Megadeveloper Gary Barnett's Extell has made a killing on its "Riverside South" luxury condo projects so far (Rushmore, Avery, etc.), but ol' Gary been saving the biggest piece of his Upper West Side puzzle for last: the five-tower/mixed-use "Riverside Center" on the parcel between 59th and 61st Streets. Extell had previously announced that Pritzker Prizer-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc would be designing the skyscrapers, but we hadn't heard much since (other than the controversial Costco being dropped from the plan). Surely the credit crunch has derailed such an ambitious and expensive project. NOT! The Observer's Elliot Brown reports on an UWS community meeting last night where Barnett and Extell laid out their timetable. They want to kick off the public review process in December, and have everything built by 2018. The five towers (four residential, one mixed-use) will be 35, 39, 42, 50 and 53 stories tall, and the project will also have 3.2 acres of open space (the site is 8.2 acres). Part of the street grid will be restored, as 60th Street would extend halfway through the development from the east, then yield to a "scrim of water" lined by trees. Very fanciful, but will this become reality?
· Extell Steaming Ahead on Giant 'Riverside Center' Amid Early Dissent [TRE]