The city’s Parks Department is planning to move forward with transforming the vacant lot at 50-02 39th Avenue, located on the of 50th Street in Sunnyside, into a public park. The city recently designated $3 million to acquire the property from its owner, DBH Associates, DNAinfo reported. DBH acquired the plot in 2007 for $1.45 million and is open to selling the property. The owner attempted to built a two-story, eight-unit apartment building at the site, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission disapproved the plans in 2014. The site is located within the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, which means the design of the park (and its structural elements) will have to be approved by the LPC.
Back in March, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) officially approved plans to rebuild LaGuardia Airport, in East Elmhurst, in addition to incorporating a 24-hour ferry service and an AirTrain to help transport travelers. Now, LaGuardia Gateway Partners – comprised of Vantage Airport Group, Skanska, and Meridiam – has closed on a deal with the Port Authority to actually construct the project, and to operate the new 1.3-million-square-foot airport through 2050, according to Crain’s. Demolition is expected to begin within the next few months on the five-story parking garage in front of the Central Terminal building. The Central Terminal will be the first portion to be redeveloped and is expected to be complete by 2021, followed by Terminals C and D. The development team, which is putting up $1.8 billion of its own money, has already secured $2.5 billion in financing. The Port Authority is responsible for an additional $2.2 billion that will go towards infrastructure work.
Back in 2013, Kushner Companies, RFR Realty, and LIVWRK acquired, for $375 million from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the five-building, 1.25-million square-foot commercial complex at 55 and 81 Prospect Street, 117 Adams Street, 77 Sands Street, and 175 Pearl Street. The developers have since converted the collection of mid-rise buildings into offices and retail space, dubbed DUMBO Heights. The developers are now constructing a two-block-long public plaza along Sands Street between Adams and Jay streets, according to the Wall Street Journal. The plaza will extend the 15-foot-wide sidewalk by 15 feet. It will include public artwork, seating, and planters. La Fantástica is behind the design, and the Dumbo Improvement District is associated with the project. Current office tenants in the complex including WeWork Cos., Etsy Inc., Frog Design, Alexis Bittar Inc., and retail tenants include Randolph Beer, fitness center Shadowbox, Row House, Bluestone Lane Coffee, and Dig Inn. Roughly 350,000 square feet of commercial space remains vacant, according to Real Estate Weekly.
In 2014, Savanna acquired, for $28 million, the three-story commercial building at 141 Willoughby Street, in Downtown Brooklyn. Then in August of 2015, the developer submitted filings to rezone the property in order to build a 44-story, 270-unit mixed-use tower. The city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is now underway, with the latest step resulting in Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee disapproving the rezoning, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports. The project itself has grown slightly since initially being filed. Proposed at the latest hearing was a 49-story, 270-unit mixed-use building. Eighty-one of the units would rent at below-market rates. The base of the building would feature two stories (plus the cellar) of retail, followed by seven stories of office space. Morris Adjmi Architects is designing. The latest step in ULURP is merely a recommendation. The proposal will now go before the entire Community Board 2. If the rezoning is granted, Savanna would also acquire from the city, for $4.8 million, a small, triangular park located to the north of the site. It has 47,718 square feet of development rights and would permanently remain as a park.
In September of 2015, construction was underway on the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church planned on the eastern end of the also-under-construction, one-acre Liberty Park, located on the southern end of the World Trade Center complex, in the Financial District. Now, construction on the rest of Liberty Park, which is elevated 25 feet above street level, is nearly complete, DNAinfo reports. The new park will feature landscaped greenery, plantings, seating and benches, and a 300-foot-long “Living Wall” along its northern base wall. Opening is expected some time this summer. As for the church, being designed by Santiago Calatrava (who also designed the World Trade Center Transportation Hub), construction is expected to last into 2017. The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is behind the project.