1) Lower East Side: "i work across the street from the orchard site you mentioned today (right next door to the hotel site), and the word from the construction guys is 7-story condo buildings -- two, with a courtyard in the middle (they say), retail on the first floor. it doesn't look like they have construction permits filed yet, but they demolished those lots pretty quickly. the stores themselves have been closed for months, so while the construction itself is no fun, at least there's progress towards having somebody on the block again. we have heard a variety of estimates for the completion time, but the most recent was that they'd be done in a year and a half."
2) Upper West Side: Regarding the site at 70th and West End, a reader emails the latest (warning: pdf coming) Coalition for a Livable West Side newsletter. It's a doozy. Here's the skinny on that site: Developer American Continental Properties wanted to build a 70-story tower which would have included new PS199, but negotiations failed. Now two buildings, one 26-stories and one 15-stories. Will make a new presentation at Community Board 7 meeting.
[Solid effort. As always, more questions and answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
· Rumblings and Bumblings: The Other Side of Orchard [Curbed]