Pier 97

Pier 97 has been, for the last several years, the home only of a sanitation facility and sanitation trucks owned by the Department of Sanitation. Now, under the direction of the Hudson River Trust and with fundraising from the Friends of the Hudson River, the Pier is being torn down, rebuilt and filled with recreational areas like the rest of the Piers.

Important Information:

  • The Department of Sanitation agreed to move the sanitation building to the 57th St. Garage across the street over eight years ago. The garage was to be built in 2003, but when the DoS had not followed through on their promise to build and move by 2005, the Friends of Hudson River Park sued the city to keep them accountable, winning $18 million in the settlement that is going into the current construction. Delays also included a fire at the building last year. Information can be found at http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/124965/fire-damages-sanitation-department-facility-on-pier.
  • To find out more about the difficulty in moving the Department of Sanitation, go to http://www.fohrp.org/news/default.aspx?&ArticleId=97
  • As of July 28, 2011, the building is concentrated on constructing the pilings which form the structural basis of the Pier.
  • The new pilings will be made of concrete and will last approximately 50 years, and are replacing outdated wooden pilings. This construction effort will last until the end of October, at which point, because it is taking place in water, construction cannot resume until next May. Land work will continue through the fall and winter.
  • If $8 million more of funding comes through, likely from both the state and the city, then construction of the actual pier and deck will continue in the Spring of 2012 and continue into the spring and summer. If all goes according to plan, the new Pier should be finished by early 2013.
  • The Pier will be part of Clinton Cove Park and will have a pier water taxi landing, a historic ship, a playground, basketball courts, open space and other amenities similar to those on other piers.
  • The inconveniences to constituents should be minimal. When the deck is built in 2012, the bike path may experience disruption and the walkway will be narrowed.

Plans for Pier 97

To find out more about Pier 97, see http://pier97.com/

57 Street and 11th Avenue (Avalon Bay)

Address: 57th St. at 11th Ave.
Landmark Status:
Current Status:


Fred Harris
Senior Vice President – Development
Avalon Bay Communities
275 7th Avenue, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10001
(212) 370-9269


Summary of Site Plans and Status

UPDATE: 8/10/09

On December 10, 2008, rental developers Avalon Bay Communities presented preliminary plans for this site to Community Board 4.  Avalon Bay seeks to purchase this site from Bay Ridge Automotive Group to build a 44-story residential building.  The plans call for about 700 apartments, 20% of which would be affordable under the state’s 80/20 program.  The apartments would sit atop four stories of automotive showrooms and other commercial establishments.  There would be a total of about 50,000 square feet of retail space, possibly including a supermarket.  Bay Ridge’s 23 New York City operations would be consolidated at the site.  The plan is still in its early stages.

Pier 97 (at 57 Street in Hudson River Park)

Address: Pier 97 (at 57 Street in Hudson River Park)


John Doherty, Commissioner
New York City Dept. of Sanitation
125 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013
(646) 885-4974

Connie Fishman, President
Hudson River Park Trust
Pier 40
New York, NY 10014
(212) 627-2020

Al Butzal, Executive Director
Friends of Hudson River Park
311 West 43 Street, Room 300
New York, NY 10036
(212) 757-0891 x 203


Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 12/15/2007

The Sanitation Department has delayed the relocation of the garage to the end of 2008.

Pier 97 is currently the site of a Sanitation Department garage and salt pile. Since a deal was made to make the Pier a part of the new Hudson River Park, the City has been ordered to move off of the Pier by 2008. The city had been slated to move in 2003, and now has been ordered to pay the Hudson River Park Trust $21,500,000.

The agreement, signed October 28 by representatives of the Department of Sanitation, the Hudson River Park Trust and Friends of Hudson River Park, a community-based advocacy group, requires the Sanitation Department to move off Pier 97 at 57th Street by May 1, 2008, and deliver the Pier to the Trust for the 5-mile riverfront park currently under construction.

When the Sanitation Department moves, the Pier will become part of the Hudson River Park, and the Sanitation Department will move across the street to their new garage.

400-408 West 57 Street (Windermere Apartments)

Address: 400-408 West 57 Street (871-877 Ninth Avenue; 869 Ninth Avenue)

Block No: 1066
Lot No: 32

Landmark status: Yes


Steven Sieratzki, Esq.
40 Exchange Place
New York, NY 10005
(212) 471-9525

Pillsbury Winthrop
724 South Figueroa Street, Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 488-7100

TOA Construction Co., Inc.
c/o TC America, Inc.
Tokyo Japan

Bob Kalin, Organizer
Housing Conservation Coordinators
777 Tenth Ave
New York, NY 10019
(212) 541-5996


Summary of site plans and status

Built in 1881 with a design that is attributed to Theophilus G. Smith, the Windermere is one of the oldest large apartment buildings in Manhattan, featuring a typical Romanesque motif of corbelled brick arches. Combined with this, the building also has elements of the Queen Anne and High Victorian Gothic styles, according to the City Planning Commission’s report from August 24, 2005. It was granted landmark status in June of that year.

In the 1980’s, the landlord began a campaign of harassment in order to empty the building of its residents. The former owner, Alan Weissman, was found guilty of criminal harassment. (Cooney vs. Weissman NYC Civil Court No. 7174/80). Mr. Weissman was denied a special demolition permit under the Special Clinton Zoning Resolution, which prevents permits, demolition or alteration from being granted to landlords of harassed tenants.

Due to this case of harassment, any new or altered building is required to provide lower income housing for at least 28% of the total residential floor area ratio (FAR) under Section 96-100 of the Special Clinton District Zoning Resolution dealing with “harassment and cure.” In 1986, Weissman & Weissman sold the building and lot to TOA Construction Company, Inc., for $4.1 million. In early summer of 2003, the TOA Construction Company of Tokyo, the Windermere’s owner, quietly put the building up for sale; although TOA’s New York lawyer declined to comment on any matter related to the building, the reported asking price was $35 million.

The Windermere was landmarked in fall 2005. The site currently includes seven permanent tenants, and is the subject of much discussion as to its future. The Windermere contains approximately 71,911 square feet of floor area.

The landmark site is located within C1-8 (Special Clinton District Other) and R8 (Special Clinton District Preservation Area) zoning districts.

Six tenants continue to live in the building but in September 2007 the New York City Fire Department declared the building uninhabitable and moved the remaining tenents to temporary quarters.

On August 8, 2007, the Department of Buildings issued a Stop Work Order. The permit was revoked by the Commissioner because the owner did not respond to a 10-day letter. The complaint has been resolved.

Community Board 4, Council Member Brewer and the tenants want to develop this building as permanent affordable housing.


UPDATE: 8/04/09

In May 2009, the Windermere was purchased for $13 million by Windermere Property L.L.C.  The new owner satisfied all City requirements, including shoring up the building for the Landmarks Preservation Commission.  20% of the building’s units must, by law, be reserved for affordable housing.

322 West 57 Street (The Sheffield)

Address: 322 West 57th Street (316- 328 W 57; 317-327 W 56)

Block No: 1047
Lot No: 18
Landmark status: No


Swig Equities, LLC
770 Lexington Avenue, 4th Floor
130 East 40th Street
New York, NY 10021
(212) 508-7210


Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 5/4/2007

Community Board 4/Manhattan sent a letter to NYC Department of Buildings voicing their concern over the inconsistencies in the permit applications. Additionally the board stated that the construction had shown complete disregard for saftey measures and it poses serious hazards for those who live and work in the building and immediate area.

The Sheffield is a 50 story mixed-use building comprised of 845 residential units, 109,00 square feet of commercial office space, 8,840 square feet of retail space, and a 372 car parking garage. The 845 rental units are at the center of a heated controversy.

The owner of the building, Swig Equities, is a real estate development, investment, and management firm based in New York City. In 2005-2006, Swig leased some of the residential units to Furnished Quarters, a hotel organization. Swig Equities stopped renting to Furnished Quarters when the Department of Buildings issued a violation that required an appearance before the Environmental Control Board. Since then, area elected officials have requested that the Attorney General review carefully any condo application from the owner.

An October 2006 ad in the New York Times Magazine is 2 pages and states: sheffield57, Newly Envisioned, Occupancy March 2007 Sales and Design Center, 322 W. 57 Street 212-938-6600. Exclusive Sales Agent: Swig Equities, LLC.

According to CityRealty.com, an article in the October, 2006 edition of The Real Deal by Steve Cutler reported that “With all but 90 of the units vacant, Swig is combining and reshaping apartments…, completely replacing the electrical wiring and plumbing, totally restructuring the plaza, expanding and reconstructing the lobby….”

There are currently twenty-four market rate tenants, who won their case to remain in the building and 90 of the original 100 rent stabilized tenants are staying in the building.

Area elected officials have corresponded with various city agencies, resulting in a stop work order effective in August 2007, due to construction problems.


UPDATE: 8/10/09

On Thursday, August 6, 2009 Fortress Investment Group, a New York-Based alternative asset management firm,  acquired the Sheffield for $20 million.  Former owner Swig Equities, which purchased the building for $418 million in 2005, was forced to default on loans in the wake of the credit crisis and collapse of the real estate market, and the building was sold at auction.  The Wall Street Journal reports that Fortress was the only bidder.  Fortress plans to relaunch construction and sales, which have been suspended since May due to an expired offering plan.  The building is about 80 percent complete and 47 percent of the condo units have been sold.

601 West 57 Street, 830 12th Avenue (Durst Sites 1 (Helena) and 2)

Address: Residential Site-601 West 57 Street (601-605 W. 57th, 839-845 11th Ave)
Commercial Site-830 12th Ave (820-838 12th Ave, 651 W 57th, 652 W 58th)
Landmark status: No


Risa Shoup, Programming Director
201 East 42 Street 32nd Floor
NY, NY 10017
(212) 391-8151

Contact Information for Durst Sites 1-4:
Helena Durst, Assistant Vice President
Durst Development, LLC
155 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
(212) 789-1129

William Floyd
Law Office of Claudia Wagner
277 Broadway
New York, NY 10007
(212) 619-2052


Summary of site plans and status

The Durst Organization owns most of the block between 57th and 58th Streets and 11th and 12th Avenues. This large piece of land is currently zoned for one residential building and one commercial building.


601 West 57 Street – The Helena

The construction of the 37-story residential tower, known as the Helena, is complete, and the tower opened in March 2005. There are 600 residential units, and the building is 80/20. The building is fully occupied. The tower has a gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating.


Residential Site:
Block No: 1105
Lot No: 29

The Durst Organization is also building a residential tower on the commercially zoned site next to the Helena. Community Board 4 agreed to meet with Durst to discuss the building of a residential tower in exchange for leasing the ground floor commercial space of the building to Bay Ridge Auto Group at below market rate. A meeting between interested parties including Community Board 4 and Council Member Brewer will be scheduled fall 2007.

Nations Academy Site:
Block No: 1105
Lot No: 14, 19, 43, and part of 5

UPDATE: 4/3/08

It is our understanding that the Nations Academy developer has applied for Industrial Development Agency (IDA) bonds for this school site.

The term of the IDA has currently expired, and will require state legislative action to extend its term. At this point, the state has not acted.

It is the opinion of Council Member Gale A. Brewer that this is a For Profit school. However, the developer has applied for IDA bonds as a Not-for-Profit school. Council Member Brewer believes the developer is not entitled to receive public money.


UPDATE: 3/3/08

The Durst Organization submitted a special permit application in connection with the construction of a new school at 614-623 West 58 Street. The Durst Organization proposes to construct a six story building on the mid-block portion of West 57/58 Street between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues. The southern half of the new academy building is located in a C4-7 zoning distric, where the construction is permitted as of right; however, the northern half of the building is located in an M1-5 zoning district where such use is not permitted, except by Board of Standards and Appeals special permit. The application requests a special permit to allow the construction and operation of the academy on the entire project site.


The Durst Organization is planning to build a private school called The Nation School, next to the Helena Residence. The Nation School will be the first of many schools planned to built across the United States and the world featuring grades K – 12. The organization plans to build a four to five story school, encompassing up to 200,000 square feet. The first phase of the school will house grades through 7.


830 12 Avenue

This site is a vacant building previously owned by Art Craft Strauss, and currently owned by the Durst Organization. While vacant, it houses artists and their workspaces as part of a program operated by Chashama

Commercial Site:
Block No: 1105
Lot No: 1