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antinimby Feb 4, 2015 2:19 PM

And we know that you can't put a bunch of affordable units together in one place because they end up having the same problems like we've seen with housing projects. They need mixed income and market rates interdispersed with the affordable units. They also need to make it true mixed use including office, retail and entertainment, otherwise it'll just be a sterile bedroom community that only residents go back to at night.

NYguy Feb 5, 2015 2:30 AM


Originally Posted by antinimby (Post 6901162)
Typical big announcements and ambitions which ultimately gets watered down by the public's input of not wanting tall buildings and lots of open space for light and air. We'll end up with a bunch of sterile, short, modern day towers-in-the-park ala Battery Park City, LIC waterfront.

I've seen this all before.


Originally Posted by antinimby (Post 6901168)
And we know that you can't put a bunch of affordable units together in one place because they end up having the same problems like we've seen with housing projects.

They need mixed income and market rates interdispersed with the affordable units. They also need to make it true mixed use including office, retail and entertainment, otherwise it'll just be a sterile bedroom community that only residents go back to at night.

I think you are somehow mistaking low income housing with affordable housing. They are not one in the same, but I agree on a mix, which is what would happen here.

But de Blasio isn't talking about building "Manhattan scale" towers across the city's neighborhoods. He's saying that buildings would be "larger" than what you would normally see or expect in some areas. If that means a 15-story building instead of a 5-story buidling, then so be it. The city is growing, and people have to be put somewhere. There's a reason land is so precious in the city, and that's because there isn't more of it coming. What you have is what you get. Unlike the rivers and oceans that surround it, there are limits to how far the city can expand. Unless, of course, that expansion is up.

People are always quick to jump into the conversation to tell you how things won't and shouldn't be done. But the fact is, nothing will ever get done without the conversation first. The west side of Manhattan and the railyards there are developing nicely. Is it the plan the Bloomberg originally envisioned? No, it isn't. But it was Bloomberg's initiatives that got us where we are today, despite the many critics of that plan.

The mayor is right to push for a plan (the specifics can come later) to put those unused air rights - that will sit there forever - on the table, especially with his push for more affordable housing. Whatever else is built along with the affordable housing is on the table.

De Blasio Thinks There’s a ‘Way Forward’ for Sunnyside Yards Proposal

By Jillian Jorgensen


Gov. Andrew Cuomo may not be on board with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to turn a railyard in Queens into a sweeping affordable housing development—but Mr. de Blasio wasn’t letting that put a damper on his plans today.

“I think we’re going to find a way forward here,” Mr. de Blasio told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer this morning.

Yesterday in his State of the City address, Mr. de Blasio laid out plans envisioning a development called “Sunnyside Yards,” which would include more than 11,000 affordable apartments built in the image of Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village. The mayor proposed building above the more than 200-acre working railyard, where both Amtrak and the MTA have operations.

Mr. Cuomo almost immediately threw cold water on the plan. In a statement, his spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa said the yard was not available due to its use by the MTA, state-run agency.

“The MTA uses Sunnyside Yards as an important facility for our transportation system, and it is not available for any other use in the near term. The State and the MTA are studying several potential future uses of the site from a long term planning perspective,” she said.

But Amtrak owns most of the site—150 acres—and the national railroad said yesterday it was open to developing above the property.

“Amtrak has begun conceptualizing future opportunities for development over our 150 acre Sunnyside Yards property. We are working with the City and others to understand what potential exists for this incredibly unique site and recognize and support the Mayor’s strong interest in advancing affordable housing as part of any major new development,” Amtrak said in a statement.

And today, Mr. de Blasio noted the city would own the air rights above the rail yard.

“The rail yards have to be there, no question about it, they have to be there. But we think we can have them there…but also get a lot done in terms of affordable housing and other things that the city needs,” Mr. de Blasio said.

.....Mr. de Blasio said big projects were what the city needed.

“Leaders are supposed to lead. We’re supposed to point a way,” he said.

Some people want development to happen only in small-scale developments, as opposed to the massive amount of mixed low- and high-rise housing he’s proposed for Sunnyside Yards. But if the models of Peter Cooper Village and Stuy Town worked before, and the city has an opportunity to target development above a massive parcel, it should try those models again.

“Why on earth would we not grab that opportunity? So I’m going to be very, very focused on this,” he said.

De Blasio’s bold building bet
To expand the ladder of opportunity, stretch the city skyward

February 4, 2015


Tuesday, de Blasio pointed as a model to the housing plan of Mayor Ed Koch, who said then “we’re creating more than just apartments — we’re re-creating neighborhoods.” But Koch was able to do that because many parts of the city had hollowed out, leaving empty spaces and buildings.

Today, New York is bursting at the seams and land is so scarce that one big part of de Blasio’s plan involves a multi-billion-dollar proposal — that Gov. Cuomo has already poured cold water on — to cover the huge rail yard in Sunnyside and then entice private developers to create a neighborhood with 11,250 units of affordable housing.

Beyond Sunnyside, the core of his plan involves zoning changes allowing bigger new buildings in various pockets of the city — and requiring developers to provide permanently affordable new housing (along with market-rate units) in exchange for the extra height.

That’s a jackpot — assuming things get built. But before they put up seven or eight figures, developers have to be confident that the numbers will add up — that the increased development rights (along with government subsidies, especially in places like East New York) will cover the cost of the below-market units.

For the city, there’s little downside: If nothing gets built in some places, we’re no worse off than now. And where buildings do go up, de Blasio will have proven he can collect more affordable housing eggs without killing the development goose. And that we can get new market-rate housing, and affordable units along with them, outside the confines of Mayor Bloomberg’s luxury city.

The New York Times this week labeled de Blasio’s approach “Bloombergism with a twist,” as — like his predecessor — the new mayor banks on private development to pay for his promise of new affordable housing. The twist: De Blasio would do much more to ensure construction benefits current residents, not just those drawn in as so-called luxury buildings rise and coffee houses and craft beer bars spring up like mushrooms in their shadows.

I wrote last year that “the simple way out of this Chinese finger trap, where the more subsidized housing we have, the more outrageously expensive it gets for everyone not lucky enough to have it, is (building up) — an approach largely favored by an unlikely coalition of developers, trade unionists and affordable housing advocates.”

In short, to convince developers they can still profit while giving a bigger cut of potential profits to New Yorkers lucky enough to win the affordable housing lottery, and to increase supply enough to help relieve the pressure on the rest of us. And to convince New Yorkers already in the places he’s aiming to transform that years of construction is in their interests.

That’s a tough sell after a 50-year cycle in which, to put it crudely, residents who hung on or moved in and fought to improve neighborhoods damaged by white flight, then found themselves pushed out by white influx as the city became more attractive.

Taking the gentrification bull by the horns, de Blasio credited two decades of declining crime with drawing people to the city, bringing with them “jobs and amenities, more activities, safer streets. The problem comes when we reach the tipping point . . . when New Yorkers get priced out of their own neighborhoods.”

Who could disagree? But let’s be honest: As long as people want to be here, someone will always be pricing someone else out . And any plan for a better future will encounter fierce resistance from people who like where they live now, and can afford it.

As much as I like de Blasio’s vision, I wouldn’t trade years of noisy construction intended to dramatically change my corner of Brooklyn to provide lower rents in a few years, mostly to people who aren’t even here yet. Would you?

Good luck, Mr. Mayor.

sparkling Feb 5, 2015 6:52 PM

Cuomo returns to Sunnyside Yards convention center idea

Tess Hofmann
February 5/2015


The idea of a massive Queens convention center that would replace the West Side’s Jacob Javits Center has foundered before, but now Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to be returning to the concept in the face of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s designs to build affordable housing in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

Wednesday morning, the day after de Blasio proposed building a Stuyvesant Town-sized affordable housing development on a platform above Sunnyside Yards in Queens, Cuomo said that the plan is complicated and expensive and that he is considering alternatives, according to Capital New York.

“There have been a number of uses proposed,” the governor said. “One of them is to make that a convention center site to supplement the Javits convention center, which is on the west side of Manhattan, or replace the Javits Center on the West Side of Manhattan. And that’s one of the possibilities that is being studied, along with several other possible scenarios.”

Cuomo appears to be referencing former Bloomberg CEO Dan Doctoroff’s proposal to replace the 1.8 million-square-foot Javits Center with a 3.1 million-square-foot convention center in Sunnyside Yards, and partially fund the project with 25,000 housing units, 9,000 of which would be affordable, that would be built on both the old and new convention center sites.

While Doctoroff has put a $5.6 billion price tag on his proposal, De Blasio has not yet delved into specifics for his plan. - See more at:

NYguy Feb 5, 2015 7:31 PM

11,000 units of affordable housing vs 9,000 units of affordable housing, both numbers neither final nor far off from each other. It's not the Cuomo's idea is very different from de Blasio's. But Cuomo's plan would be a convention center that happens to have the affordable unit component to it, while de Blasio focuses on the affordable housing idea (along with whatever else it takes to get that built). The difference is in how the two men see their legacy. (de Blasio wants to be a champion of making the city more affordable for New Yorkers, Cuomo wants a more centrist image.

Cuomo doesn't want de Blasio stealing his thunder, but he has to realize that while the city has its limits, the state does as well, and the Sunnyside yards is just that case where the city has more sway.

I don't see how the two ideas are that much different, but the governor's ego is such that he couldn't even wait a full day to try and downplay the city's idea.

Mayor to guv: 'Plenty of room' at Sunnyside Yards

FEBRUARY 4, 2015


After Gov. Andrew Cuomo quickly dismissed the idea of building 11,250 units of affordable housing on top of Sunnyside Yards, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday he is confident the project will get done.

"I think we're going to find a way forward here," Mr. de Blasio said in a radio interview with WNYC's Brian Lehrer.

He noted that Amtrak, the largest landowner at the 200-acre site in western Queens, is supportive of his idea of decking over the rail yards and building affordable housing on top, and that the city owns air rights on 44 of the acres owned by the state-controlled Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

"Look, I think as we talk to the governor's folks, as we talk to the MTA, we'll find our way toward the kind of vision that works for everyone," he added. "They have other things they think are a priority for that site. There's plenty of room on that site."

Less than an hour after Mr. de Blasio proposed a massive residential development at Sunnyside Yards, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cuomo released a statement calling the site "an important facility for our transportation system" that is "not available for any other use in the near term."

Mr. Cuomo reiterated his concerns in a Wednesday interview with NY1. "Sunnyside Yards is problematic," he said. "But I agree with the mayor's overall thrust [on housing] and I applaud him for it."

The governor isn't the only one expressing doubt about the project. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the site, told The Wall Street Journal Tuesday that he would "never" support the construction of high-density housing in the portion of the rail yards buttressing the Sunnyside neighborhood.

Late Tuesday, Amtrak released a statement saying, "We are working with the city and others to understand what potential exists for this incredibly unique site and recognize and support the mayor's strong interest in advancing affordable housing as part of any major new development."

Nothing will happen soon. Amtrak has said it doesn't expect to conduct a feasibility study until 2016. And the cost of decking over the site could be enormous. Constructing a platform over a portion of the much smaller 26-acre Hudson Yards in western Manhattan is expected to cost upward of $700 million.

After the State of the City speech Tuesday, the mayor's aides acknowledged the long road ahead for the project.

"Sunnyside Yards is a very complicated site," said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. "The first thing the city will be doing is using our own resources to go out and solicit that first step in the feasibility study, which will allow us to all have a common framework around which we can plan this amazing opportunity."

Community opposition, much like that which stalled the Atlantic Yards project for years, is anticipated, she said.

"I don't know if we can ever avoid all the lawsuits," said Ms. Glen. "But I do think our approach is fundamentally very different. Simultaneously while we're doing the engineering and feasibility work, we're already convening local elected officials and a wide array of stakeholders."

The project could avoid one of the major criticisms about Atlantic Yards: the use of eminent domain. Ms. Glen said the controversial practice of taking private property is "currently not contemplated" for the project because only 23 acres of the site are privately held.

On WNYC, as he did in his speech Tuesday, the mayor likened the project to the construction of Stuyvesant Town, which opened in 1947, calling the East Side project "the kind of housing that working-class and middle-class people were able to depend on for a generation in New York City."

"There's greenery, the buildings aren't too high, it's the right balance," he said. "We can do that on a plot of land, 200 acres. You can do that and do a lot of other good things, too."

sparkling Feb 5, 2015 9:16 PM


Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 6903000)

Mayor to guv: 'Plenty of room' at Sunnyside Yards

Community opposition, much like that which stalled the Atlantic Yards project for years, is anticipated, she said.

Sunnyside Yards Affordable Housing Raises Concerns About Transit, Schools

Jeanmarie Evelly
February 5, 2015


Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to build more than 11,000 units of affordable housing over the Sunnyside rail yards has some local leaders wondering how such a development would impact the surrounding neighborhood.

While the officials said they recognize the need for more affordable housing, several expressed concern about how developing the site might strain existing infrastructure, including schools and the already-crowded 7 train line.

"I don’t fault the mayor for thinking ambitiously, but it is a very tricky riddle to solve in Sunnyside Yards," said State Sen. Michael Gianaris.

"The details are unknown and incredibly important," he continued. "What exactly is the mass transit plan? How many schools are going to be built to accommodate all the people there? There is so much from a planning perspective still to go."

In his State of the City address on Tuesday, de Blasio proposed building 11,250 affordable apartments above the tracks at the 200-acre rail yard, likening the project to earlier developments like Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to shoot down the idea, though the city owns the air rights to 44 acres of Sunnyside Yards that it can legally build above as long as it does not interfere with train operations.

"The goal is admirable. The scope of it is grandiose, and maybe even courageous, but is it realistic?" said Pat O'Brien, chairman for Community Board 2.

He said while there are still too many unknowns to either oppose or support the plan, there are concerns about how the already growing area would accommodate several thousand more residents.

"How can one area absorb that many more people?" he said. "The infrastructure hasn't even caught up with the more recent [population] increase."

In a statement, State Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan — whose district includes the rail yards — said she agreed with Cuomo's concerns about the proposal and that she has "grave concerns" of her own.

Those concerns, outlined in a Daily News op-ed in December, include worries over the effects of cleaning up the industrial site and how more residents would overcrowd already crowded schools, buses and train lines.

"I know I speak for mass transit users as well as the many residents and businesses and cultural and educational hubs in western Queens when I say true community review is needed," Nolan said in a statement Wednesday.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer expressed similar ideas. In a statement, he said he "applauds" de Blasio's goal of expanding affordable housing in the city, but added that he has expressed his concerns to the mayor.

"When we are talking about building more housing we also need to talk about schools, parks, cultural spaces, live/work spaces for artists and meaningful transportation enhancements in Western Queens," his statement read.

The mayor's office said it will be starting a feasibility study this month to assess costs and other factors related to developing the yards, according to a press release, which mentions the need for "new open space, transportation and schools."

Gianaris said addressing those infrastructure needs is crucial.

"We have miles to go before this thing even hits the drawing board," he said. "I won't be supporting anything the community's not comfortable with."

NYguy Feb 6, 2015 2:21 AM

Created a thread for the Sunnyside Yards discussion...

RobEss Mar 4, 2015 1:30 AM
via Curbed

sparkling Apr 8, 2015 2:46 PM

Related CEO Jeffrey Blau has an ambitious project at Hudson Yards, but he’s also overhauling CitiBike and taking on Willets Point



Related Companies Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey T. Blau is building a city—on a platform.

Mr. Blau is engulfed by the 18-million-square-foot Hudson Yards project—literally and figuratively. In a conference room on the 18th floor of the Time Warner Center (which Related opened back in 2004), Mr. Blau is surrounded by models, renderings and images of the massive project.

He points to one model: “This is our first rental building”—the Abington. “This is finished. We get our highest rents in New York City in this building.”
But one can’t help but notice that the building Mr. Blau is pointing at is the runt of the litter. Next to it are the models of the steel and glass towers that will reach the sky. (And it’s probably worth noting that the Abington, at 500 West 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, is a great deal taller than any of its neighbors on the High Line.) Coach will start doing its build out at 10 Hudson Yards and move in next March.

Mr. Blau sat down with Commercial Observer last week to discuss the work Related is doing throughout the city, though many things come back to Hudson Yards. The firm had to rethink how to construct a development of this magnitude by building its own supply chain and cultivating steel from around the world. Mr. Blau expects that later this year Related will be developing 8.5 million square feet at once—more than any project in the nation’s history.

The father of three, who turns 47 this week, also has his pet projects. He and a handful of investors purchased CitiBike last fall. When Mr. Blau talked with CO, he said he plans to double the bike program’s fleet size, expand to other parts of the city and make the bikes more durable.

An Upper East Sider, Mr. Blau has his own plans to move into Hudson Yards when his children get older. (Even though asking prices aren’t hammered out, he’ll pay less there than he would at a high rise on 57th Street.)

In the two years since Mr. Blau succeeded Related’s founder and his mentor, Stephen Ross, the CEO has overseen Hudson Yards, along with redevelopment at Willets Point and projects across the country. The company isn’t just doing a major project on the Far West Side, but heading west with a slew of projects in California to meet a demand in Silicon Valley.

Commercial Observer: What goes into building pretty much a micro-city, on a platform, over a rail yard?

Mr. Blau: A lot. We have clearly moved into execution mode now. This year we’ll have 8.5 million square feet under construction at the same time. As well as doing all of this at the same time, the city’s gotten very busy, so contractors have gotten very busy. There’s a shortage of contractors, there’s a shortage of materials. We’re building a 175,000-square-foot manufacturing facility [in Pennsylvania] that’s going to produce curtain wall for these buildings.
I really view it as: we’re taking on more risk to manage risk, is what I like to say. We don’t have a choice. We’re buying steel from around the world as a commodity. So we’re literally going and directly meeting with factory owners in Italy, China, Canada, wherever it might be, and buying commodity steel.

Do you think it will set a precedent where builders in the future start to follow that model?

It will be very difficult because you really need scale to be able to do this. It will give us a long-term competitive advantage because we were able to put all of that in place because of Hudson Yards. But we now use it throughout our system, not just in New York. We’re delivering curtain wall in Chicago and all these things we’re doing here, we export our best practices across the system.
I think that’s ultimately going to make us a stronger company.

So when your kids are older and changing schools, or when they leave the nest, are you going to move to Hudson Yards?

[Yes.] We have one building that straddles the High Line. It’s right on the waterfront. It’s going to be a while before that one’s done so it should all work out.

How were you able to convince Neiman Marcus to bring its first New York City location to Hudson Yards?

We met [Neiman Marcus CEO] Karen Katz because they were in a process about two years ago where their previous private equity owners were going to take the company public.

We were in the midst of searching for a new anchor for Hudson Yards and so we got involved in that process really to look at it, to see. I’m not sure we would ever go buy Neiman’s but it was interesting to get in the process and see what it was all about and see if there was a way we could attract them to Hudson Yards. Then they were ultimately bought by Ares and the Canadian Pension Plan. When the deal closed we immediately started talking to Neiman’s.

She thought it was the last thing in the world they would do is open a Neiman’s here in New York at Hudson Yards. After seeing the presentation and really hearing about our vision and what we were doing and the high quality nature of the development and the demographics, she really came around. The new private equity owners were very supportive and we were able to make a deal.

mrnyc Apr 15, 2015 9:06 AM

from yesterday - the neiman marcus dept store

chris08876 Apr 21, 2015 8:44 PM

Equinox to Open a Gym-Centric Hotel at Hudson Yards


Equinox Holdings Inc., which helped usher in an era of upscale gyms and premium membership prices, is hoping to make a similar formula work in the luxury hotel market.

The New York company that runs Equinox fitness clubs is launching a hospitality brand intended for health-conscious travelers willing to pay for high-end fitness facilities and amenities while on the road.

Equinox expects to open its first hotel in 2018 at Related Cos.’ Hudson Yards development under way on Manhattan’s west side. The hotel’s Yabu Pushelberg-designed property will include indoor and outdoor swimming pools and, at 60,000 square feet, the largest ever Equinox gym, the company says. A Los Angeles hotel is slated to open in 2019.

chris08876 Jul 1, 2015 8:53 PM

Workers strike at Hudson Yards and other sites around the city due to a labor dispute


Construction partially ground to a halt at an estimated 30 major sites across the city Wednesday morning after a group of concrete workers went on strike. Among the stalled sites are the Related Companies' massive Hudson Yards project and Time Equities' 50 West St. condo tower. The workers belong to a union umbrella group called the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

At midnight this morning, a collective bargaining agreement ran out between the council of carpenters and a trade organization called the Cement League. The league is made up of contractors that erect the concrete skeletons for high-rise buildings and hire district council workers for part of that job under a collective contract.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the two sides were still at loggerheads.

"We want a contract that is fair for both parties," a council spokeswoman said.

The league countered that the union group walked away from the bargaining table.

"We were told to take it or leave it," said Michael Salgo, executive director of the Cement League. "And it wasn’t a good enough deal to take."

In recent years, nonunion construction shops have been gaining market share in New York City, especially in smaller residential projects that were traditionally dominated by organized labor. Many developers cite costs that are about 30% higher when using union labor on a construction job.

The Cement League alleges that many of the protests—which included large banners, bagpipes and even a large drum emblazoned with the union group’s iconography—were taking place in violation of separate, site-specific contracts that forbid workers from striking.

The district council claimed that the strikes were only happening on jobs that are not governed by so-called Project Labor Agreements (and noted that the drum and bagpipes were deployed on such a strike). In addition, it does not condone walking off job sites in violation of contracts, according to the district council spokeswoman.

But Hudson Yards is governed by such an agreement, as is the 50 West St. residential project downtown. Both were strike sites Wednesday morning.

The last time concrete workers went on strike and opposed the Cement League was in October 2013.

chris08876 Jul 7, 2015 7:52 PM

Work has resumed. Strike lasted for three days.

chris08876 Jul 22, 2015 9:17 PM

A Garden Will Grow With Fans, Concrete, Coolant and 28,000 Plants


Though the 4.5-acre Public Square will look like a garden when it is finished in late 2018 (according to the current timetable), it will actually be the roof of a working rail yard — not the greatest place for plants.

The soil and roots, the cooling system for the roots, the water supply and storage, storm drainage, ventilation for the rail yard and the utilities and sewage lines needed by the buildings around the square must be compacted into a layer of the roof ranging from 18 inches to seven feet.

“All the things we put into the ground without thinking, we have to sandwich here,” said Thomas L. Woltz, principal of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, designers of the square. “We went through a lot of acrobatics to get a healthy, long-living horticulture.”

Construction began in 2012. Today, 10 Hudson Yards, a 52-story office tower at 10th Avenue and 30th Street, is nearing completion. An abutting shopping mall, anchored by Neiman Marcus, is well underway. And a 92-story skyscraper, 30 Hudson Yards, is starting to emerge at 33rd Street.

Four other towers, a retail pavilion, an information kiosk and a performance space called the Culture Shed are to complete the 11-million-square-foot project on and around the east half of the Caemmerer yard.

The yard is being spanned by a $750 million, 10-acre, steel-and-concrete platform, which was designed and engineered by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Thornton Tomasetti, as were 10 and 30 Hudson Yards.

The Public Square will be the southern extension of the Hudson Park and Boulevard, a new swath of green space from 10th to 11th Avenue, north of 33rd Street, in which the new No. 7 subway station sits.

Going into the Hudson Yards project, Mr. Woltz said, he knew there would be constraints. “This was never going to be a lush chunk of Central Park dropped into the West Side,” he said. “We have no soil.”

What they had were 234 reinforced-concrete columns, called caissons, that were threaded down to bedrock around the tracks and, in some places, around Amtrak and New Jersey Transit tunnels below the Long Island Rail Road yard.

Steel columns atop the caissons support deep trusses on which the platform is being built. As a rule, there is a clearance of about 16 feet between the tops of the rail cars and the bottom of the platform.

The first layer of the platform will be a six-foot-high empty space known as a plenum, through which fresh air will be propelled by 15 powerful fans at 45 miles an hour to ventilate and cool the rail yard. Hot-air exhaust stacks will be built into the retail pavilion and information kiosk.

Above the plenum, in some areas, will be a two-and-a-half-foot-deep, 60,000-gallon collection tank to store rainwater. This, in turn, will be used to irrigate 225 trees and 28,000 plants.

The trees and plants will sit in beds that are 18 inches to four feet deep, isolated from the heat below by concrete slabs threaded with conduits carrying glycol coolant, not unlike the base of an ice-skating rink.

The chief material under the paving will be what is called sand-based structural soil. Around the plantings, it will be supplemented with nutrients, compost, mulch and a biological crust, including lichen, fungi and algae.

The Public Square might be likened, in small scale, to Riverside Park and Park Avenue, both of which span active railroad lines.

Noting the similarities, Michael M. Samuelian, a vice president of Related who is overseeing the creation of the square, said, “We’re providing intensive engineering for what will be invisible to the public.”

sparkling Aug 4, 2015 8:16 PM

Chetrit Group moving forward with Hudson Yards development
Company takes site off the market, recapitalizes with $60 million loan

August 04, 2015
Rich Bockmann


The Chetrit Group landed a $60 million acquisition loan for its Hudson Yards development site, and is renewing plans to develop the property it had put on the market earlier this year.

Brothers Joseph and Meyer Chetrit closed on the loan last week, which covers acquisition and pre-development costs for the site, which the company purchased in 2012.

The Bank of Ozarks provided the financing, which was arranged by Adi Chugh’s Maverick Capital Partners.

The developers paid $26.5 million three years ago to acquire 541-545 West 37th Street, and an additional $29 million for building bonuses available to projects in the Hudson Yards neighborhood.The development site runs between 37th and 38th streets east of Eleventh Avenue and can accommodate a building of up to 373,000 square feet.

The Chetrit Group is considering an ultraluxury hotel for the Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue, the New York Post reported in June. The Sony Building is also the home of a record $150 million penthouse listing.

- See more at:

Vertical_Gotham Aug 7, 2015 8:29 PM

Good news! Hopefully a re-zoning is successful. Just glad that the days are numbered for that hot garbage.

Lalezarian pays $1,200 psf for West Chelsea site Developer betting big on rezoning of


Residential developer Kevin Lalezarian paid an eye-popping $1,200 per-square-foot for a West Chelsea development site on the High Line where — for at least the time being — he can’t build a single apartment.

The builder is betting big that the city will rezone the property at 606 West 30th Street. The site sits on one of the few blocks in a booming neighborhood that remains under a restrictive manufacturing zoning, which permits only some retail and small service and repair shops.

Lalezarian Properties paid $36 million, or roughly $1,200 per square foot, to buy the plot from the family of late real estate investor Anita Butensky Katzman, who died in 2009. Cushman & Wakefield’s Bob Knakal represented the sellers, and Bruce Bartell negotiated the deal on behalf of Lalezarian.

The developer could not be immediately reached for comment.

Under the current zoning, the developer is only able raise a building of roughly 30,000 square feet as-of-right. That’s a stark contrast to nearby blocks where sky-scraping apartment towers have risen in recent years behind the backdrop of transformative projects like Related’s Hudson Yards and the High Line.

Last year, as the third and final section of the High Line opened to run past the block, the Department of City Planning said it was looking at rezoning the area. Jeff Levine’s Douglaston Development is reportedly in negotiations to acquire a land lease on a handful of properties surrounding Lalezarian’s site. The price of the lease would depend on how much Levine could build following a rezoning.

Lalezarian, who is on the board of governors at the Real Estate Board of New York and based out of Lake Success on Long Island, is particularly active in the area.

His company is constructing a trio of rental buildings on the High Line at Tenth Avenue, including a 35-story tower that will rival the height of Related’s Abington House just to the north. In Hudson Yards, the company is building a residential/office/retail building on West 36th Street.

C. Aug 8, 2015 10:15 PM


Originally Posted by antinimby (Post 6901168)
And we know that you can't put a bunch of affordable units together in one place because they end up having the same problems like we've seen with housing projects. They need mixed income and market rates interdispersed with the affordable units. They also need to make it true mixed use including office, retail and entertainment, otherwise it'll just be a sterile bedroom community that only residents go back to at night.

Bravo! At most 50, 60, or 70 percent affordable. The rest must be market rate. 100% affordable buildings just creates income segregation. Mixed income is the way we should go!

JR Ewing Aug 9, 2015 1:41 PM

Poor people should move to Poughkepsie. There's no birthright to live in Manhattan.

jamesinclair Aug 10, 2015 2:41 AM


Originally Posted by JR Ewing (Post 7123136)
Poor people should move to Poughkepsie. There's no birthright to live in Manhattan.

I guess youll be going to poughkepsie to buy bagels and get your clothes dry cleaned?

JR Ewing Aug 10, 2015 2:55 AM

People who work in bagel shops live in the Bronx, Queens, SI, etc. -- not Manhattan. I work in Manhattan too, but I don't live there and haven't for many years.

RobEss Aug 13, 2015 3:16 PM

Here's a question that's been on my mind for a while:

What's going to become of the highly trafficked curbside bus terminals,namely BoltBus and Megabus based on 33rd and 34th street? They're pretty bare bones, essentially just long lines catered by a few food carts, but I'm sure thousands of people go through there daily.

I can't picture them continuing to route doubledecker buses through what will eventually be a residential neighborhood. Will they finally construct a physical terminal somewhere else? Thoughts, insights or opinions?

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