Slideshow: Public Hearing on Riverside Center

  • On June 3, Community Board 7 hosted a public hearing at 1865 Broadway, a few blocks from what Extell Development plans as one of the largest developments in the city. The proposal calls for five buildings totaling 3 million square feet, with a mix of retail and residential space.

    Roland Li

  • The site, spanning 59th Street to 61st Street between West End Avenue and the West Side Highway, was originally certified in 1992 as a television studio, with two residential buildings.

    Roland Li

  • Extell Development bought the development rights in 2005 for the area from Hong Kong investors, who had partnered with Donald Trump. Extell proposed 3 million square feet, up from the 2.4 million square feet proposal that was approved in 1992.

    Roland Li

  • After Extell took over the development, it has changed the project repeatedy, often scaling it back in the face of local opposition.

    Roland Li

  • Three of the buildings were decreased in height in the most recent version of the proposal, while the western two buildings were increased.

    Roland Li

  • The buildings built would be comparable in height to surrounding buildings.

  • The project proposal calls for retail space in all five buildings, a school on the northeastern building and an automobile showroom and hotel in the southeastern building.

    Roland Li

  • In addition to the 3 million square feet within the buildings, the project proposal includes two sub-cellars beneath the buildings. This "below grade" or underground space is not counted as part of the total square footage.

    Roland Li

  • Open public space is a significant part of the project, with pedestrian access.

    Roland Li

  • The Extell proposal will require a number of modifications to the original 1992 plan, which was approved.

    Roland Li

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  • Community Board 7 chair Mel Wymore presented a draft of the board's position.

    Roland Li

  • Ms. Wymore noted that the development plan has increased by around 600,000 square feet, adding almost 2,000 residential units and around 1,000 parking spaces. She said this change in usage meant that the site was potentially extremely profitable.

    Roland Li

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  • Ms. Wymore proposed that public space be lowered to street level, as portions of it are currently elevated. She also called for the removal of building no. 4 and extension of public streets into the Riverside complex. However, representatives of Extell said afterward that removal of a building and street extensions were highly unlikely.

    Roland Li

  • Local residents had plenty of concerns regarding the project, including the parking spaces, automobile dealership, affordable housing composition and the interaction with the Con Edison Building, which preservationists, including the group Landmark West!, have pushed to landmark. The next hearing will take place on June 15.

    Roland Li