100 West 93 Street (Leader House)

Address: 100 West 93 Street
Block: 1223
Lot: 25
Landmark Status: No
Current Status:

Contact:

Leader House Associates, LLP
70 East 55th Street, 7 Flr
New York, NY 10022
212-527-9905

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Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 2/28/08
The City Planning Commission held hearings to review the retail space proposal in November 2007. However, the proposal is still under review. No formal vote on the proposal has been schedule to date.
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UPDATE: 1/23/2008
As of January 2008, Manhattan Community Board 7 and the City Planning Commission has retail portion of the project under consideration while the community board 7 makes changes.
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UPDATE: 11/07/07
On 11/07/07, Community Board 7 issues a conditional and unfavorable recommendation. Also, Community Board 7 DISAPPROVES the proposed Amendment to the Zoning Resolution as proposed by the Leader House Associates.
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UPDATE: 1/18/2006
The Land Use Committee of Community Board 7 was presented with a plan by representatives of Leader House Associates. The minutes of that meeting are as follows:

Leader House 100 West 93rd Street – Amendment to Zoning Resolution

Representatives from Leader House Associates, their attorney and their architect, presented a plan for modification of the existing building (basement parking levels, main floor and an addition of commercial space up to the second floor that would include a roof terrace/garden) that would essentially change space allocated under the expired West Side Urban Renewal Area Plan (WSURA) as community/residential space. This proposal could be approved under a text change and Large Scale Redevelopment Plan modification. In the course of the presentation it became clear that this modification would affect other sites also transferred from city ownership to private developers.

There was considerable opposition and a number of specific questions raised the large number residents that attended the meeting and voiced their concerns. At issue was the extent and nature of the change as it affected the amenities presently in the building that would or have already been modified in the anticipation of the addition of commercial space enlarging the foot print of the building and the lower two floors.

The committee discussed many aspects of the proposed changes, not only at this site but as it would affect other buildings within the WSURA that are collectively a single zoning lot with respect to the transfer of development rights – e.g. that which applies to one applies to all to achieve agreement and approval. This proposal and modification would permit the individual owner and other developer/owners to undertake the same type of alteration without individual case-by-case-consideration. While the reinstatement of the approximately 2 million square feet of commercial space for these WSURA buildings was considered desirable in concept, almost every committee member had a question or issue with how this amendment might be interpreted or implemented. Consequently, no conclusion could be reached.

It was agreed that a letter would be sent to the Chair of NYC Planning Commission explaining and alerting them of the CB7 concerns. It was further suggested that the residents of the building, who had much to say on this matter, convene to determine and resolve their own priorities, as the proposed modification would greatly affect their living accommodation and amenities.

This project was certified at City Planning Commission in August 2007. The Chairman of the City Planning Commission suggested changes to the project, particularly regarding the height of the retail space, all of which were included in the presentation. The ULURP process follows.

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West End Avenue

Address: 508-510 West End Avenue (blk 1232, lots 64,63)
732-734 West End Avenue (blk 1243, lots 163, 63)
272-280 West 86 Street (blk 1245, lot 73)
Landmark status: No
Current Status:

Contact:

West End Preservation Society
Erika Peterson
514 West End Avenue
New York, NY 10024
epetersen.weps@gmail.com

Alan Sackman
Sackman Enterprises (Managing Agent)
Frontier Realty LLC
165 West 73rd Street
New York, NY 10023

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Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 8/04/09

Council Member Brewer, other elected officials and Community Board 7 support the creation of a West End Avenue Historic District by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.  A Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing is expected to be scheduled in fall 2009.  However, the buildings at 732-734 West End Avenue are unfortunately being demolished by the owner.  A community advisory group is monitoring the demolition.  Council Member Brewer has written Landmarks Commissioner Robert B. Tierney regarding the preservation of West End Avenue’s Historic Brownstones.  The text of the letter can be found below.

Dear Commissioner Tierney:

I write to request the immediate review of landmark status for the historically significant Gilbert townhouses, located at 272, 274, 276 and 278 West 86 Street between West End Avenue and Broadway.  These four townhouses were designed by renowned 19th Century architect Charles Pierrepont Henry Gilbert (CPH Gilbert) and built in 1895 and considered to be renowned and prolific examples of the architecture of this time period.  The townhouses are built in the French Neo-Renaissance style with detailed stone facades, featuring unique rounded bays, petite balconies and intricate floral swags atop tall windows.

On December 17, 2007, I wrote a letter to you expressing my concern for the possible demolition of eleven (11) historic brownstones.  To this date, the owners of six (6) historic brownstones on West End Avenue and West 86 Street have applied for demolition permits with the Department of Buildings.  As of August 2007, two (2) demolition permits have been approved, specifically for 276 West 86 Street, one of the Gilbert townhouses, and 280 West 86 Street.

Thank you for you attention on this very important matter.  If you have any additional questions, please contact me at (212) 873-0282.

Sincerely,

Gale A. Brewer

UPDATE: 4/14/08
Council Member Gale A. Brewer demonstrated in front of 732/734 West End Avenue today in opposition to the demolition of the brownstones. Council Member Brewer supports renovation instead of demolition.
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UPDATE: 4/8/08
According to the Department of Buildings, the owner of 732/734 West End Avenue (Alan Sackman) has applied for a demolition permit and has met all of the criteria.
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UPDATE: 3/25/08
In response to the individual landmark status request for 272 to 280 West 86 Street, the Landmarks Preservation Commission determined the properties do not meet the criteria for designation and will not be recommended to the full Commission for further consideration.
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UPDATE: 3/13/08
Council Member Brewer released a statement regarding the West End Avenue brownstones. A copy of the statement is provided below:

March 13, 2008 – Since August 2007 I have been fighting to save a large number of historic brownstones located in my community. These brownstones are clustered on or near West End Avenue: They are numbers 487, 508, 510, 732, and 734 West End Avenue; and 272, 274, 276, and 280 West 86 Street.

On December 17, 2007, I sent a letter to the chair and commissioners the Department of Buildings, City Planning Commission, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission detailing the threat of demolition faced by these nine (9) historic brownstones, and citing the terrible precedent and various impacts of their destruction.

Among my concerns are these: (1) the obvious threat to the historic integrity of the neighborhood; (2) the permanent degradation of the quality of life for area residents, caused by the loss of the buildings that define the neighborhood’s character, and by the imposition of massive structures intended to replace them; (3) a permanent and significant reduction in the available light, air, and other natural amenities caused by the large bulk and scale of the replacement buildings; (4) the terrible precedent set when developers can destroy a healthy, vibrant neighborhood not for its improvement but merely to maximize profit. These concerns are discussed below.

Make no mistake: This proposal for a massive removal of buildings, in a thriving and deeply established neighborhood, violates every premise of responsible development and urban planning. It poses a threat not only to the traditional, and revered, physical fabric of our neighborhood, but it poses basic and also profound questions for citizens and for government:

Why should responsible officials of city agencies allow the physical, historic, and aesthetic character of the Upper West Side to be systematically destroyed?

These brownstone treasures define the physical character that makes our community so desirable to live in, and sought-after as a setting for private life. They are an icon of dignified and elegant urban life. These brownstones are a living and irreplaceable legacy of the West Side and the city’s architectural and human heritage. They exemplify the definition of good design, materials, and planning. They are the essence of New York’s residential environment, the private face of the city’s fabric that we turn to the world. These brownstones represent the sense of self, place, and memory. We, who live here, consider these brownstones the nature of our city, our neighborhood, and our own personal history as New Yorkers.

The city should have learned its lesson from those failed and catastrophic schemes meant to deal with “urban blight.” We need to remember the deeply destructive results of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and be wary when developers, public or private, propose to destroy a neighborhood in order to save it.

The rationale for the destruction of our neighborhood’s physical character is not to redeem it, or enhance the life of our residents. It is merely to reward the callousness and greed of developers. These brownstones do not constitute a threat to any condition of health or physical safety. Nor are they nests of crime, or “blight.” Quite the opposite: they are integral to a thriving neighborhood with more than a hundred years of tradition. They are as viable, desirable, and pleasing to live in, and around, as they were during New York’s Gilded Age.

What is the benefit to the West Side from the systematic destruction of its most distinctive buildings? What burdens are to be imposed on us as a result?

First, for smart planning, there are many red flags: the overcrowded transit system and the water and sewer infrastructure on the West Side is limited, and no increases in capacity are planned. The number of hook-ups is increasing by the tens-of-thousands annually on the West Side, under the assumption that demand can be added without limit while critical resources remain static.

Second, what is the community benefit by removing these building’s historic, aesthetic, and design amenity; and simply replace them with new and undistinguished buildings of vastly larger scale, bulk, density? These new buildings will care nothing for their setting, their neighbors, and their impact.

The destruction of these buildings means that we will lose more of what makes our community a living and physical entity. We will be left with the degradation that results when our brownstones are replaced with cheap, architecturally faceless buildings. Our neighborhood is already littered with such buildings, each the legacy of yet another demolition of our historic and physical character.

Are we a city that will simply acquiesce to these things; to countenance the destruction of the physical fabric of one of our most valuable neighborhoods? This will remove, forever, the light, air and views afforded to residential neighborhoods by their harmonious, small-scale structures.

On February 20, 2008, the owner of 732 and 734 West End Avenue filed for a Demolition Permit. However, the applicant has not submitted any demolition plans. To be approved for a Demolition Permit, demolition plans must be submitted. If the Demolition Permit is approved and permitted, the applicant may begin demolition work on site.

I appeal to the city, and to all concerned citizens, to stop this horrific destruction of the West Side’s character, and community fabric. We must not allow others who care nothing for our community, neighbors, or traditions, destroy the very essence of what we call home.

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UPDATE: 3/12/08
In response to the Request for Evaluation, 732 and 734 West End Avenue do not meet the criteria for designation and will not be recommended to the full Commission for further consideration as a New York City landmark.
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UPDATE: 3/4/08
Council Member Brewer sent a letter to the Commissioner of Landmark Preservation Commission requesting an immediate review of landmark status for the Gilbert townhouses, located at 272, 274, 276 and 278 West 86 Street.
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UPDATE: 2/22/08
In response to my letter to the City Planning Commission regarding development along West End Avenue, the City Planning Commission states that the current R10A zoning accurately reflects the area’s predominantly 14-17 story apartment house character. The City Planning Commission believes that the current zoning is appropriate.
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UPDATE: 2/11/08
According to the Department of Buildings, a hold has been placed on the following properties in order to monitor the application for any permits. The following outlines the permits associated with each property.

487 West End: Interior renovation of existing basement apartment and addition recreation room in the cellar. – Partially permitted in December 2007
508 West End Ave: Demolition permit in process (NOT permitted) – December 2007
510 West End Ave: Demolition permit in process (NOT permitted) – December 2007
732 West End Ave: New building permit in process (NOT permitted) – January 2008
734 West End Ave: New building permit pre-filed in August 2007, no movement since
272 West 86 Street: No open permits
274 West 86 Street: New building plans DISAPPROVED in November 2007
276 West 86 Street: Demolition plans APPROVED, NOT permitted, August 2007
278 West 86 Street: No open permits
280 West 86 Street: Demolition plans APPROVED, NOT permitted, August 2007

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UPDATE: 1/29/08
According to the Department of Buildings, a “New Building” permit was issued for 732 West End Avenue. At this time, NO demolition permit has been for this address has been filed.
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UPDATE: 12/27/07
In the December 12, 2007 edition of the West Side Spirit, an article titled “Brownstones on the Brink,” highlights the efforts by Council Member Gale A. Brewer and the West End Preservation Society to protect the neighborhood character along the West End Avenue corridor. The article also highlights other brownstones within the community which are also threatened by development.
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UPDATE: 12/20/07
According to the New York City Department of Buildings, the owner of 508-510 West End Avenue has filed an application for a demolition permit.
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UPDATE: 12/17/07
Council Member Gale A. Brewer sent a letter to the Landmark Preservation Commission, Department of Buildings and City Planning Commission to bring attention to possible alterations or demolitions to this and other brownstones within the district. The following is an excerpt from the body of the letter sent:

I write to bring your attention to several buildings within my district: 487, 508, 510, 732 and 734 West End Avenue, and 272-280 West 86 Street. The owner of 487 West End Ave also owns 307 West 83 Street. There are rumors of demolition or alteration proposals for these buildings. Local residents are concerned about these buildings and have asked me to officially inform your agencies that there is significant community opposition to any future plans that may include the demolition or alterations of these structures.

I feel strongly that the administration must quickly meet with Community Board 7, elected officials, and community members to discuss how to maintain the integrity of our community. As I write this letter, eleven brownstones in a twelve-block area could be permanently destroyed.

Tenants indicate that they have heard that leases will not be renewed and that an application will be filed with DHCR to allow demolishing of both brownstones, 508 and 510 West End Avenue. If the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal approves the application, both buildings can be demolished and others can be put up in their place. Both buildings have 4 flights and 10 residential units.

The current rent stabilized tenants of 508 and 510 West End Avenue are not prepared to leave their apartments. Members of the West End Preservation Society support the tenants, and advocate keeping and maintaining the two brownstones as they exist today.

The brownstones were recently purchased by Sackman Enterprises.

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96 Street Subway Station (Broadway-Seventh Avenue)

Contact:

Lois Tendler
Director MTA NYC Transit Government and Community Relations
2 Broadway, D 17.140
New York, NY 10004
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Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 4/17/08

Work Activities for Mon 4/16/08 to Fri 4/18/08

1.Excavation for the elevator pit at the N/B and S/B Platform – Night
2.Remove/install traffic controller at SE corner of 96th Street – Day
3.Temporary street light at 94th and 97th Streets – Day
4.Excavate for light conduit at 97th Street- Day

Work Activities for Mon 4/21/08 to Fri 4/25/08

1.Excavation for the elevator pit at the N/B and S/B Platform – Night
2.Power/Lighting/Conduit & Boxes in rooms at 94th Street – Day
3.Remove/install traffic controller at SE corner of 96th Street – Day
4.Electrical work in the rooms at 94th street – Days
5.Temporary street light at 94th and 97th Streets – Day
6.Excavate for light conduit at 97th Street – Day
7.DOT Inspection
8.Tree Planting – Day

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UPDATE: 4/8/2008
96th Street Station Rehabilitation Project – Construction Activity Look-Ahead

Work Activities for Wed 4/9/08 to Fri 4/11/08

1. Street work at 95th & 94th Streets – east side – Day
2. Excavation for the elevator pit on the N/B and S/B Platform – Night
3. Excavate for light conduit @ 97th Street – several locations- Day
4. Install pressure relief manhole between 95th and 96th Streets – east side – Day
5. Install lighting fixture on stair S-2 for reopening. – Day
6. Work on the street lights at 96th Street – Day

Work Activities for Mon 4/14/08 to Fri 4/18/08

1. Excavation for the elevator pit on the N/B and S/B Platform – Night
2. Replace traffic controller at 96th Street – southeast corner – Day
3. Electrical work within station at 94th Street – Day
4. Install temporary street lights at 94th and 97th Streets – Day
5. Excavate for light conduit @ 97th street – several locations – Day

Work Activities for Sat 4/19/08 to Mon 4/21/08 under G.O. on track B-1 S/B local

1. Demo Elevator Pit and Beam pocket
2. Strip form work from B-1 platform edge
3. Lead abatement of track ceiling
4. Install light fixture on platform edge

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UPDATE: 3/17/2008

NYC Department of Environmental Protection will be temporarily disrupting water service to the east side of Broadway between 90th and 96th Streets on Monday, March 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is expected that this will be the first of four water service disruptions for the relocation of a water main.

Below please find the two-week construction look-ahead schedule:

Activities from Mon 3/17/08 to Fri 3/21/08

1. Street work at 94th & 96th street west side – Day
2. Power/Lighting/Conduit & Boxes in rooms at 94th street – Day
3. Demo existing beam pockets in existing stair S-1 – Day
4. Water main on Broadway between 96th and 96th – Day
5. Column base footing excavation SB/NB platform – Night Work

Activities from Wed 3/19/08 to Fri 3/21/08

1. Water Main on Broadway @ 94th & 96th Street – Day
2. Demo for Plumbing Pipe at 94th Street – Day
3. Demo Existing Beam Pockets in Existing Stair S-1 – Day
4. Pour Road Base & Sidewalk on Broadway West Side betw 94th and 96th Streets – Day
5. Excavate for Column Footings Local / Express tracks – Night Work

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The 96 Street Broadway Seventh Avenue IRT Station began renovation in fall 2007.

According to a report of Community Board 7,

A team of Lois Tendler, Adrienne Taub, and Shirley Moy of New York City Transit, Landscape Architect Kim Matthews, of Matthews & Nielsen, architect Nat Barranco, of Urbahn Associates, and Neil Lucie & Neil Porto, of Daniel Frankfurt Partners, Consultants, made a presentation on the proposed renovation of the 96th Street 1, 2, 3 station.

Key features include:

The Broadway Mall between 95th & 96th Street will largely be taken up with a new modern head-house entrance, allowing access to both platforms, as well as handicapped elevator access. The entrances on the sides of Broadway @ 96th Street will be closed. A major renovation of the mall itself will include landscaping, new sitting areas, and a Parks Department concession, selling newspapers, coffee, etc. To accommodate the station house, the mall will be expanded slightly east & west. To maintain three moving lanes of traffic, a piece of the sidewalk on both sides of Broadway between West 95th & 96th Streets will be “shaved”, narrowing them slightly. This would also necessitate the removal of 25 trees. NYC Transit will replace these trees & then some – with the addition of 173 trees throughout the area. The southern (94th St.) end of the station will also receive modernization & renovation. A major benefit of the station modernization would be the end of having to go down two levels and back up one level to reach your platform.

DEP Water Tunnel No. 3 Construction (W. 60- W. 69 Streets on Amsterdam Avenue)

Project by: New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Contact:

Emily Lloyd
Commissioner
NYC Department of Environmental Protection
59-17 Junction Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11373
718-595-6565

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Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 2/7/08

The only visible, street level work with Water Tunnel No. 3 in District 6 is located at West 60 Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

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There is drilling and placing concrete as part of the construction of the city water tunnel No. 3. The west side portion of the Manhattan Tunnel travels north under Central Park West. The work will take place on the east side of CPW, about 100 yards north of 68th Street, as well as along Amsterdam Avenue in the West 60’s.

Water Tunnel No. 3 is managed by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and the work on it is being done by Tunnel Laborers of Local 147 Tunnel Workers.

150 Amsterdam Avenue (former American Red Cross)

Address: 150 Amsterdam Avenue

Block: 1158
Lot: 129

Landmark Status: No

Current Status:

Contact:

A&R Kalimian Realty
79 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 751-8050

Brenda Levin, Consultant
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 840-1812

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Summary of site plans and status


UPDATE: 2/28/08

The development is still in the pre-certification phase. The City Planning Commission is working with the developer to complete its zoning map amendment application.

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The American Red Cross property at West 66th Street was sold to a developer who is building a 41-story rental building. The rest of this strip (i.e. north to West 70th Street) is owned by a single developer, who is beginning construction of a series of buildings along the Avenue. A third developer has completed construction of a 30-story tower on West End Avenue at West 70th Street.

In 2006 the New York City Opera was in talks with the developer to possibly relocate to the base of 150 Amsterdam, but the deal did not go through.

The American Red Cross site (lot 129) was sold to A & R Kalimian Realty for $72 million. The plans include a 45-story, 80/20 rental building, which includes a community facility as part of the structure.

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UPDATE: 8/04/09

On April 22nd, 2009 the City Council voted to support the project with caveats.  In addition, Council Member Brewer supports affordable housing at this site and has written Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Raphael Cestero regarding this issue.  The text of her letter is below.

Dear Commissioner Cestero:

Congratulations on your appointment as Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. I am writing in regard to an important development project in my district at 150 Amsterdam Avenue.  In 2007, the property was bought by A & R Kalimian Realty for the purpose of residential rental development, and as construction reaches its final stages, I would like to discuss the possibility of including affordable housing units.

As you may know, this building was originally owned and operated by the American Red Cross.  It was then sold to A & R Kalimian, a firm that is presently building a 41-story rental tower with community space on the first two floors. The building is going through the ULURP process because the new owners are seeking a re-zoning of the ground floor from community space to retail.

Needless to say, residents of the West Side are in need of affordable housing and this building could provide an opportunity to work toward the goals of the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan. A member of my staff will be calling your office to schedule a meeting.

I appreciate your attention to this issue, and I hope that we can work together to make affordable housing at this location a reality.

Sincerely,

Gale A. Brewer

150 Amsterdam Avenue bldg

319 West 94 Street (The St. Louis)

Address: 319 West 94 Street
Block: 1253
Lot: 10
Landmark status: No
Current Status:

Contact:

Eric Galloway, President
The Lantern Group
690 Eighth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10036
212-398-3073

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Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 10/23/2007
The New York City Board of Standards and Appeals granted the variance to permit a nine-story and cellar not-for-profit institution with sleeping accommodations and accessory supportive social service space.
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UPDATE: 10/2/2007
Community Board 7/Manhattan voted to approve the application for variances with respect to street wall height, set back and sky exposure plane; rear yard; and reconstruction. The board also approved the application provided that a Memorandum of Understanding is fully executed and enforceable prior to the Board of Standards and Appeals Hearing on October 23, 2007. Failure to do so will result in a disapproval of this application by Community Board 7/Manhattan.
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UPDATE: 9/4/2007
Community Board 7/Manhattan approves the Lantern Group’s application to the Board of Standards & Appeals for variance for the addition of 2 1⁄2 as-of-right floors without the rear-yard setback requirement to allow conversion of the 149-unit commercial SRO into 140-units of permanent, affordable housing.
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UPDATE: 1/25/2007
In late 2007, some residents from the community have filed a law suit to stop the proposal for conversion.
According to Community Board 7:

St. Louis Hall, 319 West 94th St., is a commercial SRO building, which the Lantern Group has a lease on and is seeking to buy and develop into 149 units of permanent affordable housing. The housing would be available to low income single adults, including the 54 existing tenants (whose rents would remain the same if below $500 and would be reduced to $500, if currently higher); 31 units for low income single adults selected by lottery and meeting HDC and HPD guidelines; and 60 units set aside for DHS-referred single adults, aged 50 and over, living with mental illness and capable of independent living in permanent housing.

Fountain House would provide off-site Fountain House Clubhouse services programs to supplement on-site supportive services. Clients would be expected to use public transportation to travel to and from Fountain House. Funding for the DHS referrals would come from the most recent NY/NY agreement, a NYS/NYC program which has funded two previous agreements to house the homeless/mentally ill. The current NY/NY agreement also addresses the needs of the homeless with other special needs.

Eric Galloway, the president of the Lantern Group, presented to Community Board 7 and the elected officials schematic plans that include adding one and a half stories to the top of the building in order to make the project financially feasible. The additional height requires a variance and approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals. The BSA held an initial hearing in August 2007, and will reconvene on this matter in September 2007 after Community Board 7 votes on the matter.

The proposal includes a newly appointed Community Advisory Board; proposed site safety programs and plans; schedule of on and off-site supportive social service staffing; and schedule for addressing present concerns of current residents.

340 Amsterdam Avenue, between 76 and 77 Street (Amsterdam Inn)

Address: 340 Amsterdam Avenue between 76 & 77 Street

Landmark Status: No

Block: 1168

Lot: 29

Current Status:

Contact:

Amsterdam Inn
340 Amsterdam Avenue
Phone: 212-579-7500
Fax: 212-579-6127
Email: amsterdaminn@nyinns.com

SAJ Hamilton Corp
262 W 73 Street APT B2
New York, NY 10023-8807

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Summary of the site plans and status

The beloved Amsterdam Inn at Amsterdam and 76 Street is not going to be turned into a condominium with the rest of the block. Related Companies has bought up most of the block, but the Amsterdam Inn and the Westside Brewing Company refused to sell.

According to the New York Observer’s February 19, 2007 article by Chris Shott, “the developer plans to erect a high-rise residential tower, featuring all-new ground-level retail” and a “second-floor Equinox gym…The entire 18-story complex would have spanned the entire block were it not for the holdouts on the southern corner.” Read the article.