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Hercules Redevelopment Project Expected to Begin in the Spring

The Hercules Country Club has been closed for nearly ten years, and nothing has been approved to be built in its place on Lancaster Pike in New Castle County, Delaware. However, in September 2020, the New Castle County Council approved 258 homes to be built on the site. Although it was met with some opposition, at the time, the project was approved with a 12-1 vote. 

Now, the real estate development firm Pettinaro Co. is expected to begin building on site beginning in Spring 2021, after many years of battle, not only with New Castle County but with the Delaware Supreme Court. 

What Does the Project Entail?

The 200-acre golf course was once meant for Hercules Powder company and its associates, dating back to the 1930s. However, the golf course has not been in use since 2010 and offers empty space for development. Greg Pettinaro, the lead developer on this project, is planning for 258 homes total on the site, which will include two types of 158 single-family homes as well as 100 townhouse units. 

Why Did the Project Experience Roadblocks?

There are several reasons why the development company experienced some roadblocks in their proposals. The main issue that officials had with the project was traffic. Originally, Toll Brothers, homebuilders based in Pennsylvania, were going to build the project in conjunction with the Pettinaro Co. 

However, a traffic impact study was conducted, and New Castle County ruled that the project would cause too much traffic congestion. The Delaware Supreme Court upheld the decision, and the Toll Brothers walked away. Ultimately, the Pettinaro Co. decided to make the traffic upgrades themselves to move forward. 

Still, then a group of neighbors began to oppose the project, known as “Hold On to Hercules.” However, the group wasn’t able to raise enough funds to oppose the project, and ultimately, with the traffic upgrades, it was approved by a 12-1 margin. 

Other Lancaster Pike Improvements

The Pettinaro Co. is also actively working on other projects in the same vicinity as the Hercules Project, including the Barley Mill Plaza development project, including a new Wegmans grocery store. The plaza will also include other retail and office space, conveniently located to the new Hercules residents. 

The Pettinaro Co. expects that the first homes on the site will be completed within a year and that the entire project will complete in roughly five years. 

Two New High-Rise Towers Proposed in Manhattan’s Financial District

The Howard Hughes Corporation has proposed two new high-rise towers in Manhattan’s financial district at 250 Water Street. The Landmarks Preservation Commission is currently looking over the proposals, including an expansion of the South Street Seaport, located in the Financial District. The lead architect on the project will be Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM), with consultation from historic preservation experts Higgins Quasebarth & Partners and supportive design services from JHPA.

What Are the Specifics of the High-Rise Plans?

Currently, the lot at 250 Water Street is undeveloped and has been for many years. It is situated on the edge of the South Street Seaport Historic District and is the size of one city block. The towers and expansion proposals will encompass the entire block and plot, with two 38-story towers and a low-rise podium. If all plans are approved, the overall height of the building could be as tall as 757,400 buildable square feet. Because the towers’ height may be a bit jarring compared to the landscape within the existing South Street Seaport Historic District, the towers will sit on a five-story podium and will be set back from the street.

What Is the Purpose of the Project?

These new high-rise towers will be multi-purpose and will be residences, community spaces, office buildings, and associated spaces. Residential spaces are the main focus of the project and will occupy the 11th through 34th floors, with residential amenities located on the 8th floor. This project is also heralded as the first affordable housing project built in Manhattan Community Board 1, accomplished through the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. There will be 360 total residential units, with 25 percent of those deemed “affordable” to families earning less than the median income. 

The project is also expected to bring 2,500 permanent jobs to the city and 2,000 construction jobs to complete the building. Mary Ann Tighe, member of HHC’s Board of Directors, and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Tri-State Region for CBRE, said, “We believe visionary projects like this will help propel the city’s economic recovery.” Also, the South Street Seaport Museum itself will also be renovated, after years of setback and loss. 

What Are the Specifics of the Museum Expansion?

The South Street Seaport Museum is adjacent to the Water Street vacant lot and located at 12 Fulton Street. If the expansion is approved, the museum will extend through the now-vacant lots located at John and South Streets. According to the new proposals, the facade of the Museum would be changed to a punched copper, and it would be renovated to a six-story building with an outdoor roof deck that opens above John and South Streets. 

The developer has also offered a $50 million contribution to the South Street Seaport Museum if the project is approved. However, a meeting was held on January 5, 2021. A group of residents called the Seaport Coalition are fighting against this development and instead want an NYPD tow pound moved to 250 Water Street instead. 

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.

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. 

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. 

One Madison Avenue Redevelopment Project Begins in Flatiron District

While many large conglomerates may be temporarily pausing projects due to the pandemic, Manhattan’s largest office realty group, SL Green, recently closed on a $1.25 billion dollar construction loan for One Madison Avenue, a square right in the heart of the Flatiron District. Chairman and CEO of SL Green shook off any worries about starting construction on this billion-dollar project, saying, “Our commitment and belief in New York City is unwavering…we remain focused on boosting the New York City economy by creating thousands of construction jobs and bringing a new, best-in-class office tower to the highly sought-after Flatiron/Midtown South submarket.”

SL Green is also partnering with the National Pension Service of Korea and Hines, and as of November 27, 2020, construction has already commenced on the $2.3 billion redevelopment project. SL Green and Hines are working with the architectural firm of Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF), with plans to convert the current 13-story building into a 27-story class A office building with more modern features. 

What Changes Will Be Made to the Current One Madison Avenue Building? 

Both SL Green and KPF agree that they want to preserve the building’s original integrity while providing upgrades not only to improve aesthetics, but to improve cleanliness and air quality, which is extremely important in a post-COVID world. The existing structure will be demolished, but only to the ninth floor; 18 floors will be built above it.

Above the redeveloped podium, 530,000 square feet will be added to the structure with 32 35,000-sq. Ft floor plates, which are designed to improve internal flexibility within the building. Additionally, new HVAC and circulation systems will be installed, to seek both LEED-Gold and WELL certification. These new systems should improve air quality within the redeveloped building.

What Is the History Between SL Green and KPF?

SL Green and the architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) have worked together before on other projects within the city and are excited to be working with one another again. KPF and SL Green worked together on One Vanderbilt, the tallest office tower in Midtown Manhattan, and has now become a staple in New York City’s skyline.

What Is One Madison Avenue?

One Madison Avenue is the east wing of a skyscraper that comprises a complete block in New York City’s Flatiron District. It is known as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower (or simply the Met Life Tower), and has two distinct sections: the North Building and the South Building. The Met Life Tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is quite famous for its clock tower. 

Like many early skyscrapers, it has different wings (of which One Madison Avenue is one), and many additions have been built onto it throughout the years. Construction first began on the Met Life Tower in 1890 but updates were needed from time to time; it was completely renovated in 1957. 

The SL Green and KPF renovation project is supposed to be completed sometime between 2022 and 2024. 

Murdock Solon Architects Eyes Historic East Village Building for Renovation, Submits Proposals

While infrastructure, housing, and commercial ventures remain a steady demand in Manhattan’s bustling construction market, the area of historical preservation remains a common area of negotiation in a community that values both progress and reverence for its rich history and landmarks. 

Over the past several years, many progressive New York City efforts have gone toward reworking older structures into habitable, modern spaces, a trend seen in projects such as the Empire State Dairy. Like it, there often comes a caveat to do with preserving the appearances of the original buildings, many of which, however, faded and obscure, often hold great historical significance to the area. 

In similar fashion, Murdock Solon Architects has turned its gaze on the site of Bath House Studios, one of Manhattan’s premier event rental properties. Formerly the site of one of New York City’s fifteen public baths, the design firm has begun submitting proposals to the Landmark Preservation Commission to restore the original façade as well as make major updates to the interior. 

538-540 East 11th Street, Bath House Studios, and History

Bath House Studios stands to benefit from a full restoration of the historic façade, as its identity is clearly tied with the facility’s history that once stood behind it. 

The 538-540 East 11th Street former Free Public Bath is one of the better-preserved examples of its kind, built in the early 1900s at a time when the largely immigrant population did not have access to baths within their own homes. It remained open until the 1950s. In the mid-90s, the location was converted into the private studio of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Eddie Adams. 

Vacated in 2004 after Adams’ unfortunate passing, the site would be designated a landmark in 2008.

What Will the Bath House Studio Project Involve?

The smallest changes to be made at 538-540 East 11th Street will happen indoors. The building’s ultra-modern interiors (including two studio venues and one residence) contrast heavily with the preserved exterior and call for the installation of a new A/C unit, new hardwood floors throughout, and a remodel of one of the kitchen areas. Windows on multiple floors will also be replaced.

The most significant efforts will go into that historic facade and the entryway. Originally designed by Arnold William Brunner, the facade features a familiar Neo-Italian Renaissance design that distinguishes it from other buildings on the street. These features will need to be preserved in exacting detail. Part of the work will be to better marry the more modern features that have been added in the time since the original bath house’s closure with that original, classic design. 

Current plans—as they are written—involve a deep cleaning and repair work on the front elevation, to start, where weather stains and some damage are visible from the street. It will also involve adding a new metal gate at the entrance and trading out the current electrical lamp fixtures for flame-lit ones. New hand railings and treads on the entryway stairs will be installed, and finally, a number of windows are expected to be replaced. 

The timeline for completion has not yet been announced. 

$439 Million Bay Park Conveyance Project Announces Design-Build Contractor

In a recent announcement, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the selection of a contractor for Long Island’s ongoing Bay Park Conveyance. This infrastructure project has been in development for more than a year. Its aim will be to improve water quality and resilience to storm damage in the Western Bay area of Nassau County. 

The finished project is expected to significantly reduce the amount of treated wastewater and nitrogen effluent dumped into the Western Bay area by diverting it to Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant’s ocean outfall. This will, in turn, eliminate foul odors from the area (caused by rotting algae and oxygen-deficient water), make the water safer for marine life, and improve the Western Bay coastlines’ resilience to harsher weather patterns. 

“From damaged ecosystems to problems with shoreline resiliency, Long Island’s coastal environment has suffered immensely from decades of nitrogen pollution, and it must be stopped,” said Governor Cuomo, of the Western Bay area as it is now. “Along with our local partners, New York has worked tirelessly to address this ecological threat (…) and the selection of a design-build contractor is an important step in advancing this critical project and getting it done faster and cheaper.”

What Is Design-Build and Why Is This Significant? 

CISLeads covered a report in 2019 about the cost-effectiveness of the most common kinds of contracts for infrastructure projects. Design-build — when a single contractor handles both the design and construction of a project, rather than leaving it to two separate entities — falls in line with the savings one can see in specific, single projects. 

Without go-betweens or the need for multiple teams to sync, what one gets is a smoother workflow and far less time and money wasted. Cuomo also noted that it incentivizes the private sector to finish infrastructure projects faster. 

He appears to be correct in both regards: The Bay Park Conveyance Project, as design-build, comes in at a budget of $439 million and is expected to be finished in a few short years, whereas other methods would have cost as much as $600 million and taken nearly a decade. 

What Are the Specifics of the Bay Park Conveyance Project and Its Eventual Completion?

Laborers on this project will be in charge of constructing a pump station in Bay Park and two pipelines that will run some 20-60 feet below street level and relining the century-old aqueduct running under Sunrise Highway. One pipe, spanning two miles, will run from the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant to the aqueduct. Just 1.6 miles in length, the other will run from the aqueduct to Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant’s ocean outfall pipe, which will discharge waste some three miles or so out in the Atlantic Ocean. 

While a contractor has been chosen to helm it, the Bay Park Conveyance Project still has a few more steps of approval to pass through before construction can begin. 

These include reviews by the County Comptroller, Executive Curran, and Finance Control Board. It was most recently submitted to the County Legislature, where a vote will be held on November 23. 

Contact CIS Leads for more information about this and other similar projects in and around Long Island, New York, and the Tri-State area.

Construction Begins on Affordable and Supportive Housing Project in the Bronx

At the end of October, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that construction had, at last, commenced on a new affordable housing project in the Bronx that has been in its planning stages for at least two years. Replacing a former parking lot, the new mixed-use high-rise is part of a continuing trend toward the governor’s $20 billion five-year housing plan, which has already produced many new affordable housing projects, such as the recent groundbreaking in Peekskill

“We continue to make unprecedented investments in affordable housing that will help tackle the dual inequality and homelessness crises,” Governor Cuomo said in his announcement. “New developments like this project demonstrate our ongoing efforts to provide Bronx residents with high-quality, energy-efficient homes with supportive services for the most vulnerable among us.” 

The 1159 River Avenue Project, Part of a Larger Initiative

The 1159 River Avenue project, helmed by Maddd Equities in partnership with nonprofit Community Access, is one of two in the area. Just across the street stands another affordable housing initiative in the works, at 1164-1184 River Avenue. This second project will come in two phases, constructing two 17-story mixed-use affordable housing buildings. Combined with 1159 River Avenue, this promises nearly 750 units that are 100 percent affordable housing. 

This, in itself, is part of an even larger initiative, as these two projects are part and a result of the recent Jerome Avenue Rezoning, which opens up 92 blocks of city space for development and aims to bring an additional 4,600 new residences to the Bronx, which means years of construction work for local contractors on the horizon. 

What Are the Specifics of the 1159 River Avenue Project, and What’s Left to Be Done?

The 1159 structure will top out above its neighbors across the street, coming to 19 stories. The site is a former parking lot, and it is located just four blocks from Yankee Stadium and very near to the 6, B, and D metro lines. 

Features include the following:

  • Early reports in 2018 suggested the structure would span about 200,000 square feet.
  • It will contain 245 units, with one superintendent apartment and 148 reserved for families and individuals previously homeless, including any in need of support services. 
  • The ground floor will feature over 20,000 square feet of retail space.
  • Support services for 128 households will include access to on-site services like rental assistance, vocational training, self-advocacy training, and more. 
  • The site includes art, laundry, and computer rooms for residents to access. 

All of these characteristics pose their usual challenges for laborers, but included with the standard builds, this project must also adhere to Enterprise Green Communities Standards and Energy Star’s Multi-Family High Rise Standards (which will involve the use of water-saving low-flow installations and Energy Star appliances throughout). 

The project at 1159 River Ave is presently expected to complete in the latter part of 2022, assuming there will be no untimely delays.