On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed City Council bill Intro. 775-A. The bill imposes deadlines on the Landmarks Preservation Commission and gives additional power to property owners.
For a long time, with the proliferation of cell phones, the payphone has been mostly just a historical curiosity. For years now, they have actually been disappearing from New York City streets. Since January, some of them have been replaced by new public communication structures. Now, with a vote Tuesday by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, those structures will be headed to historic districts and other designated sites.
On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission took another step towards clearing its formerly 95-item backlog of sites calendared pre-2010. The commission designated seven properties in two boroughs – Staten Island and Manhattan. There was also a non-backlog designation.
The Anbang Insurance Group Co. is planning to convert up to 1,100 hotel rooms of the 1,413-key Waldorf Astoria into an undisclosed number of condominiums. The 47-story, 625-foot-tall luxury hotel is at 301 Park Avenue, located on the block between East 49th and 50th streets in Midtown East. The hotel-to-residential conversion would retain between 300 to 500 hotel rooms, which will also see renovations of their own, according to the Wall Street Journal. The project is expected to cost $1 billion, and would close the Waldorf Astoria for up to three years. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. will remain the hotel operator following the conversion. The Landmarks Preservation Commission will have to approve any exterior alterations. The hotel played host to the president of the United States for decades until China-based Angang acquired the property, an individual landmark, for $1.95 billion in 2015. During last year’s United Nations General Assembly, President Barack Obama stayed at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel.
Singer Financial Corporation is finally moving forward with redeveloping the long-vacant former P.S. 64 facility at 350 East 10th Street, in the East Village, into a 225-unit student dormitory. The developer recently secured a $44 million loan for the project, dubbed University House, Commercial Observer reported. The 152,000-square-foot building, an individual landmark, will be able to accommodate 535 students for the Cooper Union and the Joffrey Ballet School. Amenities include a fitness center, outdoor terraces, storage for 113 bikes, laundry facilities, a student health center, a private study, a lounge, and a café. TriBeCa-based Curtis + Ginsberg Architects is the architect of record. Redevelopment of the property, acquired in 1999 for $3.15 million, has been in legal limbo for the past few years. Exterior alterations to the building were approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in June of 2013.