Extell was back in front of an Upper West Side community board yesterday to unveil revised plans for Riverside Center, the five-tower megaproject that the developer hopes to build on a parking lot that stretches from 59th Street to 61st Street and West End Avenue to the West Side Highway. How controversial is Riverside Center? Despite having French starchitect Christian de Portzamparc on board to design the thing, worried locals started drafting their own designs for what Extell should do with the land. Er, no thanks, but the developer did decide to downsize!
The Westside Independent was on the scene for the reveal, taking notes and snapping away. The three towers closest to the river have all been reduced in size, two of them by a bunch. The pair of towers closer to West End Avenue have gotten bigger, but not by much (full breakdown above). There's also more space between the towers, and the plan to include big-box retail has been dropped after that hissy fit about Costco.
In addition to over 2,500 apartments, Riverside Center?the biggest piece of Extell's "Riverside South" puzzle of luxury residential buildings in the area (Rushmore, Avery, Aldyn, etc.)?would also include oodles of retail and three acres of open space, a hotel, movie theater, auto dealership, K-8 school and a quarter-inch-deep "water scrim" where 60th Street leaves off that, Westside Independent notes, people will be allowed to frolic on.
The plan is expected to enter the public land-use review process next month, and woo boy, there are going to be some heated words. Already complaints about affordable housing and environmental impact (including exhaust from the auto dealership) are surfacing, but the most damning critiques could be those coming from people who say the whole thing reeks of Battery Park City. Extell showed some revised renderings that can be seen in the gallery above. Anybody feeling those BPC vibes?
· Extell Unveils New (Improved?) Riverside Center [Westside Independent]
· Riverside Center [riversidecenternyc.com]
· Riverside Center coverage [Curbed]