Construction Wrapping at Bloom on Forty Fifth, Target to Open in Hell’s Kitchen

Back in 2016, Xin Development International sought the space between West 44th and West 45th streets in Hell’s Kitchen a gas station once stood. Even back then it was to become the firm’s second condominium venture, perhaps even to rival other similar and recent construction projects in the area, such as The West, which topped out earlier this year

In the years since, Bloom on Forty Fifth (formerly Hudson Garden) has evolved into one of the more significant up-and-coming mixed-use projects in Hell’s Kitchen, especially once word broke in 2017 that a “flexible format” Target location would be taking up residence in the ground floor. 

What Are the Details of the Bloom on Forty Fifth and Target Projects? 

With Marvel Architects designing and Leeding Builders Group helming construction, the nearly complete Bloom and Target have traveled a long road to come this far. This has included a period of delays and eventual refinancing in early 2019 that brought Kuafu Properties on as project managers. 

The Target on the ground floor will span 29,000 square feet, and while it will be smaller than some of their more sprawling locations (deemed “super” sized when they began to offer groceries in competition with Wal-Mart). 

Details about its “flexible format” suggest a space that is customized to suit the residence upstairs and other locals, including the following: 

  • Men’s and women’s apparel and accessories
  • Home items that specifically cater to people living in apartments or condos
  • Portable tech
  • Health, beauty, and personal care products
  • Groceries, to include fresh produce and ready-made foods like sandwiches, salads, snacks, drinks, and more
  • Target Mobile and Order Pickup services, useful as New Yorkers continue to social distance

Bloom’s upper floors on Forty Fifth will divide 92 units into north and south towers, each condominium ranging from studios to three-bedroom residences that boast “intelligent design” but no details on what this means. Amenities will include:

  • 8,000 square foot, elevated courtyard
  • Private terraces for some residences
  • Storage spaces
  • A bike room for residents
  • A dedicated fitness room

Pricing for these spaces are yet to be announced. 

What Remains to Be Finished at the Bloom on Forty Fifth?

The two coinciding projects appear to be in their “finishing touches” stages. While earlier reports back in June showed the building topped out and ready for glass installations, that has long passed, and steady progress has continued since. 

Target spokesperson Whitney Webster confirmed in a statement that the ground floor will be open to the public by the end of the year. “As we get closer to opening the store,” she said, “we’ll have more specific details to share — including how the shopping experience will be tailored to serve local guests and the grand opening date.”

Likewise, Bloom on Forty Fifth’s higher floors are expected to be finished and ready for residents by the end of the year. Photos of the current, quite polished state of the building appear to confirm this, with signs of ladders and other equipment visible through windows suggesting that interior details and installations may be all that remains.

Veterans and Affordable Housing Building Underway in Downtown Dover

Construction has begun on veterans and affordable housing units in Dover, NJ.

The $1.1 million project will consist of 70 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units in a four-story building. Each floor of the building will have laundry facilities. There will be on-site parking, a community space, bicycle storage and on-site maintenance and support services for residents.

At least five percent of the units will be accessible to residents with physical disabilities, and all units will be completely adaptable.

Veterans will receive preference for half of the units. Five units will be set aside for residents who were previously homeless.

The project, which is part of Dover’s master redevelopment plan of downtown, is being built on a former parking lot. The building will conform to the existing architecture of downtown Dover. Developers anticipate completion of the project—which is being finance with low-income housing tax credit from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency—is expected in 14 months.

Princeton University Makes Room, Will Build New Soccer Facilities

Demolition of the Fritz Randolph Observatory at Princeton University has begun, the first step toward the new East Garage & Roberts Stadium at Princeton Stadium & Jadwin Gym. The university plans to salvage stones from the Observatory and use them elsewhere on campus, but the historic building will be lost to soccer facilities, athletics buildings, and amenities for fans.

A five-level parking garage is expected to be finished by Summer 2022. The university has targeted Fall 2022 for the completion of a new soccer stadium and practice field. Roberts Stadium will have a capacity of 3,000 fans, an NCAA regulation-sized soccer field with natural grass, support areas, a ticket office, concession area, and a press box. The practice field will have artificial turf. Both facilities on the East Campus near Jadwin Gymnasium will have lights for nighttime use.

The site will also have an athletics operations facility, paths and roads that create better access and travel through the area for cars, bikes, and pedestrians, and a geo-exchange utility facility and the needed associated infrastructure to support campus-wide carbon neutrality goals. The area being redeveloped is a 33-acre portion of a lot that is more than 140 acres. Already at the site are a biodigester pilot project, buildings for athletics and university operations, the Finney/Campbell athletic fields, and the East Basin.

Construction on Gleneagle Green Affordable Housing Project in Long Island Is Underway

As the year draws into the latter months, resumed and newly launched construction projects in the metro area continue to grow. For a region ever in need of expanded affordable housing initiatives, the Gleneagle Green project in Brookhaven is a recent groundbreaking (from May of this year) that has begun to show clear results in the time since. 

The $30 million Atlantic Avenue project was among numerous affordable housing projects that Gov. Cuomo tapped to fund on Long Island. There is a greater push for both affordable spaces and affordable rentals, specifically. Affordable housing has become a high-priority to re-energize the area—not only serving lower-income residents in the community but also enticing younger New Yorkers to live and work there. This is a recurring theme that CISleads discussed briefly in its coverage of the Manhasset Square project a year ago.

Gleneagle Green – What Are the Details?

Gleneagle Green will comprise about 70 units across nine buildings, suggesting an average of 6-7 units per building. The amended proposal from November, 2019, reveals a number of telling details:

  • All nine buildings will comprise mixtures of one and two-bedroom apartments. 
  • The complex will sit in a “horseshoe” configuration around a common green area, facing south. 
  • There will also be two other buildings: a single story, 7400 square foot community center and a 400 square foot Sanitary Sewage Disposal System Control Building to be housed on-site. 
  • The complex will be gated, with exit and entry points on Atlantic Avenue and emergency access established through Patchogue Ave. 
  • Roughly two off-street parking stalls per unit will also be constructed. 
  • 11 of the 70 units will be reserved for residents with disabilities. 

Other sources promise amenities such as seating areas and structured playgrounds. It will also sit close to Robert Rowley Park and Bellport Area’s Boys and Girls Club. The overall image presented in these plans and subsequent reports have been quite different from recent mixed-use endeavors around the New York City metro area, but it hearkens more to the suburban feel of some of Long Island’s more settled areas. 

Funding assistance is coming from both the State of New York and Suffolk County. 

The Timeline – What Remains to Be Finished on the Gleneagle Green Project?

So far, images of the very beginnings of one of the nine apartment buildings have emerged, with the skeleton of the structure and the particleboard in place to show an idea of the structure it is to become. The buildings themselves will not be the only parts of the project for long, with the roadways, the entrances, fencing, landscaping, and the play areas to follow. The details about a waste management structure suggest a little more work to do in terms of infrastructure beyond merely connecting with local utilities. 

Full completion of the project is estimated to be Spring of 2022.

Jersey City Tower Project Can Move Forward

With litigation recently settled, developer HAP Investments has been granted automatic site approval for the $400 million HAP 11 Tower Park and Community Center in Jersey City. The Summit Ave project, which has been in the works for years, can now move forward as part of the development of the Hilltop neighborhood near Journal Square.

The two existing empty two-story residential structures will be demolished, clearing the way for a 42-story, one million square foot mixed use tower. There are 800 residential units planned along with 35,000 square feet of retail.

Under the terms of the agreement, HAP will construct a 0.8-acre park at the location, as well as a $2.5 million community center, both of which will then be transferred to city ownership.  The tower will be built first and the community center and park must be completed within a year of the residential units Certificate of Occupancy. In addition, 40 of the 100 spaces in the garage will be reserved for the community center and park.

Bishop Valero Residence, Low-Income Senior Residence Under Construction in Astoria, Queens

This summer, construction commenced on another low-income housing initiative in Queens, the likes of which have been in high demand in many parts of the New York City Metropolitan area. Unlike other affordable housing ventures, such as those CISLeads has covered like the Empire State Dairy and Archer Towers projects, Bishop Valero is one of the first to emerge since the start of the pandemic to focus chiefly on affordable housing for seniors. 

Bishop Valero is helmed by Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corporation and designed by Dattner Architects. The property located at 23-11 31st Road in Astoria, Queens, on the former site of the Catholic Charities Catherine Sheridan Senior Housing parking lot was meant to close in March of 2020. The COVID-19 shutdown delayed these plans in the earlier part of the year. Should another occur, its status should protect its continued progress as an affordable housing project.

Citing affordable housing as one of NYC’s enduring crises, Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, CEO of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens stressed that the project would “provide much-needed housing to low-income seniors and a supportive environment for formerly homeless,” as “there are thousands of individuals in need of affordable housing in New York City, and we cannot build fast enough.”

What Are the Specifics of the Project?

The $62 million project has secured its funding from Bank of America, Barings, and Richman Housing Resources but also tax credits through the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Renderings show a six-story building with a plain tan masonry facade on the ground floor and brick-red cement on every floor above. The windows are asymmetrical on all the upper floors, giving it a slick, modern vibe. 

  • The residences will make up 102 units within the building, with one superintendent unit, comprising about 84,900 square feet in total, all on the upper floors.
  • The ground floor will house a 200-seat senior center, run by Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services. 
  • There will be daily, on-site prepared hot meals, referral services, educational seminars, fitness classes, and case management services in the senior center. 
  • 100 percent of all units will go to seniors making up to 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), with 30 percent of the units reserved for formerly homeless seniors with severe mental illnesses.

Rent subsidization will come through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 voucher program.

What Kind of Work Is the Bishop Valero Project Creating? 

Tradespersons and firms involved with the project can expect steady work through the next year, at the very least. Construction and ground breaking reportedly took place in early July. No demo has taken place or been scheduled. Along with the necessary wiring, plumbing, and structural work that goes into a building of this size, there will also likely be alterations to the area around, from sidewalks to any landscaping. The apartments themselves will likely include more than the standard residence by their need for accessibility. 

Currently, no timeline for completion is on record.

New York City Sees Biggest Negative Impact from Pandemic

The construction industry a took huge hit with coronavirus shutdowns and the ensuing economic downturn. But New York City was impacted more than the surrounding area in the first half of 2020, according to a CIS analysis of its projects.

In some of the most revealing numbers: new public projects put out to bid were down 51 percent. That’s more than 20 percent worse than Long Island and an even larger decline compared to Westchester, and New Jersey.

 Most discouraging was the total value of public projects that were bid in the first half of the year. Those numbers were down 61 percent. It is worth noting, however, that New York City’s project numbers were lower in January, February, and March, as well. The state didn’t shut down nonessential construction until March 31.

Employment in New York City building construction fell by more than 35 percent year-over-year in May, according to the state’s Department of Labor. While there was an immediate rush of activity and rehiring once non-essential construction could resume, that was primarily to catch-up on projects that were in progress. With the reduced number of public projects put out to bid, industry leaders worry that the work and hiring won’t continue.

Data from July backs that fear. According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), construction employment in July was down 66 percent in 358 metro areas across the country compared to the year before. New York City lost the most construction jobs, down 26,500 (or 16 percent) from the previous July, according to the AGC.

Amid fears that the virus numbers will spike, forcing another shutdown in the city, contractors are pushing to finish work on projects in progress, but there is understandable concern that budget issues will kill any hopes of continued recovery. When the city’s budget passed in July – the first budget that has been lower than the previous year since the Great Recession in 2009 – money for affordable housing and public projects was cut. New York City faces a projected $9 billion revenue loss because of the global pandemic, at the same time President Trump is threatening to cut off federal funding to the city. If federal funding doesn’t come, Governor Andrew Cuomo says vital infrastructure projects and some of the city’s biggest construction plans, including projects at LaGuardia and JFK airports and the new Penn Station, could be put on hold. The AGC says that without federal funding, commercial construction companies will be forced to lay off more workers.

The analysis did show one bright spot: The number of new private projects being planned actually increased from 2019.

This could continue, particularly in private healthcare projects. Industry experts predict growth in healthcare construction for New York City over the next few years. There may even be an opportunity for private projects developing outdoor spaces for restaurants and retail.

New Hospital at CHOP King of Prussia Campus Making Progress

Progress continues on the new Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia building at CHOP’s campus at the Village at Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA. In July, developers held a topping off event for the $186 million project and construction continues toward a late 2021 completion and opening of the 250,000 square foot, seven-floor inpatient hospital.

The new building sits alongside the existing CHOP specialty care and surgery center and will be the anchor of the Philadelphia hospital’s satellite campus. Plans call for 52 private rooms, and include an emergency department, a pediatric ICU, operating suites, and a radiology department.

This building is one of many in CHOP’s expansion into the Philadelphia suburbs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Ongoing and future projects include a specialty and urgent care center in Abington, PA, a medical office and retail center in Moorestown, NJ, and an inpatient tower in Philadelphia.

Progress on The Prime in Long Island City Steadily Continues

The Prime approaches another milestone as it marches toward completion. Since Circle F Capital acquired the property for development in 2016, the mixed-use project at 22-43 Jackson Avenue in the neighborhood of Hunters Point has been gradually taking shape for years now, and the project remains about a year from coming to an end. 

Featuring condominiums for sale on the upper floors and commercial space on the ground, the Prime’s slower stretch to the finish line can at least partly be attributed to the shutdown of construction in the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak, where all residential construction, aside from those deemed essential, was shut down. Other mixed-use projects in Long Island City managed to bypass this because their plans included affordable housing. 

Recent visits to the Prime have shown that the exterior details such as guardrails and the facades, which were still in progress a year ago, are taking their final forms. 

The Prime: The Project at a Glance

Circle F Capital’s initial plans for the Prime revealed a structure reaching eleven stories above ground, hugging the obtuse-angled intersection of 46th and Jackson Avenue. The first images revealed in 2017 showed SRA Architecture + Engineering’s designs for a mixture of light-colored masonry and tall, protruding walls of windows, and the developments since have shown little has changed. 

Once finished, the Prime will feature at least 71 residences averaging 900 square feet, ranging from one to three-bedrooms, and are being marketed starting at $675,000. The total square footage for the residences is a little under 64,000 square feet.

The ground floors will feature over 11,000 square feet of commercial space, and with the Court Square subway station across the street and the 23rd Street station just blocks away, this would mean easy transit for shoppers and residents alike. 

Most reports suggest the finished structure will amount to 120,000 square feet of space. Eastern Consolidated suggests new residents can expect centers for business and fitness, a children’s playroom, outdoor spaces, and bicycle storage, but is the only source to claim this. 

One can only assume more information is forthcoming, but at present, even the Prime’s main website remains cryptic. 

What Remains to be Completed on the Prime at 22-43 Jackson Avenue?

Exterior photos of the Prime show that most of the windows and outer masonry have been installed, with the dotted lines of rail-less balconies delineating each of the floors. A large area of the open wall remains where a hoist once stood. No longer needed, this gap is gradually being filled in. 

The area that seems to be the furthest from completion is the mechanical section on the roof, which still shows signs of waterproofing in progress. No information about how far along interior construction and design happens to be, though the interior designer has been confirmed to be Andres Escobar.

Initial reports on the property in the early part of its development projected a 2020 completion date. Right now, brokers and buyers can expect construction to wrap up sometime in 2021. 

Mixed-Use Building Gets Approval for Newark’s Ironbound District

A new mixed-use building has been approved by the Newark Planning Board. Florio Residential and Retail at 648-652 Raymond Boulevard calls for 120 residential units and 2,800 square feet of ground floor retail space. It is another building in the ongoing redevelopment of Newark’s Ironbound District in the East Ward.

The new five-story building across from Newark’s Riverfront Park will be more than 141,000 square feet. The residential floors will be a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom units. There will also be more than 1,200 square feet of amenity space on the second floor and a 5,200 square feet terrace for use by residents.

A ground level parking garage with 89 spots is also planned.

The project requires the demolition of the existing building on the site, which sits a little more than a mile from both Newark Penn Station and the PATH station in Harrison.