Monthly Archives: April 2021

Heartland Town Square in Brentwood, Long Island, to Resume Construction after Developer’s Death.

The Heartland Town Square Project has been hotly contested from the beginning, both by the 4 Towns Civic Association and the Brentwood School District. If it weren’t for developer Jerry Wolkoff’s determination, the initial plans would never have gotten approved and phase I construction started. 

After Wolkoff passed away in July 2020, people wondered what would happen with the project. Now, it appears as if his sons will take over, with construction resuming this summer. 

What Are the Details of the Project?

The overall vision of the project is to transform the 452 acre Pilgrim Psychiatric Center into a new town center, creating jobs and providing services for the community, like housing, shopping, and civic-oriented amenities.

The breakdown includes including 9,000 apartments, 34 million sf of Class A office space, 1million sf dedicated to restaurants, hotels, bars, shops and cinemas, and a $15M, approx 237,000 sf, retail building.

The work is to be completed in phases. Phase 1 has been approved, and work has begun on the first 350 of 3,000 apartments. 

It is yet to be decided whether the Islip Town Board will approve the other phases of the project, as there is still opposition. If approved in its entirety, the town square will take 20 to 30 years to complete. The owners and developers of the project are G&M Realty LP. 

Why Is This Project Important?

The developer estimates that Heartland Town Square will bring 2,000 construction jobs and about 25,000 permanent jobs to the area. Also, because of the diversity of the spaces being offered (restaurants, retail, office space, residential), it will attract people of all ages to live and work. 

The developer also estimates that it will generate more than $50 million in property taxes to help bring relief to the area.

Why Is the Project Being Opposed?

Local area residents are contesting the project for several reasons, mainly concerns about overcrowding and the impact to their local water supply, which is deemed part of the Special Groundwater Protection Area. They fear that the sheer number of new residents, compounded with the retail and office space, could dry up their water supply – aquifers, which may no longer have ample opportunity to recharge. 

Construction is expected to resume in Summer 2021, and it remains to be seen if the Town of Islip will approve further phases of the project.

For more information on this project and others, visit the CIS Leads website today.

Luxury Condo Complex in Ardmore, PA Nears Completion

After several years, construction on the 39 Montgomery condominium complex, located within walking distance of the Suburban Square Shopping Center, is expected to wrap up by the end of Summer. 

What Are the Details of the Project?

Three residences were demolished to make way for this four-story, 21-unit luxury condominium complex. Prospective residents can choose from five separate floor plans, all of which have three bedrooms and three bathrooms and range in size from 2,200 square feet to 2,600 square feet. 

Each residence will have 9- to 10-feet high ceilings, a gas fireplace, a private terrace, an oversized closet, and a spa-style master bath. The outside of the structure features a limestone and brick facade. The design firm on this project is Momenee & Associates, Inc., out of Bryn Mawr, PA.

There are many onsite amenities for residents as well. The entire complex will feature:

  • A security system
  • Assigned underground two-car parking
  • Storage space
  • Club lounge
  • Keyless electronic entry
  • Private fitness room

Why Is This Project Important?

Ardmore is part of the overall Philadelphia metro area. The location of this condominium complex is extremely close to both the Septa and Amtrak rail lines, which offers residents a quick and easy commute into the city. 

The complex is also within walking distance from Suburban Square Shopping Center, which is a historic and bustling center. 

For more information on this project and others, visit the CIS Leads website today.

NYC’s Waldorf Astoria Follows a Trend to Convert Hotel Space to Condos


The Waldorf Astoria is a historic building where every president has stayed, dating back to Herbert Hoover. The hotel first opened in 1931, so officials and locals will be glad to see it carefully preserved.

It’s been quite a few years since the Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group purchased the famous Waldorf Astoria hotel in 2015 to renovate it into condominiums. However, in light of the pandemic and the complexity needed for luxury renovations, construction remains ongoing and hopeful expectations have the end of construction slated for the fourth quarter of 2022. 

What Are the Details of the Project?

There are 375 condos in total planned for the project, with studios starting at $1.7 million and four-bedroom condos starting at $18.5 million. The hotel closed its doors in 2017 to begin renovations, and developers began to launch condo sales for the property in March of 2020. 

Interiors of the condos are expected to include vanities with marble countertops, herringbone floors, and antique bronze hardware. Some units will also have private balconies. 

There will be many amenities within the building as well. Residents will have access to a winter garden, four private bars, a 25-meter swimming pool, a children’s playroom, a theater, a gym, and private spas. 

There are plans to continue to have hotel spaces below the condos, known as the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria, that the Hilton hotel chain will continue to manage. 

The local developer on the project is AB Stable LLC, the design firm is Skidmore Owings & Merrill, and the contractor is AECOM Tishman

Why Is This Project Important?

The NYC hotel industry has had to deal with many challenges over the past decade. Services such as Airbnb have allowed competition with a very low barrier to entry, and a brand new market which is not subject to the same laws and restrictions as traditional hotels. Then the coronavirus global pandemic, which was particularly severe in New York, shut down the entire city and travel across the world.

The renovation of the hotel to condo units ensures it can still thrive during an unsure hotel market. New York City’s luxury apartment and condo market are still reeling from the mass-departure of residents caused by the pandemic, but analysts say that the building has a good chance of being successful because it is reasonably priced for its category.

 For more information on this project and others, visit the CIS Leads website today.

Caven Point Studios in Jersey City Nears Completion

Originally slated for a 2020 opening, construction is finally near completion on the Caven Point Studios at Canal Crossing in Jersey City, New Jersey. The movie studio project was initially announced in Fall 2019 and will be the largest in the state.

What Are the Details of the Project?

An existing building has beed demolished and two warehouses are being redeveloped into a film and television production studio complex. The entire project is 135,000 square feet, with 70,000 of that dedicated to studio space and three sound stages.

The project’s developer and contractor is the Criterion Development Group, which purchased the 5.6-acre site for $16.75 million in March 2019. They chose to build a movie studio outside of New York City to take advantage of the New Jersey Film Tax Credit Program. They used local design firms Dresdner Robin Engineering of Jersey City and Ware Malcomb of New York City.

Why Is This Project Important?

Mayor Steven Fullop of Jersey City has said that he hopes the construction of Caven Point Studios will aid in redeveloping the city and preserving the area’s robust industrial history.

The new studio is expected to boost the local economy. The construction itself has already brought an influx of local jobs. The passing of the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act in 2018 helps developers consider projects like this throughout New Jersey to help revitalize areas that may need it. The state’s proximity to New York City makes it an ideal location for a movie studio. 

Construction is expected to complete in Spring 2021.

For more information on this project and others, visit the CIS Leads website today.

Phase 2 of Ronkonkoma Hub to Begin This Year

Phase 2 construction of the multi-million dollar Ronkonkoma Hub project in Brookhaven is expected to begin sometime in 2021, and full completion of the project is slated for 2027 at this time. 

The hub will be a mixed-use community and residential area across from the LIRR station, allowing residents an easy commute to where they need to go.

Phase 1 was completed in 2019, with some of the planned 489 units completed.

What Are the Details of the Project?

There are plans for five phases in all. 

Particulars for phase 2 include:

  • 544 residential units
  • 16,000 square feet of office space that extends to an LIRR station parking lot
  • 104,000 square feet of retail space

The project is expected to include stores, offices, restaurants, and apartments and totals 53 acres in all. Because phase 1 has already been completed, 245 residential units are already completed and occupied. Empire State Development is helping to fund the $700 million project with $55 million. Developers on the project are Jones Lang LaSalle of Chicago, IL. The design firm is Niles Bolton Assoc. Of Atlanta, GA, and the contractors are TRITEC

Why Is This Project Important?

The project is expected to create 10,000 construction jobs during its tenure as well as 2,500 permanent jobs. 

The Ronkonkoma Hub creation also goes hand in hand with major upgrades to the Long Island Railroad, which just received $5.9 million in upgrades as of 2018.

Long Island council members are dedicated to making Long Island an attractive place to live while also making it an easy commute into the city for work. Local officials believe it is important to have amenities near transit, both for residents and travelers. 

For more information on this project and others, visit the CIS Leads website today.

Amazon’s Largest Fulfillment Center Planned in Wilmington, DE

Amazon has formidable familiarity with Delaware, as it was the site of their first fulfillment center that was first constructed in 1997. In 2020, Amazon announced plans to build their third fulfillment center in the First State, on the site of an old General Motors assembly plant in Wilmington that had been closed for nearly 10 years. The other fulfillment centers are located in New Castle and Middletown.

What Are the Details of the Project?

Amazon has not announced full details of the project as of yet, but the building will be a 5 ½ story complex that will ship out household goods, electronics, toys, books, and other similar items. This will be the largest building to ever be constructed in Delaware and is expected to house 1,000 workers.  The developer is Dermody Properties out of Morristown, New Jersey, with Apex Engineering, Inc. of Newport, Delaware employed as the design firm.  Dermody Properties is listed as the contractors on the project. Harvey, Hanna & Associates completed the demolition in 2019. 

Why Is This Project Important?

In February 2020, the state of Delaware paid Amazon $4.5 million in an up-front grant to move to the site in order to bring more jobs to the state, While the plant will rely heavily on robotics, it plans to bring 1,000 jobs to the area by the 2021 holiday season. During the hearing for the grant, Amazon officials testified under oath that they would pay entry-level workers $15 per hour and managerial staff $32 per hour. All workers will also receive “full medical, vision, and dental insurance” in addition to a 401(k) plan, which Amazon pledged a 50 percent company match as well as tuition aid. 

Completion of construction is anticipated by Summer 2021, with employment anticipated before the 2021 holiday season begins.

For more information on this project and others, visit the CIS Leads website today.

After Topping Off Tower A, Hudson Yards Moves Closer to Completion

In 2017, Douglaston Development first announced plans for two towers at Hudson Yards, a 62-story building at 601 West 29th Street, and a 32- story building at 606 West 30th Street (as of 2021, that building is now a 37-story unit). 

Demolition permits were approved in 2017, and 2018 and demolition was completed by 2019, and building permits were also completed in 2019. As of March 2021, the project is ongoing; however, construction of Tower A has topped out as of February. 

What Are the Details of the Tower Project?

Tower A, where construction has just topped off, sits at 601 West 29th Street, and is 62 stories high with 940,546 square feet of usable space. At 695 feet high, it will be an L-shaped skyscraper that offers residents panoramic views from most apartments. The developers include Ares Management, Douglaston Development, and Frank Lalezarian dba Mineola Metro, LLC. 

Contractors for the project include Levine Builders, Oliviero Construction, and Regal Reconstruction Corp. Architects include FXCollaborative Architects and Ismael Leyva Architects, P.C.

There will be 931 residential units. Amenities for the tower include:

  • a dog grooming facility
  • parking for 186 cars and 467 bicycles
  • a terrace on the 40th floor with a resident lounge and library
  • a 6th-floor terrace with an outdoor pool
  • additional resident lounges
  • 9,496 square feet of retail space at the ground level

Tower B sits at 606 West 30th Street, and construction is ongoing. This skyscraper will be 37 stories high, standing 529 feet tall. There will be 277 residential units overall, some with balconies included. This tower will have a glass facade, according to the Department of Buildings. Amenities include a pool, playroom, a fitness center, and a garage with room for 60 cars and 142 bicycles. 

Why Is This Project Important?

According to Douglaston Development, 234 units in Tower A will be designated as affordable units, which is significant for the neighborhood residents. Additionally, Douglaston also closed on 120,000 square feet of air rights from Hudson River Park as part of the entire sale. The developer said that the proceeds from that would go to “significant park improvements in the neighborhood.”

Tower A is expected to complete by Summer 2022, and Tower B’s construction is ongoing, with a full project completion date set for sometime in 2023. 

For more information on this project and others, visit the CIS Leads website today.

Approval Sought to Turn Historic Philadelphia Firehouse Into Apartments

In July 2020, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority first approved the sale of the Firehouse 29 building for redevelopment into 29 apartment units. The building, which resides at 1221 N. Fourth St., sold for $1.6 million in 2020 to developer Jeffrey Tubbs. 

He is associated with the Make the World Better Foundation, a nonprofit organization that NFL player Connor Barwin also co-founds. The developers gained ZBA approval in January 2021; however, it is still under review by the Philadelphia Historical Commission because of the historical nature of the property. 

What Are the Details of the Project?

The Make the World Better Foundation is working with the design firm Continuum Architecture & Design, PC, and Philadelphia to restore the existing building and build a five-story building on a lot in the rear of the property. The property is zoned multi-family, so the proposed use of apartments is not against zoning, but because the building is on the Historic Register, it requires additional approvals. 

Plans include:

  • rehabilitation of the existing facade
  • installation of green roofing 
  • demolition of the existing roof with the construction of a one-story addition 
  • the construction of the five-story building in the back. 

There are plans for a roof deck with included amenities. Nine apartments will reside on the upper floors, and new window installments will be compatible with the original building’s old historical “look”. There will also be ground floor parking available, and some units will be designated affordable housing units.

Why Is This Project Important?

The historic 127-year-old building has been vacant since 1979 when the firehouse moved to a modern station on Girard St. The building has been used only to house paperwork and public record. 

Not only will having apartments, some of them affordable housing, put the building to good use while renovating it and preserving its history, but there will also be some aspects of community revitalization because Make the World Better is involved. While the foundation is typically involved with commercial projects, there will be mentoring and apprenticeship programs to better the community. 

Because developers are still waiting for approval from the Philadelphia Historical Commission, no target date for completion has been set. 

For more information on this project and others, visit our website.