loaded amenities catering to private residents–an automated valet, one of the first private IMAX theatres in the world, advanced home automation capabilities, 24-hour gym, juice bar, private automated storage accessed via a secured viewing room (inspired by the design of a Swiss bank vault nonetheless)–the architects say the essence of this project is about an urban contextual response that results in a building that doubles as public art for passersby to enjoy. This dynamic plays out in the building envelope, a sculptural expression of hand-rubbed steel that weaves between motorized doors, windows, and curved glass units. Ed Gaskin, senior associate at Zaha Hadid Architects, said “in the great tradition of quintessential New York buildings, such as Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building, 520 West 28th is a building that seeks to improve the public realm through art and architecture.”
  • Facade Manufacturer M. Cohen and Sons (exterior metal cladding and railings); Stahlbau Pichler GmbH/Srl (curtain wall and window wall); Sunglass (glazing)
  • Architects Zaha Hadid Ltd; Ismael Leyva Architects (Architect of Record)
  • Facade Installer M. Cohen and Sons
  • Facade Consultants Gilsanz Murray Steficek
  • Location New York, NY
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System curtain wall over flat slab concrete frame
  • Products Aluminum frame curtain wall and window wall; handcrafted exterior metal cladding panels; Large scale curved glass; custom motorized sliding doors; custom motorized operable windows
The proximity of the High Line was particularly important for the architects, who say they were inspired by the overlay of public space near the site, namely the contrast between an elevated free-flowing High Line pathway with the urban grid of streets below. In response, the architects developed an “urban layering” concept that resulted in split levels, challenging the orthodoxy of flat floor plate construction. The resulting split-level configuration is articulated by a continuous chevron ribbon composed of a 900-piece hand-rubbed steel panel installation. “Rather than a staggered zigzag climbing the facade from floor to floor, the chevron is a continuous line, extending along and framing living spaces, bending around the soft curves of unbroken panoramic glass corners and wrapping the facade in free flowing lines each connected and looping continuously from one floor to the next,” said Gaskin. “Balconies and set-back terraces further express a sense of layering in the urban fabric heightened by balconies projecting and dynamically gesturing toward the High Line where it meets the site.” The metal facade was meticulously hand-crafted from stainless steel, recalling the spirit of Chelsea’s industrial past. The panels were engineered, cut, and welded by M. Cohen and Sons, a Philadelphia-based metal fabrication group offering design assist, engineering, project management, and installation services. They achieved a lustrous blackened finish by an antiquing process, light orbital brushing and hand tinting, to produce an effect that resonates with the adjacent elevated rail structure of the High Line.   The structuring of the 11-story building was achieved with a conventional flat plate in-situ reinforced concrete. Local areas of post-tensioning were required where cantilevered floors and balconies exceed the limits of flat plate spans.   Glazing design was key to the energy and visual performance of the building envelope. Insulated glazing units (IGU’s) track continuously around flat and radiused segments of the perimeter of the building. IGUs are composed of a layered assembly of three low iron glass panels, two of which are laminated together, with an air void along with low-e coatings for solar protection. The transition between flat and curved units was greatly scrutinized by the project team to ensure visual clarity and color consistency across the fluid expression of the building envelope. One of the challenges, however, was the convex and concave curvatures of the design required varied glazing manufacturing processes which yielded slightly different visual results. The major difference between concave and convex glazing was the location of the coating surface, which produced an “almost imperceptible change in color” according to Gaskin, who said the team “exploited architectural conditions to minimize the visual impact of these differences.” The concave units were located in full shade at deep balcony recesses, contrasting with exposed conditions of the convex units. Gaskin said this contrast of conditions assisted in masking the already subtle differences in glazing appearance. Additionally, during the product sourcing phase, the project team’s attention was focused on testing the supplier’s capability to deliver consistent quality through production and inspection of full-scale mock-ups. This attention to detail ultimately resulted in a “continuity of quality,” according to Gaskin, which was achieved by “understanding material qualities, impacts of manufacturing techniques and working with suppliers to coordinate and test results across different types of glass manufacturing and window unit assemblies.” The project complied with all code requirements, maximizing gross floor area (GFA), building height, and standard setback conformance. The IGUs were installed in a curtain wall system that hung on the outside of floor decks to fully enclose the building. These were selected after design simulation models of thermal and energy performance, which compared the assembly to more commonly-specified window wall systems which sit between floor decks. Gaskin said the facade design at 520 W 28th “successfully demonstrates a way of achieving dynamic and organic sculptural form by repetition of a limited number of standard cladding panel types. Further, use of common installation details and practices allows us to apply the best practices for envelope performance and costs.”
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London Calling

Diller Scofidio + Renfro announced as designers of London’s Centre For Music
Diller Scofidio + Renfro have bested a shortlist that included Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Snøhetta and Foster + Partners, winning the commission to design the Centre For Music, the new home for the London Symphony Orchestra and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  The Centre will be located near the Barbican complex in the City of London (where the Symphony currently performs), on a site now occupied by the Museum of London—which will move to a new home a half-mile west in West Smithfield. The Brutalist museum was designed in 1976 by Philip Powell and Hidalgo Moya, 1974 winners of the Royal Gold Medal For Architecture. DS+R's Centre is set to contain a concert hall with up to 2,000 seats, as well as classrooms and training spaces. Its cost, which reports estimate at between £200 and £250 million, is to be funded largely through private donations, although the City of London earlier this year chipped in £2.5 million for a business plan. Explaining their choice in a statement, the Centre's architect selection panel said they felt DS+R "most clearly met the vision and ambition of this project, utilising their experience of creating inspiring new spaces for culture to present a proposal that delivers a world-class concert hall in an outstanding new building, as part of the re-imagination of a key area of the City of London within Culture Mile.” Other members of the design team will include Buro Happold (civil and structural engineer and building services engineer), Nagata Acoustics (acoustician), Charcoalblue (theater consultant), and AECOM (cost consultant). According to DS+R, a concept design will be submitted to the City of London Corporation by December 2018. The building will not just be a permanent home for the London Symphony, but will also host performances from the Barbican's family of orchestras and ensembles and from touring orchestras and artists. It will be a vital piece of The City's "Culture Mile," a conglomeration of nearby arts facilities also including the Barbican, Milton Court Concert Hall, and more.
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Pharmatower

Air rights locked down for BIG’s spiral tower in Hudson Yards
At a buy of $157 million, New York–based developer Tishman Speyer secured the final air rights it needed for The Spiral, a massive new BIG building in Hudson Yards. The green-ribboned glass monolith, which will top out at 65 stories with a $3.2 billion price tag, acquired the rights from lots around the Eastern Rail Yards owned by the Hudson Yards Development Corporation. Pfizer, the New York–based pharmaceutical mammoth, will be the tower's primary tenant, and has already inked a deal to rent out 800,000 square feet of the total development. To date, Tishman Speyrer has spent $265 million on air rights alone—the tower will rise to a lofty 1,005 feet, which will make it the second-tallest development in the Hudson Yards, right after 30 Hudson Yards. Designs for the supertall were first released last February by the developer, and feature an ascending spiral of terraces populated with vertical and hanging greenery split between two-floor atria. These spaces, leased out as offices, housing, and hotel, will offer incomparable views over the Hudson River and the High Line, which will extend right up to the tower's base. The idea for the spiraling greenspaces (a popular trope, especially after Stefano Boeri's forested towers in Milan) is drawn from naturally-occurring patterns demonstrated in plant growth, molecular structure, and galactic formations, as Ingels explains in the tower's promotional video. With all rights locked down, Tishman Speyer now has the go-ahead for construction, joining its KPF-designed neighbors 55, 30, and 10 Hudson Yards.
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Home Sweet Apartment

The best of contemporary apartment design, minus the affordability question
Apartments currently represent one of the most fruitful sites of invention within the field of architecture. The contemporary world, simply put, is filled with provocative apartment buildings. Michael Webb’s Building Community—New Apartment Architecture aims to chronicle some of those exemplary projects, delivering a well-rounded—though somewhat incomplete—exploration of contemporary apartment design. At 256 pages, the tome, with muted graphic design by Praline, is jam-packed with 30 smart apartment designs from across the world designed by renowned firms, including Zaha Hadid Architects, Studio Gang, Michael Maltzan Architecture, Gehry Partners, and Bjarke Ingels Group. The book uses photographs, plans, sections, and other drawings to provide unvarnished views into the ways in which communality functions at the scale of multifamily housing. The collection offers a “greatest hits” approach to uncovering what’s possible when designers and developers work together toward the shared aims of livability and sociability, touching on widely publicized projects like Morphosis Architects’ Carabanchel Housing and Luciano Pia’s 25 Verde. The latter features 150 trees along its exterior, while the former utilizes a network of plazas and courtyards to create cool and social outdoor spaces. Another stellar example comes in the form of Jakob + MacFarlane Hérold apartments in Paris, from 2008. The chiseled, ETFE-wrapped housing blocks—“softly-molded and irregular,” in Webb’s words—are designed with multiple exposures for cross ventilation and dwelling-wide balconies attached to each unit. The balconies, due to their comfortable proportions, are populated by eccentric patio furniture, plantings, and knickknacks, exhibiting the lived-in qualities of these truly successful outdoor apartment spaces. They seem like great places to live. The book also offers a collection of ruminations from housing-focused architects like Édouard François and Lorcan O’Herlihy that shed light on some of the inner workings and contemporary struggles of apartment design. As Michael Maltzan’s and Stanley Saitowitz’s testimonials lay bare: It’s often too difficult, costly, and risky to build quality and affordable multifamily housing on a mass scale. All told, the book’s six thematic sections—“Urban Villages,” “Building Blocks,” “Promoting Sociability,” “Spirit of Place,” “Reaching Skyward,” and “Looking Ahead”—are too generic for the multifaceted buildings on display, especially “Reaching Skyward.” The heading unnecessarily creates a division by elevating tall apartment buildings into a separate class. It would have been more helpful, perhaps, to compare tall and short buildings within chapters together, highlighting each via juxtaposition. The book features several examples of thoughtful affordable and social housing projects, but their numbers are too few. Instead—perhaps as a commentary on contemporary practice—too many of the projects bluntly use “design” as a tool for extracting higher rents and padding the developer’s bottom line. Studio Gang’s contribution points to this fact directly—“People were so eager to live here that rents are the highest in Hyde Park,” the architect explains—as does MAD Architect’s Marilyn Monroe tower, which was so successful that the developer asked the firm to design a virtual carbon copy next door. Maybe it would have been more effective to couch this contemporary tendency within a larger discussion focused on the rich connections between economies and architecture. Either way, the general topic of affordability is glossed over. Webb’s book, after all, comes not only as rapidly urbanizing populations make high-density living a practical necessity, but also as this egalitarian typology is simultaneously being co-opted by wealth. The book’s introduction highlights this fact: Until recently, apartments were the domains of regular, hard-working folks, not the idle rich. Perhaps more architects can take a page from Webb, and fight for greater excellence and representation of these types. As Webb explains, “Huge complexes can be humane places for a wide variety of residents as long as they are well built and maintained, provided with essential services and connections, and softened by generous plantings.” Building Community—New Apartment Architecture Michael Webb, Thames & Hudson, 2017 $65.00
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Tunnel Vision

Regional Plan Association calls for a new Port Authority Bus Terminal at the Javits Center
The Regional Plan Association (RPA) has published a report that calls for major changes to how transit is operated between New Jersey and Manhattan. In 25 years, the report explains, daily commuters into Manhattan from New Jersey increased by 70,000 to 320,000. "Our current system of trains, buses, subways, ferries, and roads does not have enough capacity to serve another 72,000—let alone another 150,000," said the RPA. The report goes adds that while rail journeys from Penn Station have almost tripled, bus travel is where major growth has taken place, increasing by 83 percent. As a result, the RPA's biggest proposal is for a new Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) at the base of the Javits Center. This $3 billion project would not mean destroying the current PABT in Midtown, it said, but it would create an additional bus hub to relieve the Midtown terminus. "The ramps connecting the Lincoln Tunnel and the PABT are immovable and any solutions must keep them in place," the RPA argue. "Any other building site large enough for existing and expanded PABT operations will be enormously expensive; and any relocation will put the PABT passengers further from their destinations and the extraordinary subway connections they now enjoy." While having some bus routes into Hudson Yards is a good idea, access to the #7 train may not be adequate from a capacity perspective. Secondly, that train doesn't go anywhere useful for those coming into Manhattan—it's a line that primarily services Queens. The RPA, however, had other points to make, notably stressing the importance of the Gateway Project. "The new tunnels must be in place before the existing tunnels fail. Simply put, this is the highest infrastructure priority for the nation." Furthermore, the RPA called for Gateway to be turned into a through-running service, no longer terminating at 7th Avenue, but going onto Sunnyside Yards in Queens by going eastward under Manhattan. Planning consultants ReThink Studio also have a scheme similar to this. Keeping with rail travel, Vishaan Chakrabarti and PAU's proposal to move Madison Square Gardens to an adjacent site was praised by the RPA, creating what it called a "beautiful train station." All in all, this plan would be executed in phases. These phases were outlined and can be found below.
Phase One Build gateway tunnels and a bus terminal in the basement of the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Phase Two Build Gateway East with through service at Penn South. Constructing Penn South with fewer, wider platforms and two new East River tunnels would increase throughput at Penn Station by 30% and greatly expand rail service for New Jersey Transit, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro North riders. New direct rail service into Penn Station for Bergen and Monmouth counties would reduce travel times and shift bus riders to rail in these under-served counties, relieving highway congestion and pressure on the bus terminals. Phase Three Build new tail tunnels to expand service and meet future capacity needs
The report in full can be found here.
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Building Boom

Midtown East rezoning gets final approval from City Council

After five arduous years, New York City’s Midtown East rezoning proposal cleared City Council today, paving the way for new office towers to rise in the neighborhood.

The proposal, approved 42-0, updates the area’s zoning code to incentivize new, dense development and revitalize the flagging business area in order to compete with the Financial District and Hudson Yards. The 78 blocks in the area are currently home to more than 250,000 jobs and generate ten percent of the city’s property tax base, according toNew York Daily News article penned by Councilman Daniel Garodnick. The city anticipates 6.5 million square feet of office space being added to East Midtown.

Developers can build higher and gain more floor-area-ratio (FAR) by either buying landmarked air rights or making specific transit improvements (targeted mainly at subway stations). Several recent changes include the lowering of the air rights minimum: developers can purchase air rights at $61.49 per square foot, of which the proceeds will go toward a public realm fund. Developers are also required pay upfront for transit improvements if they choose to go that route; buildings will not be occupiable until those improvements are finished.

“The goal is to improve Midtown, not keep it as it is,” Councilman Garodnick said at the meeting.

The city has committed $50 million to start improving public spaces—before anything is built—and the first project includes a shared street on 43rd Street, near Grand Central Terminal. Over the next 20 years, the city estimates that up to 16 properties could take advantage of the rezoning.

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Instagram Eavesdrop

From Hudson Yards to Chengdu, China: Where top architects were this week
At The Architect's Newspaper, we're plain addicted to Instagram. Sure, we love seeing Brutalist concrete through "Inkwell" or "Ludwig" filters, but there's also no better place to see where architects are getting their inspiration, how they're documenting the built environment, and where they've traveled of late. Below, we bring you some of the best Instagrams of this past week! (Also, don't forget to check out our Instagram account here.) Anne Fougeron of San Francisco–based Fougeron Architects was in Lisbon, Portugal, and she enjoyed the shade underneath London-based AL_A’s Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT).

#Lisbon #MAAT #museum #whitetiles

A post shared by Anne Fougeron (@fougeronarch) on

The ever-on-the-move Iwan Baan stopped by Dia:Beacon and snapped this glowing pic of Dan Flavin's Untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection).

#danflavin #fence at #diabeacon @diaartfoundation

A post shared by Iwan Baan (@iwanbaan) on

International firm Snøhetta showcased its Snøhetta: Relations installation in Innsbruck, Austria; the angular landscape has served as everything from theatrical stage to gathering place.
We couldn't resist: here's some feline Instagram love from Amsterdam-based UNStudio
L.A.-based Oyler Wu Collaborative teased its next project, a large steel structure that will soon be powder coated.
New York–based Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) posted this update of the firm's 55 Hudson Yards, which will eventually rise 780 feet and feature several outdoor terraces.
Last but not least, also New York–based Steven Holl Architects furnished these fresh photos from its Sliced Porosity Block - Raffles City Chengdu project.
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SOM

New Penn Station concourse is now open to the public
The West End Concourse of the revamped Moynihan Train Hall is now open to the public. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's (SOM) New York office, the work is the first phase of a wider project that sees Penn Station engulf the James A. Farley Building.
SOM's work gives commuters greater access to 17 of Penn's 21 tracks; it also increases the overall floor area of the station complex. As a result, pedestrian accessibility into the concourse itself has been improved, with people now able to enter from Eighth Avenue—a boost for those looking to live or work at Hudson Yards.
Phase Two of the project will see more extensive work done to the Moynihan Train Hall. This will include a new lavish skylight comprised of the building's original steel trusses. SOM has been spearheading the move to rejuvenate the Penn Station for some time. In 1999 the firm submitted a proposal that saw a parabolic, glass-and-steel canopy cover a multi-level concourse that allowed travelers to view the trains beneath. Eight years later, SOM presented further plans, this time with a higher glass and steel roof structure. In 2010, the practice's New York arm was awarded the commission to design Penn Station's West End Concourse. Now those plans will be moving forward, with a $1.6 billion price tag.
"Our design for Moynihan Train Hall culminates a long-held vision to create a new transportation hub that serves not only as a suitable entry and departure point to our magnificent city, but also a destination unto itself," stated Roger Duffy, design partner at SOM in a press release. "We are honored to have been involved with this project since its inception and look forward to continuing to make Moynihan Train Hall a new landmark for New York City."
According to the same press release, in revealing the plans yesterday, Governor Cuomo said: "The state-of-the-art infrastructure, technology upgrades, and wayfinding improvements of the expanded West End concourse will provide immediate relief for passengers enduring increasing congestion and overcrowding in Penn Station and help New Yorkers get to where they need to go better and faster."
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F.A.R. Out

Midtown East rezoning proposal one step closer to final approval
The rezoning of Midtown East in New York City is one step closer to approval after the latest proposal was presented at yesterday’s City Council meeting, although not without significant opposition from the public. The rezoning proposal has made an arduous, five-year-long journey with support and roadblocks along the way. The Department of City Planning (DCP) has pushed the proposal forward, claiming that it will incentivize the development of new office buildings, preserve landmarked buildings, and improve the public realm in the area. The designated site runs from 39th Street to 57th Street and is bordered by Madison Avenue from the west and 3rd Avenue from the east. With Hudson Yards luring away businesses and the Financial District offering newer buildings with larger floor space, the DCP has primarily made it their goal to make the proposed Midtown East sub-district area a premier business area. If this latest proposal passes, it would add a potential 16 new developments in the area and allow developers to build up to 40 percent taller and bulkier than is currently permitted in Midtown. In exchange, they would be required to either complete improvements to below-grade transit infrastructure (i.e. improve major subway stations), rebuild legally overbuilt floor areas of pre-1961 buildings, or if they transfer landmark development rights, pay a minimum contribution ($78.60 per square foot) to a public realm fund. “We expect hundreds of millions of dollars to go into this fund,” DCP’s Director Edith Hsu-Chen said. The fund is expected to improve aboveground infrastructure, including widening pedestrian streets and creating shared streets. Another part of the proposal includes the Pfizer headquarters building. Since it was built before the 1961 Zoning plan, it will automatically get a free density boost of floor area ratio (FAR) 10 to FAR 15 and possibly incentivize the pharmaceutical company to sell the building and leave the city, as The Real Deal reports. While infrastructure improvements to subway stations were applauded (especially concerning the latest MTA woes), concerns were expressed from councilmembers about the transparency of the use of the public realm funds and whether developers could “game the system,” according to Councilman Daniel Garodnick, a long-time supporter of the proposal. Other questions raised included the potential—and highly likely—increased traffic in the 116 traffic intersections that will be affected, the increased shadows overcast, as well as the lack of new public space, which has been an issue for many of the proposal’s opponents. Since developers are already gaining extra FAR from contributing to the public fund, they do not have to take part in the POPS (Privately Owned Public Spaces) program, a voluntary zoning mechanism where developers get more floor space by building a public space. The meeting saw many community members pushback against rezoning without the mandatory inclusion of open, public space. “What remains to be determined, after all this time, is what the public will be receiving,” said a representative for Vikki Barbera, chair of Community Board 5. “Open space is not some optional amenity, it is essential for all good planning.” The City Council will meet later this month to vote on the latest proposal.