Beijing-based Xinyuan Real Estate has acquired the dilapidating RKO Keith’s Theatre, of which the interior is an individual landmark, at 135-35 Northern Boulevard, in downtown Flushing, for $66 million. Xinyuan plans to redevelop the property into a 16-story, 269-unit mixed-use building dubbed Flushing Square, Real Estate Weekly reported. The project will encompass 372,598 square feet and will host retail space on the ground and second floors. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners will be responsible for the design. Although redevelopment plans were first filed as far back as 2003, the new architect will likely file new permits with the Buildings Department. Regarding the landmarked interior, Pei Cobb Freed will also have to seek approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission if the firm’s vision differs from those previously approved plans. The site was placed on the market earlier this year after the previous owners, JK Equities, acquired it in 2013 for $30 million.
Foundation work is now underway for the 14-story, 55-unit mixed-use building under development at 242 Broome Street (a.k.a. Site 1), located on the corner of Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side. The construction progress can be seen thanks to photos posted to the YIMBY Forums by user rbrome. The latest building permits indicate the new building will encompass 180,646 square feet. There will be 40,326 square feet of commercial-retail space across portions of the cellar through third floors. A bowling ally operated by Splitsville Luxury Lanes is expected to lease a significant amount of space. In addition, there will be 17,735 square feet of community facility space on the second through fourth floors. The space was once reserved for the Andy Warhol Museum, but plans for it have fallen through.
Just last week, a rendering was revealed of the planned eight-story condominium project coming to 137 Fourth Avenue (a.k.a. 334 Butler Street), in northern Park Slope. Now, official new building applications have been filed with the Building Department. The development will measure 18,106 square feet and will contain 1,385 square feet of commercial-retail space on the ground floor. Thirteen residential units will be located on the second through eighth floors, average 967 square feet apiece. Two duplex penthouses will occupy the seventh and eighth floors. Amenities include private residential storage, a fitness center, and a rooftop terrace. Arbie Development is the developer and ARC Architecture + Design Studio is the architect. A three-story townhouse must first be demolished. Completion is expected in 2018.
The cores of dense cities work best when they mix a variety of functions, such as residential, commercial, or office. This mixing allows for a round-the-clock pedestrian presence, ensuring that the streets do not empty out at any point of the day. The concept is taken literally to the next level when two independent functions are stacked one on top of another within the same building, like roommates sharing a bunk bed. This effectively puts two buildings on the same plot without resorting to narrow towers with small floorplates. Although generally rare, mixed-use skyscrapers have made their mark upon Manhattan, starting with the famed Waldorf-Astoria, which combined hotel rooms at the bottom with apartments on top in 1931. Now, the city’s first major mixed-use tower has risen outside of Manhattan. The 31-story, glass-and-concrete slab at 29-11 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City, has seen construction virtually wrapped up at the time of this writing. Its lower 15 floors house the Marriott Courtyard Long Island City hotel, with the 135-unit residential complex called the Aurora sitting on the floors above.
The four-story, 60,000-square-foot industrial building at 47-16 Austell Place, in southern Long Island City, has recently been converted for a variety of commercial uses, according to Commercial Observer. It hosts 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, of which a food café has already leased a portion. The floors above, with floor plates of 16,000 square feet, are geared towards office tenants and community facility uses. Joffrey Ballet Center, a dance school, has leased the fourth floor. Upgrades made to the building include renovations to the interior, a new roof, a revitalized façade with new windows, and a redesigned lobby. A rooftop lounge with landscaping is also being built and is expected to be complete in early 2017. The Vanbarton Group, which purchased the property for $7.7 million in 2015, is the developer. Montroy Andersen DeMarco is the architect.