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.

207 West 75th St.

A sliver building has been proposed at 207 W 75th St. MA Architects, the developer, has already proposed the building to the New York City Department of Buildings and been rejected, which is standard for buildings in New York. In this case, the building violates ZR 23-692, which limits the height of a building to the street width or 100′-00″, whichever is less (from They now send the application, with help from Filing Representative Metropolis Group Inc. and lobbying firm Capolino+Company to the Building Services Authority (BSA) to apply for a waiver. They have not yet done this, but are expected to within the month.

Tax Block: 1167
Landmark Status: None

Important Information:

  • According to Community Board 7, which handles land use within their area, the developers have not yet sent in the second application, though it should be in not too long.
  • It is entirely standard (in fact, exceptions are almost nonexistent) for the DOB to offer an objection the first time a building application is given to them. They review zoning, then send the applicant to the BSA, at which point they may decide no to proceed or may file for special waivers.
  • CB7 will not be able to hear the application until September, when they resume hearing cases from the summer.
  • The effects on passersby cannot yet be known until more is known about the building plan.
  • However, it is clear that the co-op next door will be negatively affected. The plan is for the new building to be 15 stories high, which would block the view from many windows and harm the resale value of the apartments.
Contact Information
Developer: MA Architects
Name: Morris Adjmi
Address: 45 E 20th St. 11th floor
NY, NY 10003
Business Phone: 212-982-2020
Cell Phone: 917-776-9555
Filing Representative: Metropolis Group Inc.
Name: Yenin Cabrera
Address: 22 Cortlandt St. 10th floor.
NY, NY 1007
Business Phone: 212-233-6344
Cell Phone: 917-575-5756
Lobbyist: Capalino+Company
Name: James F. Capalino
Address: The Woolworth Building
233 Boradway, Suite 850
NY, NY 10279
Business Phone: 212-616-5810
Cell Phone: 917-859-6245

721 Amsterdam Avenue (The Axton)

Address: 721 Amsterdam Ave.
Landmark Status:
Current Status:


Mark A. Levine
Herrick Feinstein LLP
Land Use and Zoning
(212) 592-1456


Summary of plans and status

UPDATE 8/10/09

The Axton is a former Mitchell-Lama rental building located on Amsterdam Avenue at 95th Street.  Herrick Feinstein, LLP seeks approval for a two story enlargement for the base of the building which would include commercial space and a community facility.  The developers seek a modification of the West Side Urban Renewal Large Scale Residential Development Plan to allow for the plan to go forward.  The application for this modification is currently under review by the Department of City Planning.

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

Project by: New York City Department of Environmental Protection


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


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.


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:


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


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.


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.


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.


Gale A. Brewer

150 Amsterdam Avenue bldg

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:


Amsterdam Inn
340 Amsterdam Avenue
Phone: 212-579-7500
Fax: 212-579-6127

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


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.

160, 166, 190, 200, 208 Amsterdam Avenue, between West 67-69 Street (Lincoln Square Synagogue)

Addresses: 201-209 West 66 Street (160, 166, 190, 200, 208 Amsterdam Avenue)

Prior to Demolition:
Block 1158/Lot 10: Citibank
Block 1158/Lot 12: ACP Retail Building
Block 1158/Lot 34: West End Synagogue
Block 1158/Lots 133 & 134: Lincoln Square Synagogue

Block 1158/Lot 10: Citibank (unchanged)
Block 1158/Lot 12: ACP building (remaining southern 2/3 of Lot 12)
Block 1158/Tentative Lot 18: New Lincoln Square Synagogue (northern 1/3 of Lot 12)
Block 1158/Lot 34: West End Synagogue (unchanged)
Block 1158/Lot 133 & 134: ACP Building
Landmark Status: No


Johnathan Spinner
Mann Realty
1776 Broadway, 23 Floor

Paul Nickolatos,Co-Chair
Apthorp Tenants Association
390 West End Avenue
New York, NY 10024


Summary of site plans and status:

UPDATE: 1/31/09

As of January 31, 2008, American Continental Properties (ACP) intends to pursue retail development for the southern 2/3 rd’s of 166 Amsterdam. ACP does not intend to purse residential development at this time.

As of summer 2007, demolition has been completed and the site is now prepped for construction.

American Continental Properties (ACP) is researching what they can build on the southern 2/3rd of 166 Amsterdam (Lots 133 and 134), the site which they control. The site is as-of-right, which means that a 45-story tower can be built. The northern 1/3 of 166 Amsterdam is the future home of the Lincoln Square Synagogue, proposed to be a 5-story building, adjacent to the West End Synagogue, which remains.

Lot 12 was the former ACP building and the northern 1/3 will go to the Synagogue. Lots 133 and 134 belongs to ACP. Lot 12 is between 67 and 69 Streets and 134 is between 69 and 70 streets, both on the west side of Amsterdam.