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Coming to the East 40s: Ground Zero North



Along the East River, between 35th and 41st Streets in Manhattan, lies a nine-acre lot known in the parlance as the ConEd Parcel. Bought last year for $630 million by developer Sheldon Solow, the design plans have been in development behind closed doors—until now. Comes architects Richard Meier and David M. Childs—nice to see them getting this career break, btw—with just-announced plans to turn the site into what our brethren at The Gutter term "Ground Zero North." Key parts of this very special urban vision:

1) Park and skating rink designed by landscape architect Diana Balmori. Curbed says: Who doesn't love a park? Especially squirrels! And, more great news: park will be surrounded by tall towers. And as for that skating rink, let Meier sketch the vision: "A sort of shelter, an enclosure but all open."
2) Three residential buildings by Meier. Curbed says: The man is the living master of the residential tower troika. Who better? Dibs on a $54m penthouse!
3) One "largely commercial" building by Childs. Curbed says: Because he still has commercial visions that must take flight. We're giving 3:2 odds Childs sets free his inner muse during revisions and adds gargoyles to the facade between the 24th and 25th floors.
4) Depressed FDR, possibly, to open river vistas to the general public. Curbed says: Except for those vistas blocked by, you know, the towers. Which reminds us:
5) More towers! Designed by Meier! Curbed says: No, really. Towers-a-plenty, people. You want towers—you do want towers, right?—you got towers.

Recaps The Gutter, "A spiral of towers? A central water element? Restoring the grid? Neighborhood opposition? An SOM power play? Peter Eisenman among the losers? No, it's not another boring old development at everyone's favorite graveyard. Rejoice, fans of New York real estate stasis, the Con Ed site lives!" Oh, the glory of it all.
· Dipping City's Toes into the East River [NYTimes]
· Plans Unveiled for Ground Zero North [The Gutter]