A New Supermarket For Two Bridges? Residents Press Extell For a Firm Answer

Rendering of 229 Cherry St., by Dattner Architects.

Rendering of 229 Cherry St., by Dattner Architects.

More than four years after the Pathmark grocery store in the Two Bridges neighborhood closed, local residents are trying to turn up the pressure on Extell Development, which is building an 80-story luxury tower where the supermarket once stood.

While Extell executives have said they are attempting to find a new supermarket for the project, there’s been nothing definitive. Tenant leaders (under the auspices of a coalition known as TUFF-LES) sent a letter to Extell President Gary Barnett April 4, asking for concrete information about the search for a new large-scale food store.

Here’s a portion of that letter:

With the development quickly moving along and destined for completion in a year or so we would have expected to hear something more concrete at this time in regards to what supermarket we should expect. We would like to remind you of commitments made to this community regarding the replacement of an affordable, large-scale supermarket; with such a large footprint in our community surely you recognize the obligation to give something back…  Tenants United Fighting For Lower East Side (TUFF-LES) strongly urge Extell to make good on their stated commitments to bring a replacement supermarket back to the Two Bridges community and further provide us with some articulation of what efforts are being made in this regard. We would like to know have there been any expressions of interest and is there anything the community can do to help bring out a favorable outcome with respect to a new supermarket? We look forward to hearing from you.

Pathmark closed it Cherry Street store in 2012.

Pathmark closed it Cherry Street store in 2012.

As of yesterday, the residents had not received a reply from Extell. Kenneth Lowenstein, an attorney representing the real estate developer, appeared before Community Board 3 last night to pitch the developer’s application for 421-a tax breaks. During his presentation, the tenant leaders took it upon themselves to press Lowenstein for a response on the grocery. The answer came this morning via email from Extell executive Raizy Haas:

“Extell Development,” wrote Haas, “is still trying to lease a portion of the retail space in its new development on Cherry Street to a full service, affordable supermarket.  We hope our efforts will be successful and will address the needs of both the community and new residents. We are in communication with several supermarkets and will be providing an update at the appropriate time.”

Back in 2013, local elected officials said they received a commitment from Barnett to create a full-service grocery store as part of the Lower East Side project. Barnett reaffirmed the commitment in a 2014 community meeting. In late 2015, Haas once again spoke of the quest for an affordable grocery, suggesting it could open in 2018. [The supermarket would be located in a 14-story affordable building going up alongside the luxury condo tower, at 229 Cherry St.]

Today we reached out to the local elected officials involved in those 2013 discussions with Barnett. State Sen. Daniel Squadron said, “Extell made a commitment for an affordable supermarket, and that commitment stands. It’s all the more urgent with the looming threat of additional mega developments, and highlights the need for comprehensive development coordination in the area.”

Paul Leonard, City Council member Margaret Chin’s chief of staff, added, “We continue to call on Extell to do the right thing,” by securing an affordable grocery for the development site. “After years of negative (construction) impacts, a new supermarket is the one good outcome” that local residents have been promised. “We urge Extell to deliver on that promise,” said Leonard.

The need for a new grocery has, of course, become more critical with three large-scale developments planned in the Two Bridges neighborhood. While all of these proposed projects include ground floor commercial space, none of the proposed storefronts will be able to accommodate a large supermarket.

The developers (JDS Development Group, L+M Development Partners, the CIM Group and the Starrett Group) are not waiting for a grand announcement from Extell. According to a spokesperson for the development teams, they are working to identify commercial spaces in the immediate area for a full-scale grocery, as well as potential operators. The spokesperson declined to pinpoint the locations under review.

In their letter, residents made it clear they do not want to see a market like Whole Foods in the Two Bridges area. “The needs of the surrounding community,” they wrote, “demand something along the lines of Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, Giant, Wegmans and the like; bottom line something that is fitting with the socioeconomics of the existing Two Bridges community.”

Con Ed Sues Extell Over Steam Pipe Breach in Two Bridges Area

Flooding on Cherry Street alongside Extell development site, September 2015.

Flooding on Cherry Street alongside Extell development site, September 2015.

Con Edison is suing Extell Development in connection with the breach of a steam pipe in the Two Bridges area a couple of years ago.

Extell is building One Manhattan Square, an 80-story luxury condo tower on the former site of a Pathmark store at 250 South St. Numerous times during the digging of the massive project’s foundation in 2015, streets around the site were flooded and the roadway and sidewalks buckled.

According to the New York Post (h/t Curbed), Con Ed is alleging that Extell almost caused a major steam pipe explosion during the early stages of construction. The utility company has filed a lawsuit against the developer in Manhattan Supreme Court. Con ed says repairs cost $4 million.

Reports the Post: “The suit says Extell was warned by its own engineers that its excavation work for the 800-unit tower was perilously close to Con Ed’s underground network of steam pipes. Still, the digging caused two joints to leak.”

An Extell representative denied responsibility and said the matter is “under review.”

New York Sales Launch in Extell’s 80-Story Lower East Side Tower

Rendering: Extell Development's One Manhattan Square.

Rendering: Extell Development’s One Manhattan Square.

Months after sales launched in Asia, Extell Development last week kicked off the domestic marketing push for One Manhattan Square. There will be 815 condominium apartments and loads of over-the-top amenities in the 80-story tower at 252 South St.

Last Thursday evening, Extell honcho Gary Barnett hosted a glitzy party on the Lower East Side. There was a dramatic 3D model of the monstrous building that will be looming over the Manhattan Bridge. There were performances by Hamilton’s Anthony Ramos, musician Spencer Ludwig and even a “One Manhattan Square” rap from “performance poet” Rafael Casal (yes, really).

The sales office for the project is located at 220 South St., in the Manhattan Mini Storage building. A few listings have started to pop up on the project website. 1-bedroom units start at around $1.1 million. If you want to be on a high floor, it will cost you a few-hundred thousand more. 2-bedroom condos start at just over $2 million. A high-floor 3-bedroom will set you back $3.8 million.

one manhattan square sales office

About last night #OneManhattanSquare #model #OpeningGala #beautiful #tall #Extell

A photo posted by Gnesha Shain Miller (@gneshashain) on

Extell Development Lowers “Sellout Target” at Massive Lower East Side Tower

Rendering: One Manhattan Square.

Rendering: One Manhattan Square.

While Extell Development honcho Gary Barnett is not calling it a “price cut,” the luxury apartments in his 80-story Lower East Side tower are taking a dip. The Real Deal reports on the shift at One Manhattan Square, the massive project on the former South Street Pathmark site:

Extell dropped the sellout price at One Manhattan Square by $207.3 million to a total of $1.87 billion, according to a Jan. 22 amendment to the building’s offering plan. “We’re going to be very conservative here,” Extell chief Gary Barnett told The Real Deal. He disputed the notion of having cut prices per se, instead describing the markdown as a change to early placeholder prices to better match the current market, which is showing signs of a slowdown at the top. “We priced it where we want to start and we think we’ll raise prices from where we’re starting now,” he said.

Apartments will still start at about $1 million. There are two $13 million penthouse units. According to the Real Deal, one of them is in contract. Buyers in Asia are getting the first crack at the 815 apartments at One Manhattan Square.

New Supermarket, Replacing Cherry Street Pathmark, Could Open in 2018

Developers showed several revised renderings of the 205-unit affordable tower at 229 Cherry St.

Developers showed several revised renderings of the 205-unit affordable tower at 229 Cherry St.

Extell Development’s 80-story luxury tower in the Two Bridges area has definitely not been welcomed with open arms within the community. Concerns about construction noise, gentrification and the shear size of the project have all come into play. But the worst part for many locals was the loss of the Pathmark Supermarket that formerly occupied the development site. Last night, at a quarterly construction meeting with the Extell team, there was renewed talk of a replacement market as part of the new residential and commercial complex.

After the Pathmark store closed in 2012 and was demolished, Extell said it was committed to establishing a new full-service grocery on the site. During a 2014 community meeting, Extell chief Gary Barnett intimated that it would be an affordable market, in keeping with the overall neighborhood’s low- and middle-income demographics. But people have been skeptical.

Raizy Haas, the executive managing the project, said yesterday that an operator had not yet been selected but she hopes the grocery will open in early 2018. That’s when a 205-unit “below-market” building going up alongside the larger project is slated for completion. The grocery will take a 25,000 sq. ft. space in the affordable tower. She made no promises, but said it would be the goal.

DSC_0366

On another topic, Haas said Extell is working with consultants on plans for the plaza area along the east side of the project site. The plaza itself is owned by the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Settlement Housing Fund. They also control Two Bridges Tower, a neighboring building. Extell intends to present design ideas to both the owners and the tenant association at Two Bridges Tower in the coming months. Haas said they’re thinking about creating a “green wall” between the two properties, as well as “architecturally pleasing pavement” and new lighting in the area.

This morning, Victor Papa of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council said there’s interest in meeting with Extell about the plaza. “We would welcome such a meeting,” he said, “not so much to emphasize a divide, as to improve the plaza area.” Papa also said he hopes to meet with Extell executives soon about plans for the new supermarket and about damaged caused by construction.

extell1

extell2

Overall, the meeting was a cordial affair. A couple of residents from Two Bridges Tower thanked Extell and its general contractor, Lend Lease, for promptly responding to their concerns. The session was moderated by Trever Holland, tenant president at Two Bridges Tower with help from Community Board 3’s Susan Stetzer. The only hiccup: a new policy at the Manny Cantor Center, which prevented people without identification from attending (it won’t happen again for CB3 events, said Stetzer).

Construction managers said the pile driving operation, the noisiest part of the project, has now been completed. They are in the process of installing a large crane for the superstructure. That will be completed Saturday morning (Pike Street will be shut down during the final installation). They repeated early pledges to repave sections of Cherry Street torn up due to construction and to fix all damage they’re responsible for causing in neighboring buildings.

Finally, the executives were asked about hiring locally for both construction jobs and positions within the commercial businesses created by the project. Haas said Extell and Lend Lease are willing to consider hiring any qualified candidates who contact them via email (250SouthSt@lendlease.com). The project is, however, a union site. Val Jones, a local resident, urged the developers to take more proactive steps — reaching out to local groups about employment opportunities. Preliminary conversations have taken place with the LES Employment Network, a consortium of local job placement centers. That group, however, isn’t equipped to deal with union construction jobs — only permanent positions in the completed project.

The big 80-story tower, including 815 apartments and crazy amenities, is scheduled to open in 2019.

Have a Look at the Over-the-Top Amenities at Extell’s “One Manhattan Square”

extell tower

A few weeks ago, Extell Development announced that it would be giving buyers in Asia the first crack at luxury apartments at the firm’s new 80-story tower on the Lower East Side. Now a fancy sales brochure has been made available from Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., the firm handling overseas marketing. It’s packed with jaw-dropping renderings of the project, called One Manhattan Square.

For some time, we’ve known that Extell’s massive complex on the former Cherry Street Pathmark site would be loaded with amenities.  But the brochure outlines in great detail each and every perk of buying one of these apartments alongside the Manhattan Bridge (prices range from about $1 million-3 million).

The 800+ unit complex is described as “a modern garden square, offering an unprecedented 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities,” which “fosters physical wellness, social recreation and tranquility.” A highly regarded landscape architectural firm, West 8, has designed the gardens. They include a tree house with fire pits, a putting green and a covered dog run. There are outdoor dining areas, a cellar bar, a 70-seat movie theater, fitness studios, a bowling alley, a dog spa and a cigar room. Have a look at the brochure below.

By the way, Extell Development will be holding its quarterly meeting with residents of nearby buildings to discuss construction concerns. It will take place December 15 at 6:45 p.m. at the Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway.

One Manhattan Square Brochure by The Lo-Down

Extell’s Lower East Side Condos Priced From $1-3 Million; Asian Buyers Targeted

Non-Profit Group Apparently Makes Deal For Extell’s Affordable Tower on Cherry Street

Extell Executives Refuse to Disclose Height of South Street Tower

Picture This: Extell’s 68 Story Monster on the East River

Luxury Living Next to Public Housing: Extell’s Lower East Side Bet

How Tall Will Extell’s South Street South Street Tower Rise? The Guessing Game Continues

First Renderings Revealed of Extell’s 56-Story Tower at 250 South St.

Groups Set to Protest Extell’s Massive Two Bridges Project Tomorrow Morning

Document Drop: Extell Shrinks Its Lower East Side Tower to 56 Stories