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New York City’s Iconic Payphones to Become Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

21 Nov 2014, 8:27 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

LinkNYC Hotspot - rendering

LinkNYC Hotspot – rendering

After Superstorm Sandy left entire blocks in the city with no power for several days, a partnership between the Bloomberg administration and AT&T resulted in an environmentally friendly solution to keep New Yorkers connected. Remember last year when more than two dozen solar powered charging stations were installed in various public parks across New York City? Each charging unit has three, 15-watt solar panels on top and is able to fully charge 30 mobile devices before running out of power. The charging stations can be used free of charge by anyone, no matter what telecom company they use.

But what if the city took connectivity to another level? A new partnership, this time consisting of the DeBlasio administration and CityBridge, will reinvent New York City’s iconic public payphones into wireless internet hubs. Currently there are only 6,400 payphones left in the city, according to Crain’s New York Business, down from around 35,000 in early 1990s.

CityBridge—a private consortium including outdoor advertisement company Titan, digital consulting firm Control Group, chip maker and internet technologies provider Qualcomm, and hardware manufacturer Comark—was selected by the city to develop the $200 million project called LinkNYC, the fastest and largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world. LinkNYC will cover all five boroughs and will be implemented at zero costs to taxpayers. Citybridge plans to finance the project by selling digital advertising space at each internet hub, and the wireless internet network is expected to generate more than $500 million in revenue for New York City over the next 12 years.

LinkNYC Hotspot in Manhattan - rendering

LinkNYC Hotspot in Manhattan – rendering

Construction of the free internet network will begin in early 2015. As reported by CNET, the first 500 Wi-Fi hotspots called Links will become operational by the end of the year, and CityBridge is expected to build around 4,000 Links over the next four years, with the remaining 6,000 Links to be installed in the following years until the contract expires.

Apart from offering non-stop, free and super-fast internet access, the Links will allow free phone calls to 911 and anywhere in the country. Each hotspot will be 9.5 feet tall and will come with a 150-foot Wi-Fi radius, a built-in Android tablet to access City services, a cell phone charging station and digital display for advertising and public service announcements.

“It is fantastic that New York City is moving our communications infrastructure into the 21st century. With lightning-fast free Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging ports, free local calling and more, public payphones are transforming into a neighborhood asset. With real community input to select site locations, this new technology will reach New Yorkers where they need and want it,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer in a prepared statement .

Click here for more market data on New York City.

 

Renderings via LinkNYC



Harlem’s Abandoned P.S. 186 Coming Back to Life as $48.6 Million Mixed-Income, Mixed-Use Building

16 Nov 2014, 6:30 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A development team is breathing new life into the dilapidated Public School 186 building, one of Harlem’s architectural beauties that has been sitting vacant for nearly four decades.

The Residences at PS186

The Residences at PS186

An official event held at 549 W. 145th Street in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights neighborhood last week celebrated the start of construction of the long-awaited reconversion of the century-old Italian Renaissance-inspired structure. Designed by architect C. B. J. Snyder, and the city’s most famous Superintendent of School Buildings, the former Public School 186 was completed in 1903 and served as an elementary school until 1975, when it was shut down. The building was acquired by The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem for $215,000 in 1986, but the non-profit organization failed to secure enough capital to redevelop the property.

Earlier this year, Crain’s New York Business reported that a development trio consisting of Monadnock Development, Alembic Community Development and The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem had closed all the financing for the $48.6 million reconversion of the former school building.

Dubbed The Residences at PS186, the adaptive reuse of this site is one of the first affordable housing projects financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan” which aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing across New York City.

The Residences at PS186 - entrance

The Residences at PS186 – entrance

“The team has done exceptional work to maintain this historic building, and the result honors the past while addressing current needs. We’re excited to help the Boys and Girls Club complete a journey they started 28 years ago, while also celebrating another step forward in creating safe and affordable housing for more New Yorkers,” said Kirk Goodrich, vice president and director of development of Monadnock Development, in a prepared press statement.

The former school will be transformed into a mixed-use building with approximately 100,500 square feet of residential space, as well as more than 11,000 square feet of commercial space which will serve as a new clubhouse for The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem. According to conceptual plans by Dattner Architects, the project’s residential component calls for 78 rental units—19 studios, 47 one-bedroom units, and 12 two-bedrooms—that will be rented through an open lottery system to ensure fair and equitable distribution of housing to income-eligible applicants.

The five-story reconverted building will welcome its first residents in summer 2016, but the application process for the lottery will begin when the building is approximately 70 percent complete.

Click here for more market data on New York City.

Renderings courtesy of Dattner Architects



Harlem’s Abandoned P.S. 186 Coming Back to Life as $48.6 Million Mixed-Income, Mixed-Use Building

16 Nov 2014, 1:47 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

 

The Residences at PS186

The Residences at PS186

A development team is breathing new life into the dilapidated Public School 186 building, one of Harlem’s architectural beauties that has been sitting vacant for nearly four decades.

An official event held at 549 W. 145th Street in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights neighborhood last week celebrated the start of construction of the long-awaited reconversion of the century-old Italian Renaissance-inspired structure. Designed by architect C. B. J. Snyder, and the city’s most famous Superintendent of School Buildings, the former Public School 186 was completed in 1903 and served as an elementary school until 1975, when it was shut down. The building was acquired by The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem for $215,000 in 1986, but the non-profit organization failed to secure enough capital to redevelop the property.

Earlier this year, Crain’s New York Business reported that a development trio consisting of Monadnock Development, Alembic Community Development and The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem had closed all the financing for the $48.6 million reconversion of the former school building.

Dubbed The Residences at PS186, the adaptive reuse of this site is one of the first affordable housing projects financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan” which aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing across New York City.

The Residences at PS186 - entrance

The Residences at PS186 – entrance

“The team has done exceptional work to maintain this historic building, and the result honors the past while addressing current needs. We’re excited to help the Boys and Girls Club complete a journey they started 28 years ago, while also celebrating another step forward in creating safe and affordable housing for more New Yorkers,” said Kirk Goodrich, vice president and director of development of Monadnock Development, in a prepared press statement.

The former school will be transformed into a mixed-use building with approximately 100,500 square feet of residential space, as well as more than 11,000 square feet of commercial space which will serve as a new clubhouse for The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem. According to conceptual plans by Dattner Architects, the project’s residential component calls for 78 rental units—19 studios, 47 one-bedroom units, and 12 two-bedrooms—that will be rented through an open lottery system to ensure fair and equitable distribution of housing to income-eligible applicants.

The five-story reconverted building will welcome its first residents in summer 2016, but the application process for the lottery will begin when the building is approximately 70 percent complete.

Click here for more market data on New York City.

 

Renderings courtesy of Dattner Architects



New Renderings Revealed for Mixed-Use Asset at 535 Fourth Avenue

8 Nov 2014, 3:38 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

535 Fourth Avenue - Brooklyn - construction site

535 Fourth Avenue – Brooklyn – construction site

In April this year an investment trio consisting of Slate Property Group, Adam America Real Estate and AEW Capital Management purchased the 99-year ground lease on a construction site located at 535 Fourth Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets in Brooklyn’s South Park Slope neighborhood.

Betting on the tremendous development opportunity in this growing sub-market that was dominated by warehouses, gas stations, auto repair shops and low-rise structures until ten years ago, the partnership revealed plans to invest $100 million in constructing a residential building that would bring 141 rental units and ground floor retail space on Fourth Avenue. “We see tremendous potential to add value to the avenue by developing unique, high-end residential properties that fill a void in the Park Slope marketplace,” said in a statement David Schwartz, principal and co-founder of Slate Property Group.

According to a news report by The Real Deal, the three firms paid roughly $10 per square foot, or around $1.18 million in annual rent, for the 118,000-square-foot property which previously had housed a car rental facility. The transaction, which was brokered by CPEX Real Estate, marked the partnership’s third acquisition on Fourth Avenue at that time—after having paid $20 million for a development site at 470 Fourth Avenue and nearly $15 million for another property at 275 Fourth Avenue.

535 Fourth Avenue - Brooklyn - project rendering

535 Fourth Avenue – Brooklyn – project rendering

Now, six months after the transaction, new renderings and details for the mixed-use project at 535 Fourth Avenue were recently published by the Commercial Observer. Designed by Aufgang Architects—the same architecture firm that serves as lead architect for 470 Fourth Avenue—the 130,000-square-foot building will rise 11 stories. It will include 148 rental apartments, approximately 12,500 square feet of street-level retail space, as well as a surface parking garage with 70 spaces. Construction at the site is scheduled to begin in early 2015.

 

Click here for more market data on New York City.

 

Images via PropertyShark.com and Aufgang Architects



Gene Kaufman-Designed Hotels and Apartment Buildings Take Over New York City

31 Oct 2014, 10:09 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The third quarter of 2014 has been extremely productive for New York based architect Gene Kaufman. The ever-growing demand for hotels in the city—as seen in the traditional submarket of Midtown Manhattan, but also in Queens and Brooklyn, where the demand for new hotel rooms is also on the rise—resulted in 16 projects totaling more than 1,000,000 square feet of new construction underway between July 1 and October 1.

These projects designed by Gene Kaufman Architect (GKA) encompass 11 new hotels and five new residential buildings, according to an official release by the architecture firm. Located in Long Island City, Queens, Downtown Brooklyn, the recently created BAM Cultural District, and also in Manhattan, the Financial District, Tribeca and Midtown East and West, the 11 new hotels offer collectively more than 2,300 guest rooms.

During the three-month timeframe a new Aloft Hotel broke ground at 27-45 Jackson Avenue, followed by an Even-branded hotel located at 40 Nevins Street in the BAM Cultural District; two Hilton Garden Inns at 6 Water Street and 326 West 37th Street, respectively; the city’s first Tommie Hotel at 11 East 31st Street, as well as four, yet-to-be-named new hotels located at 100 Greenwich Street, 44 West 29th Street, 33 West 38th Street and 530 West 58th Street.

Hotel Indigo - 8-12 Maiden Lane New York City

Hotel Indigo – 8-12 Maiden Lane New York City

The GKA-designed housing projects that broke ground between July and October this year include two low-rise apartment buildings located at 56 North 9th Street and 774-776 Grand Street in Williamsburg, one residential building at 223-227 Grand Street on the Lower East Side, and two other apartment buildings in East Harlem, at 48 East 132nd Street and 51 East 131st Street.

The plethora of GKA-designed development projects continued in mid-October with the official groundbreaking of Hotel Indigo, a 24-story structure located at 8-12 Maiden Lane between Broadway and Liberty Place in the Financial District. According to the Commercial Observer, the 90,000-square-foot hotel is under construction on a parcel that was purchased by a syndication of local Chinese investors for $7.1 million in 2012. It will include 190 guest rooms, as well as a restaurant on the ground floor and a rooftop bar.

99 Washington Street - Tallest Holiday Inn in the World

99 Washington Street – Tallest Holiday Inn in the World

Less than two weeks after Hotel Indigo broke ground in FiDi, the world’s tallest Holiday Inn hotel officially opened in Lower Manhattan. Also designed by Gene Kaufman, who worked with Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects (GSKA) for the jewel-like multifaceted façade, the Holiday Inn includes 190 rooms and stands 50 stories above ground at 99 Washington Street, just three blocks south of the World Trade Center. Expected to play a critical role in completing the transformation of this iconic part of the city, the 176,600-square-foot hotel sits on a low-rise base that blends with the surrounding streetscape. Its tower, boasting a silver-clad façade that captures and reflects the light, features graduated setbacks that allow a large number of guest rooms to have dramatic views of the city, the harbor and the Hudson River.

Click here for more market data on New York City.

 

Renderings courtesy of Gene Kaufman Architect 

 







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