Construction was originally due to begin in 2004, but was delayed for a number of reasons—lawsuits, arguments over eminent domain, financial setbacks (thanks to the 2008 recession), and an extremely dedicated opposition effort among them. It was only in 2014, after an infusion of cash from China-based Greenland Group, that the timeline was able to be accelerated.
Once Greenland Group came on board, construction progressed quickly, and now, four buildings are finished (and have welcomed residents), and another two are under construction. In the next year, work will also begin on two parcels now owned by TF Cornerstone at 615 and 595 Dean Street, located between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues. In advance of the anticipated groundbreaking, the developers have unveiled renderings of those two buildings, once known as B12 and B13 to longtime followers of the site’s saga.
Back in the day, the original plan for 615 Dean Street was for a 26-story condo tower designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. Now, Handel Architects is working on the project, with two buildings that have a similar look—slender tower rising from a blockier base—and materials inspired by “the variety of architectural styles that surround the development.”
The new buildings will have some 800 apartments between them, along with a 72,000-square-foot park designed by MNLA, and ground-floor retail. (The buildings will also sit atop a 455-car parking garage.) A new outpost of Chelsea Piers, which had community members and some elected officials up in arms over the summer, will also be built, bringing youth classes and facilities to the neighborhood.
The Dean Street buildings are two of nine that are left to be completed before the megaproject is fully finished; while the original timeline called for everything to be completed by 2025, that may be shifting.