Rendering of 247 Cherry Street via SHoP Architects
In an effort to slow construction of three residential towers in the Two Bridges neighborhood, City Council Member Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will submit an application to the Department of City Planning that forces the plan to go through the city’s land use review process. Developments at the waterfront site include a 1,000+ foot tower from JDS Development Group, a 1.1 million-square-foot development from L+M Development and CIM Group, and a 724-foot rental building from Starrett Development. According to Politico, the Manhattan pols hope the review process will encourage public scrutiny of the projects, including a demand for shorter structures.
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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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Chinatown, image © Chaz Langley
Many New Yorkers navigate Chinatown by its famous street names; East Broadway, Mulberry, Canal and Orchard. However, for many Chinese immigrants living in the area who do not speak English, these names are not used. Instead, descriptive nicknames (translated from Chinese) exist like “Hatseller Street,” “Garbage Street,” and “Dead Person Street.” Even more interesting, to help Chinese New Yorkers navigate the city, maps with these streets labeled in their Chinese nicknames are made and distributed. A reporter from This American Life, Aaron Reiss, began collecting these maps and discovered the lesser-known nicknames for a lot of these city streets, many which have four or five different labels.
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If you’ve walked down Chinatown’s Canal Street then you’re certainly familiar with a string of stores at 312-322 Canal Street hawking cheap souvenirs to tourists and passersby. After a proposal to renew the depressed stretch of shops with a brand-new brick construction failed to pass Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) muster in 2011, a new, much more ambitious plan to replace the ramshackle building has finally emerged.
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Despite the rapid influx of new development that’s popping up in the controversial Two Bridges area, the Chinatown-meets-Lower East Side neighborhood’s first project, One Manhattan Square, still reigns as the tallest. In fact, when it reaches its full 823-foot height, Extell’s 80-story condo at 252 South Street will have the highest rooftop between downtown and Midtown Manhattan. Now that sales have commenced, CityRealty paid the construction site a visit, noticing that the double-slab tower is already more than 30 stories tall and has begun to receive its reflective glass skin.
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The historically low-income, low-slung neighborhood of Two Bridges–the area along the East River, near the footings of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges where the Lower East Side meets Chinatown–has become a high-rise hotbed over the past year. Despite the controversy that the four planned projects, all upwards of 700 feet, have caused, they’re moving along fairly swiftly, and The Lo-Down now has the big reveal for the final site–Starrett Group‘s 259 Clinton Street. Perkins Eastman Architects have designed the 724-foot, 62-story glass tower, which will have ground-floor retail and 732 apartments, 25 percent of which will be permanently affordable with a good chunk being set aside for low-income seniors.
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L to R: One Manhattan Square, 247 Cherry Street, 260 South Street, and 271-283 South Street. The image above, created by CityRealty, depicts the possible massing of the new towers; No official design has been released
When L+M Partners and CIM Group announced plans last May for two 50-story towers at 260 South Street, their project joined a growing list of controversial towers sprouting up along the Two Bridges waterfront, including Extell’s 823-foot condo One Manhattan Square, JDS and SHoP Architects’ possible 1,000+ foot rental at 247 Cherry Street, and Starret Group’s shorter rental at 275 South Street. Now, in what’s becoming a trend for the Lower East Side-meets-Chinatown ‘hood, L+M and CIM have revealed plans for their project that actually show increased heights of 69 and 62 stories, or 798 and 728 feet. As first reported by The Lo-Down, the developers plan to include up to 1,350 apartments, 338 of which will be reserved as affordable, senior housing, ground-floor retail, landscaped outdoor spaces by Mathews Nielsen, and an upgraded flood-protection system.
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6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Chaz Langley explores the people and establishments breathe life into Chinatown. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
Nashville native Chaz Langley moved to New York to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter/actor/model, but along the way began snapping iPhone photos of his adopted city as another creative outlet, finding the process therapeutic. Through his Instagram account, he tells the stories of the people, places, and things that inspire him, using his other skill set of graphic design as a way to curate his collections. In “A Stroll in Chinatown” he captures the unique cultural establishments of Chinatown and the everyday comings and goings of the neighborhood’s residents.
See all the photos here