At the corner of 57th Street and Eleventh Avenue rises a massive glassy rental tower called The Helena, where the only current availability advertised on its website is a studio apartment with river views for $2,140 per month. Next door to the west is an equally ginormous empty lot, also owned by the Durst Organization, once targeted for high-rise development but lately said to be becoming a for-profit private school designed by architecture firm Perkins Eastman and run by the former owner of Esquire. No doubt Helena tenants worried about those river views were hoping for that outcome, and guess what? Success! A building resident posted the following memo from Helena management on the Wired New York message board:
Dear Helena Residents, Beginning the week of March 29, 2010, the development of the site to the west of the Helena will commence and is expected to last for 36-months. You will see the following changes beginning next week and we will keep you updated as the project progresses:
• Erection of a new construction fence on both the 57th and 58th Street sides of the site.
• Preparation for excavation
• Removal of soil from the site; and
• Foundation construction
During the next several weeks there will be heavy equipment on the site. Activity will occur between 7:00am and 5:00pm as permitted by the City. There is no planned weekend work.
The biggest impact of this construction on our building will be the closures of the sidewalks on 57th and 58th Streets west of the Helena. The Helena’s entrance will not be affected and will continue to be available for automobile pickup and drop off. Shuttle Bus service will also not be impacted.
They don't say what's coming to the site, but a recent building permit issued for 625 West 57th Street mentions a six-story educational facility. Happiness for Helena residents, unless they're down about the three years of construction fun beginning at 7am every weekday. Hey, that's the school's first lesson! Can't win 'em all.
· Thread: New Durst-Fetner Building @ W 57th & 11th Ave [WNY]
· Durst Files Plans for Off-Again, On-Again Esquire Private School [NYO]
· The Helena [Official Site]