Among the new residential towers in Lower Manhattan, 50 West Street has been one of the longest in the making, with plans for the Helmut Jahn-designed project initially conceived prior to the Great Recession. YIMBY most recently featured renderings of an adjacent pedestrian bridge in August of 2016, as well as an update on the almost-complete tower in February of this year. While the interiors of the skyscraper have since been finished, progress continues on the adjacent ground-level work, including the West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge and a public plaza, both of which will improve the area’s walkability tremendously.
Manhattan-based Hugo Neu Corporation has tasked design and engineering firms STUDIOS Architecture and WXY to convert the 130-acre, two-million-square-foot Kearny Point Industrial Park, in Kearny, into a modernized, mixed-use commercial campus. The industrial park is located in the town’s southern section sandwiched between Jersey City and Newark, in Hudson County, New Jersey. The plan is to preserve the existing industrial buildings and warehouses, many of which are historic, Real Estate Weekly reported. The conversion is expected to attract a wide variety of tenants, including businesses in need of office, manufacturing, storage, and/or industrial space, among others. The site was previously known as the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company and served as the U.S. Navy’s fastest ship-building location in the world during World War II.
Now that exterior work has completed on 50 West Street – the 64-story, 191-unit mixed-use tower dubbed simply “50 West” under development in the Financial District – crews are now focused on building a 6,800-square-foot public plaza around the base of the building and a pedestrian bridge over West Street (a.k.a. the West Side Highway). Renderings of the spaces have been revealed by the Wall Street Journal. The 24-hour plaza will feature an art gallery, a café, vegetation, and seating. The pedestrian bridge, dubbed the West Thames Street Bridge, will feed directly into the plaza. It will boast steel structural supports and a glass roof and walls. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is building the new pedestrian bridge, which will replace the Rector Street bridge located a block northward. Demolition of the Rector Street bridge and construction of the new one is expected to last two years.
The newly redesigned and constructed 215th Street staircase in Inwood – which connects pedestrians at Park Terrace East to Broadway and West 215th Street, sitting 50 feet below – is expected to open today after two years of construction. According to Curbed NY, WXY Studios designed the staircase, which is essentially being treated like public park space. The passageway features new vegetation, cobblestone paths, new stairs, and a bike channel. Two lampposts from the original staircase, built in 1911, were incorporated into the renovations since they’re designated city landmarks. The city’s Department of Design and Construction was behind the project.