LARGE APARTMENT TOWER EXPECTED TO RISE AT 2-STORY GRISTEDES SITE


Photo by Paul.

Extell Development is putting together a large development on the corner of 96th Street and Broadway, on the current site of a Chase Bank and a Gristedes that is set to close this month, according to The Real Deal. The site is already in contract, the site reported.

The development could contain more than 200,000 buildable square feet, assuming Extell is able to cobble together air rights from nearby buildings.

The purchase of 262 West 96th Street – also known as 2551-2555 Broadway – is slated to close in October, when the site will be ready for demolition. That building alone offers 126,000 buildable square feet, property records show.

The remaining air rights Extell is still negotiating to buy are from the nearby co-op buildings along West 95th Street, sources said.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 198 comments | permalink
    1. Sean says:

      It’s the end of an era.

      • B.W. says:

        And which era would that be? The era of overpriced, sub-standard grocery items coupled with rude customer service?

        • Sean says:

          The era is the UWS as a stand in for Montclair NJ or Rhineback NY.

        • Mal says:

          The era of a sunny 96th Street. The era of an affordable UWS. The era of quality architecture.

          • Leigh says:

            Quality architecture? I doubt Jackie Onassis would have made an attempt to have that building on 96th street into a “historic landmark.” Also, it is crowded at that corner and maybe less sunshine and a setback would be beneficial. Just trying to look at the no-so-bright side!

        • Justina says:

          Exactly, overpriced and junky. They took advantage of the seniors at the Williams House who didn’t want to go far to do their shopping. Isn’t the Williams House set to close anyway?

    2. js says:

      Folks will be falling of from the subway platform to the tracks.There is no more room at 96th Street.

      And the construction will result in standstill traffic. That means buses, delivery trucks – everything – will crawl for blocks.

      And get ready for the rats when construction starts.

      Luxury real estate gets to determine the future of a neighborhood

      • Cat says:

        Falling off the subway platform onto the tracks?

        • Glen says:

          There have been a number of occasions when uptown 2/3 trains have skipped 96th St because of platform crowding.

          There is no vision in this city other than the politicians envisioning their pockets filling with developers’ cash.

          • Jay says:

            I certainly haven’t experienced a time when 2/3 trains skipped 96th for platform crowding in many years now. When exactly did this happen to you?

            The MTA just redid this station less than 10 years ago. They are not going to do anything more there for some time, especially when 72nd street is far worse and has more use.

            • Cat says:

              Don’t know anything about the 96th street. I’m usually on 72nd street and ITA with the comment about that station. It’s a frighteningly narrow platform but I’ve never seen a train skip a stop.

      • Will says:

        Falling off platform?
        Bypassing 96th St? Exactly when did that happen?
        Traffic already at a standstill all over the city
        Maybe you need to move to the suburbs

    3. John says:

      Great news! The UWS needs more housing.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        there is no shortage of luxury housing on the UWS. and this will likely produce very few units.

        the UWS needs AFFORDABLE housing. let’s see how many affordable units are in this development.

        • Jay says:

          Let’s see what price you set after you buy a lot on the UWS and go through the permitting process for getting a building built. Pretty sure you’ll do the same as everyone else and set the price as high as the market will bear.

          • Mal says:

            You want us to weep for the poor poor Extell Corp?

            • Jay says:

              No, but I don’t begrudge them for making a profit and I wouldn’t begrudge you from trying to sell something you own at the price the market will bear as long as it follows the law.

              You don’t even know what this building will look like or consist of and you (and others) already have the torches ready. Your prejudice is on Trumpian level.

        • GG says:

          Oh, Bruce. Isn’t that logic a little backward?

          Maybe…here’s a revolutionary thought…people should live where they can ‘afford’ to pay the rent.

          I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, why should people get new construction that can’t afford it while we all live in our walk-ups and broken down pre-war buildings?

          You sure are generous with other peoples money & property.

        • Will says:

          Hey Bruce,please define affordable. I think land prices are at least $1000 per sq ft. So before putting up the building, 500 sq ft will cost 500K. Is that affordable? So sale price would likely be twice that
          As someone else said, if a person can’t afford to live here, MOVE. Why should you or anyone else subsidize housing?

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            think about what you wrote. even if land prices are $1,000/sf, you are assuming that the building can only be one story high.

            anyhow, since there is very little vacant land in Manhattan, this is not a relevant discussion.

          • Bonnie says:

            Well said!

          • Mark says:

            We subsidize housing because we are a community.

        • Bruce bernstein says:

          The comment I was addressing is that this building will somehow satiate housing needs on the upper west side. It will not. No one who criticized me above argued that it would.

          This building will make extell lots and lots of money. It will do nothing for affordable housing.

          Instead, people argued that somehow extell is just doing what they have to do. In a sense, that is true, extell is in business to provide high returns to their owner. But the results of that quest are not necessarily good for the city, its people, and the neighborhood.

          • Jay says:

            Alright, I’ll bite.

            Bruce, why don’t you tell us how an empty commercial building will improve affordable housing? Tell us how a run-down empty building will be “good for the city, its people, and the neighborhood.”

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              you’re asking me to address a claim that i didn’t make.

              though i think the existing small scale building (which is neither empty nor run down) is probably more beneficial to the neighborhood than yet another luxury condo.

              once again, people keep saying that this luxury building will help address the affordable housing crisis. it will do no such thing.

            • Jay says:

              “people keep saying that this luxury building will help address the affordable housing crisis”

              No one has said any such thing. People have only said that it will create more housing. Nothing more… you and the other NIMBYs are the only people interjecting with talk of addressing the affordable housing crisis.

              How do you know this will be a “luxury” building? What do you define as a “luxury building”? Have you seen the plans? You make a lot of assumptions with zero facts to back it up.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              there is no need for more luxury housing on the UWS. there is no shortage.

              there IS a need for affordable housing.

              maybe Extell will surprise me — and many others who have commented — by building a large number of truly affordable units in the building. if so, i will tip my hat to them.

              but somehow i doubt it.

            • Jay says:

              Bruce,

              How do you know this will be a “luxury” building? What do you define as a “luxury building”? Have you seen the plans? You make a lot of assumptions with zero facts to back it up.

      • NPK says:

        I hope your remark was sarcastic. The Upper Westside used to be a neighborhood, now its turning into a towering mass of ugly buildings filled with the ultra wealthy who can afford the $9 million apartments and no care for the safety, health and future of our neighborhood.

        • Sean says:

          Those days are long gone.

        • Madd Donna says:

          I agree with you 100%. They are ruining our neighborhood and NYC in its entirety. So sick and tired of these greedy developers making plans for where we live without any regard to the quality of life for those that have lived there for years and have been paying high taxes all along. They can all go to hell as far as I’m concerned. And who’s bright idea was it to start selling “air rights” anyway? That should be illegal. Also, do all of these million dollar luxury apartments have to abide by the same rules as “regular” apartment buildings as far as water pressure is concerned? Been wondering about that for a while but of course can’t find the information anywhere. Doubt they would be paying enormous rent for the types of supposed legal showerheads with low flow water. They’re not building any housing for New Yorkers, but foreigners and that is more than unfair.

        • CFed says:

          NPK- Why is it that if you can afford “a $9 million dollar apartment”, it means you have no “care for the health and future for our neighborhood”? Besides being horribly biased, it ignores that people who are deeply invested in a neighborhood tend to really care about it. Moreover, when I last checked, titans for class equality with names ending in Kennedy, Roosevelt, Clinton, Feeny, and Carnegie gave incredible resources to care for the health and future of neighborhoods. Sure, there’s more to be done and I would like to see these great people put on a pedestal to emulate, rather than vilified with broad brushed strokes of class prejudice.

          Finally, before rushing to judgement about the disposition of this corner, that today houses a dilapidated supermarket and a years deserted retail store, let’s see who buys it, and what is being proposed.

          • Sarah says:

            “titans for class equality”???

            People like Carnegie literally built a society of jawdropping inequality and then threw people a few crumbs from what they had stolen from them.

            Tell it to the Homestead strikers gunned down by Carnegie’s flunky Frick.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              i’m glad to see a commenter who actually knows some history! go Sarah!

    4. James says:

      This will help improve the neighborhood which has reverted over the last several years. Great for the area!

    5. Mark says:

      The nearby co-op buildings along West 95th Street will be selling the right to air, light, sky, sunshine, moonlight away from their neighbors.

      Extell has found good partners in this.

    6. Via Ventana says:

      Let’s see how Extell beats its own record for adding hideous new buildings to the city.

      • Nancy says:

        I remember the old Chess City on this site. Why do we need another monstrosity?

        Nancy

        • joe says:

          I remember Chess City on the next block 96/97 where the old Riverside theatre used to be.

      • ScooterStan says:

        Re: “hideous new buildings to the city.”

        ’tis said: “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.

        So some who just LOVE 19th-century 6-story walkups with their filthy facades would probably find a lot of Extell’s glass towers hideous…just as some of us find 19th-century 6-story walkups disgusting and Extell’s modern glass towers beautiful (okay…excluding OneFiftySeven West 57th !).

        Check Extell’s “Portfolio” to see their buildings .

    7. NPK says:

      That’s just what the neighborhood, and in particular that overcrowded intersection and subway station that is already too small for the numbers of people it has to accommodate. All this new building of skyscrapers is destroying the Upper Westside!

    8. Samantha says:

      Wouldn’t it be forward-thinking if this building made room for a public elementary school on it’s bottom few floors? A girl can dream…

      • Samantha says:

        Hey everybody, sorry. Meant to type “its”, not “it’s”….

      • Paul RL says:

        Samantha, PS 75 is a block away, and if I’m not mistaken I believe it’s under-enrolled. My pipe dream? The Children’s Museum! They have been looking for more space and have unfortunately considered moving outside the neighborhood. It would be a great location for them.

    9. Chris says:

      This corner has been desperately in need of rehabilitation for years. I consider this good news.

    10. skip says:

      The whole stretch of Broadway from the mid 90’s to the low 100’s is pretty seedy and has been that way for decades while the areas to the south and north have steadily improved.

      Hopefully this project will help move the area in the right direction.

    11. Mark Moore says:

      That taco truck is going to have to find a new location. Maybe across the street to feed the construction workers.

    12. Don says:

      This site has been predictable and inevitable for years. Extell’s trash building on the east side of Broadway between 99th and 100th already wins the hideous award for NYC. I remember how hard the community worked to stop them but Extell is far too well connected. I may be naive but I doubt they can find an architect to design something worse. It’s more a matter of how tall they can get away with.

    13. Paul RL says:

      Finally, after years of stagnation and decline, the West 90s gets some good news. While I’m concerned about Extell’s boring aesthetics (as well as the loss of Gristedes and a good chunk of my view), this development is the shot in the arm that the neighborhood needs.

      • JerryV says:

        Paul says, “this development is the shot in the arm that the neighborhood needs.” But IV heroin is also a shot in the arm.

    14. Steen says:

      This corner is in desperate need of a rehab, but I agree that they need to offer actual services the neighborhood needs in the shops on its ground floors. From talking to folks, the area could use another good preschool, and a grocery store to replace Gristedes (which I personally won’t miss) would also be welcome. what we don’t need is for Extell to do the same thing they did up on 99th which was to have a vacant, for rent space sit there, empty, for almost 10 years. That was ridiculous.

    15. Jamie says:

      More housing and one fewer supermarket. Even if it was way overpriced.

    16. Stefan says:

      What are the odds that they will receive a tax abatement for 15 years? My guess is going to be 100%. Talk about being generous with other people’s money. We all pay higher taxes so the luxury building get to live tax free.
      I say, let them build it and let them pay taxes like the rest of us.

    17. Elaine richard says:

      Bang goes more light on our streets. These high-rises effect our quality of life in ways that are not always obvious until you realize there’s no longer a sunny side of the street. The 96th Street subway platform will be even more overcrowded. And another high-rise, like the ones either side of Broadway at 101st Street, will ruin further the human perspective of the Upper West Side.

    18. Diane says:

      I hate, hate, hate EXTELL. How many stories is 126,000 buildable square feet? Don’t we have a height limit? Here we go again folks, petitions, phoning, marching. Does it ever end?

    19. Harry says:

      not surprised – Gristedes is a terrible supermarket – one more building to hide the sun. 96th street subway stop will be a zoo!

    20. Diane says:

      Yes, the neighborhood needs improvement, but it does not need 30 stories of another boring square, glass box that eliminates the sky, the views, and puts that many more people on the subway that is already horrendously overcrowded. Yuck to it all.

    21. Mal says:

      Can West Side Rag find out:

      1) the proposed height of this project – is it 16 stories, or taller? I believe the site is within the rezoned Historic District and cannot be a monstrosity like the 2 hideous pieces of junk Extell built on 99th St.

      2) Will it include the mandated 20% affordable units?

      • B.B. says:

        Unless am mistaken historic district stops at Amsterdam Avenue, so don’t think this West 96th street address is within said boundary and thus protected.

        As for twenty percent or whatever “affordable” housing, nothing has been mentioned as of yet.

        The lot already has substantial undeveloped Floor Area Ratio space (FAR) and when coupled with air rights Extell is seeking to purchase from adjoining lots would seemingly allow for a new tower to be built “as of right”. That would mean no affordable component unless Extell seeks some sort of tax break (421-a), or gets into bed with the city via the inclusionary housing bonus scheme.

        Much will depend on if the new building is condo/co-op or rental housing. Even so don’t think Extell is going to go with “affordable” and thus have to deal with rent stabilization.

      • robert says:

        If you take a very carefully look at the boundary of the landmarked areas they zig and zag around any places somebody might want to build. There is no 20 affordable issue as they are planning to build the building “as of right” which means that they can build as high as they want provided they get enough air rights

    22. Woody says:

      What the UWS sorely needs are more spaces for the resident whiners to park their waambulances.

    23. Sherman says:

      Not too long ago West 96th Street was a dangerous and decrepit area.

      Now they’re constructing upscale apartment buildings there.

      This is a definite sign of progress!

      • Cato says:

        That’s what they said about the Cross Bronx Expressway, too.

        Ah, Progress! Everyone else — Look Out!!

    24. JerryV says:

      I have a question. With all the new tall “middle finger in the sky” buildings going up and with the accompanying deterioration in public transportation, just what is the City getting in return. Will additional taxes help to improve public transportation and infrastructure, or will all the profits go to the real estate developers and the politicians who enable them?

      • lou says:

        How about the power grid,when our “esteemed” gov closes Indian Point, where is the power going to come from, as the electric bills go about as high as the height of these buildings

        • robert says:

          Its closure date will be put off after Cuomo
          runs again in 18 and wins. The fine print requires hundreds of millions in subsidy to the company that owns Indian Point to defray the cost of the early shut down and the high cost of buy electric power from a more expensive source. He won’t want the public paying for it

      • Dixie says:

        Problem is that we don’t get more taxes from these new buildings. They always seem to have tax abatements for the new buyers for 10-20 years. How does that help anyone except those earning a big enough pile of money that they can afford $4-7,000/month rent.

      • B.B. says:

        Both city and state benefit first and foremost from increased tax revenue. Either as rentals, condos, or co-ops new housing especially luxury housing will bring in more revenue as the values are often assessed at higher rates.

        The purchases/sales alone generate all sorts of revenue such as mortgage recording tax, surcharges paid to the MTA.

        Then consider these new residents will pay the same taxes, fees and surcharges we all do to the city, state and MTA.

        http://nypost.com/2010/02/14/85-stealth-tax-pain/

        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/nyregion/02mta.html

        http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20150623/BLOGS04/150629989/cash-strapped-mta-benefits-from-real-estate-boom

        For all the moaning about development or construction some don’t see the forest for the trees.

        Notice two words you haven’t heard out of City Hall or the city council in years; budget cuts.

        Indeed NYC’s budget has grown every year since deB took office as the city is taking in more revenue than either the mayor or council know how to spend.

        http://nypost.com/2017/06/03/de-blasio-city-council-reach-agreement-on-85b-budget/

        A large part of this revenue is derived from real estate. Sales, taxes, construction and other related employment, the lot all are contributing to keeping many New Yorker’s butter stuck to their bread.

        The city is giving away free feminine hygiene products, free legal assistance in housing court, free legal assistance to illegal immigrants facing deportation. New ferry service has been introduced from the boroughs to Manhattan, and the list goes on.

        The past four years have been a virtual love fest of liberal/democratic spending wish lists. So again before complaining about luxury or other development just remember how not that long ago (1970’s and 1980’s) when people were still fleeing NYC how all very different things could be.

        • Sherman says:

          Actually, new construction is not bringing in the tax revenue it should be.

          This is because developers are exploiting the 421-a tax break if they include a handful of “affordable” units in their buildings.

          It is estimated NYC loses $1.4 billion a year in tax revenue due to 421-a.

          In other words, it is a wildly expensive and inefficient way to create “affordable” housing. In fact, it actually makes the city less affordable ( except for the handful of lucky and oftentimes connected people who get these cheap apartments).

          But hey, it makes DeBlasio and all these other liberal windbags something to brag about.

          • B.B. says:

            Those losses are based upon property tax revenue. Thus do not count the economic activity derived from construction, sales and other events tied to new residential housing.

            Residential construction pumped over 12 billion dollars into NYC economy in 2016. This out of an overall sum of over 66 billion for total construction spending.

            https://therealdeal.com/2017/05/23/nyc-construction-industry-generated-66b-in-2016-report/

            That does not even touch the economic activity which comes from persons buying/moving into a new home. Everything from movers, decorators, furnishing, hiring of various service personnel, and so forth.

            It also does not include the permanent jobs created by these residential buildings. Doormen, porters, concierges, and so forth.

            Should also point out not every new development in past used 421a (or J-51) tax breaks. Far as one knows 200 Amsterdam hasn’t applied for any sort of tax break, and we know nothing yet of Extell’s plans for 96th street.

    25. Reggie says:

      Developers should be taxed for upping the number of people who will rely on the subway and roads in the neighborhoods in which they build large developments like this.

      • James says:

        Developers bring jobs, residents who pay for apartments bring jobs. I have lived in the neighborhood my entire life and gone to school here. It is sad that you talk about affordable housing yet a family with 500k in income can’t afford to own an apt.

        Rent regulation makes it impossible for families with working age parents to find housing. There is an old guard that needs to retire and move on. Progress is new buildings with more units and safer neighborhoods that accommodate the economically productive members of society.

        The issue with safety on 96 street is a result of idiots crossing against the light and standing in the street. It’s. It’s not because of gentrification.

        If you work in Manhattan you should be able to find a place to live.

        • Sarah says:

          ” the economically productive members of society”

          The immigrant working the taco truck or manning the pizza counter is a way more economically productive member of society than another jerk collecting other jerks’ money to disrupt grilled cheese or something.

          Also, James, someday you won’t be “economically productive.” I look forward to your volunteering to put yourself on an ice floe in the Hudson.

          • GG says:

            Isn’t that why people save for retirement and then, I don’t know…move to Florida, maybe?

            Manhattan is the most important and dynamic city in the world. Everyone doesn’t just GET to live here forever on other peoples dime. Come on now.

            • Mark says:

              Why would someone more interested in the investment value of a neighborhood, over the community values of a neighborhood post on a neighborhood blog?

            • Cat says:

              How is working hard for 40+ years and owning your own apartment living on another person’s dime? Why do you think you have the right to tell people who have stayed in this neighborhood through thick and thin to get out to make room for you, when you (among others) are always complaining how expensive/difficult it is for you to live here???

        • lynn says:

          “Rent regulation makes it impossible for families with working age parents to find housing. There is an old guard that needs to retire and move on.”

          You’re making 500K and you can’t afford to buy an apartment? There are plenty of us who are doing ok on a fraction of that amount. Maybe you’re the one who should be moving out of the city.

          • Bruce bernstein says:

            I noticed that. He can’t buy an apt on 500k annually? I would like to see his current budget.

            Good lord, some of these people are out of touch.

      • Scott says:

        I blame it on the Fowad store. If that was still there, no way would Extell consider building anything across the street.

        Seriously though, Broadway and 96th is a pretty hideous dump and has been for decades. This will be progress even if all the Bernie Sanders voters won’t admit it.

    26. Wendy says:

      Hire English language speaking, unionized construction workers. Someone on a radio show, re demographics in U.S.A. : @ 25million units of housing need to be built. Many politicians in U.S.A. don’t seem to care how badly @ 30million illegal aliens in U.S.A.; &, how many folk hardly try to speak our English language in U.S.A.. What happened to the Mohawk Indian ironworkers in Upstate N.Y. ? Many clients of social work suffer in some slums of N.Y.C.. Close down those 3 credit bureaus. Stop the Green Card lottery.

    27. johnnyc says:

      Wasn’t there talk of this site being reserved for affordable housing?

      Second, why is there so much NIMBYism on the UWS? Not because of tall buildings (there are plenty of much-loved tall buildings) but because of the ugly glass behemoths Extell is known for.

      If our Mayor and his Planning Commissioner worked for us instead of the Real Estate Board of New York, we could get better new buildings. The market is so lucrative that they have plenty of incentive to negotiate.

      • B.B. says:

        Apparently yes, but the supportive housing was supposed to be 264-266 West 96th street, the defunct IRT power station. Plans were to convert the thing into housing. You’ll have to ask Gale Brewer what happened.

        “266 West 96 Street is the site of a nonactive MTA substation. The West Side Federation of Senior and Supportive Housing (WSFSH) (in collaboration with Council Member Gale Brewer) is working to develop affordable housing at this location. The units will be rented to families and senior citizens from the neighborhood. This building is not a participant in the New York/New York supportive housing initiative.

        As of winter 2007, the following steps to secure the site have been taken at the behest of Council Member Brewer: the MTA transferred title to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). DCAS conveyed the property to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

        The other two property owners on the site include the Salvation Army at 268 West 96 Street, and the Midtown NAACP at 270 West 96 Street. They are collaborating with WSFSH.”

        https://uwsdevelopments.wordpress.com/category/96-street/

    28. johnnyc says:

      Wasn’t there talk of this site being reserved for affordable housing?

      Second, why is there so much NIMBYism on the UWS? Not because of tall buildings (there are plenty of much-loved, old tall buildings) but because of the ugly glass behemoths Extell is known for.

      If our Mayor and his Planning Commissioner worked for us instead of the Real Estate Board of New York, we could get better new buildings. The market is so lucrative that they have plenty of incentive to negotiate.

    29. Jane says:

      Just what we UWS residents need … another ugly high-rise! Little by little the soul and character of the Upper West Side is being stripped away by greedy developers! So sad!!!!

    30. PT says:

      My son and I were just talking about how dirty and litter strewn that corner always is. I think a nice new building would defiantly be an improvement

    31. Jason says:

      This is excellent news. Hopefully the development will bring more families to the neighborhood and more people who want to see it improve rather than stay in the decrepit state that it’s in. My 4 year old son and I passed 5 beggers between 98th street and 96th street this past weekend, two of them swearing nonsensically. This neighborhood is in desperate need for a facelift and I hope this is it.

      • Cat says:

        So where would you like the beggars to go when the neighborhood improves? Seriously, does building a high rise solve that problem?

      • B.B. says:

        Have news for you, there are “beggars” and so forth all over Manhattan, you cannot get away from them.

        On the Upper Eastside you have them up and down Park, Madison, Fifth, Lexington avenues as well as the side streets. With a good number setting up their “tents” overnight right in front of some of the most expensive residential real estate in the city.

        Anywhere near a church is particularly prone.

        Area on Lexington avenue around Lenox Hill hospital is becoming very bad mixture of homeless, panhandlers and other sorts. Between the hospital and St. Jean Baptiste church down the street (which acts as a safe haven, food bank, etc..), the area isn’t what it once was nor what many think of as the UES.

      • lynn says:

        Jason, my son grew up in an area on the UES where there was such an abundance of ‘beggars,’ that by the time he was in middle school we knew most of them by name. By the end of his senior year in high school he had helped find housing and jobs for several of them, two of whom needed medical assistance, and they’re still in touch with him 10 years later. The homeless problem only seems to have gotten worse, so it may be time to start speaking to your children about the reality of this situation.

    32. AC says:

      Several years ago when my neighborhood went through deconstructing and rebuilding high rises, I suggested that the developer be responsible for upgrading the local utilities (adding subway entrances, pressure for water lines; more underground garages, etc.) I was laughed off.

      The UWS is over developed and our infrastructure is taxed to the max.

    33. sjroth says:

      I agree with some folks that this could be the shot in the arm the neighborhood needs. Let’s face it, the look and feel of the area has declined. Hopefully Extell will do the right thing and initiate or sponsor new revitalization programs in the surrounding area – anything to aid in turning all the vacant commercial spaces around into flourishing businesses instead of block after block empty spaces. This may be far-reaching to think that Extell would think outside the box, but nothing wrong with wishful thinking.

    34. Sarah says:

      Plopping a glass tower on that corner is not going to do anything to improve the supposed “seediness” of that stretch of Broadway (which, really, only a prosperous Manhattanite could deem truly seedy). People who can afford to live there won’t be shopping local stores for much of anything besides coffee. I’m not sure how much more population pressure the 96th St. subway station can take, though.

    35. Tostonesfix says:

      I do believe the wealthy, culturally devoid are robbing New York of what little charm it has left but I don’t see what’s wrong with a new building here and there. It’s not like 96th and Broadway is a charming little neighborhood. I would rather have new buildings than crumbling old fire traps. Some buildings should be demolished and replaced.

    36. Juan says:

      How much do the neighboring buildings stand to make by selling their air rights? What is the going rate for this? One would think they could command a lot from the developer.

      • B.B. says:

        Average price for air rights in NYC is around $292 per square foot.

        https://therealdeal.com/2017/02/08/manhattan-air-rights-got-more-expensive-in-2016/

        Remember that number is just that; an average. Some developers paid more, others less. It all comes down to negotiations; how hungry a developer is to nail down those rights, and how desperate (or not) owner is to sell.

        • Mark says:

          Sad that the “neighbors” on 95th Street are selling the air, sunlight, breezes, moonlight of their neighbors on 96th Street.

          But I guess the price for the screw is $292

          Real neighborly!

          • GG says:

            Why do you feel like people owe you (or anyone else) anything?

            Your comments really seem to have this theme. It’s starting to sound kind of naive or pollyanna-ish (is that the right word?), ya know? and I don’t think that is the case since you seem to be a life long NY’er.

            • Mark says:

              The air, sunlight, breezes, moonlight belong to Everybody.

              Your characterization of my remark as “pollyanna-ish” clearly puts you in the climate-denier and unscientific crowd. Good luck with that, but I preserve my right to speak out against crimes against the natural environment.

            • GG says:

              Sorry, Mark. I was addressing these comments to the other Mark. I don’t even know your point of view on these issues. My reaction was more the the cumulative effect of your other messages, which weren’t even yours. Anyway, did that make any sense?:)

            • Mark says:

              Thank you for the explanation.

            • Mark says:

              Oy – this other Mark is making life difficult!!

            • Mark says:

              GG,

              That did make a lot of sense.

              Especially after I read Mark’s Reply.

          • B.B. says:

            Err, no. That is (on average) $292 per *square foot* of air rights. Insert various numbers then do the sums. For a moderate to substantial amount of air rights a building can net a tidy sum.

            In the case of co-ops or condos it literally is “money for nothing”, and often is most welcome. Many buildings use such money to beef up their reserves, fund capital improvements and other needed work.

            http://streeteasy.com/blog/what-are-nyc-air-rights-all-about/

            https://commercialobserver.com/2015/10/up-in-the-air-the-quest-for-quality-air-rights/

            • Mark says:

              “In the case of co-ops or condos it literally is “money for nothing”, and often is most welcome.” – B.B.

              But it IS money for SOMETHING. For selling the sunlight, breeze air, moonlight, view, and peace of their own neighbors.

              That’s “money for nothing” the same as those 40 pieces of silver.

        • Juan says:

          Thank you. Roughly how many sq ft do each of the buildings on 95 have to sell? This could be quite a windfall for them.

          • B.B. says:

            Cannot say for sure about all, but…

            258 West 95th Street:

            Floor Area Ratio

            Built FAR 1.93

            Residential Zoned FAR 6.02

            Max 121,303.0 sq. ft.

            Remaining 82,503.0 sq. ft.

            Commercial Zoned FAR 0.0

            Max 0.0 sq. ft.

            Remaining 0 sq. ft.

            Facility Zoned FAR 6.5

            Max 130,975.0 sq. ft.

            Remaining 92,175.0 sq. ft.

            So just for starters that co-op alone has a pretty good amount of used facility and residential FAR/undeveloped space.

            Meanwhile 251 West 95th (aka 2541 Broadway)which is a rental building (one assumes with RS and or RC tenants).

            Floor Area Ratio

            Built FAR 5.75

            Residential Zoned FAR 10.0

            Max 75,540.0 sq. ft.

            Remaining 32,136.0 sq. ft.

            Commercial Zoned FAR 3.4

            Max 25,683.6 sq. ft.

            Remaining -17,720.4 sq. ft.

            Facility Zoned FAR 10.0

            Max 75,540.0 sq. ft.

            Remaining 32,136.0 sq.ft

            So again you have a building on an adjoining lot that has a good amount of undeveloped residential and facility FAR/space.

            Well that is two co-op buildings done. Haven’t time to look up the other buildings further west; 720 and 732 West End Avenue, and 285 West 96th which is on the corner at WEA.

            Between the two buildings listed above that is a whole lotta air rights/undeveloped space should Extell prove successful in obtaining. Added to the undeveloped space at the West 96th street property and you’ve got the makings of a very tall building.

            • Juan says:

              So if 251 West 95th sold all 30k+ sq ft of its air rights for roughly the going rate, it would get $9 million? That would definitely bolster its finances – their maintenance will be $0 for many years to come – I would love to be in an apartment in that building facing south, away from the construction and eventually the new monstrosity.

              I walked by this block yesterday and noted the irony of the building at 720 WEA (the diagonal corner of the block) – the Williams House. It is a fairly tall building so I’m guessing it doesn’t have a lot of air rights to sell, but I’m guessing that given all of the discussion of the dislocation of the seniors who live there, a few $ of air rights revenues would sure make a difference.

            • B.B. says:

              Need to clarify something in above post; 2541 Broadway is a co-op IIRC, not rental.

              Carry on.

    37. ariella says:

      Anyone know what the zoned height limits are for this site?

      • B.B. says:

        Lot is zoned for C4-6A
        See: C4-6A

        Other information:

        Floor Area Ratio

        Built FAR 2.25
        Residential Zoned FAR 10.0
        Max 125,880.0 sq. ft.
        Remaining 97,502.0 sq. ft.

        Commercial Zoned FAR 3.4
        Max 42,799.2 sq. ft.
        Remaining 14,421.2 sq. ft.

        Facility Zoned FAR 10.0
        Max 125,880.0 sq. ft.
        Remaining 97,502.0 sq. ft.

        As you can see the current structure left quite a bit of undeveloped commercial and residential space. If Extell is successful in purchasing the air rights it seeks from adjoining lots they will have yet more room to build.

        Make no mistake something “big” is going to go up on that corner and thus far it appears will be “as of right” and thus no affordable component. That is unless developer seeks special tax treatment (421-a) or goes with mayor de Blasio’s “inclusionary housing bonus” scheme. Then things may be different.

    38. 123Train says:

      Do you people who drone on about how “this used to be a neighborhood” find any irony in the fact that those who were here before you probably whined about the same thing when your own buildings were built?

    39. Jonathan says:

      I wonder if the development will include the nasty eyesore of the abandoned con ed building next door

    40. Dixie says:

      That’s just what we need. Another super tall building full of wealthy people that is not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood.

    41. robert says:

      http://www.westsiderag.com/2017/05/31/openings-closings-gristedes-robert-stuart-salon-recolte-sushi-kaito
      As I said in response to the above article on May 31st:
      May 31, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Chase Corporate list the branch as moving soon as well. Not surprising as its a prime corner and the permits already applied for and must likely issued, Before everybody goes all NIMBY, they can build a build similar in size and scope to the Columbia. This is without a special exemptions and will be an “as of right” building. Which means that when all of the petitioning, marches etc start, they will come to nothing. They can legally build there and will.

      https://therealdeal.com/2017/05/31/extell-in-contract-on-key-piece-of-100m-uws-assemblage/

    42. B.B. says:

      According to my research this building only went up in 1968. This tells me given the fact it is only two floors the thing was a “taxpayer” property that sooner or later was going to be torn down/redeveloped.

      • Mark says:

        Do you think that back in 1968 they envisioned this tall, fabricated hulk?

        • B.B. says:

          No, but property owner needed or wanted to get some revenue out of the lot; hence the “taxpayer” structure.

          You put up something with one or two floors of commercial space only. Hopefully then the income from rents at least covers taxes and other associated costs of ownership. Sometime in future when circumstances change you don’t need to worry about removing residential tenants.

          The other way NYC property owners received income for a “taxpayer” property was to put a parking lot/garage, gas/service station, etc..

          Until rather recently (we’re talking the 1980’s) you found plenty of parking lots on prime mid-town property and really all over Manhattan.

          Can well recall when Sixth avenue from about 23rd Street going north had several parking lots on corners. Now they are all gone. Once that area was rezoned landlords wasted no time in selling and or otherwise redeveloping those “empty” lots to their full zoned potential.

    43. GG says:

      OK, Story time, ya’ll

      When I was a kid, my mother would always buy new stuff (clothes, shoes, toys, etc.) for my oldest brother. Then his stuff would go to my middle brother and his stuff would come to me. I NEVER GOT NEW STUFF just cause I was the youngest.

      Honestly, I never really cared because I thought my older brothers stuff was cool and I was happy to get newer (to me), better things. Sure, there was a little wear and tear but everyone upgraded and life was good.

      Is anyone following my little metaphor here?? Anyway, this is how it was and it didn’t change until I got a part time job after school and started paying for my own stuff….and I lived happily ever after. The end.

      • manhattan mark says:

        Manhattan is an island that must build UP , as there is limited
        space to build OUT…If you live long enough, whatever neighborhood you are in will look different in 40 or 50 years.
        In the l940’s the chase bank was home to Hess’s Pool Hall and Gristedes was a bowling alley. The northwest side of the street was home to a Ping Pong place that was owned by a
        champion of that sport…life goes on…things change, get
        used to it!

        • Mark says:

          Building out is possible. Boroughs, adjoining states..

          • Jay says:

            In other words, not in your back yard. How convenient…

            Tell me… who elected you to be the guardian of the UWS? Why do you get to say what people do with their private property? Why do you get to say who can live here?

            • Mark says:

              Jay,

              You have misinterpreted my comment.

              I explained that starting with the axiom that “Manhattan is an island that must build UP, as there is limited space to build OUT.” is not the only case.

              I have lived in the boroughs for a couple of decades, so have some experience.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              as residents of NYC, we have the right to some say over “what people do with their private property.” you can’t just do anything you want. there are zoning laws, building codes, nondiscrimination laws, housing laws, and so on.

              once again, it’s a balance. that is part of living in a civilized society, and particularly in a dense urban area.

            • Jay says:

              “we have the right to some say over “what people do with their private property.””

              No, your elected representatives have a say through laws and regulations. So far, you have no idea what the project entails. You have no idea if the project will or will not conform to these regulations and yet you and others are opposed based on zero facts. Your prejudice is on Trumpian level.

              The small minority of NIMBYs do not get to decide what happens and who gets to live in the UWS. I and most others welcome everyone. We do not want to live with a backwards mentality.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              so you think elected representatives get a say, but normal citizens and residents don’t?

              i think you need a refresher course on democracy.

              you’re right that i don’t know what the project will be. Perhaps it is wonderful, reasonable scale affordable housing. And as ive said before, if this is true i’ll toast Extell.

              but as i said above, i doubt it. i expect yet another luxury high rise.

            • Jay says:

              “so you think elected representatives get a say, but normal citizens and residents don’t?
              i think you need a refresher course on democracy.”

              Actually, I think it’s you need a refresher on how our democracy works… hint… Look up the definition of representative democracy…

              I’m glad you have finally said that you have no facts about this development hence, all of your comments have been ill-informed. I’m glad we can wrapped this up.

    44. Julie says:

      great. This is an awful block that is a bight on the neighborhood. Scaffolding up for years on next block with no work and no improvement.

    45. Jacob says:

      Seems as though the same was said about the two buildings on Broadway around 99th/100th – that they’d bring jobs and a facelift to the neighborhood. That didn’t happen. The retail space in the building on the east side sat vacant for years and the occupants of both buildings don’t seem to have markedly enhanced the financial stability of the area as, since those buildings were built, there have been as many or more store closures than previously. I want to believe that there is a direct relationship between “new housing construction” and “more stores being open”, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Perhaps there’ll be more Fresh Direct truck at 96th but I don’t forsee that building ‘saving’ the UWS. And to be fair, I don’t see the building destroying the UWS either.

      My main problem is simply that the corner of 96th/Broadway has been a mess for years owing to the subway plaza that wasn’t that well thought out….. a couple years (?) of construction and then tons of additional people using the subway will just add to that mess.

      The upside, as many have said, is that that corner won’t be the eyesore that it is now.

      I love the UWS above 96th Street.. I’ve lived here for 14 years. I don’t expect it to stay frozen in time and never change but let’s not also fool ourselves into buying the hype that a luxury high rise at 96th is going to save the neighborhood somehow. That’s simply a developer trying to sell you their wares.

    46. Leon says:

      It is not like this area is lacking in oversized buildings. Others have mentioned the two towers around 100th St. The Columbia across 96th from this spot is hideous. And The Lyric a block south is slightly more visually appealing but is also too tall for the neighborhood.

      • Mark says:

        Is this an argument against more hideous buildings, or for more?

        • Leon says:

          I am against. I’m just saying that if WS Rag existed when those buildings went up, the same conversation likely would have happened. I’m assuming Pomender Walk sold off its air rights for the Lyric.

    47. Carlos says:

      If I had the money to spend on a luxury apartment, this location would be pretty low on my list. It is a very crowded, dirty intersection. It is convenient for mass transit and getting on the highway, but good luck loading and unloading on that corner. Schools are mediocre, though I don’t think they are targeting the public school crowd. But if I had a few million to drop, this would not be my top choice for location.

      • B.B. says:

        Oh I don’t know.

        One it is new construction, that always appeals to a certain segment of those looking for a home.

        Both vast educational and healthcare systems (Columbia University and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital) are just “up the street”. Riverside Park is down the block and Central Park is several away going east.

        The area sits between UWS and Morningside Heights along with Harlem further north. Three areas that are seeing steady interest from both New Yorkers and those coming from out of area or even country.

        Quite honestly much of Broadway above say West 72nd is what it is, and no it isn’t “Park Avenue”, but there is a certain charm.

        Depending upon final building design and how high things ultimately go units on upper floors will have generous views facing west.

        Unless am mistaken apartments on floors that clear 285 West 96th will have unimpeded views of Riverside Park, Hudson River and onto New Jersey. That has to be worth something.

        • GG says:

          You are a pretty good salesman, B.B. You are making me want to see a floor plan for one of those top floor apartments with a western exposure. Maybe something like a 2/2, 1400 sq. ft. or so. I don’t need all this space anymore.

          I wonder if they will have a pool on the roof.:)

          And in case anyone was wondering, I wasn’t being sarcastic. If I was looking for a place I would seriously look at this place, obviously depending on a million other issues (aesthetics, pricing, etc.) Fortunately I bought decades ago so I’m set.

        • Carlos says:

          Excluding apartments with a view of the river, if I were one to prefer new construction (which I am not – love my pre-war charm!), I would much rather be in the buildings going up at 80th and Broadway or 81st and Broadway than at 96th and Broadway. Nicer neighborhood, less chaotic intersection.

    48. B.B. says:

      Wonder if Extell even approached the MTA or NYC (whoever owns) about that abandoned former IRT power station at 264-266 West 96th which is next door to 262 West 96th.

      Though on many wish lists the Beaux Arts structure has not been landmarked or given any historic designation IIRC. Thus fair game to be torn down and land redeveloped. For some time there was a homeless “tent city” set up in front.

      • Paul RL says:

        My understanding is that at least one potential developer tried to include the IRT powerhouse as part of the assemblage. But supposedly Gale Brewer put the kibosh on it as she required the developer to include affordable or supportive housing as part of the project. As a sidenote, there is apparently a “brown site” under that building.

        It’s a beautiful example of Beaux Arts architecture and if saved it would serve as the only historic “face” on that stretch of 96th St. There are only a handful of these old powerhouses left in Manhattan. I’ve approached the LPC and got no response and, as far as I know, there are no plans to landmark it

        • B.B. says:

          Thanks for your response!

          Not surprised there is a brown site on that IRT powerhouse property. PCBs, asbestos and God only knows what else is on that property.

          Equally not surprised Ms. Brewer stuck her oars in and put a stop to anything happening with that powerhouse unless a deal was extracted. Between costs of acquiring the property, brown site clean-up, then having to deal with restrictions and associated costs of “supportive” or “affordable” housing, no wonder potential buyers looked elsewhere.

          Shareholders at 285 West 96th however must be thrilled with the status quo; their lot line views thus are not threatened in the foreseeable future.

    49. Red Raleigh says:

      “Rent regulation makes it impossible for families with working age parents to find housing. There is an old guard that needs to retire and move on.”

      Yes, let’s kick out those old people..they ruin EVERYTHING! It’s all their fault.

    50. Chuck D says:

      here’s some stuff that could be good.

      1. That drugstore has been vacant for at least 10 years. Glad it’s going to have something other than the blight there.

      2. Hopefully this will spur public outcry for another school in the area. Maybe they’ll even be forced to build one.

      3. If they have to have affordable units, that’d be great.

      4. Nobody will actually live in the luxury units. As has been proven all along 57th Street, there’s no impact because these are just physical Swiss bank accounts used by financial criminal for hoarding their stolen loot.

      • B.B. says:

        People need to stop throwing around the words “luxury housing” for any new development then don’t like.

        Plans have not even been released as to what sort of housing will be going up and already the punters are calling it “luxury housing”.

        Highly doubt Extell is going to put up “billionaire’s row” type housing on Broadway and 96th Street. A bit further south at 200 Amsterdam also will not be that either, just slightly more or same upscale housing that has gone up in that part of Lincoln Square recently.

        If by luxury people are going on about housing that is more expensive and whatever than the average RC or RS apartment on UWS, well yes, I’ll give you that. But One W57 it will not be.

        For the record the median household income for area around 96th and Broadway is a bit over $87k per year. And the median individual income is over $64k, per. This while the median income overall for NYC is around $50k per year.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/realestate/what-is-middle-class-in-manhattan.html

        People moan about how “dirty” and so forth parts of the UWS are, and much of that comes from the vast amount of SRO, supportive, low income and other such housing where residents cannot or will not contribute to a better quality of life.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          do you really think the apartments in the Extell development, whether rentals or condos, will be financially accessible to families making 87K a year?

          at 30% of gross income (the line over which you are “housing cost burdened”), that comes to $2,175 per month. maybe — maybe — there will be studios in there at that level. And remember, 87K is the median FAMILY income.

          it’s not billionaire’s row, but it is going to be very expensive, and beyond the means of most current West Siders.

          • B.B. says:

            If by “families” you mean one person supporting a household of two or more on $87k per, probably not.

            However *two* persons earning $87k (or more) per with good to excellent credit and enough to make a down payment (assuming the building is a condo) would be another matter.

            Remember this is likely to be a condo, not co-op building. Thus all anyone really needs is a decent enough credit score and financials to satisfy a mortgage lender. That or pay all cash.

            Again the prices per square foot may not be affordable to some persons living in area now; but by all means it won’t be a One W57 either. Extell is going to price to make their money *and* what that part of UWS will support.

            This debate is all academic at this point since nothing has been released as to what Extell is going to put up.

          • Sarah says:

            ” that comes to $2,175 per month. maybe — maybe — there will be studios in there at that level. ”

            I’m calling it right now: studios will start at (before-inflation-adjustment-for-the-years-of-construction) $2800. 1-beds will be $4k. Mark my words.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              i have a feeling Sarah is right. We’ll see. B.B. is also right that at this point it is academic.

              87K is the median FAMILY income on the UWS… according to statistics listed above (by B.b.)

              So a 2 person household where each make 87K has a household income of 174K per year. Using the 30% “rule of thumb”, they can afford 4,350 a month in housing costs: rent or combined mortgage, property taxes, and condo “common charges.”

              households making 175K a year are probably in the top 10%-15% on the UWS. so this is not really affordable.

            • B.B. says:

              Nothing is official until Extell releases their plans for the site. So far all we know is pretty much this:

              “The company has yet to file plans for the site, but real estate experts say it can give way to 613,605 square feet of residential space, or about 600 apartments. ”

              https://ny.curbed.com/2017/5/31/15720792/extell-upper-west-side-gristedes-development-site

              What type of building; rental, co-op or condo, no one knows yet.

              Given Mr. Gary Barnett’s recent developments in Manhattan, my money is on this property being condos, not rentals.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              B.B: 600K sf? 600 apartments? am i reading this correctly?

              isn’t this about 3x more sf than your earlier estimates?

              do you have an estimate of how high that would be, given the footprint? it sounds like 40-50 stories. can that be right? that sounds crazy.

              i thought there was some sort of zoning passed a few years back that stopped buildings of that size being built on the UWS… after the Ariel was built on 99th st and Bway.

            • Paul RL says:

              I re-read the Curbed article I believe the 613K square ft/600 apartments estimate is referring to the 125th Strert assemblage, not the 96th street corner. I think the confusion is the result of a badly written paragraph. See below.

              “Extell has a habit of snatching up grocery stores and harnessing their underused development rights. On 125th Street in East Harlem, the developer purchased a post office and Pathmark and filed demolition plans for the sites in September 2016. The company has yet to file plans for the site, but real estate experts say it can give way to 613,605 square feet of residential space, or about 600 apartments.”

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              thanks Paul. 600K sf seemed truly crazy.

            • Paul RL says:

              That’s right Bruce, and as a comparison example, the Columbia Condominium, just across the street from the Gristedes site, has a much larger footprint and contains just over 300 units, at 34 stories and a height of roughly 350 feet. I’ll leave the math to B.B. but I would think that a 600K/600sf building on the 262 West 96th street site would be more than twice the height of the Columbia?

    51. Taylor F says:

      The subway at 96th is already past its capacity, and this corner is already past its capacity of what it can handle with pedestrians. there have been several pedestrian deaths every year within about three blocks of here, in the last several years, adding construction equipment is going to be a disaster, and adding this many people to this subway stop is also going to be a disaster. Im not sure about 96th, but 72nd has had several deaths due to people falling/ getting shoved into the tracks due to overcrowding.

      They rebuilt the subway at 96th, but actually didn’t add any turnstyles/ capacity, and between all the kids coming from the school down the block and the traffic patterns that seem to favor the cars trying to speed onto the west side highway, and no pedestrian protection on the island this corner already a disaster.

      the last new building on the block took 7 years to put up, and was put up horribly with terrible build quality, every two months they shut the site down for violations/ substandard concrete work which never got fixed/ dangerous conditions. And all of the units are super over priced, and there are only 2 or 3 occupied.

      I have lived on the uws my whole life, and the quality of life has gone down a lot due to overcrowding everywhere, and tons of empty stores as landlords get tax writeoffs for empty over priced spaces.

      All of the interesting businesses, and a lot of the people who have been here for decades, who believed in the uws and made it a decent place when it was not desirable are being pushed out as well.

      Im all for progress, and the existing buildings are awful, the grocery store has traditionally been terrible going back to the days of when it was the dead apple store, but this will put a huge strain on the already overtaxed infrastructure.

      And yes, there is going to be a -Huge- rat migration from this block. and the old mta substation is actually an EPA brown zone due to the PCBS from the old transformers soaking into the ground, so lets hope they don’t dig too much.

      Tax dollars over quality of life.

      • lynn says:

        “Im not sure about 96th, but 72nd has had several deaths due to people falling/ getting shoved into the tracks due to overcrowding.”

        I use that station every morning and afternoon, and only recall one man jumping onto the tracks (not falling or getting shoved) around 7:00 am a few months ago and the entire 1 line was shut down. When is all of this ‘falling on the tracks,’ happening???

        • Jen says:

          Basically you are saying if you didn’t witness it, it didn’t happen.

          I am avoiding this station at all costs because I have a small child. People don’t care and almost pushes the stroller down couple of times. Commenting “take a taxi, /subway is not for strollers”.

          But apparently since you may not have witnessed it, it didn’t happen.

          • Jay says:

            If it did happen, please provide a link. I’m sure this would have been written up somewhere.

            Same as the claim above about trains skipping stops, people make claims that are simply not true to fit their narrative. Often times… their narrative is based on perception, not facts.

          • Bonnie says:

            NYC Subway system – 1.76 BILLION rides per year– Average 135 human/train accidents per year over the entire system— Average 40-50 deaths per year— 96th station was in the top 4 of human/train suicides in 2013 having had 2 occur. One accident so far in 2017 (April) with man walking on edge of platform having his head hit by oncoming train. No records of people falling , being pushed off platform in the last 10 years that I could find…… just saying.

      • B.B. says:

        Problem with the NYC subway system and over crowding on many lines lies with the aged and outdated signal system.

        Three of the oldest NYC subway lines (IND, IRT, and BMT) along major portions of their ROW still have the original signaling systems that went in nearly or over 100 years ago.

        Much of the NYC subway system is still using original signal systems that went in when either the lines were built and or repairs made early on. However the signal system is so old that it is and has been obsolete for decades, meaning NYCT/MTA cannot even purchase spare parts any longer as they just aren’t made.

        Some portions of various lines such as the South Ferry/Whitehall Street IRT station have received new and modern signaling system. However to upgrade the entire NYCT subway system would cost a vast sum. This is money the MTA does not have to do all at once as there is only so far their capital spending funding can go.

        Without upgraded signals trains cannot be run as frequently because distances must be maintained between each subway train.

      • B.B. says:

        Cannot see how that part of Broadway and 96th can be anymore rat infested than it is already. A large part of that population by the way comes from the subway which isn’t going anywhere due to this construction.

        Though will give you the demolition of any structure that once housed a business where food was prepared and or stored *may* bring a rat issue. But by law for decades now developers are required by law to exterminate before tearing down any structure in NYC, and monitor conditions as development progresses.

        In addition buildings on adjoining lots are advised of construction/demolition and owners are warned/supposed to take proper precautions against “rat migration”.

        • Mark says:

          My analysis says your conclusions are incorrect.

          There will be more rats due to this construction.

          • B.B. says:

            There will always be the risk of rodents with any sort of construction that disturbs the ground and or a structure.

            Long as surrounding buildings take proper precautions to rodent-proof their buildings (something they should be doing anyway), there shouldn’t be any huge issues. On the streets, sewers, subway or whatever else outdoors, that is another matter.

            • Mark says:

              I know that you are aware that the IRT powerhouse is adjacent to Gristedes. You also know of it’s contamination and abandonment.

              Why do you write comments that it’ll be OK, knowing all this? I find these comments mislead.

          • RealMark says:

            Oh man, I’m going to have to change my screen name.
            We can’t have two Marks here.

            • Juan says:

              You can be “New Mark.” He can be “Lewis”. You always beat the competition.

            • manhattan mark says:

              I think I was the first Mark , at least I don’t remember seeing
              any other Mark commenting until last year. Welcome to the club.

    52. Lulu says:

      Tall tower….how original

    53. John says:

      Is this going to be the 100 story Trump Upper West side building? Hear the Russians are financing it.

    54. Stephen says:

      So many of these Broadway / UWS 2 story boxes were put up to pay the property taxes until the right development came along. Some were more attractive like the B&N site but all are air rights waiting for the lease to expire.

    55. Emily says:

      Terrible news. High rises don’t belong in low-rise neighborhoods.

    56. Elaine Kenzer says:

      I think you all have too much time on your hands.

    57. Bruce Bernstein says:

      B.B. said:

      “People moan about how “dirty” and so forth parts of the UWS are, and much of that comes from the vast amount of SRO, supportive, low income and other such housing where residents cannot or will not contribute to a better quality of life.”

      residents of low income housing don’t contribute to a “better quality of life”?

      i suggest you get to know some of your neighbors a little better.

    58. Bruce Bernstein says:

      i believe that cities should be planned and administered for the people who live in them, not solely for the investor class.

      thus, issues like affordability, space, light, local businesses, parkland, schools, libraries, and public transportation are key to the attractiveness of a neighborhood and city.

      someone will now pop up and say, “but if the investors can’t make money, this all goes down the drain. property taxes and income taxes support all these amenities.”

      that’s true. there have to be opportunities for profitable private investment.

      but there also has to be BALANCE. right now, on the UWS, we are way out of wack… benefiting the investor class at the expense of all the other classes: poor, working class, middle class.

      as citizens, we have every right to CONTROL the prerogative of capital, and this has been done for hundreds of years in this town. just because someone wants to make money, and has some money to invest, doesn’t mean he/she has carte blanche.

      • GG says:

        That’s great, Bruce. Maybe you should run for office or something instead of just pontificating. And I really don’t mean that in an insulting or offensive way.

        I mean, if that Dr. guy who is obsessed with the museum can do it…why not? Personally, I don’t even want to be on the board of my building. My past is way too shady for politics.:)

        See, here’s the problem and why your side is losing so badly. It’s really simple actually. The ‘investor class’, as you put it, is DOING it. They are out there wheelin and dealin. The are thinking about it and working on it and actually executing on it 24/7/365. And they love it! They live for it. It’s like a sport to them. Money, money, money!! and there is never enough.

        And then there is your side….complaining and protesting and kvetching on the internet…who would you put YOUR money on?

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          i thought the problem was that all the rotten liberals are too powerful on the UWS… and hold up any progress.

          but now we’re just a bunch of ineffectual pontificators.

          which is it?

          • GG says:

            Too powerful? are you kidding? Have you looked around lately?

            Maybe the angriest and loudest but too powerful? Definitely not. Like I said, if you want to start winning some of these fights you have to actually get into the ring…and that means training, coaching, discipline…ok ok enough with the metaphors.:)

            My point is that someone has to DO it. I thought Baby Boomer liberals were all about activism. I mean, it’s great for you to explain your philosophy about all of this to us but what good will that do in the end.

            Knowledge may be power but Money talks and walks and makes the world go round. To win these battles you have to meet your enemy on the field of battle and vanquish him.

            You are obviously a very intelligent and caring person. The city could use more people like you in real positions of power. Seriously…despite our differing views on some issues I would probably even vote for you. At least you care about people and wouldn’t be bought and paid for by huge corporate interests.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              thank you GG. that is thoughtful of you, especially since we have butted heads on occasion.

              i do have “real world” political involvement, including, now, both in my building and with several West Side political organizations, including the Grassroots Alliance NY and Bway Democrats.

              i try to influence things in any way i can, including posting here. it is simply not true that ordinary citizens have no influence in NYC, at least at the local level. it is not easy… and you have to have a “can do” positive attitude.

              i don’t think i could run for office, at least until i am retired, which is still a little ways off. I’m a working man, middle class but not well to do, and could not afford to take the time off unpaid. maybe when i’m retired i’ll give it a shot, if i still have the energy.

              And i don’t know if i would have the stomach for the constant fundraising and the constant demands of being in office.

              we DO have some excellent public officials on the UWS. Boro Pres Gale Brewer in particular is “real”: caring, intelligent, and a far harder worker than i could ever be. I have known Gale since she worked for Ruth Messenger many decades ago. It’s hard to be a public official, someone is always knocking you. but when there is a problem, Gale always listens and always gives her best shot. i think she get’s “term limited” out in 2021 and wow, will we miss her. Maybe she will run for something at the next level.

              I appreciate your sentiment that all elected officials should be free of plutocratic influence.

            • GG says:

              I hear you, Bruce. One can’t just drop everything and dedicate their lives to politics or government. I’m sure you are doing all you realistically can. It is often a lifetime pursuit. That might be one of the problems with the system as it is now.

              I know we mix it up on here but at the end of the day we all want the same thing. This reminds me of a great interview that you might enjoy watching, David Axelrod runs the Institute of Politics at the U of Chicago and he had Jon Stewart as his guest.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da5VYSPsoE0

              Anyway, at one point Jon Stewart says something to the effect of ‘arguing is basically how Jews show love’and my family always reminds me of this at every
              birthday party, Mother’s Day dinner or Passover Seder.:)

      • B.B. says:

        I’ll say it again; nearly or over 70% of the UWS is either designated a landmark or historic district thus limiting development, and or making it extremely difficult. That number just grew with the new Morningside Heights historical district.

        In addition UWS has a vast amount of rent regulated, supportive, subsidized, public and otherwise government controlled housing. Those tenants aren’t going anywhere easily or even ever, so again development is limited or impossible.

        So tell me just where is development on the UWS “out of whack”? The numbers simply do not justify that statement. Yes, in terms of the size of new buildings and number of apartments yes, that may be a large number. But overall new developments on the UWS (and am counting Lincoln Square) is still rather small.

        You want to see “over development”? Go to downtown Brooklyn, and or along the Queens/Brooklyn waterfront areas. You cross the Brooklyn Bridge and drive or walk along Atlantic Avenue and it is a totally different place than from say the 1980’s or 1990’s.

        Furthermore need one remind some of you that late as the 1960’s and 1970’s large parts of the UWS were deemed so “blighted” they became urban renewal districts. This was something the UES/Yorkville never had.

      • Everyone on the UWS who owns a condo or coop is in the investor class. Many are middle income and are expecting to walk away millionaires when they sell. Affordable housing threatens this investment. The section west of Broadway north of 96th street has only seen seven new buildings in the last fifty years. This is an area that does not need any development protections.

        There is also no carte blanche for developers on the UWS. Zoning regulations are in place to set the ground rules for development. Buildings are tall by design. Setbacks and sky exposure plane rules force developers to build tall to take advantage of the FAR they own. Built largely before 1950, West End Avenue is an example where buildings have few setbacks. The numbers of residential units in the proposed site will probably be similar to those on WEA, but the building has to be taller.

        The future building on 96th street is what is to be expected under the current rules.

    59. VeeP says:

      OMG This is all we need at Broadway and 96th Street!

    60. B.B. says:

      Did some research into 264-266 West 96th (the defunct MTA power station), and had only to look far as the archives of WSR.

      Robert posted back in January 2017:

      “266 West 96 was planned to be supported/affordable housing for seniors. The deal was the city got it for a song from the MTA, but the city had to take on any liability. When Sackman built his building on the eastside of wea between 95/96 soil testing showed toxic chemicals. Further testing showed a plum of toxic chemicals emanated from the soil under the former substation down and across wea. Its expensive and lengthy removal would be required before anything could be built there
      Unless a private developer is brought in and allow a very good deal nothing will be done with the site. Coalition for a livable west side had a series of articles on this including a diagram showing the toxic plum, people tried to us to stop sackman.”

      http://www.westsiderag.com/2017/01/17/two-uws-buildings-are-about-to-be-demolished

      Thus getting to a post from “Mark” above; Extell must obviously be aware of soil contamination situation and will have to take steps during redevelopment of the site.

      • Mark says:

        Mark” hasn’t made any comments about the risks from the contaminated soil at the defunct MTA power station.

        My replies to your comments are restricted to your bold statements about the minimal occurrence of rats expected during construction. I challenged this conclusion because you have based your assurances on the existence of laws and the responsibility of Extell to inform the adjoining buildings.

        Tell all that to the rats when they start appearing our neighborhood buildings.

        • RealMark says:

          Hi there. I’m the Real Mark.

          • Mark says:

            Remember:

            “RealMark says:
            June 6, 2017 at 9:03 am
            Oh man, I’m going to have to change my screen name.
            We can’t have two Marks here.”

            • manhattan mark says:

              Just a reminder, Mark and RealMark, you are the second and third Mark to comment on the WSR. Please keep up your intelligent observations of what’s happening on the UWS.As the senior Mark I enjoy contributing to this wonderful space which serves as part of the conscious of our incredible neighborhood . The UWS is the perfect example of what
              America is , all ethnicities, religions, races and caring for all.