Battle Over Upper West Side Mega-Development Begins

by - May 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm -

Extell’s Riverside Center project was certified by the city Planning Commission today, meaning the seven-month battle over the largest development proposal in the neighborhood is about to start.

Looking East from the open space in the middle of the project.

Looking East from the open space in the middle of the project.

Riverside Center, the southernmost development in the Riverside South development that stretches from 72nd to 59th Streets along the Hudson River, is slated to have more than 2,500 apartments and 210,000 square feet of retail. The developers, who are working with the Carlyle Group, also want to build a movie theater, an auto showroom, a K-8 school that could teach as many as 1,300 students, a hotel, and more than 3 acres of open space.

Community activists and political leaders have been debating the proposal for 3 years, and they already got Extell to make some modifications, including lowering the heights of some buildings.

Drawing of Riverside Center, between 59th and 61st Street.

Drawing of Riverside Center, between 59th and 61st Street.

But the stakes will now rise, as the community board has two months to make its recommendation before the project goes back to the planning department and on to the City Council. We wrote about the proposal here when it was first introduced and have tons of pictures of Extell’s plans. On Monday night, parents met at PS 199 to try to persuade Extell to build the proposed school first, to relieve some of the overcrowding in local public schools.

Check out the draft environmental impact statement for the project here. And check back with us as the review process continues. We plan to follow this project closely.

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