August 17, 2011
The last section of undeveloped land from the old Hudson Rail Yards has been approved for development by the City Council. The Extell Development corporation has worked closely with Gale Brewer and Community Board 7, making several concessions and allowing the development to enrich the area in several ways. This Riverside South Center will be a series of linked developments.
- School: 100,000 square feet of “core and shell” will be provided by the developer at no cost, and 85,000 square feet of the 100,000 square feet will be fully fitted-out by the School Construction Authority. The remaining 15,000 square feet will be stored for 5 years for future use in expansion. This new school is critical to alleviating current overcrowding and meeting future needs in grades K-8 on the upper West Side.
- Affordable Housing: The project has been included in the city’s inclusionary housing program, requiring 20% (nearly 500,00 square feet) of the residential floor area to be affordable housing. The developer agreed to put 135,000 (180-220 units) square feet of new affordable housing units on-site and to establish a housing task force comprised of members of Community Boards 7 and 4, as well as the Council Member and Borough President, to review all affordable housing applications prior to their submission to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development
- Parks: The development will designate $20 million to the Parks Department to mitigate the impact of Riverside Center residents on Riverside Park South. These funds will contribute to both the completion of the renovation of the West 59 Street Recreation Center and to Riverside Park South.
- Retail: The developer agreed to increase both the number and square footage of retail stores along West End Avenue. In addition, Council Member Brewer secured a promise by the developer to make best efforts to rent to neighborhood businesses as opposed to destination chain stores, and to involve neighborhood residents in the design of the streetscape of the auto sales office.
- Sustainability: The developer is mandated to report back in writing to the Community Board and the Council Member on the energy efficiency standards for each building. Energy efficiency measures with respect to fuel consumption and energy use will be incorporated into the building design resulting in at least 10% less energy consumption in building systems than the required New York State energy code in effect at the time of the building design. In addition, necessary storm water management language is included in the Restrictive Declaration.
- Parking: The Special Permit was amended to allow 1500 parking spaces (up from 1260 allocated by the City Planning Commission), but the additional 240 spaces are self-park, and not valet parking. The garage will include car share spaces, bike parking and electrical charging stations.
- Jobs: Riverside Center will be a union construction project, and the developer is committed to awarding no less than 15% of the total dollar value of the construction trade contracts and of the
soft costs to M/WBE (Minority and Women Owned Businesses) firms.
To find out more, go to http://www.riversidecenternyc.com/ where Extell advertises and explains the new development.
Extell Development Company
800 3rd Ave # 4
New York, NY 10022-7649