Just when you thought you’d get to enjoy a low-key pre-holiday Friday, the New York Times compares Donald Trump to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. While just 12 blocks away Trump Tower snarls traffic and confounds anything resembling daily life in the surrounding area with a round-the-clock hive of security details, reporters and protesters—and of course the prez-elect himself, his entourage and various cabinet-members-to-be—Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute director Harold Holzer reminds us of another presidency whose earliest days were spent ensconced in a NYC residence. Of the century-old double-width townhouse at at 47-49 East 65th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, now the Institute’s home, Holzer says, “It was the Trump Tower of 1932-33.” The 65th Street residence was the longtime home of Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt.
On a far-eastern block of the Upper East Side’s Lenox Hill neighborhood, a unique venture is underway to build new facilities for Hunter College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Now wrapping up its cavernous foundations, the 1.15 million-square-foot development will accommodate two separate towers: an East River-facing building that will house a 730,000-square-foot, 23-story outpatient treatment center for Memorial Sloan-Kettering; and a slightly smaller, 400,000-square-foot mid-block building for CUNY-Hunter College’s schools of nursing and physical therapy. Hunter will trade its current nursing school facility at First Avenue and East 25th Street to the city where they will build a new sanitation facility.
In 2012, then-mayor Michael Bloomberg awarded the institutions the right to to build upon the half-block parcel fronting the FDR Drive between East 73rd and 74th Streets. The site was previously home to a sanitation facility that was demolished in 2008 and was sold to the college-hospital for $226 million. The mammoth, 455-foot-tall structure is being designed by Perkins Eastman in collaboration with Ennead Architects and required special approvals to rise more than the as-of-right floor area and height limit. Aside from the project’s size, neighbors took issue with the project’s shortfall of parking spaces and the resulting congestion of a community loaded with medical facilities.
Rendering of 2183 Third Avenue via Gerald J. Caliendo Architects (L); The project site prior to construction(R)
Here’s our first look at 2183 Third Avenue, an under-construction mixed-use project in East Harlem being developed by Sharon Kahen and Haim Levi’s East 119th Street Development LLC. The parcel at the northeast corner of East 119th Street and Third Avenue is giving rise to a 12-story, 64,000-square-foot building designed by the prolific Gerald J. Caliendo Architects. The building will contain 59 rental units, retail space, and a medical facility at ground level.
In 2003, East Harlem underwent a 57-block rezoning spearheaded by the Bloomberg administration’s City Planning chair Amanda Burden. The revision, the neighborhood’s first in 40 years, increased density allowances along First, Second, and Third Avenues, while preserving the human-scaled midblocks in between. Over the past decade, more than a dozen residential mid-rises, roughly 8-12 stories, have blossomed along the area’s wide, well-trafficked corridors. Recent developments spurred by the rezoning include Barry Rice’s 119th & Third, Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work, and Kahen and Levi’s own CL Tower at Third Avenue and East 121st Street, two blocks north of their current project site.