Developers plan to demolish the building on the Southwest corner of 81st street and Broadway, according to the Real Deal, confirming a tip we reported on last year.

Kenneth Horn’s Alchemy Properties, in partnership with private equity firm the Carlyle Group, picked up an Upper West Side retail building for $51 million, with plans to tear it down and build a residential condominium tower, sources told The Real Deal.

The site at 2251-2259 Broadway, also known as 250-256 West 81st Street, holds a three-story property with nearly 20,000 square feet. But it offers 94,000 buildable square feet, allowing for a sizable residential building in its place.

It’s not yet clear exactly how tall the new building will be.

Essentials, the variety store in the corner space, vacated last year, as did a Corcoran office in the building.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 37 comments | permalink
    1. AC says:

      Again , , , city allowing for all of this over development; however, our neighboring infrastructure is being ignored. Adding all of these units/people adds stress to waterlines, sewer lines, utilities, already over crowded subways, over crowded schools, limited parking spaces, etc.

      Wish we had some better representation in City Hall.

      One on 75 street (planned)
      Two on West 77 street (in construction)
      One on West 78 Street (planned at Collegiate)
      One on 79 street (in construction)
      One on 80 street (in construction)
      One on 81 street (planned)

    2. Jeremy says:

      94,000 is pretty modest, as these things go. Will be interesting to see what happens. Hard to see the economics working out for anything less than ultra-high end. I doubt the imposition on infrastructure or services will be that significant.

    3. robert says:

      Folks laughed when I made the comments below last year, now what guys?

      July 29, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Did a bit of digging and came up with some imfo which makes me think that there will most certainly be an “as of right” building going up on the site. That means no amount of UWS NIMBYism will stop it.
      This means that the air rights for the part of the building that would be right up against the already existing building on WEA with windows on the B’way side can be tfr.
      They would not have done that without a plan already in place. No developer planning work on the UWS is going to cfm anything until they have there permits, and they are perfectly within their rights to do so.
      CB are advisory, pb has not bearing on this at all.
      These are mostly “as of right” buildings and there is no way to stop them.
      Developers have long ago figured out that you buy the building on mon and get your permits approve tues. (Just an example) so there are no useless UWS nimby lawsuits, that although cost time and money get tossed out by Judges do to the building being as of right.
      Also take a look at the NYC Campaign Finance Boards website to see were elcteds get their $$$. Considering how much NYC politicians like to yelp about developers when they are on the UWS, they sure like their $$$ in their campaign accts. Keep in mind that the construction industry in NYC employs tens of thousands of lower and middle class UNION workers.
      You can ask, direct, beg, plead etc. But most of the buildings going up in NYC are “as of right”. That means the odds on getting a builder to spend addition tens of million’s of $$$ is next to impossible, unless…. you do things like allow them to build another couple of stories on the building in exchange for the subway entrance and/or some other neighborhood amenity.

    4. anon says:

      Looks like the building next door has lot line windows starting around the 6th floor. I suppose those windows have to be bricked in.

    5. maryjane says:

      all of these 2-3 story structures on major aves are in danger of extinction

    6. Eric says:

      The lot is approx 8,000 sq ft which would seem to translate to 11 stories or so. It sees to me that would be in keeping with the size of neighboring buildings.

    7. Marie says:

      Great! More stress on our overcrowded public school system. When will.this end? Who, exactly approves all of these buildings?

    8. Nathan says:

      As with the building on 80th and Broadway, it would be nice if they could put in another subway entrance. Perhaps allow a couple bonus stories to be built in exchange.

    9. Planned doesn’t necessarily mean its going to be built. Some of the buildings will replace existing housing and will not add significantly to the numbers of people. May types of upgrades to infrastructure are constantly being rejected for political and idealogical reasons.

      City Planning doesn’t seem to have any problems with the new buildings. It definitely adds to the taxes collected.

      New buildings can be accommodated by the current utilities in place. We are not seeing overflowing sewers. The huge sewage treatment plant at 145 street on the Hudson is not stressed.

      Con Edison is adding additional supply by upgrading to high pressure gas lines. This is in response to the need for additional gas to accommodate furnace conversions. We don’t have too many local electrical outages.

      Additional municipal free parking is discouraged by the city to reduce car usage. Recent opportunities for school upgrades have been rejected by the community.

      Built in 1904, the IRT is definitely showing its age. It has already been upgraded by lengthening the trains sixty years ago. Adding more cars would require platform and track changes.

      The community is not willing to accept the discomfort of upgrades. Long heated discussions further delay any action and raise costs. Badly needed issues get lowered on the priority list when community activists push for action on what they consider to be important.

    10. Jeremy says:

      @robert – nobody laughed at you. In fact, nobody responded to any of your three posts on the topic last year. [confused]

    11. anon says:, what recent opportunities for school upgrades have been rejected by the community?

    12. 2 Handicap says:

      I find it interesting that people ridicule Donald Trump for wanting to build a wall between Mexico and the USA. My guess is that a lot of those same people would be thrilled to put a wall around the UWS to limit new entrants.

    13. Peter Gittlin says:

      The Upper West Side could use some new buildings and development. A lot of it is stuck in a time warp. Lots of great new buildings and new restaurants etc. are happening downtown and in Brooklyn. Also there are so many crappy buildings not worth preserving that would be better off with new construction. I am all in favor of saving the great buildings but not every crappy brownstone on 72nd St. etc.

    14. dannyboy says:

      @ Peter

      It may surprise you, but many UWS’ers enjoy the neighborhood.

      Others, who prefer “great new buildings and new restaurants etc. happening downtown and in Brooklyn” decide to live there instead.

    15. Cato says:

      @dannyboy #14:


    16. S. Louie says:

      Great…more unaffordable housing taking up sky space and sunshine….meanwhile it will sit empty for 8 years, like those new units on 76 & Amsterdam, slowing taking years filling up with expatriots from other countries who only come here for a few weeks a year to say they “Have an NYC apartment”….great.

    17. S. Louie says:

      Hint….Psssst…we don’t want new…we want old charm. It’s what makes New York and the UWS stand out against all the banks and corporate chains and Starbucks.

    18. S. Louie says:

      See one wall is make believe and is based on racism…

      The other UWS wall is to preserve it’s culture. We have all kinds of culture..we include Mexicans. Including people make them want to “join” you…excluding people makes them hate you. You dont’ exclude. You work together and share. It’s what you are taught when you are like 3.

      This is something that Trump followers don’t get and or never learned.

      There is power in numbers..not separation.

    19. Jeremy says:

      “preserving our culture” is the same rationale white separatists use, fwiw. *Certainly* not saying that you are one, but I guess the sentiment is all a matter of perspective.

      I mean, you’ve got to admit that talking about building a wall to keep out “expatriots from other countries” is a little familiar. . . .

    20. Sherman says:

      I welcome the addition of this new high rise. The building it is replacing isn’t exactly an architectural gem.

      There are enough old and grimy buildings in this area that should have been demolished years ago.

    21. robert says:

      They didn’t responded directly to those posts but the just made comments

    22. robert says:

      They have already bought up nearby air rights.
      They would not have done that if they were not going to build soon. More of a good indication is the demo permits that have already been asked for.

    23. LS says:

      The Bloomberg Administration changed NYC zoning and land use requirements which, in summary, permit taller buildings, expand air right sale, weaken community ability to “impact” and/or request infrastructure consideration, and in addition, Bloomberg rezoned a number of areas in NYC.

      Mayor DeBlasio has a major land use plan which is up for vote by the City Council. This also would allow increase building size with some affordable housing.

      The appetite for luxury development has resulted in numerous sales of small buildings which are in turn torn down to enable high rise construction. One example, Second Avenue and 81st Street where 3 adjacent buildings were purchased and torn down. Note that some landlords are holding apartments vacant for years in order to clear the building for sale. (And yes some luxury development is definitely being marketed to the affluent who are seeking a pied a terre and/or to international buyers who need to park money)

      Regardless of one’s opinion of whether unfettered development is good or bad, it is a fact that development impacts on infrastructure.
      So for example, more development inevitably means more traffic – construction, service, residents own vehicles. And with e-commerce firmly entrenched, more development means more delivery trucks.

      Development also means more garbage and more use of public transportation.

    24. No patience says:

      Peter…we don’t want more huge towers in the neighborhood!! Small stores make it a neighborhood ….think civilized London not Brooklyn. What a shame….it’s either a bank a duane reade or a monster bldg…..

    25. Pedestrian says:

      Infrastructure. Why would anyone worry about that? Certainly not the Mayor. REBNY doesn’t contribute to his PAC for infrastructure!

    26. Pedestrian says:

      Mayor DeBlasio doesn’t do planning. He does zoning upon demand by developers!

    27. Pedestrian says:

      If you go to BSA you’ll learn thst only developers have a right to light and air…not residents who actually live here. Lot line Windows will be gone and if your coop or condo isn’t careful they wont really be bricked in they will only be covered which means water can seep in behind the walls…such a joy!

    28. Tom D says:

      Funny. You mean there isn’t an invisible protective shield around the UWS already keeping out undesirables?!

    29. Ann says:

      Can nothing be done to save it the old buildings need to be saved

    30. MLM says:

      In addition to losing the small businesses and the increase of overdevelopment and unaffordable housing for many of us, there is additional problems with gridlock and transportation interference, as well. On some of the avenues on the west side busses are hampered by the construction. See #11 bus going uptown on 10th Avenue/and Amsterdam.

    31. Wendy says:

      When I first moved to the Upper West Side many years ago, Broadway in particular was full of these two & three story buildings. It let the light flow over the avenue and gave the eighborhood a small town feel. In the passing years, all those two story buildings have disappeared to huge, mostly faceless, fairly unattrative, overly tall (higher than the standard 12 floors of the pre-wars), somewhat cheaply made condos with low ceilinged floors that look cheezy next to the grand pre-wars. Soon Broadway will look like Columbus Ave in the 90’s – Nondescript tall buildings one after another. And there will go the sunshine and light.

    32. Calling for action on development and getting it has its own pitfalls. Preventing construction on one side of the street doesn’t prevent it from happening on the other side. The new zoning proposals may not yield any new buildings at all.

      Development may seem accelerated for now, there hasn’t been that much change in a long time. It is inevitable that old buildings will be replaced with new ones. The urban renewal projects of the 1950’s and 1960’s drastically affected large areas of the UWS. This will not happen again.

      See map of UWS development at:

    33. ls says:

      Regarding NYC development, see NY Times article “If It’s March, It Must Be Miami: When Home Changes With the Season” by Robert Frank which reiterates how much development is not for people who actually live in NYC, not for people who have a commitment to neighborhood well-being.

      “……Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel, a New York appraisal and research firm, said that about 40 percent of condos in new developments in Manhattan were purchased by overseas buyers in 2015. Many of these wealthy foreign investors, he said, are in the city for only brief periods of time, viewing their apartments more as financial investments than as homes…..Mr. Miller said that New York’s real estate was increasingly targeted at the wealthy…”

    34. Reality says:

      For people who don’t want development and continuous improvement you should leave the city. I was born here and went to school on the upper west side the reality is there are no units for young families that want to stay. There are lots of units under development and the hopes are that these will finally create more supply.

      Retire in Florida, not where the jobs are

    35. Elselot says:

      Does anybody know when the demolition will start?