As more and more people move to the Big Apple, the city is running out of room to house all of them. According to Mark Ginsberg of Curtis & Ginsberg Architects, even if the city were developed to the maximum capacity legally allowed, this would still only be enough room to house 9.5 million New Yorkers. Building up every square foot that has been zoned for development is impossible and the city’s population is projected to pass 9 million by 2040. At a real estate conference hosted by Crain’s last week architects from five different firms laid out their plan to serve the city’s swelling population and each focused on a specific borough.
Edgemere is a small neighborhood in the Rockaways that was full of beachfront hotels and bungalows back at the turn of the century. After Robert Moses tore down its most magnificent hotel and replaced it with a parking lot in 1941, the area soon fell into disrepair and became a ghost town. Just this year, however, the city released its Resilient Edgemere Community Planning Initiative to repair Sandy damage, protect the neighborhood from future flooding, improve transportation, and build resilient housing. One of these new projects is called Beach Green Dunes, a brand new Passive Building at 44-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard with amenities like a roof garden, courtyard, parking, and fitness center. An affordable housing lottery for its 100 units opens today, ranging from $653/month studios to $1,597/month three-bedrooms.
With New York City’s population on its way to nine million, the city’s infrastructure may be impressive, but it has its limits–including red tape and resource shortages–that will make it difficult to withstand the projected surge. Reminding us of the transformative innovations of Robert Moses–he of the big ideas and ego to match–Crains invited 12 firms who make their living wrangling infrastructure to hit us with some big ideas. Ahead of the upcoming summit, “Getting Ready for 9 Million New Yorkers,” they’ve shared these visions for future (bigger, better) New York from top architects, designers and real estate experts. Ideas include some that have already proven themselves (repurposing existing track beds) and some already in the works (Bushwick’s Rheingold brewery project) to others that Robert Moses might not love (shrinking the city’s highways).
Curtis + Ginsberg Architects’ “city blocks”
The 413-acre plot of city-owned land, most of it landfill, that makes up Rikers Island is known more for its impenetrable prison than its waterfront property and breathtaking city views. Recently City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called for the closing of the jail complex, reports Crains, calling it an “ineffective, inefficient,” symbol of outdated policies and approach to criminal justice. An independent commission headed by Jonathan Lippman, the state’s former top judge, is creating a blueprint for accomplishing the prison’s closing. There is significant opposition to the idea, though others, from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the New York Times editorial board are behind it.
The latest in a rush of housing lottery kick offs is happening on Thursday at 260 West 153rd Street in Central Harlem, according to the NYC HDC. The brand new building is courtesy of affordable housing gurus L&M Development (who are also behind 149 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, where a lottery is launching tomorrow). Of its 51 apartments, 34 are set aside for low-income residents earning between $23,349 and $43,150 annually. Rents will range from $641/month studios to $836/month two bedrooms.