April 13, 2018

VACANT LOT Update

The vacant lot, circa 2008. Tudor City, right of center.

For some time now, the former Con Edison steam plant site has been a vacant lot. Set between 38th and 41st Streets, from First Avenue to the FDR Drive, it's an enviable parcel of land, with unobstructed river views and easy access to Midtown.

Following the steam plant's closing in 2000, the nine-acre lot was purchased by real estate magnate Sheldon Solow for $680 million. Demolition and cleanup of the site took another seven years, and then the recession hit. It has lain undeveloped ever since.

A recent New York Times interview with Solow revealed his latest thinking about the future of the site. There will be four towers ‒ three residential buildings (all condos), plus an office tower for biotech companies. No word as to the start date, but the nearly-completed construction of nearby 685 First Avenue (another Solow project) suggests it will be sooner rather than later.

Some years ago, Richard Meier and Associates made renderings of their proposal for this undeveloped parcel, which remain on their website. Whether Richard Meier will be the architect going forward is anyone's guess, given his recent public shaming. Thus, the renderings below are approximations only, but convey the general scale of what's to come. Brace yourselves.

The four towers, in a view looking west. Tudor City, right of center.

Looking south down First Ave, with Tudor City far right

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