Monthly Archives: December 2020

Long Island City Looks Forward to the Completion of Skyline Tower

Exterior work on Skyline Tower, which is now the tallest building in Queens and the rest of the outer boroughs, is beginning to wrap up as of December 16. Permits were initially filed in February 2016, but initial construction was slightly delayed because of its proximity to LaGuardia airport; initial permits wanted the 68-story skyscraper to be 79 stories tall. As of December 2020, the exterior façade is nearly finished, and the product is near completion.

What Are the Specifics of the Skyline Tower?

The 68-story building is located at 23-15 44th Drive in Long Island City in Queens and residential. Upon completion, it will contain 802 condominiums throughout its 68 floors. The building is 778 feet tall and was designed by Hill West Architects, with the residences themselves designed by Whitehall Interiors. The project has been developed by United Construction & Development Group, FSA Capital, and Risland US Holdings, LLC, with a total overall cost of approximately $1 billion. 

What Are Specifics for Potential Residents?

Amenities within the condo complex for residents include:

  • A fitness center with a swimming pool
  • A sauna and spa
  • A yoga room
  • A laundry room
  • A children’s playroom
  • Several lounges for residents

Another amenity for residents includes an entrance to the Court Square–23rd Street subway station on the ground floor to have easy access to the subway. Each condominium’s estimated cost ranges between $500,000 to $4 million, a slightly more affordable price than downtown Manhattan condos. Developers are hoping to attract residents who want a luxury condominium’s amenities but are willing to live outside of Manhattan. 

The Skyline Tower is close to the 7, G, E, M, N, R, and W trains, making it an easy commute for residents. For those who commute by car, the Queensboro Bridge is a short drive from the Skyline Tower, as is the Queens Midtown Tunnel at 21st Street leads into Manhattan. 

When Is the Project Expected to Complete?

As of December 2020, the ground level still shows a steel barrier around the perimeter, so there is some work to be completed at the ground level and the facade itself. Workers dropped the exterior hoist in mid-December 2020, and the gaps must be filled in on the western side, which is clearly visible. However, most of the work is completed, and it is expected that the project will finish soon. Developers do expect the project to complete in the first half of 2021. 

Prolific Long Island College Sees First Construction Project in Decades

St. Joseph’s College, Long Island in the village of Patchogue, Long Island, is hopeful that soon, students will be able to return to everyday life once the COVID-19 global pandemic is under control. SJC Long Island students were able to return to school under limited capacity as of Fall 2020, but classes and activities, of course, look nothing like they did prior to the pandemic. 

The college recently announced plans for a new student center that will accommodate a growing student population. As of 2020, SJC Long Island had 3,200 graduate and undergraduate students and was in desperate need of a new center to accommodate them. The college has not had any construction projects in over 20 years.

What Are the Specifics of the Student Center?

The new student center at SJC Long Island will be two stories tall and will have 32,000 square feet of space for students to use. Some of the amenities and spaces planned for inside the student center include an art gallery, dining area, gift shop, and a chapel with a combined office for the campus ministry. Yet other spaces include room for lounges, conference rooms, computer labs, and areas for faculty and students to use in which to study.

Why Is This Construction Important?

As the student body begins to grow at SJC, Long Island, college president Donald Boomgaarden believes this expansion is important not only to the SLC Long Island campus, but to the public at large as well. 

He says, “St. Joseph’s wants to be ready for the future, and this student center will assist us in our goal to bring a first-class educational experience to our students – and provide a valuable resource to the greater public.” 

Patchogue mayor Paul Pontieri also said that SJC Long Island has been vital to the revitalization of the Village of Patchogue and believes the new student center will help create a “sense of community.” Everyone at SJC Long Island is extremely excited about the project – and of course, the day when the student center can be used and the pandemic is under control.

When Will the Construction Begin?

St. Joseph’s College Long Island has begun the early planning process with the Village of Patchogue as well as the Town of Brookhaven, and construction is expected to begin in 2021. 

The time frame and exact end-date of the project are unknown, but contacts at SJC Long Island hope that the student center’s conclusion is expected to finish within “the next few years.”

For information on this, and other projects, please contact CIS Leads.

Residential Construction Underway in West Chester, PA

New residential construction is underway in West Chester, PA, near the Charles A. Melton Arts & Education Center.

Pinckney Hill Commons, previously known as the Melton Center Apartments, will have 10 townhomes plus a four-story, 41-unit apartment building. The townhouses, which include an attached garage, will be three or four bedrooms.

The nearly $16 million project of mixed-income rentals on a 1.39-acre lot will cater to families with members who have mobility, hearing, and visual impairments. Planned amenities in the apartment building include a community room, library, laundry, management offices, and on-site supportive services.

The existing Charles A. Melton Arts & Education Center will remain on Lot 1 and residents will have access to its programming. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.

Washington Avenue Neighborhood Looks Forward to New Vibrant Radio Tower

Construction recently topped out at a new high-rise, 22-story building that hopes to improve the Washington Avenue landscape. Located at 2420 Amsterdam Avenue, this vibrant and colorful building first broke ground in 2018. The building has eight separate and distinct boxy shapes, each with a specific purpose (and distinctive color). The building is designed by MVRDV, with executive architect Stonehill & Taylor. MVRDV describes it as “a colorful welcome sign to upper Manhattan.”

2420 Amsterdam Avenue, Meant to Be Welcoming

The developers Youngwoo & Associates, as well as MVRDV, want the building to have an overall welcoming feeling. They want to break the mold that high-rise buildings overwhelm the street and the neighborhood. This is why this high-rise is separated into different parts, with only part of the building being part of the tower. Winy Maas from MVRDV says that this building shows that high rises don’t have to be “disconnected from their neighborhoods” and “they can be a good neighbor, a friendly neighbor, instead.”

What Are the Specifics of this Vibrant High-Rise?

It will be a mixed-use building, and upon completion, will offer 100,000 square feet of office space. Some features include:

  • The ground floor will occupy a mix of retail space and office space
  • Upper levels will be a combination hotel and restaurant, offering guests a large outdoor terrace as well as an outdoor pool deck
  • The restaurant will occupy the 19th floor, and there will be an event space on the tenth floor in the form of an L-shape
  • The outdoor terrace will also be on the tenth floor
  • There will be 212 guest rooms in the hotel

In addition to the 100,000 square feet of office space, there will be 93,000 square feet of hospitality space and 8,000 square feet of retail space.

There are also plans for the hospitality space to accommodate visitors that are in the area visiting Yeshiva University as well as New York-Presbyterian Hospital. 

The project is expected to complete in 2021, with the hotel functional and occupancy by the end of the year. 

Low-Income Housing Project Finally in Progress in Trenton

Construction has begun on Premises Patriot Village II in Trenton. The $22 million project will create a four-story, mixed-use building with 72 affordable housing units.

The residential units will include one-bedroom units (11), two-bedrooms (42), and three-bedroom units (19). Priority will go to homeless and veteran applicants. Residents will also have access to children’s educational activities and health and wellness activities for all.

The building’s amenities include a 690-square-foot gym, 1,600-square-foot community room, and more than 1,100-square feet of ground level retail.

There will be 72 on-site parking spaces under the building and an interior courtyard.

The project broke ground in July after years of federal grant money was frozen and kept the plans from moving forward.

With access to the money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, work is in progress with completion expected in Fall 2021.

Increased Need for Long Island Development Necessitates Immediate Demand

The nature of Long Island’s geography poses a problem for those commuting into the city because there is only so much transit-oriented housing to create. While there are so many reasons to want to live on Long Island instead of in the boroughs, it’s unrealistic to wait for someone to move to find affordable housing. 

However, earlier this year, there are plans underway to transform mixed-use developments (blends of commercial real estate and housing) into more transit-centric and accessible housing within the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge. 

Formerly known as the Hauppauge Industrial Park, the name was changed earlier in 2020 to reinvent the industrial park as more of a technological hub where companies can come to roost—and workers can have convenient and affordable places to live, and better yet enjoy life on Long Island. Even before any new development, the size of Hauppauge Industrial Park was second in size only to Silicon Valley, so the idea carries a lot of merits. 

The Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island (HIA-LI) recently held its group trade show in October 2020. They unveiled many new ideas concerning the project; however, they are still seeking approval for it.

Why Is There Such a Demand for New Housing in Long Island?

According to a Deloitte study, it’s estimated that millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce within the next five years. Yet a nextLIstudy found that over 60 percent of millennials are thinking about moving off the island. It’s more than just a housing issue; however, having affordable housing and lower taxes could keep the workforce on the island and improve the economy. 

According to Robert Coughlan, co-founder of TRITEC Real Estate Company, an East Setauket-based developer, the gap between the number of units needed on Long Island and the number available is nearly double, so the housing shortage is profound. A few decades ago, this was much different, but instead of a millennial workforce, the shift was more toward working families. 

Now that the housing need is more toward smaller units, different designs need to be built, and of course, different projects. There is also a sudden shift to move to Long Island to avoid COVID-19, which is straining housing on the island even further, according to Mitch Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute.

What Is the Forecast for the Long Island Innovation Park?

While the project itself is still pending approval, the push to move forward is gaining momentum. 

Earlier in 2020, the Town of Smithtown reclassified the industrial park, which allowed the developers to design plans to have apartment housing next to many retail storefronts on ground-level space. This would allow for as many as 1,000 apartments within the industrial park itself. At this time, plans also include a workforce training center, greenway connection, business incubators, and quality of life amenities. 

The forecast for completion can be tough to gauge; a similar project, the New Village at Patchogue, required eight years of work before completion, but that was in a pre-pandemic world. 

Piazza Terminal Rising in North Philadelphia

After breaking ground earlier this year, the Piazza Terminal at the Old Schmidt Brewery Site is taking shape in Philadelphia. The $370 million project will create nearly 1,200 apartments and 45,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants, as well as a pedestrian plaza and 500-space parking garage that will dedicate five percent of the spots to green cars and include space for bikes.

The buildings, connected by a second floor skybridge, will be different heights, with the tallest rising 16 stories. The midrise buildings will have terraces on the upper floors that look out onto the central plaza.

Other amenities include two pools and lounge areas on top of an existing five-story parking garage.  

There is no completion date for the project, but initial projections estimated completion five years from the start of construction.