The American Museum of Natural History, located between West 77th and 81st streets on the Upper West Side, has filed plans with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for their expansion project, the Wall Street Journal reported. Since the museum board approved the Studio Gang Architects-designed project late last year, the proposed expansion has grown from 218,000 square feet to 235,000 square feet. Also, the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation — a ground-up six-story structure near 79th Street — has been altered to cut into only a quarter of an acre of Theodore Roosevelt Park, down from half an acre. Changes to the 2015 plans include reducing the number of trees removed from nine to seven, and demolishing three existing structures. Extensive reconfiguration work and upgrades to park space remain key elements of the project. In addition to the LPC, the Parks Department must also approve the project. Completion is tentatively expected in 2020.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the 38-member co-op that leases the 113-acre, one-million-square-foot Hunts Point Produce Market — at 101 Food Center Drive, in Hunts Point — are currently in negotiations to completely rebuild the wholesale food market. Existing warehouses would be demolished and new ones would be built in phases, the New York Post reported. A previous plan to retain the existing structures and simply expand the footprint has been thrown out. The existing complex does not having enough cold storage warehouses, and there are environmental concerns. Infrastructure upgrades are part of the new plan and, so far, include $8.5 million in city-funded rail upgrades and $10.5 million in capital improvements, like electric upgrades. The market is the largest food distribution center in the world.
New York City has long dealt with storms, but recently, things have been getting more turbulent. In 2011, Hurricane Irene almost flooded the subways; the city’s sigh of relief was quickly suffocated by Sandy only one year later, which wrecked much of the system. This past winter, while Delaware and southern New Jersey were again hit by record tides during Central Park’s heaviest-ever snowstorm, the city escaped relatively unscathed. But, on Sunday, New Yorkers may not be so lucky, as guidance from NOAA’s storm surge model shows a substantial storm surge into the city, which would approach the tipping point for flooding of underground infrastructure.
Construction on the first nine piles has been completed for the 2.7-acre park, dubbed Pier55, planned in the Hudson River. The location is near the Meatpacking District off West 13th Street. The pilings mark the end of the first phase of construction, DNAinfo reported. The public park is expected to have grassy hills, vegetation, recreational space with paths and seating, and an amphitheater. The London-based design firm Heatherwick Studio and New York-based Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects are behind the design. A partnership between The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation and the Hudson River Part Trust is developing the project. The pedestrian bridge connecting the park to Manhattan will be built by the city. Completion is expected in 2019.
The city has unveiled its plan to revitalize and encourage more office development in Midtown East, following on the heels of a rezoning along Vanderbilt Avenue that paved the way for a 67-story office tower at One Vanderbilt.