SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (
-   General Development (
-   -   NEW YORK | Redevelopment of the High Line (

Swede Dec 12, 2007 11:14 PM

Seems Jay-Z got a taste for the development buisness from his involment in the Nets/AtlanticYards. Don't think I've seen a transition like that before: rapper->developer.

NYguy Dec 13, 2007 6:09 AM


Originally Posted by Swede (Post 3223740)
Seems Jay-Z got a taste for the development buisness from his involment in the Nets/AtlanticYards. Don't think I've seen a transition like that before: rapper->developer.

He seems serious about it, which is wise. Music careers don't last forever.

NYguy Dec 13, 2007 6:13 AM

Construction from a few months ago.
Photos by -Monica-

NYguy Dec 13, 2007 7:12 AM

More construction by Michael Surtees

The northern spur - currently part of the west side railyard bids...

Photo from jennacar

NYguy Dec 13, 2007 7:13 AM

Just a small sampling of the photos from High Line





















NYC2ATX Dec 15, 2007 3:27 PM

Goodness gracious! :eek: I had no idea that the high line project (which I admire greatly, and am absolutely thrilled about) was so far along, as was I unaware of the incredibly awesome Standard's progress. I am so excited for the high line's opening next year. It'll be really incredible. I can just see it now. :eeekk:

NYguy Dec 19, 2007 11:01 PM


Originally Posted by StatenIslander237 (Post 3229120)
Goodness gracious! :eek: I had no idea that the high line project (which I admire greatly, and am absolutely thrilled about) was so far along, as was I unaware of the incredibly awesome Standard's progress. I am so excited for the high line's opening next year. It'll be really incredible. I can just see it now. :eeekk:

For such an amazing project, it's one of New York's best kept secrets.

High Line Construction Chronicles: Step into the Standard

December 19, 2007
by Joey

Starting next fall, Andre Balazs' upside-down hotel/social hub will have thousands of tourists, park-lovers and curious onlookers streaming under it on a daily basis. In early November, Curbed Photo Pool contributor NYCviaRachel got an early peek at what those people will see. Behold, the Standard Hotel, as seen from the High Line!

Both still works in progress, but enough to get the pulse racing. Actually, the whole set of photos from the High Line tour is really cool, especially the shots of all the graffiti and assorted weirdness along the elevated path. Important Standard Hotel fact: as of now, Andre Balazs has not worked it out with the city to have an entrance to the park from the hotel. Repeat: no High Line entrance for the Standard Hotel. Andre, cut the necessary checks and get this sorted out, mmk?

NYguy Jan 2, 2008 12:31 PM

In Winds of Winter, Midair Park Takes Shape

The project threads its way through 10 other developments, including a new tunnel through what will be the Standard Hotel at Washington and Little West 12th Streets.

January 2, 2008

The sleek, computer-driven architectural previews of New York’s first midair park, the High Line, depict pedestrians navigating a public promenade that is on track to be celebrated next fall. Like space-age schematics, they offer a futuristic refuge: a pristine ribbon of green providing exquisite views of Manhattan.

But the High Line has been something quite different, a flaking, rusting industrial ruin that needed to be transformed to match the digital renderings. And someone has been doing all that work. So right now the High Line is one hairy construction site.

The defunct elevated railway — which stretches from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street on the Far West Side — is a secret world these days, barred to the meatpacking district crowds that mob the new Apple Store and swarm to a high-end shopping festival in a once-scruffy quarter that real estate advertisements now call “the prestigious High Line District.”

Fifty hard hats in safety orange — including ironworkers, carpenters, painters and garden-variety laborers — perform a fast-tracked logistical ballet 30 feet up on the line, as steel and concrete are delivered just in time to be grappled into place.

Bridges freeze before roadways, of course, and thus it is on the High Line, which shimmers with icicles at times while vibrating with hard winds from the Hudson. Safety railings sing in the gales, and it is not uncommon for snow and sleet to blow upward, swirling in updrafts shaped by the patchwork of low-rise buildings underneath.

Not unlike the hardy wildflowers, shrubs and even apple trees that adapted to the lost world of the track bed, workers have already embraced the onset of winter.

“The cold is great — bring it on,” said John Forbes, 43, an ironworker. “We really don’t mind cold. It’s heat that’s the killer.” He referred to the summer’s labor on the unshaded railway radiating hotly from its 8-inch-thick concrete slab.

Of course, high wind — as on a recent afternoon punctuated with chilly gusts of 40 miles an hour — forces managers to shut down the construction cranes. A freeze curtails the concrete pours and painting forays, while ice and snow divert topside workers to their shovels before they can scurry to tasks on the line’s dry undersurface.

The project that has been promoted as the new Central Park for downtown is, currently, a mile-long obstacle course. The rail bed threads its way not only through High Line construction but also 10 other developments, including a new tunnel through the Standard Hotel at Washington and Little West 12th Streets.

“It’s very, very tight up here,” said Mike Balbo, 27, back on the High Line. He was behind the wheel of a 9-ton payloader ferrying job debris. “Just fitting this on the road is hard.”

Bob Marriott, general superintendent for Kiska Construction Corporation, the general contractor, said, “We’ve been trying to complete our repairs and our painting without massively disrupting the businesses and tenants below.”

Save for a parcel near Gansevoort Street, the city owns none of the real estate underneath the High Line aside from streets and sidewalks. “You do not want to drop things from on high,” said Gerard Zimmermann, 40, a chief inspector for Kiska.

The roadbed’s elevation is nothing, of course, to workers accustomed to dancing on high steel. “For me this is pretty easy,” said Mr. Zimmermann, who has walked atop the George Washington and Verrazano-Narrows Bridges.

Nevertheless, the airborne landscape poses safety issues and other, more personal constraints. For example, since sanitation contractors do not deign to scale 30-foot heights, the workers must descend from the line “because companies will only clean portable bathrooms downstairs on the street level,” said Garrett Scalza, 30, who was supervising a group of carpenters near Gansevoort Street.

And since the High Line extends through residential areas, “We can’t make noise early or late, or work on the weekends,” Mr. Zimmermann said.

Given their total exposure, High Line workers are especially vulnerable from on high. “It’s pretty safe up here except when there’s construction above us,” said Sathar Ansari, 32, a site safety manager. “Other contractors, by accident, have dropped plywood and other debris, but luckily no one was hurt.”

Despite extreme heat and fierce cold, so far workers have experienced only minor injuries, save for one carpenter who tripped and fell three feet and lost five days of work.

Near Gansevoort Street, laborers are already installing the concrete planking surface destined to be a walkway for visitors. Cast in Quebec and weighing 600 to 800 pounds, the planks — some 7,600 of them — are hefted by forklifts “and then we muscle them into place with crowbars,” said Emilio Arostegui, 40, who leads a labor crew. They are jigsaw puzzle pieces of a structural system of pedestrian promenades that extend like concrete fingers into the planting beds that will restore the park greenery using 6,300 cubic yards of soil.

Workers up on the line are laboring to complete the first, $71 million phase of the $170 million High Line construction, a section from Gansevoort Street up to 20th Street.

“Next fall’s opening is breathing down our neck,” said Peter Mullan, director of planning for Friends of the High Line
, a nonprofit group that helped block attempts to demolish the viaduct and helped design its renovation.

The structure is owned by the city south of 30th Street under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Friends of the High Line. The city’s Economic Development Corporation is overseeing construction on the site along with the mayor’s office and the Department of City Planning.

The remainder of the city-owned roadbed is scheduled to become a park by 2009. Another half-mile section rings the railyards north of 30th Street and 12th Avenue, and five bidders are competing to develop the property; only three want to preserve that part of the High Line.

“There has never been another project like it, there is no model, and it involves a tangle of jurisdictions,” said Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development. He said he designated the High Line the first project in his new Office of Capital Project Development to spearhead construction “on an extremely accelerated schedule requiring precise coordination among multiple city agencies.”

He added, “It is on budget and essentially on time.”

Enemies of the High Line once claimed that the corridor, built from 1928 to 1934, was disintegrating in a rain of concrete. But despite its appearance, engineers have found it to be mostly well preserved and massively strong, “built to support locomotives, designed for 10 times the load it will carry as a park,” said Michael Bradley, the High Line’s project planning administrator for the parks department.

Already, workers have ripped out the High Line’s original roadbed down to the concrete slab, removing gravel, tracks, ties, soil and the urban wilderness of vegetation that had seeded itself there. This was mandatory, Mr. Mullan said, since toxic chemical contaminants had leaked from the freight trains, the last of which bowled through with a load of frozen turkeys in 1980.

Flaking old lead paint on the structure has been sandblasted down to the steel and is being covered with 18,000 gallons of paint. And workers are conserving the rail line’s Art Decoish configurations of bolted steel plates that have been termed “industrial folk art.”

“We are changing out steel beams, preparing the structure to carry a park instead of freight trains,” said Tom Ryan, 41, an ironworker who leads a restoration crew. “There are a million rivets on the High Line, and I’ve only replaced 10,000,” he said, deadpan.

The original freight rails — which had been temporarily relocated to the northerly reaches of the trestle — are now being reinstalled to the south as design elements only. Workers have just put in the first rail junction, called a frog “because that’s what a frog looks like after it’s been run over by a locomotive,” Mr. Ryan said.

By their industrious presence, the workers have relocated the pigeons that once found their earthly paradise at the underside of the trestle, producing decades of D’oh! dry cleaning moments for unlucky pedestrians.

“Pigeons know to stay away from people in hard hats,” said Mike Forbes, 35, an on-site construction draftsman.

Mr. Zimmermann added, “I think they headed to the nearest park.”

Since acidic pigeon waste corrodes the steelwork, laborers have been installing permanent, harmless anti-pigeon shields — angled plates welded atop girders — as well as strategically stretched flexible steel wires to deter birds’ happy landings.

“The thing is, the pigeons keep coming back,” said Mr. Marriott, adding that birds have already made modifications to the High Line not envisioned by the designers, Field Operations and Diller Scofidio & Renfro of Manhattan. “They’ve created new nests in the temporary pigeon netting that was installed” as a prelude to the permanent pigeon shields, he said.

On the line, there is a perpetual incongruity between the grit above and the glitz below. As winds scoured the High Line tunnel through the Chelsea Market on a recent afternoon, Fernando Espino, 36, was shoveling construction debris on the concrete slab above the roof of the Morimoto restaurant, while unseen diners below tasted truffled tofu and summoned the Iron Chef’s sake sommelier.

Workers have long been inured to the spectacle of meat hanging on hooks in the same meatpacking neighborhood where supermodels slink to fashion shoots, where Beyoncé shops and Cameron Diaz heads to her scheduled hair appointment.

Another wave of wind roiled from the river and crashed into the High Line. “It’s not a problem for me, in 30- to 45-mile-an-hour winds,” said John Forbes, the ironworker, who is 6-foot-5 and weighs 380 pounds. “I’m not going to blow away. I’m an andiron.”

NYguy Jan 25, 2008 2:15 AM

Construction Watch: The Standard Welcoming Voyeurs

In terms of triumphs of humanity, the order is as such: 1) moon landing 2) the pyramids 3) E=mc2 4) the Standard Hotel 5) the four-minute mile. So we were trying to think of the best way to present the earth-shattering news that the website for Andre Balazs' High Line hotel has been updated with a construction photo that AUTOMATICALLY REFRESHES EVERY 15 MINUTES, but then we just showed the site to the most obsessed person we know, and he replied, "Sometimes, I wonder if we deserve the Standard." We'll leave it at that.

NYguy Feb 22, 2008 8:22 PM

Posted on

Friday, February 22, 2008

Eater Tastings: Standard Gets Liquored Up, Shake Shack Dethroned, More!

Andre Balazs's Standard Hotel over the High Line went before Community Board 2 last night and was approved for three bars and two restaurants, including a party palace up on the 18th floor. Yes, yes, a thousand times YES!

vaporvr6 Feb 23, 2008 1:17 PM

i am so psyched about this!

cwilson Feb 25, 2008 10:07 PM

Really does N.Y. need all those buildings??

Dac150 Feb 26, 2008 3:24 AM

This is going to be a cool place.

NYC2ATX Feb 26, 2008 5:59 AM


Originally Posted by cwilson (Post 3377668)
Really does N.Y. need all those buildings??

Yes :)

NYguy Feb 26, 2008 2:45 PM

Hot High Line Park Brings Breakthrough Condo by Denari: Review

The HL23 condominium tower, designed by architect Neil Denari and to be built in Chelsea's High Line Park in New York, as seen in an undated artist's rendering. Prices range from $2.65 million for a two-bedroom, 1,870 square-foot unit to $10 million for the two-floor penthouse.

By James S. Russell
Feb. 26 (Bloomberg)

Manhattan's west Chelsea, where meatpacking plants once sat next to leather bars and prostitutes trolled under an elevated rail line, is now the city's hottest real-estate market and a laboratory for new architecture.

As the High Line Park takes shape atop that long-abandoned freight line, it has inspired a condo boom. Yet only HL23, one of the smallest of the current artsy crop, channels the inner beauty of the High Line and puts it in elegant vertical form. It's a breakthrough by Neil Denari, a Los Angeles architect who's much favored by aficionados yet little known outside his home city.

Thank the park -- which won't even open till late this year -- for shifting a longtime neighborhood transformation into overdrive. The rusting viaduct hosted an unknown urban meadow on its long-abandoned tracks as it cut through 17 blocks. The crazy contrast between dandelioned green and industrial grit caught everyone's imagination.

Though a couple of big design names (Jean Nouvel, Shigeru Ban) are attached to a few of the two dozen nearby condo projects in various stages of planning or construction, none so specifically extends the old freight line's aura as the HL23 condominium.

Denari compares his design to a plant reaching for a shaft of sunlight from out of a crack in the sidewalk. The 13-story building rises out of a skinny, seemingly unbuildable 25-foot- wide slot of land. It unfurls in faceted planes of glass and metal, held in place by diagonal braces that look like sinews.
The diminutive tower seems to wave gently, bending just a bit east over the old elevated railroad, while the south-facing side tilts back at the top.

Look-at-Me Condos

It's suave when many of its neighboring galleries, self- consciously chic stores, celebrity restaurants and look-at-me condos catch the eye with nervous, tacked-on touches.

Denari makes his design look preordained -- which is amazing, considering that every angle and setback was worked out according to what zoning would permit.

With its elegantly tooled diagonal braces and shiny, embossed metal-panel surface, HL23 is as fluidly feline as a sports car. Denari eases the planar facets of the structure into one another with gentle curves. In wrapping the metal panels around expanses of glass, you see the finesse of a great auto- body designer like Pininfarina.

Italian Influence

Denari has honed this style over 20 years, primarily in stores (L.A. Eyeworks) and interiors of sleek theatricality (Endeavor Talent Agency). On a tour of the Chelsea site, he said he was influenced by Italian design of the 1960s and 1970s and especially by one of its stars, Joe Colombo, whose boldly futuristic, industrial-style chairs and lamps were leavened by rounded corners and a sly Pop Art sensibility.

Since HL23 is neither tall nor sold with the pet spas and fancy fitness rooms that larger projects offer, it differentiates itself primarily by design. Denari opens diagonal vistas through the blocks that others wouldn't see. With one unit per floor (11 total), many of the rooms have multiple exposures.

Perhaps the biggest risk the project takes is employing a level of architectural detail rarely permitted by the corner- cutting culture of real-estate development -- like the pattern of ceramic dots fused onto the glass that echoes the line of the diagonal braces inside. It lends a subtle visual depth.

With prices ranging from $2.65 million for a two-bedroom, 1,870 square-foot unit to $10 million for the two-floor penthouse, developers Naiman and Heher are gambling that Denari's discreet bravura will win over buyers usually wooed by lifestyle bathrooms and layouts crammed with boxy little rooms.

Recent condos by big-name architects have at last put design quality in Manhattan's hidebound real-estate equation. HL23's most radical move may be to do it without a big name and spectacular views.

(James S. Russell is Bloomberg's U.S. architecture critic. The opinions expressed are his own.)

NYC2ATX Feb 28, 2008 4:15 AM

^^^ That's an outstanding design! When do we start?! :hyper:

NYguy Feb 28, 2008 4:30 AM


Originally Posted by StatenIslander237 (Post 3383157)
^^^ That's an outstanding design!

More from

HL23 Interiors Revealed; Peace on Earth At Hand

Wednesday, February 27, 2008, by Lockhart

Folks, if you're anything like us, you sit around all day thinking, "When are architect Neil Denari and developer Alf Naman going to release additional renderings of their wondrous creation, HL23?" Today, new develoment blog Triple Mint hears our prayers and serves up the goodness, including a provocative view of how HL23 plays with its next-door neighbor, the already complete High Line 519 development by architect Lindy Roy. Oh, the freaking glory. West Chelsea, you continue to amaze.

NYguy Feb 28, 2008 4:35 AM

That Standard rises over the High Line, with Midtown in the background...

Photo by Alex Moss

ardecila Feb 28, 2008 5:39 AM

Has the Nouvel project (100 West 11th) started yet? That's one GORGEOUS modern building that proves that awkward, ugly-looking angular designs aren't the only way to be "progressive". I'm really looking forward to seeing it go up.

NYguy Mar 3, 2008 9:27 PM


Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 3379118)

Construction To Begin on Green Residence

By Natalie Dolce
March 3, 2008

NEW YORK CITY-Freestanding residential tower HL23 will rise from a site on West 23rd Street half beneath the High Line elevated railway bed, now slated for transformation into an urban park. Construction will begin in March on the 14-story building, which will have a reverse-tapering structure.

A source familiar with the development tells that the developer, locally based 23 High Line LLC, is buying 100% green energy for the building. Alf Naman of High Line confirms, telling that they are in contract to purchase green power from a source that is creating energy elsewhere through wind power. Naman also reveals that total hard costs for the construction are $22 million.

The design architect for the development, located at 515-517 W. 23rd St., will be Neil M. Denari Architects Inc. of Los Angeles. YRG sustainability consultants will direct the High Line project through the LEED-certification process. The developer, 23 High Line is pursuing certification at the Gold level, which targets 41 of 69 available points. According to a prepared statement, the project is targeting points in all five categories, as well as additional innovation credits for exemplary and innovative performance strategies.

As a residential building, special attention has been focused on improving occupant health and well-being by providing a high level of indoor air quality and supplying extensive natural light to the units, the release notes. In addition, strong emphasis was placed on energy efficiency, thereby reducing the demand on our depleting natural resources.

Some of the many green strategies being implemented in this project include: providing a high level of ventilation and indoor air quality to creates a healthier indoor environment for residents; specifying products and materials with low Volatile Organic Compound content to further improve indoor air quality and occupant health; using eco-efficient water fixtures and appliances, which reduces water consumption by at least 30%; implementing a construction management plan that focuses on reducing indoor air contaminants and further improves the building’s air quality; extensive natural daylighting and views to the outdoors, which should reduce the need for electric lighting; providing bicycle storage for building occupants; specifying high reflective roofing products, which will reduce the urban heat-island effect; integrating efficient mechanical systems and a tight building envelope, reducing energy consumption by 15% to 25%; using refrigerants that are low ozone depleting and do not contribute to global warming; providing infrastructure for trash chutes and a recycling program within the building; implementing a construction waste management plan that diverts at least 75% of waste from landfills; and using materials with high recycled content.

Brown Harris Stevens has been retained as exclusive sales agent for the property. The source tells that completion date is scheduled for the end of 2009 and that units will be available for sale once construction begins.

The singular form of the 39,200-sf HL23 was made possible by modifications to seven different zoning requirements, granted by the city in support of the design’s contribution to the cityscape. No two homes in the building will be alike. The building will house 11 homes, including nine full-floor residences, a duplex penthouse at the top of the building, and a private garden at the building’s base. The residences at HL23 will range in size from approximately 1,850 sf to 3,600 sf, and in price from $2.7 million to $10.5 million.

"Quite frankly, I felt like it was the last great site in urban America, it was so amazing," notes architect Denari in a prepared statement. "In the early 1980s, I lived in New York City and spent a great deal of time in far West Chelsea, imagining and even drawing designs for buildings that would celebrate its gritty, industrial romance and the beautifully decaying form of the High Line. I cannot overstate how satisfying it is for our firm to create a formally challenging, artistic project here more than 25 years later, addressing a practical demand for the people who will live inside the building and a local demand for the public who will experience it from the sidewalks, the High Line, and from other buildings throughout the West Chelsea arts district."

All times are GMT. The time now is 3:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.