7 crucial ways New York City's landscape will change in 2017

Date: 20 Jan 2017

The new year has come, meaning that after a period of reflecting on the year past’s preservation battles, best architecture, and more, it’s time to look towards the future.


Hudson Yards will continue on its hot streak from 2016, when tenants were welcomedinto its first completed building at 10 Hudson Yards and sales launched at its flagship condo, 15 Hudson Yards.

Here’s what’s in store for 2017: Vessel, the gargantuan piece of public art by Thomas Heatherwick, will begin being assembled early in the year, around the same time work is expected to begin on the Foster + Partners-designed tower at 50 Hudson Yards, poised to become New York’s most expensive office building.

Later this year, sales will launch at 35 Hudson Yards, the David Childs and SOM-designed condo building. Construction on the Western Yard platform, where majority of Hudson Yards’s residential buildings will rise, will begin towards the end of the year or in early 2018.

Meanwhile, the three residential buildings of Waterline Square, formerly part of Riverside Center and designed by Richard Meier, Rafael Viñoly, and Kohn Pedersen Fox, will hit the market in the first half of 2017 bringing both new rentals and condos to the far west side near 59th Street. Construction on each of the three buildings, which are rising simultaneously, started in 2015.

The momentum built at Essex Crossing, Delancey Street Associates’s SPURA site revamp, with 2016’s sales launch at SHoP’s 242 Broome Street will only build in the coming year. Construction will wrap up on Beyer Blinder Belle’s rental building at 145 Clinton Street and on Dattner’s neighboring affordable rental building for seniors. The affordable housing lotteries for both buildings will open in the first quarter of the year.

The 14-story 242 Broome Street will top out, as will Handel and SHoP’s 24-story rental building at 115 Delancey Street (that’s the one with the movie theater in the base.) Leasing is due to start up for 115 Delancey’s market rate rentals, and the housing lottery for its 98 affordable rentals will kick off towards the end of the year. Work will continue on the project’s 150,000-square-foot retail hall, the Market Line.

Six buildings at Brooklyn’s 22-acre megaproject Pacific Park are in various stages of construction, three of which will open in 2017. Those are the 298-apartment fully affordable building at 535 Carlton (its affordable housing lottery launched in July 2016), the megaproject’s second fully-affordable building at 38 Sixth Avenue (whose lottery will launch this month), and the COOKFOX-designed condo at 550 Vanderbilt. Parts of the megaproject’s eponymous public park will debut in 2017, and the railyard project will reach milestones towards the start of the platform work, which part of the development will extend above..

Now on to the former site of the Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg. The affordable housing lottery for the donut-shaped building at 325 Kent that kicked off in late Novemberwill lead to move-ins in summer 2017. Listings for the building’s 396 market rate apartments will probably show up sometime before then, too. Work is also expected to continue on the development’s six-acre waterfront park.

The base of the world’s tallest Ferris wheel are now being secured in place on the north shore of Staten Island, meaning New Yorkers will witness the rise of the New York Wheel in 2017. The first sign? Its massive 275-foot legs are set to appear this month, and it will go up from there to its 630-foot apex. The wheel is due to top out in 2018.

Affordable Housing

New York City’s 421-a tax abatement program lapsed last January after the Real Estate Board of New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council failed to come to an agreement on union-level wages for construction workers. Plans for a replacement for the program or a revived 421-a have been kicked around over the last several months, but to no avail. The agreement that the groups reached in November is already falling apart, setting the stage for another year of infighting among REBNY and the council. Will the affordable housing initiative be restored in 2017? Who the hell knows.


As noted in our round-up of 2016’s biggest preservation battles, the war to preserve New York is one that will never end—and 2017 is already poised to be a battleground. Simeon Bankoff, the Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council, has highlighted a few preservation efforts that are poised to come to a head in the following year.

No surprise that those include the bid to landmark the interiors of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The renovation of the historic building into a partial condo is due to kick off in March, meaning the hearing over the interiors will likely be happening sooner rather than later.


The Ambassador Grill, Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo’s endangered postmodern addition to the United Nations Plaza Hotel, is also due to appear in front of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. In late November, the commission chose to hold the vote on the interiors meaning they’ll appear again in front of the commission, likely this year.

Bankoff also forecasts that neighborhood gentrification crises will come to the fore this year—no surprise there—notably where Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Crown Heights meet, and in the South Bronx, which was just named one of the 52 top places in the world to visit this year by the New York Times.


Little can change the characteristic of a neighborhood so quickly as a rezoning—and several areas throughout the city are being eyed for just that. The proposal to rezone Midtown East to, among other things, allow for the increased transfer of air rights from the neighborhood’s major landmarks, entered the city’s public review process this week, meaning the City Council and mayor should be voting on the rezoning around July.

Another proposal to upzone Gowanus to create more affordable housing and upgrade area infrastructure has, unsurprisingly, drawn community scrutiny. Neighborhood residents fear losing jobs in manufacturing and commercial spaces to new residential development; but ongoing planning studiesaim to ease those fears. Community members will continue to work with the Department of City Planning through 2017 to come up with a framework for rezoning that suits the area.

More contentious is the proposal to rezone a massive swath of East Harlem to allow for, in some areas, towers rising up to 30 stories. The proposed rezoning is a part of Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York initiative that aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in the coming years. The proposal has yet to be officially introduced by the city, but once it is—perhaps this year—it will begin winding its way through the labyrinthine review process.

Luxury skyscrapers

Vornado Realty Trust is keeping tight-lipped about its crown jewel, 220 Central Park South, but here’s what we do know: the Robert A.M. Stern-designed building topped out at 66 stories in December, and work on its limestone facade will continue into 2017. Listings haven’t appeared publicly yet—though we do know its 100 condos are for sale off-market, and getting welcomed into the building necessitates the wave of a magic admission wand from Vornado CEO Steven Roth. Rumors of its $250 million penthouse continue to swirl; whether Ken Griffin or a Qatari investor is the buyer, should there be one at all, remains to be seen.

In 2016 we learned that New York City’s future tallest residential tower, Central Park Tower, would be developed through a partnership between Extell and SMI USA, the US subsidiary of Shanghai Municipal Investment—a partnership that wouldn not only give the project a financial boost but also help the 1,550-foot building court international buyers. The announcement came with word that its 88 condos would hit the market in the states in 2017, so there’s that to look forward to.

JDS and Property Markets Group decided to hold sales at 111 West 57th Street until the building hit 800 of its 1,427 feet, an unusual move in a market where those with padded pockets had been shelling out million for apartments based on renderings alone. That height milestone is expected to happen this year, as the building finally began its ascent in June 2016, meaning a sales launch may be imminent too.


Architect Renzo Piano has been on a tear through New York lately, first with the Whitney Museum, and a slew of other projects that came to be in quick succession. Among those is Piano’s first New York City residential project at 565 Broome SoHo. The 115 condos hit the market in September priced from $990,000. Work on the building, which started early in 2016, will continue this year, wrapping up in late 2018.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s contributions to Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus continues, first with the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts (due to be completed in 2017). RPBW is also working on the Forum and the School of International and Public Affairs, expected to be complete in 2018.

It seems like the New York work of Bjarke Ingels will be at a juncture this year, with no major milestones—sales launches, etc.—for his existing projects on the horizon. But then again, Bjarke could pull a Bjarke and unveil a spiraling 65-story Hudson Yards office tower out of the blue. (Oh wait, he already did that.) What will become of the architect’s contentious design for 2 World Trade Center remains to be seen now that anchor tenant News Corp pulled out, but maybe 2017 will be the year we find out what gives there.

Ingels’s twisty High Line condo and hotel is due to open in 2019, so it seems likely those buildings will make significant progress in 2017 towards becoming West Chelsea tallest buildings. Meanwhile, work continues at the architect’s East Harlem rental building, which broke ground in October, and his new Bronx home for the 40th Police Precinct, due to wrap up in 2020.

Dame Zaha Hadid left behind two in-the-works New York residential projects in 2016, one of which was announced shortly after her death in March. The yet-to-be-seen 220 Eleventh Avenue, one of the last buildings Hadid personally worked on, is set to begin construction in early 2017 with sales coming later in the year. Work also continues on the curvaceous High Line condo at 520 West 28th Street, where residents are expected to move in in spring of this year.


By any measure, 2017 is already a success because it brought New York City the Second Avenue Subway a century after it was first proposed. But the massive effort, with its relentless delays and belabored year-end deadline, was only the first phase of the project. The new line will eventually extend 8.5 miles along Manhattan’s East Side, from Hanover Street to 125th Street —but realistically speaking, that won’t be the case any time soon.

The line’s second phase will include an extension into Harlem, but when it will be getting underway is unclear. First, the MTA has to finalize its projected $6 billion cost, and then the cash-strapped agency has to actually find the funds to work on it. At that, it seems safe to say that no tunnels will be drilled in 2017. For the Second Avenue Subway, it will be a year of paperwork and planning—and seeing if its projected 200,000 daily riders actually show up.

The ferry may be the hero of 2017, as the city’s new fleet of 19 vessels are due to debut early this year. Citywide ferry service will connect Astoria, Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street; Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 and Pier 6, and Wall Street, with an optional link to Governors Island; and Rockaway with the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Wall Street.

The Brooklyn-Queens Streetcar, New York City’s newest disputed form of transportation, will continue to rile neighborhood residents into 2017. The planners behind BQX will continue to try to muster support for the contentious project into the new year; at least the parties behind the line has a plan for how to build and maintain it. The line’s garnered a verbal commitment of $2.5 billion from Mayor de Blasio which would cover the cost to build the line. Maintenance charges, at a projected $30 million a year, will be fed from the revenue of increased property value surrounding it.

An environmental review of the project is expected to kick off this year, with a groundbreaking ceremony planned in 2019 unless there is overwhelming opposition in the meantime.


Credit: http://ny.curbed.com/

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