Farewell to the Famed Graffiti Haven: 5Pointz Demolition Moves Ahead

East
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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5Pointz (Courtesy of 5Pointz NYC)

5Pointz (Courtesy of 5Pointz NYC)

It is the end of an era. The New York City Council voted in a favor of a plan to demolish the iconic 5Pointz, the former manufacturing building-turned-graffiti-mecca, in Long Island City, Queens, to make way for a $400 million residential development. The New York Times reported that the Wolkoff family, the owner and developer of the property, will build two residential towers—one of which will climb up to 47 stories—consisting all together of 1,000 units.

Continue reading after the jump.

NYC Department of Design and Construction Launches Program to Support Local Designers

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013
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NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with Council member Margaret Chin and DDC Commissioner David Burney (Photo: Emily Hooper/AN)

Last May New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced a new initiative, NYC X Design, to promote New York’s design community, an economic sector that includes more than 40,000 designers of various disciplines, according to official figures. As an outgrowth of NYC X Design, today the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) launched a new pilot project called Built/NYC, which provides $400,000 in capital funding for custom furniture, lighting, or textile designs in up to 20 city building projects. Council Speaker Quinn’s office provided the funding for the project, and at a press conference today held at the NoHo design store, The Future Perfect, Speaker Quinn argued that the initiative would support both local designers and local manufacturers and help maintain a diverse economy. Interested designers can respond to an new RFQ, which would place them on a pre-qualified list to be considered for custom pieces for projects like new libraries, community centers, or fire houses (architects for the building projects sit on the selection committee).  Read More

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.

Speaker Quinn Backs Ten-Year Term Limit for Madison Square Garden

East
Thursday, June 20, 2013
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Madison Square Garden (Courtesy of doriandsp/Flickr)

Madison Square Garden (Courtesy of doriandsp/Flickr)

Consensus among the city’s political players is growing in favor of the relocation of Madison Square Garden from its home atop Penn Station. Yesterday, City Council held a public hearing to discuss the future of the Garden and the overcrowded train terminal. Filmmaker Spike Lee, surrounded by an entourage of former Knicks players, testified on behalf of the Garden. According to the Wall Street Journal, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn expressed her support of a ten-year term limit for the arena in a letter addressed to the Garden’s President and CEO, Hank Ratner, on Wednesday. The owners of the arena have requested a permit in perpetuity, however, several government officials and advocacy groups—including Borough President Scott Stringer, the Municipal Art Society (MAS), and the Regional Plan Association—have called for limiting the permit to 10 years. This comes after the City Planning Commission voted unanimously for a 15-year permit extension.

TEN Arquitectos’ Brooklyn Cultural District Tower Approved by City Council

East
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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BAM South will be located on Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn. (Courtesy TEN Arquitectos)

BAM South will be located on Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn. (Courtesy TEN Arquitectos)

Yesterday, the New York City Council approved a 32-story tower designed by TEN Arquitectos that is set to rise on an empty parcel adjacent to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As AN reported last November, the site is the last undeveloped city-owned lot in the district. The mixed-use project will include 300 residential units (60 which will be “affordable”); 50,000 square feet of cultural space to be shared by BAM Cinema, performance groups connected with 651 Arts, and a new branch of the Brooklyn Public Library; a 10,000-square-foot public plaza; and 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail.

“Two Trees is grateful to the City Council for its support and proud to partner with the city and some of Brooklyn’s most innovative cultural institutions to advance the growth of downtown Brooklyn’s world-class cultural district,” said Jed Walentas, a principal at Two Trees Management, in a statement. “With cultural space, much-needed affordable housing, and a new public plaza, we will be transforming a parking lot into an iconic building with many public benefits.”

More renderings after the jump.

Grannie’s and Drones: Group Seeking to Make New York a “No Drone Zone”

East
Monday, June 10, 2013
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A (fake) sign announcing drone patrols in TriBeCa (left) and the LEAPP Drone (right).

A (fake) sign announcing drone patrols in TriBeCa (left) and the LEAPP Drone (right).

On a recent walk down Broadway near the AN offices in Lower Manhattan I was handed a flyer by The Granny Peace Brigade who were protesting in front of a building where several New York City Council Members have offices. The flyer claims in bold letters “High Tech Stop and Frisk: Domestic Drones Coming to Your Neighborhood?” It had an image of a LEAPP Drone made by Brooklyn Navy Yard–based Atair Aerospace who claim their powered paraglider “is a slow-flying, long endurance powered paraglider UAV [Unarmed Aerial Vehicle] platform that is used for ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance] and distributive operations payload delivery missions,” but that the Brigade believes could be used to monitor for loitering.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City Looks to Activate Public Space on Downtown Manhattan’s Water Street

East
Friday, June 7, 2013
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The plaza at 55 Water Street (Courtesy of DCP)

The plaza at 55 Water Street (Courtesy of DCP)

After Hurricane Sandy swept through the east coast, it left Water Street, a sleepy corridor in lower Manhattan, even more deserted. But now, Department of City Planning (DCP) has proposed a zoning text amendment to enliven the quiet downtown stretch by allowing for seating, art installations, food trucks, concerts, and other such events and amenities on privately owned public spaces (POPS). Sprinkled throughout the city, POPS are unique public areas that are maintained by developers for public use in return for more floor space in their development.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City Council Approves SHoP-Designed Pier 17 Makeover at the South Street Seaport

East
Monday, March 25, 2013
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Proposed changes to Pier 17. (Courtesy SHoP)

Proposed changes to Pier 17. (Courtesy SHoP)

Last Wednesday, the New York City Council unanimously approved plans to tear down the current Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport and build a new $200 million SHoP Architects-designed mall in its place, marking the end of the long and sometimes contentious ULURP approval process. Crain’s reported that Dallas-based developer Howard Hughes made some concessions to the council including pushing back construction on the project to allow Hurricane Sandy-battered tenants to have an additional summer season, with construction now anticipated to begin on October 1st.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City Council Approves Hudson Square Rezoning.  Aerial view of Hudson Square. (Courtesy Hudson Square BID) Development is soon on the horizon for Hudson Square, the 18-block area sandwiched between Soho and Tribeca. Yesterday New York City Council approved the Hudson Square rezoning, which entails raising the allowable building height to pave the way for more residential and mixed-use development. The city was able to finagle more affordable housing and open space throughout the approval process. From the get-go, preservationists have feared that development will seep into the South Village and have pressed the city to landmark the entire district. City Council has worked out a deal with Landmarks Preservation Commission to vote on the northern section of South Village by the end of the year.

 

New York City Council Gives Bjarke Ingels’ “Courtscraper” the Green Light

East
Thursday, February 7, 2013
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West 57th (Courtesy of BIG)

West 57th (Courtesy of BIG)

It took some negotiating, but New York City Council has approved Durst Fetner’s plans to build West 57th, a 750-unit residential development designed by Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels. Crain’s reported that the 32-story pyramidal “courtscraper,” sandwiched between 11th Avenue and the Hudson River, will consist of 750 rental apartments, with an additional 100 units in a converted industrial building.

An early point of contention stemmed from what city council viewed as an inadequate plan for income-restricted housing, which will only be affordable for 35 years. While Durst Fetner didn’t budge on this issue, they did agree to donate $1 million to an affordable housing fund.

A Win for NYC Tenants: A New Bill Holds Landlords Accountable

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Thursday, January 10, 2013
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Workers repair a water leak. (Courtesy Enokson/Flickr)

Workers repair a water leak. (Courtesy Enokson/Flickr)

It will now be increasingly difficult and costly for New York landlords to flip properties by making quick fixes to buildings that require major structural repairs and improvements. The New York City Council passed a bill yesterday that will allow the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to clamp down on landlords who don’t “repair underlying conditions that lead to repeat violations” stated the City Council in a press release.

These violations could include leaks or damaged roofs that lead to mold, which could have a deleterious effect on a tenants “quality of life, health, and safety.” The new legislation will give the owner a four-month period to take the proper measures to fix the problem and provide proof of their compliance. Landlords could face penalties of $1,000 per unit or a minimum of $5,000 if they fail to comply with the order by deadline.

Continue reading after the jump.

NYU 2031 Plan Get’s A Flattop Chop

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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(Montage by AN, Rendering courtesy NYU)

(Montage by AN, Rendering courtesy NYU)

After two weeks of negotiations between the New York City Council and NYU, the Council Land Use Committee and Subcommittee on Zoning voted today to approve the modified version of NYU’s 2031 plan. The plan will move before the full Council on June 25th for a final vote to give the univeristy the go-ahead to begin constuction in Greenwich Village.

The nine member Zoning Subcomitee voted unanimously to approve the plan, while Land Use approved it 19-to-1.

Continue reading after the jump.

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