Elusive Extell Refuses to Confirm Building Heights of One Manhattan Square, and Other Updates

Posted on: July 30th, 2015 at 4:58 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

Extell Development Corp. and project management firm LendLease visited the community last night to discuss the two sky-scraping towers it’s constructing along the Lower East Side waterfront. The developer has committed to holding quarterly meetings to update the neighborhood on the latest info, and potentially allay the rampant fears in the aftermath. Local politicians and their representatives were in the house.

Nevertheless, as you might imagine, the carpet-bagging suits weren’t completely forthcoming with plans. Before we dive into the drama, though, here is an excerpt of the updates relayed:

  • Project completion is on target for 2019.
  • Pile driving efforts are 95% complete, and will officially conclude in the next few months.
  • Foundation has “significantly progressed,” and should be done by year’s end.
  • Work on the superstructure begins thereafter.
  • Plaza sidewalks around the site are temporarily patched. It’ll be fixed like this until the project is complete, at which a full sidewalk replacement is planned … in 2019.
  • Cherry Street sinking is “normal” given all the activity. Patchwork will be ongoing until 2019 when the roadbed is fixed permanently.

This image has been archived or removed.

Extell brass talking it up

The main takeaway from the meeting, however, was that Extell brass refuses to confirm the final height of its flip-flopping market rate phallus. Even though paperwork filed with the Department of Buildings confirms 72 stories. Reps remained mum on the matter and employed Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer to speak on their behalf. When pushed, a lawyerly response followed – “this is a construction meeting, and we’re not here to address that tonight.” Yup, pretty much sums up Extell’s ego and non-caring nature. The enormous tower of Sauron – nearly three times the height of the Manhattan Bridge – will carry 1.1 million square-foot with 815 units and various over-the-top amenities.

Frustrations flared as building residents and neighbors fumed over legit concerns such as cracked walls and ceilings, doors that don’t close, stuck windows, dust, and mosquitos from standing water at the project site. Extell acknowledged the issues inside 82 Rutgers Street, and assured tenants that the building itself is structurally sound with seismographs placed throughout the area to monitor vibrations. They also promised to fix construction-related problems at their own expense. However, such relief won’t actually happen until at least the first quarter of 2016.

That’s at least six more months in a precarious position.

This image has been archived or removed.

Cracks inside a stairwell at 82 Rutgers St.

Other complaints voiced include decreased water pressure from Extell’s reliance on fire hydrants for water, after-hours work, the definition of “affordable” in the “Poor Door” building next door, and whether there will actually be an affordable supermarket onsite. With the exception of the latter (“committed to an affordable supermarket in one of the spaces”), all issues are “taken into consideration.”

The next community meeting with Extell will be in November.

Recent Stories

Chinatown Garment Industry Hanging by a Thread

Once a hub of manufacturing for the city’s garment industry, there are only a few remaining factories in Chinatown from a peak in the hundreds. The localized industry, which once employed thousands of immigrant women and men, sparked an area restaurant boom in the 1970s. Yet, began to decline in the late 1980s when manufacturers started […]

Residents Unite Against Developer Plans to Swap Park for Parking on LES Waterfront

Residents on the Lower East Side waterfront may soon lose more publicly accessible outdoor space. The developer of a new super-tall plans to reduce a children’s playground to a parking lot. As excavation work commences on Chetrit Group’s 70-story, twin-towered development at 265 South Street, tenants in the adjacent building – Lands End II – […]

Chinatown Homeless Murder Suspect Still Awaiting Trial

More than two years since the horrific murder of four homeless men in Chinatown, the suspect has yet to be held accountable for the crimes. In the early morning hours of October 5, 2019 Randy Santos stalked, then allegedly bludgeoned to death Cheun Kwok, Anthony Manson, Florencio Moran and Nazario Vasqez-Villegas while asleep on the streets. In […]

Excavation Begins for 70-Story South Street Towers

Cranes, and plywood, and pile-drivers, oh my! Such is the story down on the Lower East Side waterfront. Department of Buildings on April 12 issued official approval to the Chetrit Group to begin foundation activities for its dual 70-story tower at 265 South. A month later, the big trucks are mobilized. While excavation is now […]

For 7th Year Running, Greek Jewish Festival Returns to Broome Street this Weekend

After a more subdued outing last year, the Greek Jewish Festival this spring is on the rebound, pulling out the stops. It returns on Sunday for another go-round. Founded by Kehila Kedosha Janina on Broome Street seven years ago, the event celebrates the culture and traditions of the Greek Jewish community. Years past saw crowds […]