west side kids
Even toddlers are woke on the Upper West Side. Photo by Daren.

April 10, 2017 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 73 degrees.

Free concerts and more local events on our calendar.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2017 Broadway Sings show, a show chock full of Broadway stars that benefits PS 166.

Stop by the West Side Arts Coalition inside the building on the Northern median of Broadway and 96th Street for a new painting show that runs through the end of the week. It’s open from noon to 6 pm on weekends and on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 pm.

A West Side Rag reader living on 84th Street says someone tried to scam him by buzzing his apartment and pretending to be a Con Ed worker, though nothing had been scheduled for his building. Be on the lookout!

About 95 apartments at The Belnord, an historic rental building on 86th Street, will soon be transformed by Robert A.M. Stern into luxury condos. There are 213 units in the building, many of them rent-stabilized, and eventually they all may become condos. “On being awarded the project, Robert A.M. Stern said in a statement: ‘It is a privilege to be able to be part of the reimagined Belnord, the grandest of New York’s turn-of-the-twentieth-century full square block courtyard buildings and a building I’ve long admired. The Belnord has great bones and we’re giving it a top-drawer restoration, preserving its original charm, but with a few nips and tucks for security and accessibility already approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission; creating a new fitness center; and then transforming the apartments to suit 21st-century living.'”

Here are some photos of the five-building Waterline Square development taking shape between 59th and 61st Streets.

The state budget deal includes free tuition at public universities for people whose parents make under $125,000, with several restrictions.

A petition calls for part of Central Park to be named in honor of NYPD Det. Steven McDonald, who was shot there in 1986 and went on to advocate for forgiveness and nonviolence. He died earlier this year.

Fifty years ago — on April 4, 1967 — Martin Luther King gave a famous antiwar speech at  Riverside Church, on the Upper West Side. “Half a century later, the Riverside speech also seems to carry the greater weight of prophecy. King portrayed the war in Vietnam as an imperial one, prosecuted at the expense of the poor.”

NEWS | 6 comments | permalink
    1. Sara says:

      Someone claiming to be from Con Ed tried to gain access to my apartment a few weeks ago. He said there was an issue with my bill and asked to see me. When I requested more information, he couldn’t give me an answer and stopped the charade. I’m on 88th and Broadway, and it was a scary experience as he was quite insistent. I didn’t answer the door and he eventually went away.

      • lynn says:

        Sara, that really is scary. Did you report it to Con Ed or the police? A few weeks ago someone buzzed me from downstairs after 10:00 pm and said they were from a cable company (not Time Warner/Spectrum) and they needed access to the roof. This probably happens a lot more than we realize, and hopefully tenants are not opening their doors.

    2. B.B. says:

      New owners apparently plan to make a killing on the condo conversion of Belnord Residences.

      In addition to renovation/cosmetic work new owners plan to install central AC, a fitness center, and reconfigure the courtyard drive to handle today’s automobiles.

      History of the building for the past few decades has not been good. As for the RC or RS tenants number were bought out by the previous owner. That and or more still negotiated away their protected status in exchange for being insulated from major capital improvement adjustments to their rents.

      The building was subject to J-51 tax abatements which meant rent controlled or stabilized tenants couldn’t be touched (same as with the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper court case), but the abatement expired in 2016, which is probably why the building was then sold.

      Of the 100 or so remaining apartments, new owner plans to convert them into condos as they become vacant.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        $3,000/sf asking price in the Belnord sounds insane to me. i like in one of the few pre-war RSD condos (230 RSD) and i don’t know of any apaprtment going for even 2K/sf.

        we’ll see if the owner gets that price.

        • B.B. says:

          I’m with you!

          Leaving aside the pre-war bones, The Belnord doesn’t bring much else to the table. If the building were several blocks east or west (Riverside Drive or CPW)then things *might* be different.

          West 86th between Broadway and Amsterdam ain’t Fifth Avenue, CPW, or even Park Avenue. There aren’t any great views of Central Park or the Hudson, nor will there ever be so that is that.

          Then again developer is likely doing condos in hopes of appealing (yet again) to the out of town and even USA luxury market.

          Since no one is (or even can) build pre-war buildings like these old grand dames, guess if someone is happy living in a “fortress” like building with foot thick walls and so forth, and is willing to shell out six or so million….

          Don’t even think the Apthorp condo units got 3k per square foot.

    3. Bruce Bernstein says:

      thank you, WSR, for highlighting the historic MLKII speech.