By waterfront, we’re talking Manhattan’s, and maybe an equally apropos word is skyline. Yet three big changes are in motion directly across the river for anyone living on Center Boulevard or visiting Gantry/HPS parks.
First of all, Manhattan will get its mirror image to our parks, with the East Midtown Waterfront Project. This will be a ribbon-like park that will run from 38th Street to 60th Street. The southern portion will be on terra firma, some of which will be ceded by the UN, and the northern portion will be perched on existing construction pontoons flanking the east side of the FDR. It won’t be as wide as our parks and will thus forgo the playing fields etc., but it will contain a walking promenade and biking lanes. Completion time unknown.
The second change will be a Richard Meier designed residential tower on a cleared lot adjacent to the East River around 39th Street. Architecture fans should not get too excited, as recent renderings display a 42-story black monolith, whose uniform east-facing glass facade appears pretty bland. Though it will be Meier’s tallest tower in New York, the good news is that it’s set back from the river and looks not to impede in any way the view from LIC of the lit crown of the Empire State Building. Furthermore, it’s a little more than half the height of the grotesque black monolith just north of the U.N., and thus blends into the rest of the midtown skyline. While occupancy isn’t expected to occur until 2019, there’s a construction crane on site, so my guess is that it will be close to topping out by late fall of next year. As one-third of the building will be condos, it should be very interesting to see what selling prices per square foot will be in comparison to those apartments on the waterfront in LIC.
While we’re on the subject of the U.N., not only will it be bookended in the next few years, but also bisected. That is because NYC’s second tallest tower is expected to be built five blocks due west of the U.N.’s headquarters. Despite the half mile distance between the two buildings, the new tower’s height of 1,400 feet will appear to jut out from the roof of the rectangular U.N.’s green facade to anyone directly across the river on the Gantry piers or looking down 48th Avenue. In fact, this new office building, which is currently even more awe-inspring as an empty lot on the western side of Grand Central Station, will be quite a bit more than twice the height of the UN, and thus will be highly visible from everywhere in Long Island City. You’ll have to stick around the neighborhood for a few years to see it though, because completion isn’t expected until 2020.
//WAIT there’s more coming along the East River Waterfront, Mayor de Blasio just announced today that he plans on building a $100 million life sciences facility on the East River, either in LIC or Manhattan.
Of course where are they ever going to put it on the Manhattan-side??? Anyway, he likened this new project to the Cornell-Technion Campus on Roosevelt Island, so if this were to be built in LIC it would mean a lot more than just an aesthetic change to our view. That’s a big if, stay tuned…
//FOOD glorious food. Two local restaurant items of note. First of all, M. Wells Steakhouse will be having special Christmas Eve and New Years Eve dinners. Christmas features “a stuffed goose and a ginger caramel and persimmon bûche de Noël.” Mais oui! New Years Eve will be a ‘Jewish Feast of matzo balls, brisket, chicken, latkes, quince and caviar and a stream of surprises.’ Christmas is $75 pp and New Years is $95pp, kids are half price and those under 2 years are free.
Before we get to the actual holidays though, I am happy to note that 51st Bakery has resumed their Wednesday Night Supper Club. Anyone who has tasted Faye Hess’ delicious food during the day, should rejoice over eating a more elaborate meal with a glass or two of wine. The dinners occur every Wednesday night at 7:30pm, click below for more info and this Wednesday’s menu. At $30 it’s a bargain.
East Midtown Waterfront Project Renderings and Info – cake will be served at the opening, whenever that is
Richard Meier’s Far East Side Black Monolith – couldn’t be any more different than the look of adjacent (and partially blocked) Tudor City
SL Green’s One Vanderbilt Will Have Observation Deck – to look at LIC of course!
51st Bakery Supper Club Menu – every Wednesday night at 7:30pm
A Charlie Brown Christmas Live Musical at Secret Theatre Starting December 20 – $50 total for a family of four, ten shows only. Who needs Hamilton?
21st Street to Get Liquor Store next to Dunkin Donuts – donuts and booze, a perfect combo