Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New UES Dunkin Donuts Adds Even More Signage, A Lot More!

Perhaps someone at the new Dunkin Donuts on Lexington Ave (bet. 84th and 85th) heard about yesterday's blog post and felt egged on by my comment that they were "clearly trying to set a new record for most signage"? Now, let there be no doubt that they clearly hold the record (for the UES at least) and there is no need to add any more signage! Really. Why? In addition to the 7 signs mentioned yesterday, the approximately 8'x5' flag is back, five flag buntings have been added, a flag themed "grand opening" sign added, as well as 12 strings of plastic flag banners hanging from as high as 20 feet above the 10 foot storefront. In case that somehow doesn't attract your attention, a six foot tall Dunkin Donuts coffee cup mascot of sorts (I'll call him Dunkie) is in front heralding the arrival of the new store. Local passerbys were not impressed. A stody old businessman that I spoke to passing by put it in one word "unbelievable", and that was as positive a response as I could find. I smell not coffee and donuts from this store, but controversy. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dunkin Donuts Opens At 85th & Lex, Clearly Trying To Set Record For Most Signage

There have been plenty of welcome additions to the East 80's of late, but this Dunkin Donuts is not one of them. I pass no judgement on the establishment itself. Sure, the coffee may not suit my taste, and the donuts may be feeding a diabetes epidemic when not eaten in moderation; no, it's the signage!

This store on Lexington Avenue between 84th and 85th Street (a former cobbler) measures approximately 10' wide, yet there are 7 signs including a nearly 5 foot carboard sign advertizing a 99 cent iced tea that nearly dwarfs the passerby pictured. It was actually worse. Until this weekend there was a giant banner, or flag which hung from the side of the building from the 2nd to 3rd floor and extended nearly to the curbside. While you have to credit the owner of this establishment for trying to set the record for most signage for a 10' storefront, I'm sure the locals are up in arms. I'm not sure what the law is exactly, but I'm guessing that the new Dunkin is about to find out.

Friday, May 11, 2012

On West 54th: Three Hotels, One Office Tower, One Rat, Plenty Of Glass!

Foreground: 1717 Broadway, Background: 250 West 55th

Rat stares down future Hilton at 237 West 54th

250 W 55th from SW

250 W 55th from SE
I'm pretty sure that you can't find a busier city block than 54th Street between Broadway and Eighth Ave. Currently there are Three large construction projects happening simultaneously.

On the corner of 54th and Broadway you have a 68 story Marriott "twin hotel" rising. They are co-joined twins as above the retail and lobby a Courtyard Inn will occupy floors 7-31, and a Residence Inn will rise from the 32nd floor and up. The architect is Nobutaka Ashihara and the final product due for completion in late 2013 will measure up 35 feet short of the tallest hotel in the city (Mandarin Oriental).

Next door, cue the rat, a 34 story Hilton Hotel, is just getting off the ground. The architect is Gene Kaufman and Joe Moinian is reported to have a minority interest in the project.

Finally, the project I like most on the block, an office tower by SOM, which according to their website "borrows from SOM's classic design of the Lever House and Chase Bank Building." They go on to say that the "changing sky conditions and the surrounding Manhattan context interact with the buildings exterior skin resulting in an ever-changing visual phenomena." Now that may sound like a bunch of babble, but it's true. From my initial approach it appeared that there was aluminum sheeting on the south side, but as I got closer it was clearly glass. Also, at one angle the glass looks dull in appearance and at another it appears mirrored. I know it is a box, and it is an office building, but this one looks pretty sharp.

Renderings and linkage after the jump......

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Extell's Glassy "Hyatt Time Square" Soars

Extell Development's "Hyatt Times Square" is rising, and quickly. The future 53 story tower with 487 rooms was barely out of the ground last fall, but now towers over West 45th Street.The building is up to around 40 stories with close to 30 glassed. While this is not exactly Christian de Portzamparc masterwork like One57, it is after all Times Square, and it is a hotel, not a $6000 per square foot condo. The architect is SLCE for the exterior, and SPanN for the interiors. It is billed as a "4 Star" hotel with completion expected sometime in 2013.
Extell Builds Another Midtown Hyatt Hotel (NY Post, 8/2011)
Construction Slated To Begin At Extell's Midtown Hyatt (The Real Deal, 8/2011)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Related, Avalon Dig Deep At Top Of High Line, Architects A Small Mystery

Related site, 5/2012, 30th St. and 10th Ave

Finished product from Related? Render of building at 30th St. and 10th Ave

"Avalon West Chelsea Site" 5/2012 (Looking west from High Line on West 28th)

"West Chelsea" believed to be rendering of Avalon Building (credit Fogarty Finger)
I took a stroll the length of the High Line last Friday in search of some new blog material. Plenty is happening, but the boom appears to be headed north. It is at the current "end of the line" that Related (at 30th and 10th Ave) and Avalon (at 28th and 11th) are now excavating and preparing to build foundations for two ambitious new projects totalling just over 900,000 square feet.

On the SW corner of 30th and 10th Avenue Related is building a 33 story tower that will consist of 320,000 square feet of residential space, 7,000sf of retail and 78 parking spaces. The architect is rumored to be Robert A.M. Stern (an A Fine Blog favorite of Chatham, Brompton and 15 CPW fame), while all of the filings to date have been by architect Ismael Leyva. They are currently 10 feet below ground fighting through the mud and digging deeper. A construction worker on site claimed that the project would be done by late 2013, but that sounds a bit ambitious.

On the NE corner of 28th Street and 11th Avenue, and along 28th east nearly to the High Line, work continues on what will be the future "Avalon West Chelsea". The building is to peak at 27 stories on the corner and taper back to 13 stories mid block. It is a large lot so the final product, though not particularly tall will contain an impressive 700 units and 25,000sf of retail for a total of 583,000sf. The building, designed by SLCE or Fogarty Finger (or both?) looks like an Avalon building- plenty or red brick, steel, and plenty of curtain glass facing west. It is much like Avalon Christie but with a tall tower and a little more glass. It is widely believed that SLCE is the architect, yet the rendering above is found on Fogarty Finger's website.

Would the actual architects please stand up? And, for that matter, throw us some fresh renderings?

More Starchitecture For Hudson Yards! Robert A.M. Stern Brings His Throwback Magic To 30th + 10th (Observer)
500 West 30th Street (Curbed Tags)
Avalon West Chelsea (Curbed Tags)
......More From A Fine Blog.....

Friday, May 4, 2012

"Gansevoort Square" Topped

345 W 14th, May 2012

(Rendering courtesy DDG Partners)

The "Gansevoort Square" condo project of DDG Partners (of 41 Bond Street fame) has topped. The project, which is East of Ninth Avenue on 14th Street, is to eventually house an estimated 37 condos including five penthouses. Leed Silver certification is expected, and the exterior will be a unique combination of "Kolumba Brick" from Denmark, and, most intriguingly, capped with a 3 story bronze cornice. It will be interesting to see how that turns out. One thing is certain, pricing figures to be sky high at the 11 story building.
Somewhat related, I never realised that The Meatpacking District had its own blog!

More info:
345 (DDG Partners)
Gansevoort Square (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)
New Luxury Condo Gets Funded Where Jay-Z Hotel Failed (Curbed)