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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2010, 4:22 AM
RobertWalpole RobertWalpole is offline
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Smile NEW YORK | 610 W. 57th St. | 482 FT | 45 FLOORS | SITE PREP

Avalon Bay proposes new tower @ W 57 & Eleventh Ave
Proposed HK high-rise eyes dealership deal



By Heather Murray
January 2 - 15, 2009

A major developer is close to striking a deal with a Hell’s Kitchen automotive company to build a 44-story apartment complex at a site at 57th St. and 11th Ave. that currently houses shiny showrooms and auto repair shops.

Rental real estate developer AvalonBay Communities presented preliminary plans to Community Board 4’s Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Land Use Committee at its Dec. 10 meeting to purchase the property from Bay Ridge Automotive Group. The project would go up directly across the street from 40-story luxury high-rise The Helena at 601 W. 57th St.

AvalonBay plans to build roughly 700 apartments, 140—or 20 percent—of which would be affordable under the state’s 80-20 program. The high-rise will sit atop a four-story podium containing large automotive and limited commercial uses.

The developer already has two apartment complexes in Long Island City and three in Manhattan, and the company has built approximately 50,000 apartments nationwide, managing all of them save a couple in New York City currently under third-party management.

Fred Harris, AvalonBay’s senior vice president of development, said the developer plans to offer approximately 50,000 square feet of neighborhood retail, possibly including a supermarket or large sports store.

The current on-site public parking garage holds 1,000 cars, but the garage in AvalonBay’s proposal would hold approximately 500—meaning a loss of half the current spots there.

Infiniti and Lexus dealerships occupy the space now, and John Iacono, vice president of Bay Ridge Automotive Group, the operator of the dealerships, said at the meeting that his family has run the 57th St. location for 17 years.

The plan calls for a redesign of the space and the consolidation of five of Bay Ridge’s 23 New York City operations there, with Toyota, Nissan, Lexus, Infiniti and Scion dealerships at the site. The company can no longer afford the current space to hold their new car inventories in Manhattan, and will move parking and prepping operations to Brooklyn.

“Seventeen years ago we never thought I’d be sitting in front of a committee hoping to put a deal together with a developer so we could keep our business in New York City,” Iacono said. “We have finite space we can afford,” he continued, adding that Bay Ridge obtained some financial assistance from car manufacturers.

Iacono said his company’s 47th St. Nissan dealership would move to the would-be 57th St. project, but he can’t do the same with his nearby Acura dealership at 48th Street and 11th Ave., a competitor of Nissan’s. “We’re dealing with two manufacturers that aren’t allowed to coexist,” he said. If Bay Ridge can’t find another location for the Acura dealership, “we might sell it,” Iacono added.

Community Board 4 chairperson JD Noland expressed concern about where cars would be picked up at the new facility, reporting a “constant friction between the community and the [47th St.] dealership,” with cars continually parked on the sidewalk along 47th St. between 10th and 11th Aves. Iacono said the new 57th St. facility would have adequate storage space to keep cars off the streets and sidewalks.

On the residential side, Harris said AvalonBay was open to meeting the community’s affordable-housing needs, noting he is aware that many feel there are not enough two- and three-bedroom affordable apartments.

“We are very interested in moving the mix at both ends” by building smaller one-bedrooms and studios to accommodate more two- and three-bedrooms. “But in order to do that, what we really need is cooperation from the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development,” he said.

Harris told the committee that HPD “indicated that if we came up with a specific proposal that you folks were interested in, they would be flexible.”

Board member Pete Diaz then asked if AvalonBay would be willing to raise the percentage of affordable housing to 30 percent or more. Harris responded that the developer would be interested, but “it’s really about the economics.” He said that AvalonBay would consider it if the city would provide incentives and abatements similar to those earned through the 80-20 program to make 30 percent of the units affordable. Noland asked that the developer consider creative ways “to enliven the street at night” and bring in “retail that’s going to bring people there.”

Harris added that AvalonBay has met multiple times with the Department of City Planning and hopes to schedule a scoping meeting at the end of January to gain certification of the project later in the spring. As of Dec. 29, Harris said he hadn’t heard whether a scoping meeting would be scheduled for the upcoming month. The developer needs a zoning change from the current manufacturing use to allow commercial and residential development there, and will also ask for several zoning text amendments for the project.



© 2008 Community Media, LLC
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2010, 4:25 AM
RobertWalpole RobertWalpole is offline
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This industrial area is changing rapidly.



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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2010, 4:26 AM
RobertWalpole RobertWalpole is offline
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According to the NY Times, this is proceeding, as Infiniti is seeking new space.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/re...l?ref=business

Square Feet
The Auto Show Along 11th Avenue Is Expanding
By JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
Published: September 14, 2010

On 11th Avenue in Manhattan is a stretch of auto dealerships similar to other car malls across the country, with glass-fronted showrooms displaying the latest and greatest models from Detroit, Germany and Japan.

Enlarge This Image

Michael Appleton for The New York Times
A new Volkswagen and Audi dealership on 11th Avenue in Manhattan.
But unlike other automobile rows in places like Boston and Minnesota, where dealerships have closed over the last few years, the stretch from roughly 48th to 58th Street on the far West Side, called Autobahn Alley, is thriving.

In what real estate brokers and auto industry executives are calling the biggest burst of activity in more than a decade, several auto brands are expanding or relocating along the corridor, with a planned Mercedes-Benz flagship on 54th Street the most recent example.

“As far as development goes, this is easily the most activity we’ve seen there in years,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, a trade group that represents about 425 dealerships in nine counties across New York State. “There’s been just an extraordinary amount of activity that’s been going on over there.”

Mercedes announced its five-story showroom and service center earlier this year, and a $125 million deal last year will place Volkswagen and Audi in new facilities near 55th Street.

Infiniti of Manhattan is seeking a new location on 11th Avenue to replace a showroom at 608 West 57th Street that it will need to vacate to make way for a residential project, real estate brokers said. Chrysler, meanwhile, has also been discussing expansion plans, the brokers said.

None of those transactions, however, match the size and scope of the new Mercedes-Benz dealership, said Michael Laginestra, a vice chairman of CB Richard Ellis who, with his colleague Michael Geoghegan, signed the deal last year as part of a residential development project.

The 333,000-square-foot dealership, already under way at 770 11th Avenue and scheduled to open early next year, will have glass on three sides, a waiting room with Wi-Fi, a coffee and pastry bar, and a garage with 72 work bays, said Alan McLaren, president of Mercedes-Benz of Manhattan.

The dealership, the only one in the country directly owned by Mercedes-Benz rather than a franchisee, will take the place of a showroom at 536 West 41st Street that has long suffered from its traffic-choked proximity to the Lincoln Tunnel, Mr. McLaren said.

“New York is one of our most critical markets in the country,” said Mr. McLaren, who added that the search for new space began about six years ago. “The dealership is consistently one of our top five dealerships in the country, and if ever there’s a place where you need to get it right, it’s right here, where the performance standards are arguably set higher than anywhere else in the United States.”

The surge of activity on 11th Avenue is in sharp contrast to other areas of the country, where approximately 1,900 dealerships have closed since 2009, said Paul Taylor, the chief economist at the National Automobile Dealers Association in Virginia. Mr. Schienberg of the regional dealers association said that in New York’s five boroughs, only 15 dealerships had shuttered in the last 10 years.

The stability in New York, Mr. Taylor said, can be attributed in part to 11th Avenue’s proximity to Wall Street and the financial markets, as well as the sheer number of drivers in the city. While dealerships in other areas of the country are suffering from a slump in auto sales and a move toward consolidating multiple brands under a single roof, both luxury brands and mainstream ones like Toyota and Ford are thriving on 11th Avenue.

“The trend toward dealerships opening in Manhattan is driven in part by its province in the financial markets worldwide,” said Mr. Taylor. “Luxury brands are typically sold to households with significant incomes and large holdings of security outside of retirement programs. And, of course, many of those households have jobs in Manhattan.”

New York’s thirst for luxury brands played a role in the Volkswagen Group of America’s decision last year to sign a deal to buy a building that was previously owned by Potamkin General Motors at 798 11th Avenue, giving it 265,000 square feet of showrooms. When it is completed later this year, the space will house not only Volkswagen but also its luxury sister brand, Audi.

Jedd Nero, an executive vice president at CB Richard Ellis who completed the transaction last year after a two-year search by Volkswagen, said that regardless of the faltering economy it was crucial for Volkswagen to establish ties to the 11th Avenue automobile corridor.

“Here was a rare opportunity for Volkswagen to purchase this building and make it their own,” Mr. Nero said. And because the company is not tied to a lease, he said, executives “know that it’s their choice down the road as to how long they want to be in the market.”
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2010, 4:31 AM
RobertWalpole RobertWalpole is offline
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Originally Posted by RobertWalpole View Post


Durst is building this interesting pyramid-shaped building on the lot just north of Avalon's new rental tower (i.e., the empty lot in the photo just west of the Helena residential building).



http://www.observer.com/2010/real-es...street-project

Another Look at Durst's BIG 57th Street Project
By Matt Chaban

November 11, 2010

Last week came the news that the Durst Organization was working on its project at 57th Street and the West Side highway once again, even if the work was simply an as-of-right filing to keep the project eligible for brownfield tax credits. Then on Monday came the crazy cartoonish news that what was actually intended for the site was a residential building designed by Danish starchitect-to-be (and arch-o-lantern fave) Bjarke Ingels.

Now comes the first non-comic-book glimpse of the building from a talk the designer gave last night at Harvard. The picture's of a PowerPoint video, so it's not the best, but still, the pyramidal project is so tantalizing, The Observer will take whatever it can get.

There have been some unfortunate changes already, though, as Curbed got a few more bits about the project:

Meanwhile a tipster writes in to share more details on the design ("three sided with an opening to the west and a courtyard on the interior") and the disappointing news that the Durst Organization has decided to nix the facade planting due to feasibility concerns (that might explain the lack of green in the rendering).


Yet the fact that Bjarke showed off the project with "Empire State of Mind" as the soundtrack is the worst news of all. Maybe he's not as cool as The Observer thought. Doesn't he know that song is so last year?

mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2010, 9:31 PM
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I don't know, it still seems Vegas-y to me. I's like to see a professional rendering.
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2010, 10:54 PM
RobertWalpole RobertWalpole is offline
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It's by a highly regarded Danish architecture firm called BIG. Their website is big.dk. (Believe it or not, it's not a porn site.)
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 12:12 AM
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great looking development!
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 12:34 AM
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Why are they building around those two POS buildings on the corners facing 11th? They are both horrible and worse still nearly impossible to replace once the tower is built because of the lot size. Very reminiscent of the Brazil Grill situation on 8th. Did the developer make an attempt to acquire these? Did they just buy the air rights? I mean seriously look at that freaking pink Gristedes building? Why would you leave that POS standing?
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 11:59 AM
RobertWalpole RobertWalpole is offline
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I thought the same thing. I guess the owners refused to sell.
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 12:14 PM
RobertWalpole RobertWalpole is offline
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This area has A LOT of new development.

What's labeled the Proton Center and the Rose is the new development designed by BIG.


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Last edited by RobertWalpole; Nov 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2010, 3:31 PM
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any renders of the proton center and the rose?
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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2010, 3:54 PM
RobertWalpole RobertWalpole is offline
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This is what will rise on that site. This lowrise structure will rise first along 12th Avenue and a highrise tower supposedly will rise midblock thereafter. No renderings of the highrise have been released.

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Old Posted Dec 12, 2010, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertWalpole View Post
This area has A LOT of new development.

What's labeled the Proton Center and the Rose is the new development designed by BIG.


Annotations by Derek2k3
In my mind (and in many other people's, I'm sure) the neighborhood in the center was a no man's land, as opposed to the well-defined Riverside Boulevard development to the north and Hell's Kitchen to the south. These projects are really gonna give more of a purpose to the immediate neighborhood, as a connecting hub between the aforementioned neighborhoods to the north and south, and Columbus Circle area to the east.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2010, 12:35 AM
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The highrise is handsome enough for what it is (a glass box). The pyramid is a lot riskier and has the potential to be really really bad. I'm not sure how to do a good pyramid now that I think about. Hope for the best on it either way.
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Old Posted Jan 6, 2011, 10:42 PM
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The pyramid is a lot riskier and has the potential to be really really bad. I'm not sure how to do a good pyramid now that I think about. Hope for the best on it either way.
A little more news on that one coming soon...
http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/0...ntain.php#more
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Old Posted Jan 6, 2011, 10:50 PM
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Sounds like an interesting concept; bringing suburbia into the city. I’m curious to see a clearer rendering that demonstrates how he’s going to pull that off. I’m pretty much open to anything though in terms of design; anything to mix that area up a little.
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2011, 12:42 AM
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The building this thread is about is fine enough, but I'd rather have a parking lot or gas station in place than that atrocious pyramid thing. NYC isn't supposed to feature suburban amenities & it certainly isn't the place to build some kind of experimental hideous pyramid.
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2011, 12:52 AM
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suburban amenities.
I view it as less of that and more of a compromise of lifestyle. Living in an atmosphere that samples both urban and suburban lifestyles is an attractive concept, at least it is to me.
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2011, 1:00 AM
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what a suburb in....Manhattan...?....no....
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2011, 1:15 AM
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what a suburb in....Manhattan...?....no....
I wouldn’t necessarily take ‘suburban’ at face value. It sounds like a sampled suburban environment for those (sounds like young families are the target market) who desire the best of both worlds. The ability to live in the big city with some small town features.
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