All posts by Alexandra Alexa

Interiors, Major Developments, Rentals, Upper West Side 

Waterline Square, upper west side, nyc rentals, new developments, major developments, interiors, hill west architects, kohn pedersen fox, rafael vinoly, richard meier

Living area inside an apartment at One Waterline Square; photo by Evan Joseph

When rental units at the Waterline Square development on the Upper West Side hit the market last fall it was clear that the price tags reflected the starchitect lineup involved with its design: The trio of glassy towers was designed by Richard Meier & Partners (One Waterline Square), Kohn Pedersen Fox (Two Waterline Square), and Rafael Viñoly (Three Waterline Square),  with Hill West Architects serving as executive architect for the master plan. Located on Riverside Boulevard between 59th and 61st Streets, the complex holds 868 rental units (in addition to 263 condos), which start at $3,938/month for a studio and go up to $15,000/month for a four-bedroom. If you’re curious about what those pricey rentals look like inside, here’s a look at three model homes in each of the towers.

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Brooklyn Heights, New Developments

Photo courtesy of Watermark at Brooklyn Heights

A luxury senior housing community is coming to Brooklyn Heights at 21 Clark Street. Built in 1928 as the Leverich Towers Hotel (famous for hosting the Brooklyn Dodgers when they were in town for home games), the 16-story building was bought by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1975 and used as a residence hall for about 1,000 local volunteers. The current project is being co-developed by Watermark Retirement Communities and Kayne Anderson Real Estate, who bought the building from the Witnesses for $200 million in 2017 and poured an additional $130 million into renovations across the 310,000 square-foot property. The revamped residences are on schedule to open in March with units starting at $10,000 a month, according to Commercial Observer.

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Art, Upstate

Fitzhugh Karol’s “Approach” sculpture, installed at the beginning of the bridge path in Rockland County; rendering courtesy of The New York State Thruway Authority

Eight local artists have been selected to install artworks along the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge’s 3.6-mile bicycle/pedestrian path. The New York State Thruway Authority partnered with ArtsWestchester and the Arts Council of Rockland to commission the works, which include five sculptures, four bicycle racks, and one mural. They’ll be placed at both ends of the bridge, at the Rockland and Westchester Landings, and along the side path in South Nyack. All of the commissions are currently underway and will be installed in the Spring.

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Policy, Transportation

BQE, DOT, Brooklyn heights promenade, Regional Plan association, bqe redesign

The Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) from the south end of the Brooklyn Promenade. Photo by Joe Mabel via Wikimedia

The 16-person panel that convened last April to assess reconstruction options for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway’s 1.5-mile triple cantilever stretch has released its report. Their recommendations call for repair work to begin immediately and outline “aggressive traffic reduction strategies” like eliminating one lane in each direction (six lanes would become four) and imposing weight limits on vehicles. The panel also rejected the controversial proposal to build a temporary highway at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade during the reconstruction and said the Promenade should remain open.

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Art, Midtown

Times Square Arts, Valentine's Day heart 2020, eric forman studio, MODU, public art

Photos by Ian Douglas

Times Square Arts debuted the 2020 Times Square Valentine Heart yesterday, a tradition that started in 2009. This year’s installation, Heart Squared, was selected by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and designed by MODU and Eric Forman Studio. The sculpture is composed of a 10-foot-tall cubic steel lattice structure that approximates the form of an anatomical heart and 125 mirrors that are suspended within and tilted at various angles to create a kaleidoscopic collage of the urban environment. The arrangement of the mirrors might seem random at first but they’re precisely calibrated to form an anamorphic projection—meaning that the mirror array creates a surprise image when viewed from a specific vantage point, which is marked on the ground with white paint.

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Chinatown, Restaurants, Tribeca

Rendering courtesy of Mercato Fabbrica

Plans to bring an Italian market to the First National City Bank building at 415 Broadway (or 296 Canal Street) have just been announced. The narrow block between Lispenard and Canal Streets once housed the largest commercial bank in the world and is known for its Art Moderne facade. The 35,000-square-foot interior will be transformed into Mercato Fabbrica, a “culinary destination inspired by the great markets, department stores and social clubs around the world.” The idea has been in the works since 2018 and is slated to open later this year.

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Greenwich Village, Restaurants

View of the future storefront at 257 Bleeker Street. Map data © 2019 Google

City Bakery founder Maury Rubin has spent the past weeks in a “Wonka-ish frenzy,” Grub Street tells us, as he prepares to launch his latest venture: the Wonderbon Chocolate Co. Rubin and his partner have taken out a three-month lease on a storefront at 257 Bleeker Street—most recently occupied by Sugar and Plumm—which will feature a menu of twelve hot chocolate flavors in an espresso-bar setting. The opening comes just in time for February, the month Rubin made famous for his hot chocolate festival at City Bakery, a tradition he began in 1992 that attracted more than 50,000 customers each year.

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Events, Midtown East

View from the catwalk, photo via Wikimedia Commons

Grand Central Terminal’s upcoming 107th anniversary isn’t the round number typical of big celebrations, but nevertheless, the NYC icon is marking the occasion with a “major treat” that will appeal to all architecture and history buffs. The catwalk above the Main Concourse—normally closed off to the public—will be opened up for one day only on Sunday, February 2. To take advantage of the rare bird’s eye perspective, you’ll have to register for one of three showings that will take place that day. If this piques your interest, you’ll want to hurry: only 45 spots are available and registration ends at 5 p.m. today.

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Chelsea, Cool Listings

Listing images by RISE Media; courtesy of The Corcoran Group

Perfect for remote workers, this Chelsea rental at 331 West 19th Street comes with a flexible floor plan that can be adapted to suit your working needs. In addition to a sunny master bedroom, the 1,400-square-foot unit has a dedicated (windowless) home office and two smaller rooms that could be used as an additional office, den, guest room, or even for extra storage (as you’ll see below). The practical pad is a floor-through unit on the first floor of a charming brownstone. It’s now available to rent for $6,500 a month.

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Nomad, Restaurants

ritz-carlton new york nomad, josé andrés, thinkgoofgroup, rafael viñoly, flag luxury group

Rendering courtesy of Flag Luxury Group; portrait of José Andrés by Blair Getz Mezibov

Renowned chef José Andrés is growing his presence in New York City with two new restaurants in The Ritz-Carlton hotel currently rising in Nomad. Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup has been tapped by developer Flag Luxury Group to oversee all food and beverage at the 250-room hotel which is slated to open in 2021. In addition to the two restaurants, the group will run a rooftop bar, lobby lounge, and in-room dining services. Andrés made his NYC debut in 2019 with the opening of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, a 35,000 square-foot food hall encompassing three restaurants, tapas kiosks, a Spanish goods market, and several bars.

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