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Old February 2nd, 2006, 10:34 PM   #1
TalB
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Gentrification Arrives at a Crossroads in Yorkville

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/01/bu...r=1&oref=login
Gentrification Arrives at a Crossroads in Yorkville

By TERRY PRISTIN
Published: February 1, 2006


Cook + Fox Architechts
Rendering for the mixed use development at 86th St. and Lexington Avenue.


The intersection of Lexington Avenue and 86th Street is arguably the crossroads of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a transportation hub within easy walking distance of some of the costliest real estate in the city. Yet for decades it has resisted gentrification.

On the southeast corner, next to an express subway station that is the 11th busiest in the system, are the remnants of a diner that closed several years ago. On the block between 85th and 86th Streets are a handful of dilapidated tenement buildings dating to the 1920's or earlier whose tenants have included snack-food retailers, a tax preparer, a fortune teller and a tanning salon.

Once the main thoroughfare of Yorkville and a destination for sauerbraten and strudel, 86th Street today is lined with street vendors, shops selling inexpensive apparel and a sprinkling of moderately-priced chain stores.

Shopping corridors tend to develop in response to increased residential density — retail follows rooftops, as brokers like to say. But as so often happens in New York, the lag on 86th Street has had as much to do with intrafamily squabbles as with market forces.

Construction is expected to begin this year, however, on two projects — one on Lexington Avenue and one on Third Avenue — that real estate specialists say are likely to begin a major transformation of the shopping district on 86th Street.

On Lexington Avenue, the Extell Development Company plans to demolish the tenements to develop a glassy L-shaped building that will fill the block between 85th and 86th Streets and extend east along the south side of 86th Street, occupying about a third of the block. The project will contain about 150 condominiums (some with as many as five bedrooms) and 20 rental apartments.

A separate entrance on 86th Street will lead to about 100,000 square feet of shops, including two basement levels. Gary Barnett, the president of Extell, said he was negotiating leases for large spaces with a major bookseller and a clothing retailer. Extell's retail broker, Gary Trock, a senior vice president at CB Richard Ellis, said the project would stimulate further development on 86th Street. "It will mature this neighborhood tremendously," he said. Extell is seeking an annual rent of $400 a square foot for the ground-floor space, a big jump for a street where rents were customarily less than $200 a square foot, Mr. Trock said.

Despite rising rents, brokers say the street is not likely to compete with Madison Avenue for luxury retailers but will continue to cater to a broad range of customers. "Prior to Harlem's renaissance, people from northern Manhattan shopped on 86th Street because it was convenient," said Benjamin Fox, an executive vice president at Newmark Knight Frank. "To some extent, this is still the case."

The Lexington Avenue site is owned by the heirs of Sol Goldman, who built a large fortune over more than half a century by accumulating hundreds of small buildings in anticipation of future development. After Mr. Goldman's death in 1987, his children and their mother fought over his estate in a legal battle that was not resolved until 1994. Mrs. Goldman died in 2002.

By 2004, Jane Goldman, one of the daughters, had acquired the last building needed to assemble the site. Famous in real estate circles for their reluctance to trade their buildings, the Goldmans decided to lease the site to a developer rather than sell it.

In an interview in his modest Midtown Manhattan offices, Mr. Barnett said his deal with the Goldmans was unusually complex. "The negotiations were somewhat innovative and extended," Mr. Barnett said. He is also developing another Goldman property, the Stanhope Hotel on Fifth Avenue at 81st Street, which is being converted into condominiums. Ms. Goldman did not return telephone calls.

Under the agreement for the Lexington Avenue site, the ground lease applies only to the retail space and the rental apartments, Mr. Barnett said. The condominium buyers will own title to their space with the power to sell it or transfer it to their heirs. Extell acquired some of this space last year when it bought a five-floor walk-up on 85th Street, just east of Lexington, with unused development rights.

Along Third Avenue and 86th Street, the Related Companies and its partners have emptied out a group of tenement buildings and plan to replace them with a condominium development that will include about 25,000 feet of retail space. The new tenants are likely to be chain clothing stores, said Robert K. Futterman, a real estate broker who is representing Philip Pilevsky, the owner of the retail space. The buildings on Third Avenue once belonged to Henry Sturman, a real estate investor who died in 1973 at age 51. In the 1980's, his three sons were forced into bankruptcy after they borrowed millions of dollars in an unsuccessful takeover of a contact lens company. For years, their sister, Donna Sturman Butler, fought to prevent the family's property from being sold. Ms. Butler and her partners managed to hang on to the Third Avenue property even after a highly publicized bankruptcy auction. In 1998, Mr. Pilevsky and a real estate investment trust he owned at the time gained a controlling interest in the buildings.

Mr. Pilevsky, who is also an owner of the Bryant Park Hotel, declined to be interviewed.

Jeff T. Blau, the president of Related, said his company had been working on the Third Avenue project since 2002, when it bought an adjacent building on the corner of 85th Street that houses a Gap store and an Equinox gym. (That building will remain.) He blamed the rent-control laws for the long delay. "The tenants in occupancy took a long time to clear out," Mr. Blau said.

The Related project is being designed by a celebrity architect — the company has not announced the name but Mark Perlbinder, who has contributed a building on East 86th Street that used to house the Flaming Embers restaurant to the project, said it was Robert A. M. Stern. But it is not going to alter the East Side skyline. Nor will the Extell building, which was designed by Richard Cook of Cook & Fox. Neither building can go higher than 210 feet, or 20 stories.

"Truth be known," said Mr. Barnett of Extell, "it's not so easy to get magnificent architecture with 210 feet."

Mr. Barnett hopes to begin demolition of the Lexington Avenue site in a few months. But people are still living in one of the buildings along 86th Street and are protected by the city's rent laws; they must be paid to leave or be relocated to other apartments.

Along the avenue, several tenants have contested Extell's right to make them move. The holdouts include a busy doughnut shop that has occupied the corner of 86th Street for 27 years, a pet store that managed to fend off competition from a nearby Petco, and a Kosher deli that serves a nearby Orthodox synagogue and schools.

Their lawyer, Alan J. Goldberg, has made technical arguments but he said there were also moral issues at stake. "This is indicative of what's happening in New York City," he said. "They are ruining the texture and flavor of an entire neighborhood."

But Mr. Barnett said the community would be relieved to see the unsightly tenement buildings knocked down. "I don't think there's any controversy," he said. "Everybody would love to see that block cleaned up. It's only good for the neighborhood."
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Old February 6th, 2006, 11:49 PM   #2
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It's good that they're doing something about it, that corner is really ugly.
Although if I were them I would demolist the petco across the street.
Anyway, they talk about something on 3rd ave, I've noticed that they've closed all businesses on the SE corner, I knew they were planning something there. That place is really ugly too, although in reality it's just an old building that's not been taken care of, I'm sure if they cleaned it up it could be better. At least they won't destroy the Gap next to them on 85th. Not that I care about the store, but it occupies an old magnificient building.
And about the station 86th, they should really clean it up, many tourists use it to come to the Met, and it isn't really of the most beautiful stations.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalB
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/01/bu...r=1&oref=login
Gentrification Arrives at a Crossroads in Yorkville


Despite rising rents, brokers say the street is not likely to compete with Madison Avenue for luxury retailers but will continue to cater to a broad range of customers. "Prior to Harlem's renaissance, people from northern Manhattan shopped on 86th Street because it was convenient," said Benjamin Fox, an executive vice president at Newmark Knight Frank. "To some extent, this is still the case."
."

this is exactly the case, 86th is still a major thoroughfare for people uptown to come shopping, or go to the movies etc.

3tmk, your right they do need to do something to the station..I would love to see them build a stairway like the one on 59th so you can transfer uptown and downtown instead of having to go to 96th or wait until 68th...although those stairs on 59th can be hard at times
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #4
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I just hope that Papaya King won't have to one of the places that will have to leave for this project.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 11:50 PM   #5
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Well for the 86th street station, the problem is that they can't do like on 68th where there's an upper platform, and if they are to do like on 59th street, the stairway will have to go all the way below the express lines. Or between the express and the local, but I don't know if they have the space in there.
At least for the 2nd Avenue Subway, if they are ever to build it, it will have a shared platform, much better if you want to switch directions.
I wonder if they could even dig a connection between the Lex line and the SAS, that's just 2 blocks.
Anyway, here's another project for the neighborhood:
http://www.cityrealty.com/new_develo...cr?noteid=7761
Quote:
DeMatteis to build 34-story condo tower and new school 09-FEB-06
The land-use committee of Community Board 8 last night approved with no negative votes an application for a special permit for the construction of a 34-story condominium apartment building 1765 First Avenue at 91st Street by the city’s Educational Construction Fund as part of a mixed-use project that will include a new 520-seat Middle School.

James Davidson of SCLE Architects, shown in the photograph at the right, told the committee that the residential tower will have about 150 apartments and a 30-car garage and will use air-rights from four adjacent low-rise residential buildings on the avenue.

As part of the city’s inclusionary housing program, the project will provide about 10,000-square feet of affordable housing and committee members indicated they wanted that housing to be located within the board’s boundaries.

The Educational Construction Fund was created in 1966 and it best known for its mixed-use developments such as the office-building/Norman Thomas High School on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and 34th Street and the apartment building/Robert F. Kennedy School on 88th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues.

James Smart, executive director of the fund, told the committee that the new school will replace P.S. 151 that has been vacant on the site since 2000 and that the project will permit the creation of a $40-million, “modern, 21st Century school at no capital or expense outlay for the city.” It will be known as the East Side Middle School and it has been operating in cramped quarters at P.S. 158 and its student enrollment will now be permitted to expand by about 200 students to 540 students.

Mr. Smart noted that the city will retain ownership of the land and Mr. Davidson said that as a result the residential tower will be a condop.

The special permit involves waivers of some height, setback and rear-yard zoning requirements as well as transfer of air-right regulations.

The DeMatteis Organization is the developer.

Mr. Davidson said the residential tower will have a 60-foot-high base and the tower floors will be about 6,500-square feet.

The four-story school will have a red-brick façade on 91st Street and contain 14 classrooms, two science labs, a music room, an art room, a multi-purpose room and a cafeteria and will have planters and benches in front of it on 91st Street and recreational playgrounds on 92nd Street.

It is anticipated that the project will be completed by September, 2008.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 11:13 PM   #6
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http://www.nypost.com/realestate/comm/66421.htm
NEXT LEX COMPLEX
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOBLE HOUSE Barnes & Noble and H&M have big plans for 86th and Lexington Avenue.
Photo: Matthew McDermott


April 4, 2006 -- THE corner of Lexington Avenue and East 86th Street can finally say goodbye to fast-food joints and junk stores.

Barnes & Noble booksellers and fashion sportswear giant H&M have signed leases for a total 85,000 square feet in Gary Barnett's planned new apartment/retail project at the intersection's long-shabby southeast corner.

The two deals are a milestone in the upscaling of East 86th Street, which has been searching for a clear retail identity ever since the disappearance of its once numerous German-American restaurants and food shops.

H&M and Barnes & Noble are gobbling up most of the 100,000 square feet of retail in the 400,000-square-foot project to be built by Barnett's Extell Development Co., which will demolish eight old buildings on the site.

The Extell project and another apartment/retail development planned by the Related Cos. one block east at Third Avenue will at last rid 86th Street of consecutive southeast corners with schlocky shops that seemed out of place on the Upper East Side.

Few Manhattan streets have had so choppy a retail legacy as East 86th, once the main drag of "Germantown" with eateries such as Kleine Konditorei and food halls including Bremen House.

The stretch never quite got over the failure of Gimbel's East, which opened at the northwest corner of Lexington in the 1970s and was converted to condos a few years later. While many New Yorkers still miss Gimbel's Herald Square flagship, about the only memory of the uptown offshoot survives in the opening pages of William Goldman's thriller novel, "Marathon Man."

Despite the arrival in recent years of national chains such as Banana Republic and Victoria's Secret, East 86th's retail potential was hampered by the stubborn presence of bargain shops and fast-food outlets that clung to their tenement building homes.

The particularly unappealing southeast corners of Third and Lexington avenues, the latter on top of a subway station, will soon give way to new 20-story, mostly condo apartment buildings.

Extell still has a few tenants to clear out, but it's plowing ahead with the new store leases. CB Richard Ellis's Jedd Nero and Robert Gibson represented H&M, which took 30,000 square feet. Nero said that for H&M, which has eight other Manhattan locations, "This is a market that we wanted to penetrate due to the area's residential density and heavy pedestrian traffic. It's a seven-day market."

Nero said the recent coming of national retailers had drawn more upscale shoppers to East 86th Street and made it a "proven area. H&M doesn't look to recreate the wheel."

Extell was represented by CBRE's Gary Trock, who concurred, "We're creating the environment for a very strong shopping district." He said Extell was asking "in excess of $300 a square foot" for sidewalk-level space. H&M will have 4,000 feet on the ground and the rest on the second floor.

The giant new Barnes & Noble, with 55,000 square feet, will have space on the sidewalk and concourse levels. The chain was repped by Robert K. Futterman, who was traveling yesterday and could not be reached.

Barnes & Noble Chief Operating Officer Mitchell Klipper said, "We've been looking for a really big store in this area a long time. It's a great residential market, and we wanted a superstore" similar in size to the chain's jumbos at Lincoln Center and Union Square.

Klipper said it would close a 12,000 square-foot B&N across from the development site when the new building opens. But it's keeping its options open for its 25,000-foot store a block and a half east at 240 E. 86th St., which it might keep open or put up for sublease. "We have almost three years to make that decision," he said.

Meanwhile, Related Cos. honcho David Wine said his company "should start construction by the end of the year" on its condo project at Third and 86th, which will have only 25,000 square feet of stores.

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Old April 6th, 2006, 06:23 AM   #7
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wait, what?
Another Barnes&Noble? They already have one over the Circuit City, and one right across the street from where they'll build this building! Which one is going to be destroyed is the question. lol
Anyway, they did vacate the tenements all around, some apparently need to be cleaned of asbestos first. I'll have to check out what they're doing on 3rd avenue next time too, if they've started works on that other building too
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Old February 1st, 2007, 08:01 AM   #8
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I have just found out that the building they destroyed on 3rd avenue was almost 150 years old!

These burned out yellow buildings were built around 1864-70 and expanded in later decades.
Still, I always imagined New York in the 1860s stopped below midtown and anything above were those big country houses like that Frick museum, so it's interesting to know they had small buildings like that.
Anyway, here's some pictures of the building:


Thanks to this King of Yorkville guy from WiredNY who made the pics, and who doesn't even know I've hotlinked his pics here lol
For more pictures, as well as information about the building, check the thread:
http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10025

Also, a render of what they're building now, a 20 stories tower


And for a little history of the old buildings:
http://velvet-sea.blogspot.com/2006/...ls-old-ad.html
http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/06/0...te/04scap.html

Quote:
This battered little hotel of 1864-1870, built at 86th Street and Third Avenue, the crossroads of the village of Yorkville, is perhaps the oldest commercial building to survive in the area.

In 1864, John Miller, a surveyor, enlarged an existing building (or built an entirely new one). What resulted was a three-story structure, and its tenants were a blacksmith, a plumber and a grocer.

By that time, the surface railroad running up Third Avenue and the East 86th Street ferry to Astoria brought more people into the growing settlement. Most of the lots in the immediate area had been improved.

Since the 1840's, the wide, smooth drive up Third Avenue had been popular with those who took their carriages out for pleasure, and a network of inns, taverns and restaurants sprung up on Third in the mid-80's.

In 1870, Mr. Miller enlarged 200 East 86th Street to its present appearance, adding a Charles Addams-style mansard roof and corner tower (since heavily altered) to what was described in the alteration permit as "stores, billiard saloon and lodge rooms."

This was apparently a family enterprise: his architect was listed as James S. Miller, and the carpenter was George S. Miller.

It appears that the building was operated as a hotel or lodging house. The 1880 census listed 14 boarders, including three waiters, a milkman and an upholsterer. The proprietor was 46-year-old François Evernat (or perhaps Evernart), who was born in France, along with his wife and two daughters.

A 1915 directory listed 200 East 86th Street as the Hotel Astoria, although there was a some sort of internal division, with a separate entrance on Third Avenue. The 1920 census listed 26 residents, including five who were German-born, like Herman Henneberg, 29, who arrived from Bremen in 1910. He was listed as a "musician, moving picture theater."

The 1930 census recorded 33 occupants in all, 19 from Puerto Rico, Cuba or Florida, many of them cigar makers. By the 1940's the Hotel Astoria was still mostly intact, but sometime later it was nearly suffocated under a slush of fake brick.

A consortium including the Related Companies now owns the Hotel Astoria site and is planning to build a condominium there designed by Robert A. M. Stern. May P. Wong, Related's vice president for marketing, said work would begin this summer. So demolition seems to be fate for the Astoria, a fragile little shadow of Yorkville's history.

It's good they brought down those ugly tenements, but now that I know its history, it's a shame, besides the museums, it would be nice if other neighborhoods could keep some parts of the city's history in place, not just the famous structures, but the usual everyday life houses and taverns that could be turned around in some interesting place to remember the soul of the city. Downtown is nice, but if the village or soho become some sort of tourist attraction even for us, then it's a problem.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 10:29 PM   #9
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It already has become a tourist attraction.Im gonna miss the lexington block between 86th and 85th.I love 86th street most of my freinds live near by.Its baically the mall for the Spanish Harlem and the Upper east side.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 06:10 AM   #10
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Yeah of course, but I mean if it becomes a tourist attraction even for New Yorkers, because it's the only place left for us to see our old history, before it gets destroyed for condos
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Old March 13th, 2007, 04:34 AM   #11
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I have noticed over at Wired NY, that the site at 86th St and 3rd Ave has been excavated.

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Old March 13th, 2007, 09:34 PM   #12
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that looks good
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZ-II View Post
that looks good
Not really its destroying ways of life for many people.Including my favorite deli. RIP 86th Street
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