Riverside South Center

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.

Important Information:

  • 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
(212) 712-6000


Recreation Center 59

The 59th Street Recreation Center, which is currently closed, is being renovated and is due to reopen in December 2011. Renovations of various types have been in planning stages since late 2001, when it was recommended that work be done on the center to increase gym space and keep the center up to code. Various West Side developers have given different levels of financial commitment to renovating the center, but now developer BCRE is prepared to oversee the use of the $2.5 million proffered by the Extell Management Company to construct an outdoor park and work on an Annex north of the current location on 60th St. According to the Department of Parks and Recreation, this new building should be completed by the end of 2011. The new Recreation Center will include, in addition to a new outdoor park, a renovated indoor pool, locker rooms, and new windows and skylights. According to DNA Info, there will also be a youth activities room and aerobics and fitness rooms. The Outdoor Space Park will be constructed in 2012.

Important Information

  • In 2004, Community Board 7 and Gale Brewer began talking to West side developers Brack Capital, Cambridge, and Ginsberg (ALGEN) about the possibility of renovating the 59th St. Recreation Center.
  • Extel has offerred $2.5-3 million (currently $1 million for the 60th St. Annex and $1.5 million for the Open Space Park Project), which, in addition to the $7-$8 million earmarked by the NYC Council with the strong backing of Gale Brewer, is enough to demolish the current location, build the outdoor park and begin preparing for new construction on the current site as well as building an annex across the street.
  • Commissioner Adrian Benepe of the Department of Parks and Recreation must sign off on these plans before any can go forward.
  • The new building (the annex and the entire 60th St. building) should be completed (including furniture and fitness equipment) by the end of 2011, but a plumber will have to be hired separately to ensure staying on schedule.
  • The pool will have no lifeguards directly after construction.
  • The park/Open Space project was given approval with no comments, though many pipes and manholes must be built to sanitize and contain the water.
  • The Open Space Project bidding process should be completed by December, and construction may take up to a year.
  • There will be another meeting in October (Date TBD) about the progress on both of these projects

Potential plans for the new Recreation Center

Developer Information:
885 3rd Ave
New York,  NY  10022-4834
(212) 308-7200
Extel Management
605 West 137th Street
New York , NY
(212) 784-0026
Read more at DNA Info.

Pier 99 (59 Street Marine Transfer Station)

Address: West Side Highway and 59th Street

Landmark status: Yes


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


Summary of site plans and status:

Pier 99 at 59th Street currently serves as a marine transfer station that handles recyclable paper for the New York City Department of Sanitation. Pier 99 is not designated as a park pier in the Hudson River Park, but the entrance to the shed for the marine transfer station is marked by a neo-classical arch and brightly colored neon tubes.

As part of its solid waste management plan (SWMP), the Bloomberg Administration supports changing the function of Pier 99 from paper recycling to commercial waste, including restaurant waste from most of Manhattan. This proposal is part of a comprehensive, city wide plan to reorganize the handling of both residential (Department of Sanitation) garbage, and commercial waste handled by private carters. The proposal includes the construction of another marine transfer station on Gansevoort Peninsula in Greenwich Village to handle the bulk of the recyclable paper.

Any enlargement of Pier 99 to carry Manhattan’s commercial waste would require an amendment of state law by the legislature. The group Coalition to Protect our Parks and other members of the local community oppose the Administration’s plan to change the use of Pier 99 to commercial waste transfer.

In October, 2004, Council Member Gale Brewer wrote a letter to the Department of Sanitation and the Economic Development Corporation expressing the concerns of Community Boards 4 and 7 about the marine transfer station. In particular, Council Member Brewer inquired about the Administration’s plan to increase the number of commercial sanitation vehicles, the volume of waste, and the types of waste to be processed. One important concern about an large increase in commercial vehicle traffic at the pier is that the trucks of the private haulers are not clean fuel vehicles, unlike those currently in use by the Department of Sanitation. On November 1, 2006 Community Board 4 issued a resolution opposed to enlarging the current marine transfer station on Pier 99 to handle commercial waste.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued for Pier 99 for the hauling of commercial waste.

537 West 59 Street (Manhattan Neighborhood Network)

Address: 537 West 59th Street (537-541 W 59 St.)

Block No: 1151
Lot No: 12
Landmark status: No


Dan Coughlin, Executive Director
Manhattan Neighborhood Network
537 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-2670 ext. 324


Summary of site plans and status

Manhattan Neighborhood Network

Manhattan Neighborhood Network had considered selling 537 West 59 Street, but decided against it. However, Manhattan Neighborhood Network recently acquired a satellite facility at 175 East 104 Street, in response to the demands of community based organizations for a facility in uptown Mahattan. As of August 2007, renovating the space and expects the work to be completed for the summer of 2008.

10 Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center)

Address: 10 Columbus Circle
Block No: 1049
Lot No: 7501
Landmark status: No


James Kleeman, Manager
Related Management
10 Columbus Circle, Suite 310
New York, NY 10019
Architect: David Childs
Skidmore, Owens & Merrill LLP

Developer: Related Companies LP
Apollo Real Estate Advisors, LP


Summary of site plans and status

In 2002, city and state officials, general contractors, building management and shop owners met regularly for six months to coordinate outreach and hiring procedures for the new Time Warner Center Building. As chair of the City Council’s technology committee, Council member Gale A. Brewer helped create a website to assist local residents find jobs in the new Time Warner Center building. The Time Warner Center’s managers Related Management Companies (subsidiary of Related Companies, the developer of both the Time Warner Center and the Gateway Center) informed the private businesses that the city offers consulting services to ensure compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity Standards, the Disability Act, and other labor laws.

For example, when the Mandarin Oriental Hotel was overwhelmed with applications, the city Department of Small Business Services narrowed down 6,000 applications to only four candidates for each open position. DSBS passed the selections to the hotel’s human resources department, which made the hiring decisions. As a result, 70 percent of the 389 new hires at the five-star hotel were from New York City: 90 Manhattanites got jobs. Brewer estimates that her West Side constituents make up 20 percent of all those hired.

Completed in 2004, the 750 feet, twin towered, multi-use complex is home to AOL Time Warner world headquarters, the 250 room/suite Mandarin Oriental Hotel, retail space, entertainment facilities, restaurants, and office space. In addition, CNN broadcasts live from the location and a concert hall is on site for the use of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Time Warner owns one third of the complex.

Riverside South (Trump)

Address: Riverside Boulevard between 59 to 72 Streets
Block: See below
Lot: See below
Landmark status: No


Paul Elston, President
Riverside South Planning Corp.
99 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 370-3630

Peter Fine
Managing Principal
Atlantic Development Group, LLC
331 West 57 Street, Suite 007
New York, NY 10019
(212) 620-0500


Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 2/27/08
The City Planning Commission is currently drafting the scoping document. There will be a public scoping session, a date for this scoping session has not yet been scheduled.
UPDATE: 2/15/08
The Hudson Waterfront Associates, L.P. (HWA) has signaled their intention to apply for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) for 100 Riverside Boulevard (Building H). Prior to the issuance of a TCO, more than 50% (2,508 units) of the market rate units, 40% (273 units) of the total required affordable housing units (684 units) must be completed. This obligation has been satisfied, as there are currently 395 affordable units.
UPDATE: 11/19/2007
Road work on 62 Street and 64 Street extending into the Riverside South Development is underway.

Riverside South is 56-acre containing 16 residential buildings with 5,700 residential units, and a 23-acre public waterfront park. The Penn Yards was rezoned in 1992 to allow for residential development. Donald Trump was the developer. In June of 1994 Hudson Waterfront Associates purchased Trump’s $315 million defaulted mortgage on the site for a little under $89 million. In 2005, Hudson Waterfront sold most of the Riverside South site to the Extell Development Company/Carlyle Group. All of the obligations in the 1992 Restrictive Declaration transfer to the current owners. The Restrictive Declaration mandated that 12% of the total number of approved units must be affordable.

The southern end of the site, 59-61 Street must be rezoned and undergo a new ULURP. It was omitted from the zoning of Riverside South in 1992. It was in the area that Donald Trump had slated for television studios. However, the Borough President of Queens was concerned that such development would have a negative impact on the Silvercup Studios in Queens and so that part of Riverside South remained unzoned.

According to the Senior Vice President of Extell, Donna Gargano,

Parcels L M & N were rezoned by the Planning Commission to C4-7, high density commercial/residential zoning and this underlying zoning was upheld by the City Council. The Restrictive Declaration approved by the Planning Commission limited Parcel N to studio use. The Council modified the Restrictive Declaration to prohibit any studio use on Parcel N and to further require that any other proposed use for this Parcel must go through a new ULURP.

240 Riverside Boulevard, (Parcel A) 71st and 72nd Streets, The Heritage, is 31 stories with 170 units, ranging from 1 to 6 bedrooms, and a 319-car garage. It is a luxury condominium building, and has its own management firm and board.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: 7503

220 Riverside Boulevard, (Parcel B) 70th and 71st Streets, is 49 stories with 441 units and a 298 car-garage. It has its own management firm and board, and contains luxury condominiums.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: 7502

200 Riverside Boulevard, (Parcel C) 69th and 70th Streets, is 46 stories with 377 units and a 280-car garage. It has its own management firm and board and contains luxury condominiums.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: 7501

180, 160, and 140 Riverside Boulevard (Parcels D, E, and F), Trump Place, were purchased by Extell Development Corp./Carlyle who then sold these parcels to Equity Residential, a REIT (real estate investment trust) based in Chicago for $816 million. Each parcel is occupied by one rental building. The owners have an agreement with Donald Trump to keep his name on these sites.

Block No: 1171
Lot No:

180 Riverside Boulevard, 68th and 69th Streets, is 40 stories with 516-units and a 210 car garage.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: 129

160 Riverside Boulevard, 67th and 68th Streets, is 33 stories with 360 units and a 107-car garage.

Block No: 1171
Lot No:132

140 Riverside Boulevard, 67th and 68th Streets, is 27 stories with 354 units and a 107-car garage.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: 133

Parcels H, I, J, K, L, M, and N were purchased by the Extell Development Company/Carlyle. Extell Development Company received a loan from the Meridian Capital Group under the condition that the project be called Hudson Yards, in place of Trump/Riverside South.

Block No: 1171
Lot No:

120 Riverside Boulevard, (Parcel G) 65th and 66th Streets, is 18 stories with 288 luxury condo units and a 130-car garage.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: 7504 (parcel G)

100 Riverside Boulevard, (Parcel H/The Avery) 64th and 65th Streets, The Avery, is in construction. It will be 31 stories with 345 luxury condominium units and a 49-car garage.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: 135 (parcel H)

80 Riverside Boulevard, 63rd and 64th Streets, (Parcel I) The Rushmore, is under construction. The building is expected to open in winter 2008. The building will have two 43-story towers rising from a 16-story base. It will have 289 units ranging from 717 to 3,072 square feet, and a 326-car garage. The contact is (202) 496-1400 or http://www.therushmoreriverside.com.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: 140 (parcel I)

Construction has not begun on Parcels J through N

60 Riverside Boulevard, (Parcel J-1) 62nd and 63rd Streets, is zoned for two buildings: 28 stories with 245 units and a 255-car garage and 38 stories with 409 units and a 225-car garage.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: Parcel J (145)

40 Riverside Boulevard, (Parcel K-1) 61st and 62nd Streets, is zoned for two buildings: 28 stories with 241 units and a 225-car garage, and 33 stories with 373 units and a 258-car garage.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: Parcel K (150)

20 Riverside Boulevard, (Parcel L) 60th and 61st Streets. Construction has not begun on this parcel.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: Parcel L (155)

10 Riverside Boulevard, (Parcel M) 59th and 60th Streets. The site is zoned for 18 stores with 175 units and a 150-car garage.

Block No: 1171
Lot No: Parcel M (155)

Parcel N does not yet have an assigned street address

The site, bounded by West 59th and 61st Streets, West End Avenue and Parcels L and M, is designated for 2,300,000 square feet of commercial development, assuming that 500,000 sq. ft. of excess development rights are added to it. The site must go through the City’s uniformed land use review procedure (ULURP) before any development can take place.

Block No: 1151
Lot No: 17 (parcel N)

33 West End Avenue. (Parcel O) (Which has its own entry, search for it under “33 West End Avenue”) For $10, Hudson Waterfront Associates sold the site to the Atlantic Development Group, which developed a building for senior citizens under the Inclusionary Housing Bonus Program. Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty manages the building.

West Side Highway Box (Between West 59 and West 72 Streets)

Location: Between West 59th and West 72nd Streets
Landmark status:
Summary of site plans and status

State and city officials have begun construction on a roadway box between West 59th and 72nd Streets that could replace the West Side Highway viaduct. Essentially, the highway would be routed through a box that would be constructed in the following manner. Between West 65th and West 67th Streets, the existing berm will be excavated to make room for a southbound tunnel, after which a park will be built on top. The northbound tunnel will be built in the future. Between West 61st and West 65th Streets, a concrete box will be built on the existing ground to create northbound and southbound roadways, then covered with land. Riverside Boulevard and the park will be built on top.

There are concerns about where the funding for the construction of the box is coming from. Additionally, the viaduct is young (less than 15 years old), so the box would not be necessary for another 10-15 years.


UPDATE: 8/04/09

Community Board 7 has held two pre-certification sessions  on the Riverside South Development on February 7th, 2008 and October 28th, 2008.  Pre-certification at the City Planning Commission is scheduled for fall 2009.

555 West 59 Street (The Element)

Address: 541-543, 555 West 59 Street, 236-240 West 60 Street
Block No: 1151
Lot No: 5
Landmark status: No


Moshe Dan Azogui
Brack Capital Real Estate
855 Third Avenue, 27th Floor
New York, NY 10022
(212) 308-7200

Shlomo Reuveni
Corcoran Group
(212) 977-5900
(212) 875-2841


Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 11/21/07

On 4/23/07 the City Council APPROVED the decision of the City Planning Commission on ULURP No. C 060381 ZSM, for the granting of a special permit.

On 3/28/07, the City Planning Commission APPROVED, with conditions, of the application for a special permit for a 190-space public parking garage at 555 West 59th Street. They also determined there would be no significant impact on the environment.

On 2/6/07, Community Board 7 of Manhattan DISAPPROVED the application of Element West 59th, LLC for a special permit to allow a 190-space public garage on the ground floor and cellar of 555 West 59th Street.

This site was rezoned from M1-6 to C6-2, and Brack Capital has built a 35-story glass tower on this one-acre site with 198 residential condominium units with 290,588 square feet. It is an as-of-right development, and the building includes indoor and outdoor swimming pools, basketball courts and tennis courts.

The building was completed in July 2007, and the condo offers storage space in wine merchant Morrell & Company’s temperature-controlled vault.

The building has applied for a permit to construct a garage entrance/exit on the south side of 60 Street, and Community Board 7 was unwilling to approve it unless there was 80% accessory parking to minimize traffic in and out of the garage. Also, CB 7 was unwilling to approve the garage unless proper safety measures were installed to warn children of entering and exiting vehicles. It wanted a motion-sensing arm, warning lights visible in both directions, cautionary signs, as well as markings on the sidewalk itself, states the resolution of February 6, 2007. Overall, the resolution disapproved the permit for the driveway, yet made it clear that it would think more favorably of it if its conditions were met.

You can read the entire February 6, 2007 resolution below:

555 West 59th Street (Amsterdam-West End Avenues.)

Application to the Department of City Planning by Element West 59th Street, LLC for a special permit to allow a 190-space public garage on the ground floor and cellar of 555 West 59th Street.

Richard Asche presented background. The resolution was presented to the Steering Committee because the ULRUP deadline was January 26, 2007. The joint committees heard the garage application on December 20 and January 9. Committee members requested additional safety features because of the number of children who use the sidewalk that crosses the garage entrance/exit.

Representatives of AKRF, SLCE Architects, and Element West 59th Street, LLC, and Jay Segal were present.

Mr. Asche asked the applicant to amend the application to provide for a minimum of 80% accessory parking in order to reduce the number of car trips and decrease the potential for accidents. The applicant will consider this request and will talk to the local schools about the most appropriate signage. All agreed to continue to work together on the application as it goes through the public review process.

The Steering Committee adopted the following resolution: 14 In Favor 0 Against

1 Abstention and 0 Present.

Element West 59th, LLC, the owner of the building under construction at 555 West 59th Street, New York, New York (between Amsterdam and West End Avenues), has applied to the Department of City Planning for a special permit to construct and operate a 190-space public (transient) garage on the ground floor and cellar at 555 West 59th Street, New York, New York. The proposed two lane entrance and exit for the garage is located at the eastern end of the property on the south side of West 60th Street, immediately adjacent to a large recreation center to be operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The proposed garage entrance/exit is located on a street which contains a school building (the Heschel School), a school yard (P.S. 191) and a large recreation center to be used by children. Additionally, there will be two other garage entrances/exits on the western half of the block.

Community Board 7/ Manhattan is unwilling to approve the proposed garage unless and until the application is amended to provide for the minimum of 80% accessory parking in order to minimize the traffic in and out of the garage.

Community Board 7/ Manhattan is also unwilling to approve any proposed garage (even if wholly accessory) unless and until the applicant has committed to specific safety measures designed to warn children on the block of entering and exiting vehicles and to warn drivers that the block is heavily traveled by children. Such devices should include, but not be limited to, a motion sensor- controlled metal arm across the exit lane; warning lights visible in both directions on the sidewalk; a siren or similar warning noise; cautionary signs visible both to the sidewalk and to exiting drivers; and markings on the sidewalk itself. Additionally, no tree should be located on a sidewalk, west of the entrance within 20 feet of the curb.

Community Board 7/ Manhattan also suggests that the developer explore blocking in some fashion (e.g., by means of a cast iron fence of short hedge) the area extending three feet out from the northern wall of the 59th Street Recreation Center eastward for approximately 20 feet from the northwestern corner. This will improve drivers’ sight lines looking east.

For these reasons, BE IT RESOLVED THAT Community Board 7/Manhattan disapproves the application of Element West 59th, LLC for a special permit to allow a 190-space public (transient) garage on the ground floor and cellar of 555 West 59th Street, New York, New York; and

BE IT further RESOLVED THAT Community Board 7/ Manhattan would approve a garage at the site if, but only if, (1) the garage application is amended to provide for at least 80% of the allotted spaces to be accessory, not transient use; and (2) adequate safety measures, to be determined by further vote of Community Board 7 prior to City Planning approval, are proposed and incorporated in the application.

Council Member Gale A. Brewer called up the item for City Council Review in order to incorporate the concerns of Community Board 7 into approval of the garage. After much discussion with all stakeholders interested in the special permit, the City Council approved the application on April 23, 2007.