Riverside Redo

East, East Coast
Thursday, March 18, 2010
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Extell downsized near the water, but the density remains about the same. (Courtesy Curbed)

Typically, developers don’t do any more work than they have to in New York, given how much work it takes to build around here, and input at the community level is even rarer. The architects and renderings usually make the rounds of the community boards during the public review process, and that’s about it. Which is what makes Extell Development’s approach to their Riverside Center project so interesting. Not only has the developer made a number of presentations to community since announcing the project in 2008, but it appears Extell has even made some concessions, according to Curbed. As the image above shows, the heights of the three buildings facing the water have been reduced considerably, though those nearer to West End Avenue have been slightly increased.

Does this building look fatter to you?

That the project still calls for 2,500 units suggests that the density is still the same and the tower have been reduced but bulked up, likely more a concession to the Department of City Planning than the community. After all, Curbed points out that, with the exception of no big box stores being included, the locals are still pretty peeved:

Already complaints about affordable housing and environmental impact (including exhaust from the auto dealership) are surfacing, but the most damning critiques could be those coming from people who say the whole thing reeks of Battery Park City.

So it seems like some of the alternative ideas were considered, they were barely incorporated. With the plans expected to become official next month, we’ll see if the “exclamation point to Riverside South,” as it’s been called, doesn’t turn out to be a question mark.

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