Monthly Archives: August 2020

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.

Steiner Studios to Bring Massive Production Hub to Made in New York Campus in Sunset Park

Another portion of the old Bush Terminal complex is slated to become the site of another major transformation in the ongoing Made In New York campus project. Steiner Studios, known to manage multiple Brooklyn Navy Yard sound-stages, will be constructing an enormous TV production hub, projected to comprise around 500,000 square feet of space. It will bring over 2000 new jobs to the area and that’s excluding the work the construction, itself, will bring over the next couple years. 

The collaboration with Dattner Architects will take place in one of the remaining parts of Bush Terminal where the city has retained ownership once the Made in NY Campus initiative went into motion in 2017. It follows a continuing trend as more movie and television studios begin to move operations to the New York area, with past examples including Lionsgate, who announced a New York base in 2019. 

The Made in New York Campus, at a Glance

Expected to remain under construction until 2021, the Made in NY Campus is in itself an enormous undertaking and has been since plans for it were unveiled several years ago. Its aim: to create a focal point for local manufacturers. Bush Terminal, already a center for industry and home to multiple garment manufacturing plants, has grown increasingly derelict through the decades, with many proposals for renovation and redevelopment coming to very little. 

The Made in New York campus, once completed, will provide a new center for garment manufacturers outside of New York’s Garment District, as well as additional soundstages for television and film production. Its original proposal involved renovating two historic buildings and a 200,000 square foot building called the Hub, which will be fitted to serve between twenty and thirty tenants specializing in sample production, pattern making, and cutting and sewing. 

The Steiner Studios project, an addition to these already existing plans, will take up a space much larger than the Hub. 

The Full Details: What Will the Steiner Studios Project Involve? 

Steiner Studios will be personally investing $320 million into the new complex and also extending their efforts to other parts of the surrounding area, including completing construction on the nearby Bush Terminal Piers park and contributing $25,000 every year to park programming. They also expect to contribute to local hiring, job training, and workforce initiatives at local high schools, the surrounding community, and nonprofits that promote diversity and inclusion in television and media. Their 500,000 square foot studio space will include: 

  • Eight soundstages.
  • Two historical buildings to be fully renovated and serve as production support. 
  • A six-story parking structure.
  • Exclusive loading docks.

Along with an expected 2,200 new full-time jobs once the structures are finished, as many as 1,800 temporary positions are forthcoming for laborers and construction workers. The work entailed will They are expecting a 25 percent participation rate through Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. They will be required to recruit from the local community through HireNYC. 

Steiner Studios is presently expecting a 2022 completion date.

New Townhouses Planned for Asbury Park Waterfront Redevelopment Area

Asbury Park is adding more luxury residences, as the NJ Shore city’s planning board approved the application for preliminary and final site plan and major subdivision for the AP Triangle Townhouse Development earlier this month.

The approximately four-acre, triangular space bordered by Heck Street, Cookman Avenue, and Asbury Avenue is part of Asbury Park’s Waterfront Redevelopment Area, which covers more than 140 acres. The 24-lot site will be subdivided into five lots. Residential buildings will be constructed on three of the lots. A fourth, on the northeast corner of Heck and Cookman, will be an outdoor public space. The fifth lot will remain undeveloped.

The new construction will create 48 townhouses with at least three bedrooms and three baths and include a loft space and roof deck. Plans also call for each unit to have two parking spaces, one in a garage and another in the driveway.

Long Island City Mixed-Use Project Completes Foundation, Progresses

On a busy corner of Jackson Ave in Long Island City, the latest from KSQ Architects and the Vorea Group shows signs of life and hopes to begin to emerge above-ground. Jackson Square has been in development since at least 2016, with plenty of time since then to evolve. It is one of many mixed-use projects that has managed to continue steady development in the Long Island area. 

However, unlike other local mixed-use ventures like Lighthouse Point, Jackson Square will not include permanent housing, much less affordable housing, which has been a major sticking point for keeping certain construction projects open during the pandemic. It has nonetheless continued to progress in the last few months, with foundation work beginning in April and drawing to a close in August. 

The Project: How Has Jackson Square Evolved? 

The first whisper of this project began in 2016 when the Vorea Group purchased a 99-year lease for the property, a mere 10,000 square feet prior to development, with initial images showing a simple corner retail space rising to towering heights of…a single story.

The location sits a single block away from Court Square Subway Station, with access to the G and 7 trains, and immediate plans appear to center around making the most of that. 

From the very beginning, proposals involved at least 50,000 square feet of new construction, including retail space, offices, and a hotel. Commuters looking to shop, work, or stay over would have immediate access to the city’s transit system. 2016 reports projected 30,000 square feet dedicated to retail on the ground floor, with no immediate information on the division between office space and hotel space.

It would take another two years before the demolition permits would be filed, the rest a year later in 2019. At this time, it projected that the finished project would be nearly 150 feet tall, and estimated around 67,000 square feet of space, including speculations on rental units. 

In the time since, at least two renderings of the space have been released to the public, both wildly different. The earlier ones featured a gray steel and concrete-based facade, and the latest features a more classical dark red exterior. By the time of the first rendering releases in October 2019, the plans then specified ground floor and cellar retail space, offices on two floors, and a 72-unit hotel on the remaining six floors, totaling nine above-ground floors.

As of April 2020, when foundation work began, the final plans promise a structure with over 87,000 square feet of space. 

Almost 20 Years Later: Construction Resumes on Church Destroyed in 9/11

Numerous historical projects have resumed work in recent weeks, including advances at Rockefeller Plaza. However, this recent news brings to mind historical events that still weigh heavily in the minds of many New Yorkers. September 11th, 2021, it will mark exactly two decades since the 9/11 attacks that took nearly 3,000 American lives and completely changed the shape of the nation forever. 

However, this somber occasion is now also slated to be marked for something happier and more hopeful: the long-awaited completion of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine. Recognized as the only house of worship to be destroyed in the attacks, efforts to rebuild it have taken nearly 20 years to come this far. Last week, construction resumed on the halfway-finished structure after two years of delays. 

What Has Been the Timeline on St Nicholas’ Church’s Rebuild?

Plans to rebuild the once-devastated structure were almost immediate. Immediately, millions in donations poured in, along with promises of construction materials, all coming from individual donors and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek Government, and the city of Bari, Italy. Plans to include it as part of the new World Trade Center complex also appeared as early as 2003, according to the first volume of Greek Orthodox Parishes of New York State – a Photo Tour.

Land was chosen in 2008, which would move the church from its original location on Cedar Street, where it stood for over 100 years. Its new location is at 130 Liberty Street, just south of the 9/11 memorial. Debates between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Archdiocese would continue until 2014, with Santiago Calatrava attached to design it. The Spanish architect took inspiration from Byzantine holy places such as the Hagia Sophia.

The cornerstone was laid on October 18, 2014, and the structure topped out in 2016. This timeline is fraught with frequent delays due to funding, with construction shutting down for the hopefully final time in 2018. 

St. Nicholas Church: What Remains

When construction resumed in recent weeks, sources suggested the structure was halfway done. Cranes have moved onto the site to begin installing the skylights in the main dome—much of the new design centers around light, both what comes in and what it emits. Situated 25 feet above sea level, the church will sit above the oak trees in the Memorial Park and is designed to glow at night. 

Sources have been markedly close-lipped about any details regarding what remains to be finished, beyond what can be seen in current photos. A largely stone structure, much of the outer facade has yet to be finalized, with containment scaffolding obscuring much of its unfinished face. 

The projected 2021 completion date speaks to the work that needs to be done. Finishing the masonry for the outer structure, with the likely need for attention paid to interior details, glass work, utility installation, and more, promises to be a busy year for the firms involved in St. Nicholas’ reconstruction. 

Bridesburg Waterfront Park Gets Grant To Move Forward

Plans for a 10-acre waterfront park in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia are moving forward after PennDOT awarded a $1.4 million grant to the city last month.

Construction of Phase 1 is expected to begin in 2021―with a public opening set in 2022―at the site in the historic neighborhood along the Delaware River. Phase 1 includes a large lawn area, restrooms, parking and walking trails.

Phase 2 will be the construction of stage and picnic pavilions, terraced lawn seating, and a river boardwalk. The park will connect to an existing 2.2-mile trail and create an 11-mile stretch of parks and trails along the Delaware River. It will be part of the Circuit Trails and East Coast Greenway networks that run 750 miles and 3,300 miles, respectively.

Additional funding for the $9-million waterfront project, being built on the site of a former concrete plant, is being procured by Riverfront North Partnership and the city of Philadelphia.

In a second, related project, a new two-lane road with a dedicated bike path will be built to ease traffic in Bridesburg and offer more recreational opportunities for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Mount Vernon Memorial Field Restoration Moves Forward

Continuing the ongoing endeavors in multiple NY areas to rebuild and beautify their parks and athletic complexes, Mount Vernon, just west of Yonkers, is at last following suit with a restoration of its own. With planning and proposals open for some months now, County officials have finally announced that Mount Vernon Memorial Field project is underway, with the $25 million contract awarded to the New York-based LandTek Group. 

The journey to this point has been a long one, and the end is still far off.

A Piece of Local History: A Brief Timeline

After opening in 1930, Mount Vernon Memorial Field swiftly became a staple of the community. It “was, in essence, our Yankee Stadium,” the City of Mount Vernon NY proudly states on their website. It was home to local games and track meets, high school graduations, and performances from the likes of the Jackson 5 and Nina Simone. 

The finished restoration hopes to bring the field back to its former status as a commercial hub, but more than just time creates distance from Mount Vernon Memorial Field’s present state and its glory days. It has since fallen into disarray, the victim of frequent illegal dumping, and has been closed for the better part of the last decade. Multiple administrations have devoted time and money to cleaning and attempted restorations, but none led to reopening. 

In 2019, before the process to rebuild began, a $2 million cleanup project commenced, with initial plans to build a stadium on the former field. Taking six weeks starting in September, this would be the first phase of the current project. 

In March of 2020, the final plans for the Mount Vernon Memorial Field would be unveiled by County Executive George Latimer, and bids would open soon after. Fast-forward to the present, to the LandTek Group and the work that is to come. 

What Will Be Done to Restore Mount Vernon Memorial Field? 

The accepted proposal differed slightly from the original vision when cleanup started last year, with the following in the works: 

  • An NCAA regulation football field, which will also be suited to other sports, including field hockey and soccer. 
  • 3,900 seats. The original grandstand was demolished two years ago, and the new one sports an additional 1,000 seats. 
  • Updated, modern locker rooms and public restrooms.
  • A skateboard park will share some space with three adjacent tennis courts. 
  • An NYSPHSAA certified eight-lane track.

The level of work to be done will be tied into a mixture of restoration and full teardowns and rebuilds. An earlier report on the plans suggests that a specific task will involve removing boulders and debris under the current tennis courts, part of an earlier refurbishment from a previous administration’s cleanup attempts. 

The official groundbreaking is Wednesday, August 5, 2020. Officials are optimistic that the project will wrap up in time for high school football teams to take the field in the fall of 2021.