A 22-Story Development Could Rise at Empty Lot on 96th Street; Asking Price is $45 Million

Rendering by SLCE Architects.

The owners of a site at 15-19 West 96th Street near Central Park West are looking to sell it to a developer for $45 million, according a listing that was just posted. The site is “shovel-ready”, with permits to build a 22-story apartment tower with a community facility at the bottom, but development hasn’t gone forward yet.

The developers already have a contract to sell the first five floors to the unnamed “community facility” for $29.8 million. There will be 16 apartments averaging 2,269 “sellable” square feet, the listing says. The apartments start on the sixth floor so they’ll get better views.

Three townhouses built in 1900 and 1926 that were once on the site have been demolished.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 13 comments | permalink
    1. Rob says:

      Love the continuous development taking place here. Good luck to the developers

    2. Lis Krosov says:

      Disgusting. I thought that this area was Landmarked years ago, as part of the Historic District.

      • B.B. says:

        IIRC we went though this last year when development was first proposed for said sites.

        Landmark district ends at the south side of 96th street, so anything on north or above is fair game for redevelopment long as zoning allows.


        In fact as one seems to recall from the debate last time around, as you can see only a few town/row houses remain on that block. The rest long were torn down and lots redeveloped in accordance with new zoning laws that encouraged multi-family/apartment buildings.

        On the south side of 96th going towards Columbus about half way down was landmarked to preserve what remains of a group of row houses.

    3. Helen Wheelz says:

      Sounds like an offer to the former developers of the recently sold erstwhile First Church of Christ, Scientist.

      I personally wanted to buy the FCCS and turn it into an ‘affordable roller rink’ for the homeless.

    4. Alta says:

      So it will have 15 full floor apartments and one duplex? At least it will have a “community facility” on the lower floors that are less desirable for owners.

      • B.B. says:

        That “community facility” is what increases FAR so building can be built higher.

        In other words area carved out for community space does not count towards residential, so there is a “bonus” if you will. Notice the apartment buildings on either side without such space also are shorter.

    5. Rob G. says:

      Good stuff! North of 96th could definitely benefit from more upscale development like this.

      • Christina says:


        • Rob G. says:

          For starters the new building will attract residents with expendable income and tax money, as well as provide jobs (doormen, concierge, porters, etc.) In case you haven’t noticed there are a lot of struggling businesses around that could use a shot in the arm. From your question, I’m gathering you’re not in favor of this building. What is it that you would prefer to be there? The empty lot? The seedy walk-ups that were there before? Another homeless shelter or housing project? What would make you happy?

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            actually, affordable housing of the same size (including, yes, public housing — what you sneer at as a “housing project”) would bring far more residents and far more expenditures for local businesses into the area. these are 16 apartments for very very rich people, who will probably be there far less than 100% of the time. Maybe less than 50% of the time.

            it is a myth that these mega-rich developments bring commercial traffic into the area.

            for example, having 600 seniors in the Williams on W End and 95th, even with their limited incomes, brought far more business than whatever will be in the new condo.

            yes, this high end development will probably bring a few doorman and porter jobs. most of the jobs associated with the facility will probably be in the “community facility”, depending on what it is.

    6. Wendy says:

      Oh no ! What I could plan with $45million; whee. Too many tall buildings in Manhattan, N.Y.C. – already. I remember @ 96th St. @ 1954. Senior Citizens need decent homes.

    7. Mark Moore says:

      Yeah, an empty lot because they tore down the three townhouses there.

      • B.B. says:

        That pretty much is and has been standard practice for ages. Leaving up empty buildings simply invites no end of problems from squatters on down.

        Owners of property are still liable for anything which occurs inside or whatever even if a building is vacant. In the litigious environment that is New York persons injured in an abandoned building have sued and been awarded substantial judgments even though they had no legal right to be on/in said property.

        Besides with the previous buildings gone and or even better; foundation completed lots/lot development falls under zoning that was in place at that time. Thus preventing changes in zoning from affecting building in question.

        While has always been a problem, besides squatters the more real worry are scrappers. No small number of professionals or amateurs think nothing of gaining access to an abandoned building and ripping out anything they can, in the process endangering themselves and perhaps residents of neighboring buildings.