Key Broadway Corner Getting New 22-Story Tower, Filings Show


2551 Broadway.

A lot at 2551 Broadway on the corner of 96th Street that once housed a two-story building with a Gristede’s and a Chase bank is expected to become a 22-story mixed-use building, according to filings reviewed by The Real Deal.

The developer is Extell, which has worked on other projects throughout the neighborhood, including the controversial one at 50 West 66th Street.

“The firm is proposing a 276,578-square-foot building at 2551 Broadway, and will include 130 residential units, according to property filings,” The Real Deal reported.

The Gristede’s on the site closed in 2017. Demolition was approved in 2018, and mostly took place last year.


The site in 2017.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 43 comments | permalink
    1. Mark Jay says:

      Will Extell be required to pay for improvements to the overcrowded subway station across the street that their residents will use?

      • Pedestrian says:

        Don’t be silly. They will probably be gettinG tax abatements!

      • Jay says:

        The residents will be paying taxes to the state, just like everyone else. So, the answer is yes.

      • Andy says:

        Mark Jay, The question should be: “will the tax revenue generated by the new residents and retail ever make it to the schools, public transportation, etc. or will our politicians squander it?”

    2. Rob G. says:

      Finally! Just what the doctor ordered to enhance that eyesore of a block! But is it my imagination or didn’t Extell sell the property after they razed the Gristedes building?

    3. wombatNYC says:

      pefect location to build up. Would I want to live on a busy corner like that ? NO !

      • Joe says:

        I would! I live on the other side of Broadway, and I love being at that intersection. So easy to walk out my front door and right into the subway.

    4. RitaMae Fox says:

      Does that 22 story building fit into the landmarking of the neighborhood?
      Extell is everywhere in the west side, who decides this? When is the community board meeting about this?
      Will this building have a garage? A tax abatement?
      Only luxury apartments?
      Any middle income apartments?

      • Frank says:

        “who decides this?” – Whomever gets the envelopes in the right desk drawers.

        “A tax abatement?” Of course! It’s one way the envelopes wind up in the right desk drawers!

        “Only luxury apartments?” Sure! And why not, for Pete’s sake? They’re necessary for Extell’s bottom line. How else can real estate greed exceed and succeed?

        “Any middle income apartments?” You are kidding, right? I hope that’s a joke, even if it is in notably bad taste!

      • Miss Mary says:

        If memory serves me, the neighborhood woke up when Extell put up the two towers on Broadway between 99th and 100th and lobbied then local pols and the Community Board. The outcry got the zoning changed for the area from 96 to either 106 or 110, with different limits on building heights for the side streets and the avenues. (I think it was 8 stories on the side streets, and 14 on the avenues, but I’m not sure.) The cut-off line was the north side of 96 Street, so the new building is not subject to the zoning restrictions.

      • Mark says:

        Great questions. My understanding, subject to confirmation, is that the building conforms to existing zoning and is therefore “as of right,” meaning they don’t need a special permit or zoning variance. In that case, the Community Board is not consulted – it is only the Department of Buildings that checks on conformity with zoning etc.

        And most importantly, the absence of a public review process cuts the Community Board, the Borough President and the City Council out of the approval process, and vastly limits the ability to obtain relief such as subway improvements, affordable housing or other ways to lessen the impact of the new density on the community.

      • robert says:

        CB7 can do nothing, never could and/or should. Its an as of right building. There are no variances needed. Also it was not in the landmarked area. That waste was done to many buildings on WEA to RSD. While many have details that make them worth saving other are not worth it. This was done just to keep the views of the coop’s and condo owners on the lower end of the UWS. One thing we tried to point out when this was done was the expense added, to doing even the simplest repair/upgrade. Fast forward a couple of years and the bill is coming due and its huge. For example you have to get landmarks commission approval to do many things, as well as use only their approved architects and contractors. These are usually at least 50% more expensive to do something as simple as painting. And if the landmarks committee does like what you propose to do they can stoop you. My building for example wanted to repaint its lower 4 floors, landmarks required testing to see what was the first color used back in 1915. As I expected they found a grey sandstone, no paint. Therefore ALL of the paint has to come off and the surface restored to its original appearance. Lest we forget there was lead in the layers of paint so add in the cost of it being a landmarks approve environmental abetment team as well. The stone must have arrived stone masons to the work. Did I mention that the 3rd floor and roof line ornamental ledges and other work that were removed decades ago need to be replicated and replaces? And then there is the canopy as well as the lobby doors that need to be accurate. Right now we have a canvas one with brass pole, when the building opened it had a frosted glass in a metal frame suspended from the building not held up by posts at the curb line.
        All of this takes months of pre work by their approved architect, which is then presented to the Landmarks committee they then hold public meeting in 6 to 8 months at which the public( think your neighbors across the street) gets to weigh in yea or nay. If the cmtte approves great if not you start over.​
        By the way the lowest bid by an approved contractor to remove the paint and restore the stone was over a million.​
        This why there has been a explosion of scaffolding on the UWS that has been and will be up for years. Many owners just don’t have the $$$$. Think West Park Pres at 86 and Amsterdam, the church and its congregation fought to not be landmarked. A group of neighbors that did not want their views ruined pushed it thru. Today years later bits an pieces slide off the roof and walls. They have even go so far as to buy the scaffolding from the company as it was cheaper than continuing to rent it. The Metro theater on B’way’s east side 99 to 100 is the same situation. It has a woden roof that is sagging in on its self. Each time any weight of snow sits on it, it sags even lower from the weight. An rain and it becomes a kiddy swimming pool. The entire building was gutted to the walls years ago and will sooner or latter fall in

    5. Julie says:

      That’s the problem here. We are adding 130 new residential units and no one thinks about infrastructure to support, including our city officials responsible for approving this development.

    6. Billy Amato says:

      Excellent!
      Tear down the old and put up the new, it’s about time!
      Broadway should be spruced up much more than what’s there to offer.
      More technology please… more movie and concert theaters with a few off-Broadway legit theaters too!

    7. Steven Spencer says:

      130 units is going to increase supply by .0001%. I think the infrastructure can handle it.

    8. Susan Addelston says:

      Will there be child care facilities in the bldg? Will they help the local public school, just a block away, to enrich their curriculum? Add classroom help? Maintain the Broadway medians greenery? Just wonder how the neighborhood is going to benefit from this.

      • Leon says:

        Let’s see. The residents of the building will be paying real estate taxes to the city. Residents will be shopping in local stores, supporting these businesses and paying sales tax. And residents will be paying income taxes.

        All of that incremental revenue to the city, if spent properly, could pay for plenty of social services, school improvements, parks, etc.

      • Frank says:

        You needn’t wonder. Extell has your best interest at heart. Extell has your best interest at heart. Extell has your best interest at heart. Extell has your best interest at heart… ad nausea.

      • Scott says:

        NYC spends over $25,000 per pupil and gets worse results than some Texas school districts that spend half as much. But yeah, let’s give them more so they can hire more “administrators.”

      • KT says:

        We won’t have to look at an ugly vacant lot? We won’t get ripped off by the outrageous prices at Gristedes anymore? This is all fine and good by me. Maybe a new nice building will help revitalize some of the retail in that area and fill a few empty store fronts.

    9. B.B. says:

      Building will be condos, not rentals according to announcements made last year.

      Extell is paying huge sums of taxes, fees and surcharges to state and city in buying land, developing, selling units, etc…. So am not sure why they should be on hook for anything else in terms of “improvements”.

      Neighborhood and city for that matter “benefit” from tax revenue in conjunction with redevelopment of property.

      City and state stand to gain further by increased property tax revenue from new residential high rise building replacing a low rise two floor structure (taxpayer building).

      None of above begins to touch tax and other revenue generated by residents of new building. Considering what was on that corner previously all is seems like a vast improvement IMHO.

    10. Margot head says:

      I wrote Daniel O’Donnell ages ago about this 96 and Bway being another undesirable, hugely tall and bad looking building in this neighborhood. People were very upset about the silver towers, tall buildings on both sides of Bway at approximately 100th and Bway. Mr O’Donnell said it was not within his domain and to contact my community board 7, (I think). The community board never answered my inquiry. What good are they and who are they and why do they let these monstrosities get built here on the UWS? Additionally, there was a sign on the building fence, construction fence, on the 96 and Bway construction, that the torn down building was being dealt with for asbestos. Who is running this show? And what do they care about?

      • B.B. says:

        Those asbestos signs are all over NYC demolition sites. First between 79th and 80th, Third between 76th and 77th, etc…

        Hundreds of buildings all over not just NYC but elsewhere went up when asbestos was the premier insulation/fireproof material. It was deemed safe along with being quite good and inexpensive. We know now it isn’t safe (well when disturbed anyway), hence all those warning signs.

        Once asbestos is removed, danger is gone, so signs come down.

    11. Wendy says:

      I’ve read that there will be some “affordable” apts, but unclear if will be truly affordable or these “middle income” $2200 studios, $2400 1 BRs. Generally new buildings of that size must have a parking garage in their plans. Hopefully they would put in another supermarket – it’s a great location. But with UWS luck, it’ll be another drugstore. It’s actually a great location to live, you’re near the park, great transpo, the West Side Highway to make a quick getaway out of town, etc.. Charming, not; but not a whole lot of the UWS right there in that 3 or 4 block radius is as charming as other areas. At least it’s not a Col. Avenue hi-rise canyon.

      • B.B. says:

        Have read nor heard anything about “affordable” units as part of this Extell condo development. Do not see why that would happen as they can freely build as of right, unless Extell seeks some sort of tax abatement treatment for the 144 or so planned condo units.

        Building next door where former IRT substation sits is another matter. There a developer is seeking to build “micro” affordable housing.

        https://ilovetheupperwestside.com/2551-2555-broadway/

    12. Sherman says:

      This corner has been decrepit for years (and not too long ago was not a very safe area).

      A shiny new building will only enhance the area.

      As far as I know tax abatements (which I am very much against) generally apply to rental apartments. This building, I believe, will be a condo.

      So Extell will be paying its way without any handouts.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        I’ve lived in the area since 1991. 96th and Bway has been “safe” as long as I’ve lived here, unless you’re talking about motor vehicles striking pedestrians… which has gone way down (or even disappeared) since Vision Zero made changes to the intersection.

        it would have been ideal to build an affordable housing development on the site with some community facilities. More luxury condos are not a community need.

        • Sherman says:

          Hi Bruce

          If people can afford to buy these apartments than they’re “affordable”.

          The folks buying these apartments will not be getting crooked insider purchase deals and they won’t be getting any subsidies courtesy of their neighbors.

          The neighborhood needs new housing for people willing to pay the fair market value of their housing. Ultimately, this benefits the entire community.

          Sherm

          • Peter says:

            Word.

            Can’t quite understand the fascination with “affordable” housing here. The UWS area between 70th and 100th has got to be one of the most desirable neighborhoods for working families in the entire world. Plenty of demand for 2- and 3-bedroom apartments from the proverbial power lawyer/financier/doctor families with 1-2 kids. Mid-career, plenty of these families can afford to pay $3-4mm and higher for a new, high-quality 3-bedroom. They won’t get that on CPW or CPS with the overseas oligarch jetsetters.

            The vitality and economic activity generated by these families is generally highly beneficial to the area.

            • Sherman says:

              There’s already plenty of affordable housing a quick subway ride away in The Bronx.

              If you can’t afford to live in one of the most desirable areas of the country then you move elsewhere.

              Nobody has a divine right to live in a place they either can’t afford or choose not to pay the going rate for.

              Nobody is talking about creating affordable housing in Beverly Hills.

    13. Bruce Bernstein says:

      when someone says “this corner has been decrepit for years”, it’s interesting to think about what that means.

      Not too many years ago there was a large drug/convenience store on the first floor of the corner building pictured above. I forget whether it was a CVS or Walgreen’s or what. It was a little messy inside but hardly “decrepit.” the busy Chase Manhattan Bank was on the second floor; the Gristedes was as pictured, on 96th. Around the block on West End there was the Williams, with 400 or more occupied affordable senior units. The seniors there shopped at Gristedes.

      Across the street was Metro Hardware, which stocked everything.

      one by one these stores disappeared. The CVS left and nothing filled the site, as the landlord was probably getting ready to sell; this went on for years. Metro Hardware left, my understanding it was caused by increased rent. And then Gristedes closed.

      So what once was a thriving corner became an abandoned corner, and stayed that way for several years. this was caused mostly by real estate speculation. now this speculation will pay off for Extell. Good for them, i suppose, but let’s not make them into heroes who are stamping out “blight.” Often it is the real estate industry itself which CREATES the blight.

      • NYYgirl says:

        It was a Rite-Aid.
        RIP Metro Hardware, absolutely.
        Btw, not everyone who reads this site hated the Fowad across the street; saved some of us lots of $$$!
        When areas are continually allowed to deteriorate, then and only then do they become ‘decrepit’. Since it’s not possible to prove a negative, none of us regular peeps who have lived in this neighborhood for literally decades will ever be able to say how it would have looked or felt, cleaned up, WITHOUT yet another Extell contribution.

      • Rob G. says:

        This area had always been a bit seedy, but it was a “good” seedy. Lots of small independent shops (remember Comics & Opera?) Shopping trends and commercial rents definitely took its toll, but the biggest change was the demographics. In the mid-2000s, young people headed downtown or to Brooklyn, and the neighborhood aged out. Then the hammer came down when the city started dumping hundreds of homeless and mentally ill people here from other neighborhoods. New developments like this are needed if we want to see the neighborhood improve. It may be different than it was back in 1991, but pining for the past and trying to recreate yesterday is much less progressive than looking toward tomorrow.

    14. AC57 says:

      Extell: There’s a glut, the market is slowing, the building doesn’t make as much sense

      Also Extell: *Prepares to put 257 new units on the market in the coming years*

      Logical, I know

      In all seriousness though, I’m intrigued by the price point of these units. The plot of land is not that large and considering that the 130 units are going to be spaced over only 22 stories (which is about 6 units per story, which is a lot by UWS standards) those units are going to have to be small and considering Barnett’s acknowledgment of the huge surplus of luxury units, if he wants this project to succeed at all, combined with the rest of Extell’s catalog, including 50 West 66th Street, Central Park Tower, Brooklyn Point, and One Manhattan Square (which is still doing abysmally with sales) he’s going to have to sell very cheaply (and by cheap, I mean sub-7 figures)

      • B.B. says:

        There is a “glut” at the ultra high end of condo market; so called “Billionaires Row” sort of housing.

        OTOH there is a shortage in the “middle class to upper” range of say units going for $2 million to under $10 million.

        Icon’s new building on East 80th and Second isn’t even finished but has sold a good number of condo units already.

        https://streeteasy.com/building/beckford-tower#tab_building_detail=1

      • Carlos says:

        Also, if I’m spending a lot of money on an apartment, I don’t think this is the location I would choose. Very busy intersections are generally not the most desirable place to be. The bottom few floors will be incredibly loud. I can’t determine where they will put the front door and, in relation to that, where there will be a space to load and unload vehicles.

        Granted, the relatively new buildings at 72nd and Broadway, which is a comparable location, seem to have done fine, but if I was dropping a lot of money on a new place, I don’t think this would be my top choice. But to each his own.

        • B.B. says:

          Billionaire’s Row (57th street), Fifth Avenue, 14th street/Union Square and other areas/streets have just as much if not more traffic than 96th and Broadway. Yet people are and have paid good money to live along those streets/avenues.

          Noise can be mitigated by construction. Many old pre-war buildings are mausoleum quiet inside with windows shut. New construction is a gamble; but again it is possible to deaden noise.

          As stated previously many new residential are like office buildings; mostly glass and or glass and concrete/stone with windows that don’t open,or only partially. That alone will keep out much of noise.

          For certain households being close to subway, and or other mass transit is a plus. Not everyone wants to schlep three or four blocks twice a day five days per week.

      • B.B. says:

        With an estimated planned average scope of around 1,350 square feet per unit, those condo apartments will be plenty large by NYC standards.

        https://newyorkyimby.com/2020/02/permits-filed-for-2551-broadway-on-the-upper-west-side-manhattan.html

        Everything is about “family” sized apartments these days with new construction. This is why you are seeing mostly two-three bedrooms (or even four).

        OTOH there isn’t a huge amount of studios or even one bedroom units in these new condos. Rentals are another matter especially since a large amount of new construction is subsizided (421-a, inclusion/affordable/low income, etc….)