15 west 96th

Developer Sackman Enterprises is planning to build a 22-story building on the site of three rowhouses on 96th street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, The Real Deal reported.

The developers had initially planned to build a 13-story building on the site of two of the rowhouses, but have since bought  the third, the website reported.

“The revised plan describes a mixed-use building that will rise 312 feet, with 45,823 square feet of residential space and 14,529 square feet of commercial.

There will be 16 residences starting on the seventh floor, above a community facility that will occupy floors two through five, and recreation space on the sixth floor. The building will house one residence per floor, along with a duplex on the top two floors. A basement-level garage is slated to hold 16 parking spots.”

Even though the new buildings would be four times as large as the current ones, the development would likely result in a net loss of apartments in the neighborhood — there are 30 rental units in the three buildings.

15 West 96th street was built in 1900, while the two others were built in 1926, according to Streeteasy. The buildings are not landmarked, and we’ve already been hearing some concern from development-watchers in the neighborhood about the destruction of the buildings.

It could be a noisy few years for neighbors, as the site is close to the Crenshaw Church, which is expected to be converted into condos once it gets city approval.

NEWS | 38 comments | permalink
    1. Jean Joachim says:

      Oh, God! Tearing down a 100-year old building to put up something we don’t need? Egads. Please, someone stop this. Those row houses are charming and have a ton of history. This is not progress, it’s destruction and lack of respect for history.

    2. diane says:

      How can this happen? Outrageous and disgusting. I thought townhouses on the UWS were protected now. I’m in real estate and I’m done with developers who only want to tear down and destroy our history. Done!
      Agreed, how can this be stopped?

      • ScooterStan says:

        Re: #’s 1 and 2, esp. “Tearing down a 100-year old building to put up something we don’t need?”

        Ummm…look closely at the photo. Notice that these “100-year-old buildings” are bracketed by LARGER APARTMENT BUILDINGS!

        Row-houses are called such because they are built in a row — but their counterparts were replaced by classic Manhattan limestone-and-brick (NOT glass-and-aluminum) buildings obviously YEARS AGO.

        This is New York CITY! Change is part of our heritage. Think of the oldie “It would be a nice place to live if they’d ever finish it!”. But New York is NEVER finished, and the crazy un-planned mix of building styles is definitely a large part of its unique charm, providing an endless visual treat for the countless fans of urban vistas.

        Thanks to developers, NYC will NEVER be a finished place, as this website’s recent series showing the UWS in the 1920’s proved.

        We grow and change. We’re NEW YORK CITY! Learn to enjoy it instead of kvetching!

    3. webot says:

      Wait, this i not part of UWS historic district?

      What happened?

      Where is landmarks West?

      This is right next to the church everyone is so opinionated about.

    4. webot says:

      Didn’t Sackman replace townhouses on West End with a dreadful bland box?

      I hope that is not the plan here.

    5. Dave says:

      Love this!! Nice to see more progress in the neighborhood. We should really be thanking these developers not complaining. Those buildings had a good run….it’s over people. It’s called progress.

      Stop the hating…or don’t. It’s not gonna change anything either way. Again the free market and progress prevail!

    6. Qwerty says:

      Real estate people, to quote a current Geico ad: IT’S WHAT THEY DO.

      Which side of 96th are the three houses on? Only the south side is in a Historic District.

    7. Qwerty says:

      P.S. to the above: I just realized that an address was given for one of the buildings: #15. That puts the charming trio on the north side, alas. RIP.

    8. lsilver212 says:

      I grew up at 12 West 96th St, right next door, and the thought of new construction for the wealthy to replace these beautiful buildings is hard to comprehend. And commercial space? There has never been any commercial space on this block and there shouldn’t be now. Between this construction noise and the church construction, this neighborhood will be hard to live in for years. Shame on the city of New York.

    9. Bruce Bernstein says:

      … and actually LESS housing… does anyone know the laws regarding tearing down buildings with rent stabilized housing?

    10. carol mills says:

      It is really a shame that the rich control everything at the expense of others.
      I have lived here for 67 years and now we will be invaded by drills blasting and noise that will be unbearable. These Townhouses are beautiful and we will now have to live with a structure of ugliness.
      The company that bought the property are very shady people and god knows what else they will damage.


    11. Marilee says:

      More housing for rich people Oh joy.

    12. mlm says:

      A loss for the moderate and low income people in the neighborhood. Another loss for senior citizens, young people getting started, and others who made the West Side of Manhattan a blend of artists, intellectuals, immigrants, young adults, and us old people. Where will we all go? No one is helping sustain us and our neighborhoods.

    13. Morgan says:

      What a shame. These row houses and brownstones are what make the UWS so charming.

    14. pjrod830 says:

      I am a huge free market proponent and think all of the angst over banks and drug stores is misplaced. However even I am saddened and somewhat appalled by this plan. It seems like renovating and selling the individual buildings as homes would have brought a nice profit while not destroying the character of the neighborhood. Not max profit though which I guess is the issue. Hopefully something makes this plan fail.

    15. Paul RL says:

      While I’m always sad to see old townhouses go (there’s some dreadful East Bloc-style larger apartment complexes on that stretch that I would love to see replaced), I do like the fact that there is progress in the area. I happen to like Sackman’s building on WEA & 96th. It’s understated yes, but in keeping with the neighborhood style. This is a win for the West 90’s.

    16. ann bluestein says:

      I’m horrified that these beautiful buildings will be torn down and gone forever. They are some of the last vestiges of beauty on W.96th St. So sad.

      • Noreaster says:

        Agreed. Energy should be spent knocking down post-war architectural monstrosities, not these buildings. I’m very surprised and bummed that there are apparently not enough opportunities to do so (knock down post-war buildings, that is) that a developer would have to do this.

    17. Gina says:

      As a FIFTY year resident of 96th street (!!!), this news is dismaying. More luxury housing for bankers? I am fortunate to live in middle income housing which has enabled me to live modestly and raise my children in a diverse, NOT segregated community. Alas, this new lack of socioeconomic diversity is at risk of making our neighborhood a white, rich people’s ghetto. Yuck!

    18. Gina says:

      And, all that construction noise is bad news for the many hardworking psychotherapists on the block!

    19. Eve says:

      Here are a couple of article about the way the Sackman family conducted business in the 80s, These two are part of a multi-part expose by Pulitzer Prize-winning NY Time reporter Sydney Schanberg. They could care less about human beings, not to mention neighborhoods:
      NEW YORK – EMPTYING AND GENTRIFYING –…/new-york-emptying-and-gentrifying.html‎

      Oct 23, 1984 … The suit says, in essence, that Mr. Sackman and his group, after purchasing the … By Sydney H. Schanberg … brought by the State Attorney General’s office against Alan Sackman, his wife, Barbara, his partner Teddy Krain, his …
      NEW YORK – GENTRIFIERS – THE GREED –…/new-york-gentrifiers-the-greed.html‎
      May 8, 1982 … By Sydney H. Schanberg … man connected with the building – listed as one of those personally guaranteeing the mortgage – is Alan Sackman.

    20. julia says:

      I know that the owner has the right to appreciate his investment. BUT the result is a net loss of housing units in this area! In this sense, this is a major disaster. Someone needs to step in to stop this builder! We are hemorrhaging units of housing in this area for people who are not extravagantly rich.

      • webot says:

        Once again I am floored by peoples lack of understanding or desire to blur the issues.

        Landmarking is about architecture, design and history. Nothing to do with use. The owners can restore them back to single family houses which yes would be a net loss in housing but the facades (and hopefully whats left of the grand interior would remain for the future. With the same reasoning, if the owner tears them down and replaces them with 40 stories of low income housing that would not be acceptable either.

        The point is to save the buildings which deserve to remain part of cityscape and neighborhood. They deserve that regardless of other political agendas.

        • Noreaster says:

          This is a good point and would be great to remember whenever the topic of landmarking comes up. (However, I still very much believe that if you’re going to tear stuff down, start with the post-war monstrosities.)

    21. Laura says:

      Horrible Horrible idea!! When will this mindless development stop?

    22. WombatNYC says:

      Let me guess. the new building will have an glass exterior?? So Sad

    23. Hadassah says:

      This is a good start but there are plenty more of these old buildings that need to go.

      Seriously, if it was up to you people we would all still be living in huts and shacks. Come on people, mind your own business and worry about your own lives. It’s 2014…whine all you want.

    24. Nealhugh Hurwitz says:

      Terrible!!! Stop this!!!
      My my………

      Neal H. Hurwitz
      W 115th St

      A real loss if done!!!

    25. NancyF says:

      He tried this on WEA right next to 500 WEA. It got landmarked. What a Sackman of s*it. These buildings are beautiful and there is really nothing that can be done?

    26. Auws says:

      It is kind of troubling to see so many people have the intention to try and prevent someone from doing something with property which they own. If you’d like, why don’t you move to another country with less freedom that tells people how they must use their property?

      • Wombatnyc says:

        Power to the People.. Just beacuse you have the purchasing power does not mean you have the smarts. Sackman must understand what the neighbors think or else it’s just another disconnected building from the community

      • Goodculture says:

        Yes-maybe like Paris!!

    27. Gina says:

      Yes, this is a perfect example of when we need “big govt.” Leaving these choices in the hands of developers, whose sole interest is financial, is usually too costly for a neighborhood. The “trickle down” fantasy is a myth- we’ve all seen how it doesnt work (yet im afraid:unrest and violence due to drastic economic disparity does “trickle up”). We need strong neighborhood leaders to help serve the interests of a community. I’m all for progress and change if it helps a neighborhood prosper. Raze old decrepit buildings if this can bring new possibilities into the neighborhood- but please not more luxury housing units for bankers! The govt. needs to reign in and provide financial incentives for these developers

    28. carol mills says:

      Off to ruining the neighborhood what CRAP!