Rendering: Handel Architects.
State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled on Wednesday that four towers planned for the Lower East Side Two Bridges development cannot move forward. The judge’s decision invalidates the City Planning Commission’s 2018 approval of the towers on the grounds that City Council authority regarding the land-use review process was illegally bypassed, amNY reported, and that the controversial skyscrapers must go through the city’s full application process. The ruling prevents the Department of Buildings from issuing permits until the multi-billion dollar project has the proper approvals. The decision represents a rare victory for those opposed to the skyscrapers, including the City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and several Lower East Side and Chinatown community groups.
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A recent ruling by a panel of state appellate judges may add more delays–at the very least–to the rise of JDS Development Group’s proposed addition to the multi-tower Two Bridges development on the Lower East Side/Chinatown waterfront, The City reports. The ruling states that the property’s long-term leaseholder, Little Cherry LLC, which has 25 years left on their lease at the currently-vacant 235 Cherry Street, must have a say in how the property’s development rights are used. The developer plans to stack a 1,000-foot, 100-story waterfront apartment tower on top of and cantilevered over the Two Bridges Senior Apartments and one-story retail space–and they need the Cherry Street property’s development rights to move forward.
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Rendering: Handel Architects.
State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has extended a temporary halt on the Two Bridges high-rise development after hearing testimony on several lawsuits aimed at the controversial project in the Lower East Side and Chinatown, Gothamist reports. As 6sqft previously reported, several groups of Lower East Side residents and other community organizations filed a lawsuit against the city to stop four skyscrapers from rising in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood. The lawsuits accuse the city of illegally approving the multi-billion dollar project, claiming the City Planning Commission bypassed City Council authority regarding the land-use review process and that one of the towers violates a 32-year-old deed restriction that ensures housing for low-income residents with disabilities and the elderly.
‘An 800-pound gorilla’
One of New York City’s most spirited events kicks off next Tuesday: the Lunar New Year. With multiple Chinatowns and Asian communities across the five boroughs, there is no shortage of events to celebrate the nearly two-week long holiday, which is said to have originated more than 4,000 years ago. While the most well-known festivity is the colorful parade in Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown, other Lunar New Year events in Flushing, Sunset Park, and Staten Island should not be overlooked. Embrace the Year of the Pig, the 12th zodiac animal said to signal good fortune, with lantern decorating events, dumpling and noodle-making classes, traditional dance and song, and sparkling firecracker ceremonies.
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259 Clinton Street via Perkins Eastman
Additional details and a new rendering have been unveiled this week for a 62-story Lower East Side skyscraper designed by Perkins Eastman Architects, nearly two years after 6sqft first wrote about the project. Located at 259 Clinton Street, the tower is a part of a controversial three-building project coming to the waterfront of the Two Bridges neighborhood. According to YIMBY, latest plans for 259 Clinton Street, developed by Starret Development, call for a 730-foot tower, slightly higher than an earlier 724-foot proposal.
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As many other New York City ethnic neighborhoods have diminished or disappeared over the years, Chinatown continues to grow and prosper. Roughly bound by borders at Hester and Worth Streets to the north and south, and Essex and Broadway to the east and west, Chinatown is home to largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia. With this in mind, architecture firm ODA New York, known for prioritizing people over architecture, has proposed a unique and beautiful new gateway to the neighborhood at the Canal Street Triangle. ODA’s typical designs can be a bit boxy, constructed with heavier materials, but there is always a lightness to them, whether through the infusion of glass, archways, or greenery. Combining new technology with traditional Chinese symbolism, “Dragon Gate” will delicately weave the duality of Chinatown’s old and new into a strong structure, both in symbolism and material.
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Revised Design for 312-322 Canal Street courtesy of Paul A. Castrucci Architects
For Trans World Equities and Paul A. Castrucci Architects, the third time is truly the charm. Nearly seven years after they first proposed a plan to replace a row of five buildings at 312-322 Canal Street with a residential building, the Landmarks Preservation Commission officially approved on Tuesday the duo’s revised design. The updated plan reduces the height of the building from nine to seven stories and mutes the color of the facade from a bright-red brick to terracotta. During the developer’s third presentation for LPC, the commissioners said the building’s rhythm and height will now fit better with the district, according to CityRealty.
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Rihanna began renting this duplex penthouse at 129 Lafayette Street back in 2013 for $39,000 a month. Since then, the rent has climbed to $50,000, which could be why it’s now hit the sales market for $16.95 million (h/t NYP). The sprawling home, located on the border of Chinatown, Little Italy, and Soho, has a massive 2,500-square-foot wrap-around terrace with Empire State Building views, a steel-and-wood floating staircase, custom concrete flooring, and an open layout perfect for hosting soirees.
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Living in any of One Manhattan Square‘s 815 units is a pretty extravagant opportunity; the 800-foot Two Bridges tower will boast more than 100,000 square feet of over-the-top indoor and outdoor amenities, ranging from a tree house with fire pits and stargazing observatory to a 70-seat movie theater and bowling alley. But those 25 condos on the upper floors will be afforded an even more luxurious lifestyle, with “limitless bird’s eyes vistas” of the skyline, Brooklyn, New York harbor, and the East and Hudson Rivers. According to a press release from developer Extell announcing this Skyscape Collection, the deluxe residences are mainly three-bedroom homes, along with the building’s five five-bedroom penthouses, two of which are duplexes (one of these already sold for $13 million).
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96 Baxter Street via Google Street View
The 13-story, 88-unit rental building for low-income seniors at 96 Baxter Street in Chinatown has opened its waiting list to new applicants this week for the first time in 25 years (h/t Lo-Down). Only people aged 62 and older (over 18 if they are mobility impaired) can apply. The units rent for 30 percent of one’s annual income; studios are available to those earning less than $33,400 a year and one-bedroom to those earning less than $38,200. The waitlist originally contained over 3,000 names, a number which now stands at only a handful. Among the building’s current tenants, two are reportedly 108 years old. The youngest residents are about 85.
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