Tag Archives: SHoP Architects

Residential and retail complex planned for former LIC Paragon Paint Factory

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Scott Bintner/PropertyShark

The old four-story Paragon Paint Factory in Long Island City will get a new finish — and a massive redevelopment.

The rear section of the building will be demolished for a 28-story, 296-unit residential tower at 5-49 46th Ave., according to recently filed Buildings Department permits by SHoP Architects, which is designing the project.

The plans include about 236,230 square feet of residential space and more than 10,400 square feet for ground-floor retail space. There will also be a 24-car garage.

In addition, the development will also include a smaller 14-story residential tower with 48 residential units and more than 4,500 square feet of commercial space in a lot at 45-24 Vernon Blvd. near the paint factory. And developers will demolish a building at 45-28 Vernon Blvd. to build a park that will connect both buildings, according to a published report.

Simon Baron Development purchased the Paragon Paint Factory back in 2013 for about $14.7 million, according to city records. Brent Carrier of CRE Development told the LIC Post that the project will be a joint venture with Simon Baron Development.

The Paragon Paint Factory site is zoned for manufacturing and owners will need to get a variance to build the planned residential and commercial property on the site.


Talk of Sunnyside Yards mega development chugging along  

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Jim Henderson/ Wikipedia Commons

Proposals to redevelop the massive Sunnyside Yards are building up steam after decades of discussion as more key players in the rail yard’s future are weighing in with some specific ideas for what can be built there.

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan was the latest to express her ideas about what to do with the massive 160-acre rail yard.

Nolan said upgrading the existing community must be considered first when developing the rail yard, referring to an ambitious plan by former Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff and SHoP Architects to build a massive convention center and housing complex over the site.

Developing the Sunnyside Yards has historically been a touchy subject — one that began heating up recently after then Community Board 2 Chair Joseph Conley introduced the idea to conduct a publicly-funded feasibility study to figure out what could be done with the yards, which was first reported by The Courier in October.

Last month Doctoroff penned an editorial in the New York Times about his plan, which includes moving the 1.8-million-square-foot Jacob Javits Convention Center over the rail yards and expanding it to 3.1 million square feet, while also creating 14,000 new housing units — 50 percent of which would be set aside as affordable —  and adding an office and retail complex and public green spaces.

Rendering courtesy of SHoP Architects 

Rendering courtesy of SHoP Architects

But Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has not stood behind the plan, and instead voiced concern for current residents.

“What we need is more green space. We need a lot more schools, we need more [school] buildings, already based on the number of kids we have today, and not including any new kids,” Van Bramer said. “We need better transportation options — the 7 train is already over capacity. And yes we need affordable housing and we are very supportive of more affordable housing being built, but it can’t come at the expense of the quality of life that the people experience in the neighborhood today.”

Many of his constituents have opposed development of the yards. A petition against a development project at the site started by locals following the Doctoroff editorial has garnered about 250 signatures.

But industry experts seem to think not using the land would be a waste.

“I think that Sunnyside Yards represents an enormous opportunity for Queens and for the city and one that is certainly worth exploring more closely,” said former city Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky, who is now a vice president at RXR Realty. “The big challenge will be to figure out how to get the right mix of uses. It’s too big an opportunity to ignore.”

Although he has not shown support for it, Van Bramer said if the project is to move further  a study must first be done on the proposed usage of the land.

“I think that if there is a next step the city might want to take a look at some feasibility issues and see what’s possible,” Van Bramer said. “I’m not sure anything needs to be done quite frankly.”


City breaks ground on Hunter’s Point South project

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of NYC Mayors Office's Flickr

The first shovelful of dirt was slung last week on what will be the city’s biggest new affordable housing complex since the 1970s.

On Monday, March 4, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, public officials and representatives from firms involved in building Hunter’s Point South broke ground on the first phase of construction that will bring the first two residential buildings of the project to the Queens waterfront, with 925 permanently affordable apartments and around 17,000-square-feet of retail space.

In addition to the buildings, this phase will include a new five-acre waterfront park and a new school seating 1,100 students, almost near completion.

“In just a few years, Hunter’s Point will have all the makings of a great community – affordable homes, new transportation links, beautiful parks with sweeping views and a brand-new school,” said Bloomberg.

The plan evolved in Community Board 2 and came to be after the members put forth the idea to the mayor. The city later acquired the land, said CB 2 chair Joseph Conley.

The residential buildings are expected to have a “well balanced” population of residents including low- to moderate-income families, senior citizens, city employees and people with disabilities, said Conley.

“This ground breaking represents another milestone in the ongoing transformation of Hunter’s Point,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “These two towers will be affordable to many who live and want to remain residents in western Queens.”

After being hit hard by Sandy, the plans for the Hunter’s Point South waterfront include resiliency actions to safeguard the buildings from any future weather events.

For example, according to the mayor’s office, the buildings’ emergency generators will be on the roof and the mechanical systems on the second floor.

One building will be located at 1-50 50th Avenue and the other at 1-55 Borden Avenue. The buildings are being designed by SHoP Architects and Ismael Leyva Architects and are expected to begin to be occupied in 2014, with full construction finalized in 2015.

“Long Island City represents the future of New York City, and with projects like these, that future is a bright one,” said Van Bramer.




Queens soccer stadium plans pulled offline after leak

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of A Walk in the Park

The controversial Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park finally showed its face, but then went back into hiding.

According to the blog A Walk in the Park, fans and those opposed got their first glimpse of the proposed stadium on Tuesday, February 26. The renderings were leaked after a video was uploaded of a February 1 presentation at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, where Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects paused his focus on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to give his students a view of what he called an unnamed project at an unknown location.

Hours after the images spread around the Internet, the video was pulled off the SB Nation “Nets Daily” blog, where it was first published. According to the blog, viewers got a taste of the exterior and interior of the stadium and an idea of just how large the structure will be.

The leaked images of the proposed stadium, say detractors, brought to reality some of the problems the project will bring to the community.

“This is a nightmare, now we know why MLS has been trying so hard to keep renderings of the stadium out of the public eye. This is massive. The stadium represents the equivalent of parking three enormous aircraft carriers in the middle of a public park,” said Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates.

Yet, according to Major League Soccer, the drawings show nothing.

“These drawings do not represent what the stadium will look like,” MLS president Mark Abbott said in a statement. “In fact, we haven’t selected an architect yet and will not start the design process until we have an owner for the club. This was simply a concept drawing that was done only to help determine the potential height and footprint.”

Plans for the MLS stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park were announced in October and it is expected to seat 25,000 soccer fans and host 20 games a year.

-With additional reporting by Terence M. Cullen