A development that will one day include 2,500 apartments, a hotel, a movie theater, an auto showroom, a new public school and hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail and office space  has broken ground along Riverside Boulevard between 59th and 61st Streets.

The site, part of the parcel of land between 59th and 72nd Streets along the Hudson River that was once owned by Donald Trump’s companies, is the largest current development project in the neighborhood — and given how congested the Upper West Side already is, it could be the biggest project for years. Riverside Center is the southernmost development of the stretch. A rendering of the first building is at right.

The site of Riverside Center had been occupied by auto body shops and a parking lot. Our tipster, Denton, wrote that “the garages and parking lots have been emptied out and prepared for demo, signage is in place, and heavy equipment is moving in.” These pictures are from more than a week ago.

When it’s completed, the Riverside Center development will have five apartment towers with a park in the middle. Locals fought over aspects of the development for months and it was approved two years ago by the City Council. Twenty percent of the apartments are supposed to be affordable. Expect the rest to be luxurious. Carlyle Realty Partners and Extell Development Company are developing the site.

The first building being developed will contain the public school, which is slated to open in 2015. The entire development was expected to be completed by 2017, although it’s unclear if that timetable will hold.

Photos by Denton.

NEWS | 11 comments | permalink
    1. David T says:

      And…. is there an elementary school, middle school and High School anywhere in the plans?

      If not, then this is another nail in the coffin.

    2. Jacob says:

      I assume that David T. is being sarcastic.

      I prefer an ugly parking lot too!

    3. denton says:

      And now they’ve shut down the sidewalk from which I took the photos… what’s the secret?

    4. Conscience of a Conservative says:

      Hopefully Riverside Center will be a fitting legacy to those who envisioned this great new neighborhood starting with Trump Place and encompassing Riverside South and now Riverside center.

    5. Tom says:

      I wonder how “affordable” is being defined here?

      • Cato says:

        Easy — “affordable” means the apartment can be afforded. As in, Donald Trump’s penthouse is “affordable”, if you’re Donald Trump.

        Each of the apartments in Trumpstrosity I is affordable — IF you’re a banker, banker’s lawyer or trust-fund puppy.

        And, so, each and every one of the apartments in Trumpstrosity II (Trumpstrosity Junior? Trump W. Strosity??) will be affordable.

        Not affordable by *me*, mind you, and probably not affordable by anyone reading this — let alone anyone desperate for a roof and four walls to call a “home”.

        But then again, we no longer matter on the Upper Wealth Side, do we?

        • Kingfish says:

          20% of the apartments will be too affordable to justify the other 80% floating the bill for the amenities. My neighboring Trump building is an 80/20 and it’s pretty irritating, and no not a trust funder or banker or lawyers. Just a self made guy who put himself through school enjoying the fruits of his labor. My 2bdrm is $6.5k monthly and the guy 30 flors down is paying $500, sounds equitable to me.

    6. Pedestran says:

      Affordable so that the developer can benefit from huge tax abatement.

      The school is part of the sweetener to get amazing privileges for the developer. The mayor tells us we cannt afford the schools we have. It’s an empty building with no services that is not a school.

      It will be a legacy alright. A legacy to the the Bloomberg Adnistration that made it possible for billionaires paying $100million to get tax breaks supposedly for “affordable” housing.

    7. John says:

      Quickly and surely, as opposed to slowly but surely, the Isle of Manhattan is becoming a place for the mega-rich and the tourist ONLY!

    8. Mary the Librarian says:

      All this planning and controversy and we get a tower that looks like…a hospital. Could it be more lacking in character?