Not So Green: Greenpoint to Lose Park During Highway Construction

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
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Sgt. William Dougherty Park (Courtesy of NYC Parks Department)

Sgt. William Dougherty Park (Courtesy of NYC Parks Department)

Originally named for its once thick forests and lush meadows, the former industrial neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn now has a real shortage of green space. The Brooklyn Paper reported that parkland will only grow scarcer with the pending closure of Sgt. William Dougherty Park, located on the corner of Cherry Street and Vandervoort Avenue, as soon as the state begins its four-year construction project to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge.

Greenpointers have expressed concern about the temporary loss of the park, and Assemblyman Joe Lentol has asked the lawmakers in Albany to allocate a portion of the funding reserved for the bridge construction to building a new park. One local resident has already scouted out a possible location at an empty five-acre parcel on Kingsland Avenue between Greenpoint and Norman avenues.

NYC Passes Zoning For Commercial Development on Governors Island.  Governors Island (Courtesy of The Trust Governors Island) Yesterday City Council green lighted new zoning to allow commercial development in 40 historic structures on Governors Island. This change will introduce restaurants and retail establishments to the sleepy, mostly park-filled island, and also help to generate revenue for the upkeep and operations of the island’s parkland. One stipulation of the rezoning is a commitment from The Trust for Governors Island to use union labor for all construction projects. (Photo: Courtesy Trust for Governors Island)

 

Ground Broken On West 8–Designed “Hill Park” on Governors Island

East
Thursday, July 25, 2013
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Renderings of The Hills on Governors Island (Courtesy of the Mayor's Office)

Renderings of The Hills on Governors Island (Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office)

In just a few years, visitors will stand atop an 80-foot-tall hill on Governors Island and enjoy sweeping vistas of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline. Today Mayor Bloomberg broke ground on The Hills, a new 11-acre stretch of green space, that is part of Governors Island Park, and one feature of landscape architecture firm West 8′s expansive 30-acre Public Space Master Plan that was first unveiled in 2010.

Continue reading after the jump.

Final Decision: City Council Votes for 10-Year Permit for MSG.  Madison Square Garden (Courtesy of doriandsp/Flickr) This afternoon City Council voted 47-1 to limit Madison Square Garden’s permit to 10 years. The arena, sitting atop Penn Station, had requested a permit in perpetuity, but a coalition of government officials, preservationists, and transportation advocates protested and pushed for a truncated 10-year renewal. Critics hope this term limit will ultimately encourage the re-location of the Garden to allow for a complete overhaul of the train station and an improved arena. According to DNA Info, the station is “North America’s busiest rail station,” and many have argued that it is beyond capacity and poses a safety risk for commuters. (Photo: doriandsp/Flickr)      

 

June Architecture Billings Index Show Numbers Are Still on the Rise

National
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

Numbers are staying strong. AIA’s Architecture Billing Index for the month of June has revealed steady, but positive growth. The June ABI score of 51.6 reflected only a slight drop from May’s score of 52.9, and still indicates a general upswing for the non-residential construction industry. More projects will likely be on the horizon. The new projects inquiry index reported a significant climb in numbers to 62.6 from 59.1 the previous month.

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New Zoning Could Bring Restaurants, Shops, and a Hotel to Governors Island

East
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
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Nolan Houses on Governors Island (Courtesy of the Trust for Governors Island )

Nolan Houses on Governors Island (Courtesy of the Trust for Governors Island )

Only a little over decade ago, Governors Island was a sleepy coast guard base just a stone’s throw from Lower Manhattan, but it has since become a destination for New Yorkers offering a slew of recreational activities, events, and new park land. Now the idyllic island could be populated by a new hotel along with restaurants, retail, and other commercial development.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City Tweaks Midtown East Rezoning Plan to Allow More Residences

East
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
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View of East Midtown Manhattan (Courtesy of Cristian/Flickr)

View of East Midtown Manhattan (Courtesy of Cristian/Flickr)

Since Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to rezone midtown east was first announced, it has stirred debate among local stakeholders, preservationists, and advocacy groups. Now Department of City Planning has offered up a set of new amendments—in the “A Text” section of the proposal—that responds to some of these key concerns expressed by New Yorkers while also serving the primary goal of the rezoning:  To support and boost the growth of midtown’s competitive office district.

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Five NYC Mayoral Candidates Camp Out in Public Housing for One Night.  NYCHA Housing (Courtesy of eastcolfax/Flickr) Mayor candidates experienced first hand just what it is like to live in New York City public housing this Saturday. DNA Info reported that Reverend Al Sharpton, affiliated with the National Action Network, organized a sleepover for five of the contenders: Bill de Blasio, John Liu, Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, and Anthony Weiner. The mayoral hopefuls camped out overnight in sleeping bags in the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem. New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA) has been plagued by budget cuts and a 4000,000 back log of repairs, only exacerbated by the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo: eastcolfax/Flickr)

 

Seth Pinsky Leaves NYC Economic Development Corporation.  Seth Pinsky (Courtesy of NYEDC) After nearly five years at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Seth Pinsky (pictured) is leaving public life for a position at RXR Realty. As president of the EDC, Pinsky ushered in a number of major real estate deals including Atlantic Yards, Hudson Yards, and the Cornell Tech Campus. He also was charged with the task of heading up the Special Initiative on Resiliency and Rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, which gave birth to “A Stronger, More Resilient New York.” Mayor Bloomberg has nominated Kyle E. Kimball, currently the executive director of NYCEDC, to take on the role of President. (Photo: Courtesy NYC EDC)

 

Four Finalists Imagine a More Resilient Rockaways in the Far Roc Competition

East
Friday, July 19, 2013
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Seeding Office's rendering of Rockaways' new boardwalk (Courtesy of Seeding Office)

Seeding Office’s rendering of Rockaways’ new boardwalk (Courtesy Seeding Office)

Seeding Office's rendering of Rockaways' new boardwalk (Courtesy Seeding Office)

Seeding Office’s rendering of Rockaways’ new boardwalk (Courtesy Seeding Office)

Four teams of architects have been selected to envision new possibilities for a long stretch of vacant land along the Sandy-battered coast in the Rockaways. The ideas presented at Thursday’s announcement range from practical resiliency tactics to creative design solutions such as dune sand filters, elevated undulating boardwalks, and clusters of low-rise and mid-rise housing.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) along with private developers and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, launched the Far Roc Competition back in April to generate proposals to turn an 80-plus-acre site, called Averne East, into a resilient mixed-use waterfront community. The competition calls on architects to think expansively about the challenges facing the Rockaways and come up with a multi-layered proposals that offer concrete ideas for sustainable mixed-income housing, flood protection measures, and recreation and park land.

Continue reading after the jump.

Rem Koolhaas Knocks out Bjarke Ingels in Final Round of Miami Beach Convention Center Competition

East
Thursday, July 18, 2013
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(Courtesy OMA)

(Courtesy OMA)

After months of fierce rivalry and contentious one-upping, Rem Koolhaas’ OMA has beat out Bjarke Ingels (BIG) in the competition for the Miami Beach Convention Center commission. At times, it appeared as if BIG was in the lead, but OMA crept up and ultimately took home the prize.

OMA has proposed a $600 million overhaul of the 52-acre convention center to build a more integrated facility in addition to tacking on more open space and park land. This plan calls for reconfiguring the layout of the convention center to provide enhanced access to Lincoln Road, green space, and existing hotel on the beach.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York Officials Call on Governor Christie to Stop LG Electronics’ Palisades Headquarters

East
Thursday, June 27, 2013
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(Courtesy HOK / LG Electronics)

(Courtesy HOK / LG Electronics)

The battle over LG Electronic’s proposed office complex in New Jersey is getting increasingly political. Now New York City government officials are chiming in and expressing their opposition to the company’s plans to build a 143-foot-high HOK-designed headquarters atop the leafy Palisades along the Hudson River facing Manhattan.

Yesterday, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. sent a letter addressed to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie asking him to step in and stop the proposed plans for the office complex and urge a redesign of the building.

Continue reading after the jump.

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