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Meier, Viñoly, KPF tapped to realize delayed Upper West Side development

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The project picks up where Riverside Center left off

Three star architects have been tapped by General Investment and Development Companies (GID) to build out a nearly five-acre portion of undeveloped land on the Upper West Side’s Hudson River waterfront. Richard Meier and Partners Architects, Rafael Viñoly Architects, and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates have each been brought on to design a residential building for Waterline Square, one of the last new development enclaves on the prized waterfront of Manhattan’s maxed-out west side.

Although the project dons a new name, those keeping track of Manhattan waterfront development will recognize the site between West 59th and 61st streets as a slice of Riverside Center, the late-aughts dream project of Extell Development with a master plan by Christian de Portzamparc and input from architect of record Goldstein, Hill & West.

Extell’s plan to singularly develop the five-building mixed-use project began falling apart almost as soon as it got the green light from City Planning back in 2010; in late 2015 Extell sold off several portions of the 31.5 million-square-foot development site to GID for $676 million.

Waterline Square picks up where Riverside Center left off. Kohn Pedersen Fox was already in place to design an amenity-packed Riverside Center building at Riverside Center site 1 when the parcel was sold to GID. Under the new scheme, KPF’s contribution will be known as Two Waterline Square and stand along 61st Street towards the Hudson River.

Richard Meier’s One Waterline Square will stand along West 59th Street towards the Hudson River, and will rise on Riverside Center site 3. Raphael Viñoly’s Three Waterline Square will stand near the intersection of West 59th Street and Freedom Place South, the small pedestrian throughway that snakes through Portzamparc’s master plan, at Riverside Center site 4. Each of the buildings will host condominiums up top with rentals in their bases, with one- through five-bedrooms sprinkled throughout.

The development’s teaser site officially launches today, with a soaring video that shows off the glassy architecture and the Mathews Nielsen-designed park that will connect Waterline Square to Riverside Center’s two realized buildings, Elad and Silverstein’s 1 West End Avenue and Dermot’s 21 West End Avenue. It also touts the development’s 100,000 square feet of athletic, leisure, and lifestyle amenities though it doesn’t go into any detail about what those may be.

Waterline Square, with its dream team cast of architects, sounds like one of those fantasy developments that’s dismantled before work even begins—but GID has ensured that’s not the case. Construction on each of the three buildings, which are coming up simultaneously, started in 2015. The first condos will his the market in 2017, with closings expected to begin in the second half of 2018. The condos even slid in to NYC paperwork before 421-a expired in June; buyers at the development will receive a 20-year tax abatement.

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21 West End

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