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

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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.

Amsterdam Houses/Amsterdam Addition

Amsterdam Houses
40 – 94, Amsterdam Avenue
205, 249 West 61 Street
216, 217, 241, 242, 248, 249, 250 West 62 Street
216, 217, 228, 242, 250 West 63 Street
210-218, 243 West 64 Street
247, 250 West 61 Street Drive
Amsterdam Addition

240 West 65 Street
Block: 1154
Lot: Many
Landmark Status: No

Contact:

Margarita Curet, President
Amsterdam Houses Tenant Association
216 West 62 Street, Apt 4C
New York, NY 10023
(T) 212-262-2381

Patricia Ryan, President
Amsterdam Addition Tenant Association
545 Eigth Ave., Suite 401
New York, NY 10018
(T) 212-592-3208

Kathy Howe
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Historic Preservation Field Services Bureau
Peebles Island
P.O. Box 189
Waterford, NY 12188
(T) 518-237-8643 x 3266

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Summary of site plans and status

According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the State Historic Preservation Office, as of August 2007 the Amsterdam Houses and Amsterdam Addition complex are National Register Eligible. According to to the New York State Historic Preservation Office, if put on the State or National Register of Historic Places Amsterdam Houses and Addition would result in:

1. Registered properties and properties determined eligible for the Registers receive a measure of protection from the effects of federal and/or state agency sponsored, licensed or assisted projects through a notice, review, and consultation process.

2. Owners of depreciable, certified historic properties may take a 20 percent federal income tax credit for the costs of substantial rehabilitation as provided for under the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

3. Municipal and not-for-profit owners of listed historic properties may apply for matching state historic preservation grants.

The single block between 61 and 64 Streets consists of 13 apartment houses. Community Works is currently working with Council Member Brewer on a program to tell the untold stories of Amsterdam Houses, involving public school students. The project will culminate in a public art exhibition which will include contemporary photographic portraits by renowned documentary photographer Ruth Morgan; archival photographs; commentary by contributing writers; and poetry and prose by local youth. the exhibition will also feature a visual art component created by youth and elders of the community, and will open in 2008 and tour city-wide.

In July 2007, Council Member Gale A. Brewer addressed the Amsterdam Houses community at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, alongside other elected officials, at the 60th Annual Amsterdam Reunion Tribute Program and Brunch. Read the Press Release for more information about the event and the Amsterdam Houses and Amsterdam Addition complex.

The Resource Evaluation report of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, regarding the Amsterdam Houses property, between Amsterdam and West End Avenues, and between West 61-64 Streets, dated January 4, 2007, provides a Statement of Significance.

The following is an excerpt from this statement:

Amsterdam Houses represent the response by the state and local government to provide affordable housing for low-income families and returning World War II veterans. The complex was financed by a $7.7 million loan from the New York State Division of Housing though a subsidy agreement with the city. New York State was progressive at the time in that it was one of the few states with its own public housing construction programs. While the New York State Housing Law passed in 1926 encouraging the formation of local housing authorities, it had little impact locally until 1934 when NYCHA was established.

The racial and ethnic diversity of the original residents of Amsterdam Houses reflects the thinking of key planners, architects, housing reformers, and laws of post- World War II New York. NYCHA’s selection of original residents was a response to the state mandate that state-aided public housing projects bar discrimination based on race, color, creed, or religion, as well as to both state and federal laws that were passed giving returning veterans preference in public housing.

The plan and design of Amsterdam Houses reflect the progressive thinking of its prominent design team: architects Grosvenor Atterbury, Arthur C. Holden, and Harvey Wiley Corbett, and landscape architects gilmore D. Clarke and Michael Rapuano. Amsterdam Houses is notable for its open, classically-inspired plan with a central landscaped axis oriented toward the Hudson River and for the warmth and subtle articulation of its brickwork. The complex stands as one of the last publicly-funded housing developments of the post-World War II era to align with the city grid as opposed to the slightly later “tower in the park” schemes that relied on larger-scale super blocks.

The complex has undergone minor alterations including the slight widening of paths and the replacement of original windows. Despite these changes,the complex is remarkably intact to its 1948 completion date. Amsterdam Houses retain integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.

The following is quoted from a LANDMARK WEST! lecture invitation about the Amsterdam Houses in September 2006:

In 2005, LANDMARK WEST! added Amsterdam Houses to their landmark designation “wish list” as a noteworthy example of early, well-designed, racially and ethnically integrated public housing.

Built in 1947 and designed by Grosvenor Atterbury, Harvey Wiley Corbett, and Arthur C. Holden, the Amsterdam Houses on Amsterdam Avenue between 61 and 64 Streets is an example of the design that characterized New York City Public Housing projects constructed after World War II. Originally the home to many returning veterans, this complex is a reminder of the vision that guided public housing development in the first half of the twentieth century.

315 West 61 Street (Senior Residence)

Address: 315 West 61 Street
Block: N/A
Lot: N/A
Landmark status: No

Contact:

William Rapfogel, President & CEO [or]
Mary Anne Pasquariello, Resident Director
Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty
80 Maiden Lane
New York, NY 10038
(T) 212-453-9500

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Summary of site plans and status

Senior Residence in the Lincoln Center Area managed by Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

From a flyer for Senior Residences:

In 2007, 120 newly constructed studio apartments for seniors opened at this address. Applicants must be 62 years old at the time of application. The apartments are studios with household size limited to one person.

Seniors are required to meet income guidelines and additional selection criteria to qualify. Eligible seniors residing in Manhattan Community Board 7 receives preference for 50% of the units. Eligible seniors who are mobility impaired will receive preference for 5% of the units and visual or hearing impaired will receive preference for 2% of the units. Eligible seniors who are NYC municipal employees will receive preference for 5% of the units. Only one application per household. No subletting is allowed.

Applications can be requested by sending a self-addressed envelope to: 315 West 61 Street Senior Residence c/o Council Management, 80 Maiden Lane, 21st floor, New York, NY 10038

This building is part of the Riverside South development.

Gateway School of New York (“The School”) 211 West 61 Street

Address: 211 West 61 Street
Block: 1154
Lot: 7502
Landmark Status: N/A

Contact:

Robert Cunningham
The Gateway School
236 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(T) 212-777-5966

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Summary of site plans and status

Gateway School of New York (“The School”) is a New York State education corporation operating a non-profit co-educational, non-residential special needs school that serves students between the age of 5 and 13. They are located at 236 Second Avenue, but will be moving to 211 West 61 Street by 2009.

The school seeks acquisition, renovation and equipping of commercial condominium units comprising approximately 19,230 square feet located at 211 West 61st Street (between Amsterdam and West End Avenue), New York, NY 10023 utilizing tax-exempt bond financing through the New York City Industrial Development Agency.

The total project costs are approximately $31,600,000. The School is seeking the issuance of up to $18,650,000 in NYCIDA tax-exempt bonds to (i) acquire building space at 211 West 61st Street in the amount of $8,120,000; (ii) fund construction costs of $6,765,000, (iii) fund FF&E costs of $1,005,000, and (iv) fund soft costs in the amount of $2,760,000. The School will finance the remainder of the project costs with $4,950,000 of Equity Contributions and $8,000,000 from the sale of their existing building.

211 West 61 Street is a 6-story building, and Gateway will be occupying 1, 5 and 6. The other floors are occupied by the American Music and Dance Association.

The Company will retain 37 full-time equivalent employees and will create 23 new full-time equivalent positions in the next 3 years.

20 West End Avenue (Heschel High School)

Address: 20 West End Avenue at 61st/60th Streets
Block: 1152
Lot: 1
Landmark status: N/A

Contact

Roanna Shorofsky, Director
Abraham Heschel School
20 West End Ave.
New York, NY 10023
(212) 246-7717

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Summary of site plans and status

The Abraham Heschel High School, a private school located at 20 West End Avenue, has proposed to modify its existing building, while also constructing a new building to house its middle and elementary schools, which are currently located off site on West 91 Street, and West 89 Street, respectively.

Specifically, the school is seeking permission from the city for a one story addition of 2,000 square feet on top of its existing building at 20 West End Avenue. It would also like to construct a new building (possibly a 23 story tower, which would include 190 residential units) on two adjacent lots that it owns; one is located at the corner of West End Avenue and 61 Street, and is currently occupied by the Potampkin auto dealership, operating on a month to month lease; the other adjoining lot is on West 61 Street and is occupied by an auto repair shop.

The purpose of the expansion is to consolidate the elementary and middle schools adjacent to the high school.

The master planning process is ongoing with architects Cooper Robertson & Partners. The proposal for the new school (elementary and middle) is an additional 171,931 square feet (242 square feet per student) and will include an additional 36 classrooms, 2 gyms, 1 auditorium, 2 libraries, administrative offices, 2 lunch rooms, 3 art studios, 2 music rooms and 3 science labs.

Website is available: http://www.heschel.org/index.html

227 West 61 Street (The Beacon School)

Address: 227 West 61st Street (227-243 W 61)

Block No: 1154
Lot No: 108

Landmark status: No

Contact

Kathleen Grim, Deputy Chancellor for Finance and Administration
New York City Dept. of Education
52 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007
(212) 374-0209

Ruth Lacey, Principal
The Beacon School
273 West 61 Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 245-2807

Walter & Samuels Management
419 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-6200

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Summary of site plans and status

On 6/27/2007, the New York City Council approved the site plan allowing for an approximately 850-seat high school facility located generally on the north side of West 61st Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenue.

The New York City School Construction Authority has undertaken its site acquisition process for Beacon High School. The site contains approximately 22,500 square feet of lot area and is located on the north side of West 61 Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenues in the Borough of Manhattan. This site is privately-owned and improved with a three-story (plus basement) building which contains approximately 70,000 gross square feet. The entire building is currently occupied by the New York City Department of Education’s Beacon High School under a lease which is scheduled to expire in 2010. City Council Member Gale Brewer, the School Construction Authority, the Department of Education, and the school are working together to keep the school on the West Side.

The Notice of Filing of the Site Plan was published in the New York Post and City Record on April 2, 2007. Manhattan Community Board 7 was notified on April 2, 2007, and was asked to hold a public hearing on the proposed Site Plan. Manhattan Community Board 7 held a public hearing on April 18, 2007, and subsequently sent written comments in support of the proposed acquisition of the Site. The City Planning Commission was also notified on April 2, 2007, and also recommended in favor of acquisition of the site.

The following is quoted from the April 17, 2007 meeting of the Land Use Committee of Community Board 7

Resolution regarding 227 West 61st Street, The Beacon School (Amsterdam-West End Avenues.) New York City School Construction Authority’s proposed acquisition of Block 1154, Lot 108, for continued use as an approximately 850-seat high school facility.

The attorney for the School Construction Authority presented on the proposed acquisition of the existing Beacon School on 227 W. 61st St. lot; and, he answered questions as to the Findings and the issue of possible use of eminent domain by SCA: unneeded in this case. The HS bldg. has +60,000 sf of developable FAR.

Vote on the Joint Resolution: 8 / 0 /2.

Click here to read the minutes from the rest of the meeting.

On June 27, 2007, the New York City Council passed a resolution approving the Beacon School site plans. Resolution 948 reads as the following:

WHEREAS, the New York City School Construction Authority submitted to the Council on June 14, 2007, a site plan pursuant to Section 1732 of the New York State Public Authorities Law for an approximately 850-seat high school facility, known as the Beacon High School, located generally on the north side of West 61st Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenues (Block 1154, Lot 108), in DOE Instructional Region No. 10/Community School District No. 3, Community Board No. 7, Borough of Manhattan (the “Site Plan”);

WHEREAS, the Site Plan is subject to review and action by the Council pursuant to Section 1732 of the New York State Public Authorities Law;

WHEREAS, upon due notice, the Council held a public hearing on the Site Plan on June 19,2007;

WHEREAS, the Council has considered the land use implications and other policy issues relating to the Site Plan;

RESOLVED:

Pursuant to Section 1732 of the Public Authorities Law, the Council approves the Site Plan.

As of August 2007, the School Construction Authority has been authorized by CB7 and the City Council to move forward in acquiring the building.