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Old September 6th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #441
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Long-Delayed Tower Scrapped
Marriott Would Have Been First New Hotel in Harlem in 40 Years



Sara Vogel
Posted: 9/6/06

Columbia students will still have to lodge their parents and friends downtown when they come to town.

Plans to build a Marriott hotel on 125th Street-the first hotel slated for construction in Harlem in 40 years**-quietly dissolved this August, leaving the site as vacant as it was before the project's 2003 groundbreaking ceremony.

"As of right now, the issue [of the hotel] is dead," said Christopher Bell of Community Board 11.

New York real estate giant Majic Development plans to sell the property to another string of developers, Vorando Realty, Integrated Holdings, and MacFarlane Partners, to build office and retail towers, according to an article in Crain's New York Business.

But community members and leaders are hearing rumors about what the vacant lot near Lexington Avenue will become, and when the construction workers will come back on the scene.

"Now anyone can come in there to build what they want," said Bill Perkins, a former city council member in Harlem and a candidate for state senate this year.

Perkins was one of only seven council members to vote against the project. Last week, he said the venture was "never properly financed to begin with."

The developers of the project made use of a clause in city law which allowed the council to decide to allow high-rise development on just one "spot" of the development, rather than the whole area, Perkins said.

Majic Development was not contacted upon the printing of this article.

Now that the plot of land has been re-zoned for high-rises, the developer can sell it with this more lucrative capacity included.

"They made profit doing nothing," Perkins said. The compromises reached between the developer and the community**-such as bargaining for low-income housing and jobs-may have also gotten lost in the shuffle.


© Copyright 2006 Columbia Daily Spectator
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Old September 10th, 2006, 12:10 AM   #442
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centreoftheuniverse
Goldstein is both a fool and a moron. Like they say, there's one born every minute.
You had your say and Daniel Goldstein had his. The reason he will oppose the Atlantic Yds project by FCR is b/c it involves building on his property in which he does not intend to sell. The same goes for anyone else who is living there. I am sure you wouldn't like it if this was going to be on your property.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krull
^ Yes it is. I have seen construction activity already.
They are only excavating and that can actually say anything. As I have already mentioned, the official decision will not be until 9/20 and that will be if the PA can get at least one million sq ft filled in the FT by then, which in the likelyhood they won't. Remember, that the same thoughts were brought up two years ago, and it turnned out to be a false start. I wouldn't be breaking out any champagne bottles just yet if I were you.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 01:28 AM   #443
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looking back now, alot of the towers being built here at chelsea look good on paper but their facades have ****ed up everything. chelsea house is but ugly, the rest are coming out but ugly too. theres a building on 18th and 7th which has half glass and half black brick (looks like airport tarmac) never seen something uglier in my life. sorry but i dont like the way this is heading.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 02:13 AM   #444
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/10/re...ref=realestate
Here a Terrace, There a Terrace

By SUZANNE SLESIN
Published: September 10, 2006


GLASS-WRAPPED C-line apartments at 310 East 53rd Street have 46-foot-long living and dining rooms with small terraces at each end. The view above is from Apartment 16C.


Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
Kitchens have Thermador ovens and Sub-Zero refrigerators.



Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
The terrace walls of Townhouse 4 are clear glass.



Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
310 East 53rd Street.


IT’S a hot and humid day, and I’m visiting a still-in-construction site at 310 East 53rd Street, a 31-story, 88-unit condominium that offers a cornucopia of living spaces: two- and three-bedroom apartments, lofts and a couple of duplex “town houses.”

Developed by Macklowe Properties, the building is in a part of town that, rather inexplicably, feels more off the beaten track to me than the Lower East Side or Harlem. But I’m intrigued by the possibility of moving to a modern tower in an area that feels strangely like a new city but is really a few blocks away from the heart of Midtown Manhattan.

Madeline Hult, the director of sales for the Sunshine Group, meets me on the sidewalk near the corner of Second Avenue, and while handing me a hard hat, points out the handsomely understated panels of Alabama limestone on the facade. She is wearing a hard hat, too, and as I follow her into the first of the two town houses, I notice that she is navigating the building site in four-inch heels.

“I always wear them,” she says, seeing my amazement as I not only try to keep up with her (wearing my usual flats) but also attempt to avoid tripping on electrical cables and pieces of cardboard while taking in the architectural features of the “town houses” — the two 3,900-square-foot residences that are enveloped by the main tower.

Rather than having street entrances like the classic Upper East Side or Sutton Place maisonettes, they are reached from the main elevators. Ms. Hult is already pointing out the unusual width of the units — at 40 feet, they are nearly twice as wide as many New York town houses, she says. Each also features a 17-foot-high great room.

“Excellent space,” she says, “especially if you have big art.”

And a bank account to match, I think, as Ms. Hult informs me that Townhouse 2 costs $6.9 million (with an estimated $3,022 common charge and $502 in real estate taxes a month) and that Townhouse 4, which also has a 1,300-square-foot roof terrace, is $7.9 million (a $3,279 common charge and $545 in real estate taxes a month).

“These are like having a town house with the services of the building,” Ms. Hult explains. “There’s no need to take the garbage out yourself.”

I should hope not.

Although the spaces are quite amazing, the views are not, even though the sixth-floor terrace does offer a sliver of the East River, a peek at the two neighboring 19th-century historic clapboard houses that have been preserved, and the opportunity of having an outdoor fireplace on the terrace. “Totally private” is how Ms. Hult describes the open-air space. Sort of, I think, if you don’t mind having your neighbors in the tower having a bird’s-eye view of your barbecue.

We move on to the building’s duplex lofts. They are on the second to fifth floors and are meant, Ms. Hult explains, “for professionals who work in banking and want a loft space but don’t want to be downtown.”

I don’t know anyone in this group, but they must exist in some quantity as all 10 of the loft units have been sold. Again, the views — through big windows inspired by Parisian ateliers — do not bowl me over. Even though these apartments are called lofts, they seem the antithesis of experimental open-space living. I remind myself that the days when lofts were synonymous with the bohemian avant-garde are long, long gone.

“They were all different,” Ms. Hult says. “It’s always hard to sell the bottom of a building, so it was clever to create something unique for the lower floors, and these spaces were the first to be sold. Whoever heard of that?”

Better for me, I think, to concentrate on what a sleek modern tower can really offer. In this case that must be great city views and a level of design that could seduce a longtime fan of prewar buildings into starting anew.

With input from Harry Macklowe, two New York firms — SLCE Architects and Moed deArmas & Shannon Architects — designed the tower.

The building does have a very fresh look. Each of the 23 floors of the tower was divided (at least until buyers started playing Monopoly and combining units) into three apartments.

We start with 11C, a 2,313-square-foot three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath unit with two terraces. (It costs $3.55 million with a monthly common charge of $1,814 and $301 in real estate taxes.)

Most unusual is the long, long, long combination living and dining space capped with two small terraces at either end. Measuring over 46 feet in length, it represents a furnishing challenge. But the views are amazing.

“The developer bought the air rights to the south,” Ms. Hult says, “so the views are protected.” I’m tempted to step out onto one of the terraces, but am held back by my fear of heights — the 3-foot-7-inch-high walls are clear glass, after all. But I must be in the minority. Of the original 22 C units, only this one is still available.

Ms. Hult steers me to the kitchen, really nicely appointed with pale celadon glass-fronted cabinets edged in stainless steel, Thermador wall ovens and dishwashers, Gaggenau stoves and Sub-Zero refrigerators.

Bathrooms are clad in all-white marble. “Everyone gets a six-foot tub,” Ms. Hult says. “It’s all about spa bathrooms.”

We visit the two other apartments on the floor, both interesting variations on the main theme of spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows, glass-walled terraces, marble baths and sleek galley kitchens. Only a half dozen of the two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath A and B units, mostly on 20-something floors, are still available.

They range in price from $2.416 million to $2.991 million. For the A line, the common charge is $1,249 a month, and the real estate taxes are $207; for the B line, the common charge is $1,394 a month, and the real estate taxes are $231.

I’m already thinking of how these apartments could be combined to get views in all directions. The altitude must be getting to me.

To create even more envy, we ride the elevator to the 31st floor, a full-floor penthouse (3,632 square feet, three bedrooms, three baths, a powder room, library, living/dining room, breakfast room, the ubiquitous gallery, and, count them, three terraces for a total of 1,906 square feet of outdoor space.)

Priced at $10.5 million, with a monthly common charge of $3,173 and real estate taxes of $527, the apartment is, I must admit, quite fabulous. There’s a bit of the Chrysler Building, a section of the Empire State Building and city views that must be truly magical at every moment of the day or night.

And three terraces. One off the kitchen, for outdoor dining, Ms. Hult says, as well as two others that are deeper than any of the terraces on the lower floors.

I decide — with some trepidation — to step out onto the studio-apartment-size terrace off the master bedroom suite. And here, the four-foot-high walls are very, very reassuring, even if they are clear glass.

There’s nothing like a $10.5 million penthouse to cure even the most extreme vertigo.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 02:22 AM   #445
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Thats like 10000000000 proposals
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 05:23 AM   #446
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Nabes so far out are 'inn'
Hoteliers add space even in edgy areas



By KEREN DABUSH, DENISE ROMANO and MELISSA GRACE
Originally published on September 21, 2006

Get a room - there are going to be lots of them in Brooklyn soon.

With residential development booming, Brooklyn is also seeing a sharp rise in hotel construction.

In the past six weeks, two new midpriced hotels opened at opposite ends of the borough - a Holiday Inn Express in Park Slope and a Best Western in Sheepshead Bay.

Tourists and relatives are looking for cheap hotel rooms throughout in the borough.

"People come here with their family," said Sheepshead Bay Comfort Inn manager Biban Atel. "During the summer, we have lots of people who moved to Florida coming back up here to visit."

The new lodgings come as the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge opened a 280-room extension Sept. 1.

"When you see a market, you come," said Robert Indeglia, president of Magna Hospitality Group, which operates the Union St. Holiday Inn.

There are more hotels in the pipeline - including a 400-room Sheraton on Duffield St. in downtown Brooklyn and smaller ones in Bay Ridge, Red Hook and Sunset Park, officials and developers said.

"All of the major players have been snooping around in Brooklyn," said Brad Robertson of Leviev Boymelgreen Developers, which is building a 93-room hotel at 75 Smith St., across from the Brooklyn House of Detention on Atlantic Ave.

The demand is reaching deep into the borough, including some still-marginal neighborhoods.

The Holiday Inn Express, located between Third and Fourth Aves., is across the street from an auto body shop.

Four blocks away, on Butler St. in an industrial zone behind the city-run Gowanus Houses, hotel developer Sam Chang is putting up a 106-room Comfort Inn.

"It's basically a warehouse area," said Tilak Sinha, an employee at a nearby gas station. "No one lives in this area."

Chang - who developed the nearby Holiday Inn and who has five other Brooklyn hotels in the works - said he put the hotel there because the land was available, cheap and adjacent to Brooklyn's business hub. "It's for blue-collar Brooklyn, or the self-employed who have to be downtown and don't want to pay $300 a night," he said.


All contents © 2006 Daily News, L.P.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 05:24 AM   #447
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CUNY Readies Brooklyn Project In Partnership With Ratner


By MICHAEL STOLER - Special to the Sun
September 21, 2006

With all the hoopla surrounding the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, another significant development has been cruising stealthily below the real estate radar: The City University of New York and Forest City Ratner Companies plan to begin construction of a 1 million-square-foot mixed-use tower in the heart of downtown Brooklyn as soon as next year.

The New York City College of Technology, the largest public school of its kind in the state, will be the backbone of downtown Brooklyn's renaissance — and a subtle reminder that the biggest players in the city's real estate industry are nonprofit and educational institutions.

This CUNY college, to be located at 300 Jay St. in the MetroTech Center, will occupy an entire city block bounded by Jay, Johnston, and Tillary streets. The recent rezoning of the downtown area is paying off: A 1 million-square-foot building now can be erected in an area that heretofore sustained nothing more than dollar discount stores.

The presence of Forest City Ratner makes the deal a significant public/private partnership. The first eight floors will house classrooms and a majority of the urban college campus. The upper floors will house a luxury residential condominium tower.


© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 08:55 PM   #448
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Just to show you how HOT is Brooklyn... here are some of the big developements in the works for Downtown Brooklyn and beyond... Everything is under-construction except for the 2 towers (and the CUNY & Ratner Tower) on the top of the picture and the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards (Gehry) at the bottom. (although there is more stuff in that picture that is under-construction aswell but in a smaller scale)


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Old September 22nd, 2006, 10:23 PM   #449
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CUNY, Ratner, Renzo Piano To Build New Tower
New Building at Tillary and Jay will be Front Entrance to MetroTech






By Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
published online 09-22-2006

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Attracting world-class architects to Brooklyn is not a new concept these days, but Forest City Ratner’s surprise announcement yesterday of a brand new tower for Downtown Brooklyn added one more name to that growing list.

As is known, Frank Gehry is designing the Atlantic Yards development, Enrique Norten is designing the Performing Arts Library at BAM, Rafael Vinoly is designing the Brooklyn Children’s Museum addition and Richard Meier is designing the all-glass building On Prospect Park at 1 Eastern Parkway.

Yesterday we learned from Forest City’s MaryAnne Gilmartin that Italian architect Renzo Piano — best known recently for his designs of the new New York Times building and the renovated and expanded Morgan Library — is designing the new tower proposed for the New York City Technical College (CUNY) campus at Tillary and Jay Streets.

Gilmartin was speaking at the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the Appraisal Institute’s annual September Conference held Wednesday at Club 101 in Manhattan.

Why is Forest City Ratner involved with City Tech, as it is called? The tower will also be the official front entrance to the MetroTech Center, according to Gilmartin.

“We are building a very tall, beautiful and slender tower,” she said, adding that it will be 800,000 square feet, will be completed in 2011 and will have a residential component above the academic component at its base. Gilmartin could not discuss details of the tower’s design and ultimate height, however.

The site is that of the existing two-story Klitgord Center on the southeast corner of Tillary and Jay. The Klitgord, also known as the Klitgord Auditorium, will be demolished to make way for the new tower. Reached yesterday afternoon, Michelle Forsten, a spokesperson for City Tech, as it is called, confirmed that there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CUNY, Forest City Ratner and the New York State Dormitory Authority (the funding agent), which is expected to be executed by all parties this fall.

Forsten also said the mixed-use building, which is officially within the MetroTech Center complex, will include classrooms and offices for faculty members, and will house several different academic disciplines.

“We are very excited because we are so overcrowded now and we need all the space we can get,” she said.

Forsten did not say, but it could be assumed that the new tower is possibly related to the news reported this summer of a major academic reorganization at City Tech.

Announced in August, this reorganization has resulted in the establishment this fall of four new independent academic departments — Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Entertainment Technology.

“In the last few years, City Tech has hired several top-notch faculty members in the sciences who are conducting cutting edge research,” said Acting Dean of Arts and Sciences Pamela Brown, in making the announcement. “The time is right to form three separate science departments, which will help to develop fields of specialization in research as well as foster the development of new curriculum in these areas of rapid technological advance.”

Commented City Tech President Russell K. Hotzler, “This reorganization will position City Tech to continue attracting accomplished faculty who will share their considerable expertise with our students in the classrooms and labs and as mentors.”


Seven-Member Panel on Brooklyn’s Building Boom


In her remarks yesterday, Gilmartin was the sixth speaker on a seven-member panel discussing the building boom in Brooklyn, during which an audience of mostly Manhattan-based appraisers, bankers and realtors were treated to two hours of some very enthusiastic, pro-Brooklyn remarks.

And the panelists were preceeded by Brooklyn’s foremost booster, Borough President Marty Markowitz, and were moderated by another, Kenneth Adams, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Said Markowitz, “Brooklyn is experiencing a true renaissance and the Brooklyn housing market is still the hottest around.”

Adams, in his introduction of “this unique panel of seven very significant players” in Brooklyn’s development boom, said, “In Brooklyn, we are proceeding at a heady, if not frightening page all across the borough.”


The other panelists included:

• Jeff Levine of Levine Builders and the Douglaston Group, who spoke of his Williamsburg waterfront project The Edge, a multi-building complex that will include 350 affordable and 1,000 market-rate units, 70,000 square feet of retail, 20,000 square feet of piers, “unparalleled” views and a waterfront promenade. Levine revealed he was born and raised in Brooklyn as was his father before him.

• David Walentas of Two Trees Management Co., who spoke about how he literally bought DUMBO for $12 million and also summarized his current projects. Walentas revealed that he was a resident of The Clocktower condominiums in DUMBO, one of the first buildings his company converted and the one with “the most fabulous view.”

• Alan Bell of The Hudson Companies, who spoke about the success of his firm’s J Condos in DUMBO and how, for a short time at least, it is the tallest in Brooklyn. Hudson is a developer of only residential properties and those a mix of affordable, middle-income and market rate.

• Joshua Muss of Muss Development, who spoke of the risks he took in not only creating a new neighborhood — at the Oceana Condominium in Brighton Beach — but in building a hotel (The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge), which he described as “the linchpin that helped make the new Downtown Brooklyn.”

• Robert Levine of the RAL Companies, who spoke about “our 360 acquisition adventure” with the Watchtower and Brooklyn Bridge Park organizations in acquiring and developing One Brooklyn Bridge Park, the former 360 Furman St. building — in all, a two-year process. Levine revealed that he was also a Brooklyn native.

• Joseph Sitt of Thor Equities, who spoke about his two projects in development — the massive mixed-use entertainment-hotel-residential project in Coney Island (“the best beach in the world”) and an as-yet-to-be-determined project in Red Hook, site of the Revere Sugar plant (“incredible views”) that has been vacant for 30 years. Sitt revealed that he was born and raised and still lives in Brooklyn, “and I love it.”


© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2006
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Old September 26th, 2006, 11:22 PM   #450
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Jersey boy breaks into NYC club
SJP Properties' Pozycki takes last Times Square plot, schmoozes pols



by Julie Satow
Published on September 25, 2006

On a tip from a broker, Steven Pozycki contacted landlord Howard Milstein in May to inquire about the real estate mogul's site on West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue--a parcel of undeveloped land that had been sitting vacant for nearly three decades.

Two weeks and a $50 million deposit check later, Mr. Pozycki realized his three-year quest to break into the New York City commercial real estate scene.


Big down payment


"He had no idea who I was," says the chairman of SJP Properties, who wore a starched white shirt and square-framed glasses at a recent meeting at his company's Parsippany, N.J., headquarters. "I was just some Polish guy from New Jersey."

Not anymore.

The self-made developer has become the talk of real estate circles on this side of the Hudson since he acquired the trophy site on West 42nd Street, the last vacant plot in Times Square.

While many developers would have loved to snatch it away from Mr. Milstein, Mr. Pozycki offered a whopping 16% deposit when the standard figure is less than 10%. In addition, he closed the deal in a record two weeks and plans to build a $1 billion office tower on spec--without a tenant lined up--a risky move that could backfire if the red-hot midtown office market cools off.

"I gave a $50 million deposit up front," says Mr. Pozycki, who is in the hunt to acquire a city office building, possibly in lower Manhattan. "We have that kind of money."

The Jersey boy is no novice. His company has developed more than 12 million square feet of office space in the tristate area and has an additional 11 million square feet in the pipeline. He's credited with bringing the first major Manhattan tenant to Hoboken in 2000, and for drawing corporate heavyweights such as Merrill Lynch, Citibank and Marsh & McLennan across the river.

Now, he's taking on Manhattan's commercial real estate establishment.

But despite his brimming bank account and strong track record in the Garden State, the 56-year-old Perth Amboy, N.J., native may find it daunting to navigate New York's competitive and close-knit real estate society. The clubby atmosphere extends to the politicians who help grease the wheels for developers dealing with the city's tricky tax and building code laws.


Charming the power players


"New York is a complicated market. Prices are higher; it costs more to buy the land and to build," says Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York. "I don't believe you can just take a format that works somewhere else and apply it here."

To ease his entry, Mr. Pozycki has directed his talents to charming New York's power players over the past few months. He's met with Daniel Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development, and has been working closely with Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corp. He needs the agency's approval to move ahead with his Times Square office tower. He has also hired public relations firm Geto & de Milly Inc. to represent his Manhattan projects, which include two residential properties.

Of course, his greatest asset is cash, and SJP Properties has it in spades. The firm counts Prudential Real Estate Investment, an arm of the insurance giant, as one of its deep-pocketed backers. The two companies have partnered on more than 20 deals.

"SJP is one of the largest development partners we have," says Joe Bonner, a managing director at PREI, which has more than $22 billion under management and helped finance Mr. Pozycki's acquisition in Times Square.

Mr. Pozycki also has some influential friends. Stephen Siegel, global chairman of CB Richard Ellis, brought the salt-and-pepper-haired outsider to Mr. Milstein.


SJP's appetite for property


"I knew the milsteins weren't doing much with the site, and on a variety of occasions I had discussed SJP's appetite for a property of this size in New York," Mr. Siegel says. He brokered the $305 million deal.

SJP plans to build a 40-story office tower at the 11 Times Square address, at a cost of $1,000 a square foot. Construction should be completed in 2009. It is one of three projects totaling more than $2 billion that SJP is developing in Manhattan, including a 21-story condominium high-rise at 45 Park Ave. and a 42-story condominium at West 46th Street and Eighth Ave.

Mr. Pozycki, who began his career in the real estate division of Metropolitan Life Insurance after graduating from Monmouth College in 1974, started his firm in 1981. Then just 31, he partnered with Lincoln Property Co. He bought out the partnership in 1988 and renamed the company with his initials.

"It was my wife's idea," says Mr. Pozycki, who owns homes on Long Island and in New Jersey, and is in the market for a Manhattan apartment.

His success has long hinged on the personal touch. He often makes sales calls to potential tenants himself. That manner helped lure publisher John Wiley & Sons from Manhattan to Hoboken six years ago. Most recently, it led to an 830,000-square-foot lease for Citibank in Warren and a deal allowing BMW North America to acquire an 85-acre headquarters in Woodcliff Lake.


©2006 Crain Communications Inc.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 11:23 PM   #451
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City Planners Recommend 8% Reduction in Atlantic Yards



An illustration of the Atlantic Yards project includes the tower known as Miss Brooklyn, center. The
Williamsburgh Savings Bank is at far left.



By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: September 26, 2006

The City Planning Commission is recommending that the developer Forest City Ratner reduce the size of its $4.2 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn by 8 percent, eliminating about 600 apartments but leaving the tallest tower in the complex untouched.

At its meeting yesterday, the commission said the developer should cut back the massive project, which stretches three long blocks along Atlantic Avenue from Flatbush to Vanderbilt Avenues, from 8.65 million square feet to roughly 8 million square feet. The Atlantic Yards proposal embraces a glass-walled arena for the New Jersey Nets basketball team, more than 6,000 apartments, 16 towers and a hotel on 22 acres near Downtown Brooklyn.

The recommendations do not call for the developer to reduce the height of the project’s tallest building, as the Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, many civic leaders and local residents had hoped. Known as Miss Brooklyn — its architect, Frank Gehry, described it as a bride with flowing veils — the 650-foot tower would loom about 10 stories over the nearby Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, a 512-foot clock tower that has dominated the borough’s skyline for decades.

The planning commission concluded that Miss Brooklyn’s height was appropriate for the location of the building, at the busy intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues. But the bank building, which is being converted into condominiums, did figure into a recommendation that the developer reduce the height of a different tower, on an islandlike parcel across Flatbush Avenue from Miss Brooklyn. Planners said that tower should be cut by 100 feet to a height of 250 feet, because it would otherwise “detract” from views of the clock tower.

The recommendations also called on the developer to reduce the height of two more buildings and to increase the amount of open space to 8 acres from 7 acres.

The planning commission does not have a formal role in the review process under way with the state’s Economic Development Corporation. But planners have been working closely with Forest City Ratner on refining the Atlantic Yards plan in response to critics who fear that the project would overwhelm the surrounding brownstone neighborhoods and clog an already congested area with traffic. It was not clear if the recommendations would be legally binding even if the developer accepted them.

“City Planning has been enormously helpful throughout the development process,” said Joe DePlasco, a spokesman for Forest City Ratner, the developer of several major projects, including a new headquarters in Midtown for The New York Times Company. “We look forward to reviewing their most recent recommendations and working with them to ensure the overall success of the Atlantic Yards project.” The developer is expected to embrace the recommendations. As one executive who works with Forest City put it, “A lot of this was precooked.” Critics and supporters had long anticipated that Forest City would make cuts in the project in order to make it more politically palatable.

Many of the recommendations pleased Mr. Markowitz, the borough president, even if they did not call for reducing the height of Miss Brooklyn. But critics say the city did not go far enough.

“They’re calling for the maximum visibility of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, and that was my intention as well,” Mr. Markowitz said. “The good news here is that the city is saying it’s the right project at the right time and at the right location.”

He said he would continue to “fine-tune the project so that it maximizes the benefits and minimizes the impacts.” Forest City has promised that half of the 4,500 rental apartments in the complex would be reserved for low-, moderate- and middle-income residents. The planners recommended yesterday that 30 percent of the units built in the first phase be set aside for subsidized housing.

City Councilwoman Letitia James, who represents the neighborhood, said the reductions were “inadequate” and would only help to “further the Manhattanization of Brooklyn.”

She said she regretted that the planners failed to discuss how to mitigate the traffic problems brought on by the arena and the dense housing development, or the extensive use of public subsidies and eminent domain.

Daniel Goldstein, a spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, called the reductions “insignificant.”

“Even if it was scaled back by 50 percent, it would still be one of the most dense residential complexes in the country,” he said. “Whether it’s 5 percent or 50 percent, it does not make any difference, as long as they continue to use eminent domain.”

From the beginning of the project three years ago, Atlantic Yards has had the support of Gov. George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Mr. Markowitz and others. Under those circumstances, critics like Mr. Goldstein said, no project is going to come under the proper level of scrutiny.

Councilman Bill DeBlasio of Park Slope, who calls himself a project supporter, said more changes were needed. “We need to go farther than what City Planning has called for,” he said. “I think we can reduce the height, while continuing to maintain the affordable housing component.”


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Old September 27th, 2006, 12:18 AM   #452
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I attend NYC College of technology, its amazing that their constructing something so large, awesome. Any renderings of this building?

Today I read an article in the newspaper but I forgot which one it was, and it talked about the digging of the second avenue subway system, the digging would start in 2008 and the second avenue line will be finished by 2015, its gonna cost 3 billion and its gonna begin from 125 steet all the way to downtown...thats like one of the best things planned, 2nd avenue seriously needs a subway, by the way this project has been planned in like 1930, and now its finally gonna happen...go NYC!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old September 27th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #453
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^ Yes. I was about to post that.


BIG DIG ON 2ND AVE. SUBWAY SET FOR '08


By JEREMY OLSHAN Transit Reporter
September 26, 2006

Digging for the long-planned Second Avenue Subway will finally start in 2008 - but it may run straight into Native American villages and burial grounds, it was revealed yesterday.

The MTA plans to award the tunneling contract for the first phase of the project later this year, officials said yesterday.

But when digging begins in 2008, archaeologists will be on hand to halt the massive tunnel-boring machine at the first sign of artifacts dating back hundreds of years, the officials said.

A consultant hired by the MTA told the agency that there is the potential for Native American and Colonial artifacts along the route, which was once closer to the shoreline than it is today, said Amanda Sutphin of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

"You don't know what is there until you start digging and it can actually be tested," Sutphin said. "The topography of Manhattan was very different back then. Hills were leveled and valleys filled in."

Phase 1 of the project calls for the construction of stations at East 96th, 86th, and 72nd streets, and a connection to existing tracks at 63rd Street.

A giant hole will be dug between 92nd and 95th streets to allow the tunnel-boring machine to launch under ground, said Mysore Nagaraja, president of MTA Capital Construction.

In addition to archaeologists, consultants will monitor the sound and seismic vibrations to minimize the effect on people who live and work nearby.

More than 70 years in the planning, the Second Avenue Subway is practically a historic relic in itself, but officials say that the first phase is on pace to be completed in 2013.

Although this $3.8 billion portion will not fulfill the promise of the planned complete line from 125th Street to lower Manhattan, after years of false starts, the project is finally happening.

"It's become a reality," Nagaraja said. "Now we are building the Second Avenue Subway."


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Old September 27th, 2006, 12:42 AM   #454
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yup thats the article...

I wonder whats this train gonna be called...perhaps the X train that would be cool... I took some pictures of the Bank of America skyscraper am gonna post those soon...
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Old September 27th, 2006, 06:44 AM   #455
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Pact Reached to Redevelop Far West Side


By CHARLES V. BAGLI
September 27, 2006

The Bloomberg administration is giving up on its plan to buy the development rights over the West Side railyards from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for $500 million.

Instead, under a new proposal worked out over the past week, the city and the authority would do what critics said they should have done in the first place: rezone the 13-acre railyard on the west side of 11th Avenue between 30th and 33rd Streets for high-rise development and sell it to a developer through a bidding process.

The new arrangement, both sides say, would ensure that the authority, which faces high debt and possible service cuts in the future, would get the most money for a potentially valuable property overlooking the Hudson River — and would help pay for an extension of the No. 7 subway line to the Far West Side.

Under the agreement, developers who build commercial or residential towers over the western railyard would make payments in lieu of taxes that would be funneled to the $2.15 billion subway-line extension from Times Square. That would bring public transportation to a neighborhood of factories, warehouses and parking lots that was rezoned for large-scale development last year.

The city would also pay the authority $200 million for unused development rights from another railyard, on the east side of 11th Avenue, which has already been rezoned. The city, in turn, would sell those rights to developers in the area, known as the Hudson Yards, with any profits coming from the sale going to the transportation authority.

“It’s a fair and equitable deal in which both parties have achieved their key objectives,” Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said last night. “The M.T.A. gets a full and fair price for its asset. For the city, it assures the smooth development of the Hudson Yards area and that the financing for the No. 7 line can move forward. It also means that the railyards are planned and sold in an expeditious manner in which the city plays a significant role.”

City officials are hoping that the authority’s board, which will be briefed on the proposal today, will approve the arrangement at its meeting tomorrow. It would also require approval from the City Council and the Hudson Yards Development Infrastructure Corporation.

The two railyards were at the heart of a major political setback last year for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who had waged a titanic but unsuccessful battle to build the world’s most expensive football stadium there, for the Jets. The city’s proposal in July to buy the railyards also came under fire from transit advocates and members of the State Assembly who said it was trying to buy it on the cheap. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the Democratic candidate for governor, said the city’s offer was “woefully inadequate.”

The new proposal grew out of talks in recent days between Peter J. Kalikow, the authority’s chairman; Christine Quinn, the speaker of the City Council; and Mr. Doctoroff. The sometimes-tense discussions nearly broke down after Mr. Doctoroff and Mr. Kalikow had a heated exchange, according to two people involved in the talks.

Mr. Spitzer was also consulted and, according to a key official in his campaign, endorsed the plan.

The proposal includes a number of restrictions and time limits intended to sell the property within about a year. Over the next six months, the city, along with the transportation authority, the City Council and residents of the area, will devise guidelines for commercial and residential development on the western railyard.

The authority would then draw up and issue a document for soliciting bids for the property consistent with the guidelines. The authority, and later a selection committee, would pick the winning offer, although the transportation authority board would have the right to approve or reject any deal.

The winning developer would then take the project through the city’s land use review process, knowing that key players in the process generally approved the project.

Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, who heads a legislative committee that oversees state authorities, had been highly critical of the city’s July proposal, called the agreement “a major step forward.”

The authority had planned to raise about $1 billion from the sale of various assets, primarily development rights over the railyards. Under the new arrangement, it would get at least $200 million from the city for the sale of the air rights from the eastern yard. City officials say that the authority may obtain another $500 million, as well as hundreds of millions from the sale of development rights over the western yard.

But transit advocates are still concerned about the how this deal relates to the subway extension. The city has agreed to pay up to $2.15 billion, but it has not reached an agreement with the authority on who would bear responsibility for cost overruns.

“I hope they’ll come up with a fair price that limits the M.T.A.’s risk,” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. “Whatever deal they strike on the No. 7 line should address the issue of who is responsible for the inevitable cost overruns.”


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Old October 10th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #456
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/24/re...5fae5f&ei=5070
Their Regards to Broadway

By JOSH BARBANEL
Published: September 24, 2006


PRIVATE ESCAPES’ DESTINATIONS Two apartments at 1600 Broadway.

IF you were rich and living a life of comfort and leisure, would you choose to stay in Times Square?

It turns out that for many affluent travelers who invest up to $300,000 or more to join vacation clubs and spend time in luxury homes around the world, New York in general, and Times Square in particular, are destinations of choice, more in demand, than, say, Tuscany or Lake Tahoe or Hawaii.

Last month, Richard Keith, the founder of the Private Escapes Destination Clubs, paid $2.88 million to buy a 1,600-square-foot glass penthouse, with a balcony, in a new 25-story condominium at 1600 Broadway, at West 48th Street. The building is on the site of an old Studebaker showroom.

It was the sixth apartment in Manhattan Mr. Keith has bought or is buying for his clubs because of strong demand by his members. (He also has two at the Trump International at 1 Central Park West; two at the Link, a glass tower under construction on West 52nd Street just off Eighth Avenue; and a second apartment at 1600 Broadway.)

“We have beachfront homes in the Bahamas, and we have mountain properties in Colorado, and New York has the highest occupancy,” Mr. Keith said in a telephone interview from his office in Fort Collins, Colo. “We can’t get enough properties in New York.”

Destination clubs work like private social clubs. Members pay large one-time fees, annual dues and a daily room rate to stay in well-equipped vacation homes and apartments. The penthouse at 1600 Broadway is reserved for Mr. Keith’s members who belong to the Pinnacle club and who will have to pay $350,000 for lifetime memberships, $22,000 in annual dues and $185 a night.

The apartment at 1600 Broadway, Mr. Keith says, comes with a fully stocked kitchen, and with the support of a concierge to help members get theater tickets and find restaurants. Anyone who stays there on New Year’s Eve can look south and watch the ball drop at Times Square.

Other vacation clubs have also found a congenial home at 1600 Broadway, an unusual condominium in which most units are used as corporate apartments, pieds-à-terre or second homes, according to Steven Novick, the building’s sales manager and the president of Sherwood Residential, the brokerage that marketed the building.

Lusso, a destination club based in Eden Prairie, Minn., has two penthouses in the building, while Quintess, based in Boulder, Colo., has one.

Gigi Madl, the sales director at the Link condominiums, said part of the allure of the destination clubs’ apartments is that they provide an alternative to small, expensive New York hotel rooms, which usually don’t have kitchens or space for entertaining. She said 80 percent of the 215 apartments of the building are in contract.

But the future of destination clubs may rise and fall with the residential housing market. Much of the eventual profit in running the clubs was expected to come from the appreciation in the value of real estate bought with membership fees. And prices across the country are no longer rising.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 01:12 AM   #457
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October 1, 2006

BIG DEAL

Genesis of a Luxury Condo

By JOSH BARBANEL



IN the beginning, there were Lots 16 and 17, as designated in the Battery Park City master plan. Then Lots 16 and 17 became One River Terrace. One River Terrace begat Aquaterre. Aquaterre became One Rockefeller Park. One Rockefeller Park begat Riverhouse, One Rockefeller Park. Then the marketers rested and said it was good.

Such were the permutations that went into the marketing and naming of Riverhouse, a 31-story condominium under construction at the northern end of Battery Park City, across the street from the riverfront Nelson A. Rockefeller Park. Sales began last month, and the project is scheduled to open next summer.

As the building was being planned, the developer, the Sheldrake Organization, received informal permission from the office of the Manhattan borough president to use One River Terrace as an address and filed papers with the attorney general’s office listing the building as the Aquaterre. Now, Sheldrake is planning to ask the City Council to designate an adjacent street, known as Little Vesey Street, as Rockefeller Park Place.

Perhaps a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but developers with many millions of dollars on the line worry that the name and identity of a building can mean the difference between a sluggish sellout and quicker, more sumptuous profits.

At Riverhouse, the identity crisis continued, participants said, almost until the promotional materials went to the printer.

The challenge was in finding just the right name for a glass-walled building along a park and a river, with a pool, and a wall-size fish tank in the lobby. It would be near fashionable TriBeCa and in Battery Park City, once a dowdy stepdaughter in the condo market but where prices on new condos projects have risen in the last few years.

“Aquaterre was good, but when we asked friends and other people about it, it was sort of flat,” said J. Christopher Daly, the president of Sheldrake. And then he worried about the colors that had been introduced into the logo — blue and brown, to suggest water and earth. Now the logo is several shades of green, to suggest the building’s green technology, including triple-pane windows with a layer of circulating air that will help heat and cool the building.

James Lansill, a senior managing director at the Sunshine Group, which is marketing the project, said the final name gives the project both a sense of location, adjacent to Rockefeller Park, and a feeling of established luxury. Since the building went on the market, he said, 50 apartments are either in contract or have contracts out to be signed, many by people who already live in Battery Park City.

It was impossible to say whether the final name, Riverhouse, One Rockefeller Park, clinched any of the deals, he said.

But one of the reasons the name Riverhouse might evoke quality is that River House — note the space between River and House — is the name of a luxurious and exclusive prewar 26-story Art Deco co-op on East 52nd Street near the East River, where an apartment sold last year for $9.6 million. The co-op board there declined to comment on its younger downtown sibling.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
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Old October 10th, 2006, 01:17 AM   #458
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/24/re...0c97ba&ei=5070
A Changing Skyline Beckons Buyers


HIGH AND HIGHER Condos like the Solaria, left, are altering Riverdale’s look, giving newcomers more choice but angering some longtime residents.

By JEFF VANDAM

Published: September 24, 2006

WHEN Annette Gaudino returned to New York and started house-hunting last year, she had focus. Thirteen years in varied living situations in San Francisco had attuned her to exactly what she wanted: a one-bedroom apartment for under $300,000, and not in one of those new condominium buildings with the smallish rooms; also, the neighborhood had to have things to do and offer a relatively easy commute.

She ended up in Riverdale, right next door to Kingsbridge, the Bronx neighborhood where she grew up. It seems Ms. Gaudino, 40, who moved into her new apartment in March, could go home again, and she is not the only one. As couples and young families make their way north of the Harlem River and discover the comparative bargains and calm that Riverdale offers, they are also finding a greater selection: With all the new residential buildings under construction, this large neighborhood hasn’t buzzed so much since Mark Twain took up residence in 1901.

“It’s Riverdale’s compactness, its relative affordability compared to Manhattan, and high pent-up demand,” said Bradford Trebach, an associate broker for Trebach Realty.

The $225,000 price on Ms. Gaudino’s one-bedroom co-op surprised her after the extremes of San Francisco’s market. The place has a sunken living room, a large bedroom and lots of light. She appreciates the quick trip to Yankee Stadium; tours the gardens at Wave Hill, Twain’s onetime estate; and takes friends to Nonno Tony’s, a classic Italian restaurant on West 235th Street.

“Part of it was familiarity,” said Ms. Gaudino, a laboratory technician at Columbia University. “I just knew it was such a nice area. It’s really green, and it’s a very easy commute to the city. I knew I was priced out of Brooklyn, and out of any part of Manhattan I wanted to live in.”

Aside from Riverdale’s mix of large houses and affordable co-ops, there are the new condo buildings — about a dozen in all. The Solaria, the largest at 20 stories, will be ready for occupancy by year’s end and will offer a rooftop telescope observatory. Since Labor Day, 20 percent of the units have sold, according to Marisa Long, spokeswoman for the building.

The developments vary substantially in size. The Danielle, on Blackstone Avenue, has just 12 units, compared to the Solaria’s 65. Structures already complete include Promenade East on Oxford Avenue, seven stories of red brick with balconies. There is also the Waterford on Waldo Avenue, perched on a hill that overlooks the Bronx. It is offering Brazilian hardwood floors, central air-conditioning and washer-dryer units, with prices starting at $569,000.

Though new buyers seem interested in the condo boom, current residents do not necessarily favor it. Stop-work orders have been issued for two projects under construction, Westwood Terrace and Cambridge Mews, and a group of local residents is fighting developers of multifamily projects every step of the way.

“It’s just becoming Manhattanized,” said Manny Grossman, 33, a lifelong Riverdale resident and a member of Community Board 8. “These buildings are going to take away the very character that people who buy into Riverdale want to achieve.” Of the buildings on which work has stalled, he said: “No one knows what’s going to happen. They’re just sitting there half done.”

Opposition or not, however, the skyline is changing with the construction, and a diverse array of housing styles is becoming more so.

“We have houses, we have small estates, we have large homes, we have co-ops, we have condominiums, we have rentals,” said Susan Goldy of Susan E. Goldy Inc., a local agency. “These different sizes and price points enable different values for people, especially from the city.”

What You’ll Find

At three square miles, Riverdale is a sort of miniborough, comprising several neighborhoods within a strip of the Bronx stretching from the Harlem River to Westchester County, wedged between the Hudson River and Van Cortlandt Park. From north to south, they are: North Riverdale, Fieldston, Central Riverdale, South Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil.

Each subsection has its defining characteristics. With the exception of wealthy Fieldston, each has its share of high- and low-rise brick apartment buildings, many plotted along the winding course of the Henry Hudson Parkway. Most date from the 1950’s and 60’s, though there are occasional prewar examples.

The new condo towers are concentrated in South Riverdale, near the Fieldston enclave, which has been declared a landmark. Most are in walking distance of a commercial district along West 235th Street, Johnson Avenue and Riverdale Avenue, where one can find drugstores, pizza joints, banks, salons and diners.

West of the Hudson Parkway, beyond a few typically suburban streets and blocks of apartment buildings, Riverdale becomes idyllic, its winding, sidewalk-free roads dotted with maples and oaks. Its terrain can offer stunning views, like those from houses on the wooded bluff that is Independence Avenue. The ambience is reminiscent of an Adirondack village, and the sudden appearance of a taxi or a police car is a shock.

What You’ll Pay

Setting aside the new luxury condominium units, prices seem to have stabilized compared to a year ago, and inventory of available property, once much more scarce, is growing.

“In Riverdale, the market seems to have leveled off somewhat,” Mr. Trebach said, adding: “It’s taking a little longer to make deals. If you asked me about the market last year, I would have said I’m very optimistic. This year I say I’m cautiously optimistic.”

Nevertheless, compared to five years ago, prices in Riverdale have doubled, said Susan Lynne Seidner Chasky, a senior vice president with Halstead Property who lives in the neighborhood. According to Mr. Trebach, bidding wars still occur and most full asking prices are met. He said his company had recently sold a partially renovated seven-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac west of the Hudson Parkway for $2.5 million.

As for new condos, at Arlington Heights, a five-story building of dark red brick, the two remaining units displayed on its Web site are 1,100-square-foot two-bedrooms for $549,900. At the Solaria, units will include one- to five-bedroom apartments, and prices will start at $770,000.

In co-op sales, Ms. Goldy said, her firm recently sold two-bedroom apartments in the $500,000 range and one-bedrooms at $200,000 to $300,000. In general, according to Mr. Trebach, three-bedrooms sell from $400,000 to $975,000, with two-bedrooms from $275,000 to $700,000. House prices typically begin in the $600,000 range and head skyward, to $3 million and above.

Rentals begin at around $1,200 a month for a one-bedroom and reach $3,900 for a three-bedroom.

What to Do

In August 2005, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg opened the Riverdale Riverfront Promenade and Fishing Access Site, a piece of land between the Riverdale Metro-North station and the Hudson River, with views of the Palisades and three platforms for casting lures.

When it comes to outdoor spaces, Van Cortlandt Park is larger than Central Park, with many fields and a golf course. In North Riverdale there is Wave Hill, which once — before Twain — was the summer home of Theodore Roosevelt. It draws visitors the year round, with gardens, cultural center and greenhouses.

There are a few groceries, a Target in nearby Kingsbridge and a Costco less than 10 miles up Interstate 87. The nearest movie theater to Riverdale is a few subway stops away in Washington Heights.

The Commute

Though it is farther from Midtown than Upper Manhattan neighborhoods like Inwood and Washington Heights, the commute from Riverdale can be slightly faster, via the Metro-North Railroad, which stops along the Hudson River in Spuyten Duyvil and North Riverdale. The trip to Grand Central Terminal takes about 25 minutes, though the stations are somewhat out of the way; Hudson Rail Link buses to the stations from various Riverdale stops are $2. By subway, Riverdale residents can use the No. 1, which takes about 40 minutes to get to 42nd Street. The BxM1 and 2 express buses stop at several locations in Riverdale and arrive in Midtown in 45 minutes to an hour. The fare is $5.

The Schools

Riverdale’s schools have an excellent reputation. There are two public elementaries: Public School 81, on Riverdale Avenue, and Public School 24 on West 236th Street, which is the better performing, with 85.4 percent of students meeting standards tests in English language arts in 2005, versus 60.9 percent citywide. In math it was 84.4 percent, as compared with 65.1 percent citywide.

The Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy on West 237th Street houses both Middle School 141 and High School 141. In the middle school, 60.4 percent of students met standards in city and state tests in English language arts in 2005, as compared with 48.9 percent citywide; in math, 47.6 percent did so, versus 45.3 percent citywide. High school students had SAT averages of 428 on verbal and 441 in math in 2004-2005, versus 497 and 511 statewide.

On the private side, the neighborhood’s accomplished schools are often a high priority for newer families. At the Horace Mann School on West 246th Street, annual tuition from kindergarten through Grade 12 for this year is $29,110. The Riverdale Country School on Fieldston Road charges $26,000 for kindergarten through Grade 5 and $31,200 for Grades 6 through 12. At the Fieldston School, also on Fieldston Road, tuition for Grades 1 through 6 is $26,895; for Grades 7 through 12 it is $28,545.

The History

The onetime Riverdale-on-Hudson was not always part of the Bronx; until 1874 it was in Westchester. Home since 1843 to Wave Hill, which was built by a lawyer named William Lewis Morris, Riverdale slowly morphed into an area of estates for city big shots. More modest houses began appearing after the arrival of the Hudson River Railroad in 1853. That was followed, in 1936, by the Henry Hudson Bridge, which opened the area to a broader slice of life.

What We Like

Community spirit is more than evident. Cars sport “Go Jaspers” banners in support of Manhattan College in Fieldston, and people stop to chat with anyone from neighbors to Hudson Rail Link bus drivers.

Going Forward

Some in the community wonder how the neighborhood’s small-scale commercial areas will handle all the residents of the new condominiums.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 02:34 PM   #459
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Some nice proposals there: Interesting how once you get shorter than Goldman Sachs, many of the towers seem afraid to break from the traditional New York block template. Correct me if I'm wrong - of course many proposals such as the Freedom Tower look incredibly modern - but is there a general attitude of not wanting to tread too far away from your architectural heritage? In London, we have many different architectural styles which some feel nervous to break with and just the idea of building tall scares many. Of course, the archetypal New York is the art deco skyscraper and so I doubt height scares anyone - but are there a significant amount of New Yorkers who dislike the "could be anywhere" glass and steel new 1000ft+ skyscrapers hence the majority of blocky buildings?

Thanks.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 03:03 AM   #460
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Blocky is just american it gets the most for your money.
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