The residents of greater 57th Street can finally get a good look at the tower that they so vehemently opposed. Renderings of the 1,423-foot tower, which recently won approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to cantilever over the Art Students League, have finally been revealed in The Wall Street Journal. Read More
Occluded Sky, Okay: Landmarks Approves Extell’s Plan to Cantilever Nordstrom Tower Over Art Students League
Despite strong community opposition, including that of the local community board, this afternoon the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved Extell’s request to cantilever its 1,424-foot skyscraper over the Art Students League.
The vote was six to one in favor of the application, which will allow Extell to cantilever its Smith + Gordon Gill-designed tower at 217 West 57th Street over the comparatively diminutive French Renaissance building next door. In their discussion before the vote, the LPC cited the minimal impact of the cantilever—which is some 290 feet high and not visible from all vantage points—on the experience of the landmark, as well as the building’s contextually-sensitive cladding. Read More
Mere weeks after closing on a development site at 239 Tenth Avenue, newly back-on-the-scene Michael Shvo is already shaking up the status quo.
The go-go broker—now developer—whose brash branding campaigns and outsized ambition earned him a lot of friends, enemies and press in the gaga years before the housing crash, is up to his old tricks. First, Mr. Shvo announced his return with a (debatabley) price record-setting purchase of the West Chelsea lot. And now he has redecorated it, surrounding the old Getty gas station at its center with a thick wall of trees, reports Curbed. Read More
Never one to play it safe, Michael Shvo, that showy relic of the last cycle’s boom years, has dropped a record sum on the site of a gas station in West Chelsea. The deal, which was reported to be in the works by The Wall Street Journal in May, has closed for $23.5 million, at some $850 per buildable square foot, according to a release sent out today. Mr. Shvo’s partner on the deal is Victor Homes.
Mr. Shvo, who built his reputation as a broker on branded condo collections and a reputation for ceaseless energy (a 24-hour sales office, drinking 30 to 40 cans of diet coke a day), is now staking out his career as a luxury condo developer after mysteriously disappearing during the recession. (The Observer remembers placing unreturned calls to an answering service last year.) The West Chelsea parcel, at 239 Tenth Avenue, is currently the site of a Getty gas station. Read More
Since its rezoning in 2003, Fourth Avenue in Park Slope has seen a few new apartment buildings go up, but developers only got a few years in before the financial crisis put a freeze on new construction along the avenue, leaving it in its current half-industrial, half-luxury residential state.
But as Brooklyn’s housing market heats back up, landowners are putting development sites back on the market, and builders are crawling over each other to get a piece of the action.
A site marketed by TerraCRG, 275 Fourth Avenue, currently occupied by a suburban-style McDonald’s at First Street, just sold for $14.8 million, Ofer Cohen told The Observer—well above the $12 million that the seller was asking for the land. Read More
Despite its infelicitous name—the Schumacher sounds disconcertingly like something one buys at a medical supply store—the handsome condo conversion at 36 Bleecker Street has had a very successful debut since coming on the market last month. (It’s not quite as luxe, but the conversion’s strong performance right out of the gate reminds us of Read More
Despite its infelicitous name—the Schumacher sounds disconcertingly like something one buys at a medical supply store—the handsome condo conversion at 36 Bleecker Street has had a very successful debut since coming on the market last month. (It’s not quite as luxe, but the development’s strong performance right out of the gate reminds us of a certain condo conversion on Gramercy Park).
Almost immediately, four of the former printing factory’s 20 units went into contract and now a massive “mansion” combo clocking in at 8,719-square-feet has also been spoken for, according to Olshan Realty’s weekly luxury market report. Indeed, Streeteasy confirms that a “reservation agreement” has been signed on the two mansions—presumably overinflated downtown speak for maisonettes given that the listing boasts of a private entry and “prime frontage along charming Mott Street.” (Besides one undeniably fetching tree, the stretch of Mott still leaves something to be desired in the way of charm, but we’re sure that the flood of money washing over the block in the near future will change things.) Read More
The attendees of last week’s Landmarks West forum on Upper West Side development will be disappointed to learn that a new, 18-story ultra-luxury building is set to rise in their midst: the Naftali Group has acquired the Hertz garage at 206-210 West 77th Street from the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, with the intention of building just shy of 100,000 square feet of condominiums.
Potential buyers, on the other hand, are so excited that they’ve been calling Naftali since before the land sale even closed.
The Naftali Group paid well over what observers were predicting for the site—in May Bob Knakal, who brokered the sale, told Crain’s that he expected the site to fetch “as much as $45 million.” But the price hit a staggering $55.5 million. Mr. Knakal told us that he was surprised at the closing price, which he attributed to the incredibly tight market for land on the Upper West Side. Read More
With Pacific Branch Sell-Off Stymied, Brooklyn Public Library Presses on With Development Plans for Brooklyn Heights
Earlier this week, the Brooklyn Public Library’s controversial plan to raise funds by selling off its Pacific Street branch suffered a serious setback. As a condition of City Council approval for the nearby BAM South development, the future of the branch will now be determined via a potentially-lengthy community planning process. And though the process doesn’t necessarily preclude a sell-off (the branch is still slated to be replaced by a 16,500-square-foot space in the BAM South development)—it at least leaves open the possibility of salvation.
But with the Pacific Street sale off the table for now, the Brooklyn Public Library is wasting no time in moving forward with its other sell-off plans. Today, it put out a request for proposals seeking redevelopment partners for the Brooklyn Heights branch at 280 Cadman Plaza West. Read More
Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg hasn’t seen much development since it was upzoned in 2009, owing to the financial crisis and development freeze that has gripped the city. But with the thaw lifting, at least one player apparently sees potential on the forlorn strip, one of only two streets east of the BQE where six-story tenement-scale development is allowed: a group called 781 Metro Investors LLC just picked up the White Castle at Metropolitan and Humboldt for $6.72 million, according to city records. Read More