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).
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.
Hold on to your hats, folks! After countless delays, the New York Wheel is finally back on track. Architizer reports that workers are gearing up to break ground tomorrow, April 16th, on what is slated to become the world’s tallest observation wheel. Providing panoramic views of New York Harbor and the cityscape beyond, the 630-foot wheel located at the tip of St. George on northern Staten Island is primed to become one of the most epic ways to experience New York City.