Four Proposed Skyscrapers in WaHi Could Alter City's Skyline

By Carla Zanoni on January 12, 2011 6:35am 

A rendering of the proposed cluster of mixed-use buildings.
A rendering of the proposed cluster of mixed-use buildings.
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Quadriad Realty Partners

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The Upper Manhattan skyline could get a dramatic makeover under a new proposal to add four skyscrapers to Washington Heights, which would dwarf existing buildings in the area.

Quadriad Realty Partners, a private New York-based real estate developer with developments in Queens and Brooklyn, is in the preliminary stages of planning four new mixed-use buildings on Broadway, near 190th Street, in Washington Heights.

The developer — who mistakenly calls the proposed location "Inwood" on its website — describes the project on their website as a mixture of affordable housing for middle class New Yorkers, along with space for retail and parking.

The high-rises would stand between 23 and 42 stories in height, which while shorter than many Midtown skyscrapers, is significantly taller than most existing buildings in Washington Heights. The average building in the neighborhood stands six stories tall, locals said during a Community Board committee meeting in the fall.

The proposed construction site at 190th Street and Broadway is also located near the highest geographical point in Manhattan, giving any skyscraper built there additional heft in the city skyline.

The proposed plan is similar to two projects in Astoria, Queens, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which have moved forward despite some concerns voiced by residents about placing the massive developments in architecturally low-lying areas. 

Quadriad aims to build housing for "the vast bulk of the city's civil service, police personnel...successive waves of immigrants, and new graduates and young workers," according to their website.

One of the group’s proposed mixed-use developments would include 198 units of affordable housing and 454 units of apartments at standard market rates, according to Ebenezer Smith, district manager for CB12.

That version will require an approved Uniform Land Use Review procedure application, commonly known as ULURP, from the Department of City Planning in order to receive a zoning modification necessary for the development.

Rendering of proposed plan, which propses to add four buildings - 23, 33, 39 and 42 stories high - to the 190th Street and Broadway area.
Rendering of proposed plan, which propses to add four buildings - 23, 33, 39 and 42 stories high - to the 190th Street and Broadway area.
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Quadriad Realty Partners

Community Board 12 will get a chance to weigh in on that application after Quadriad makes a formal presentation and participates in a community public hearing, Smith said.

In the case it does not get approval for zoning variances through the ULURP process, Quadriad has also planned an alternative project for development that would include no affordable housing and only 216 standard rate apartments.

The developer says on its website that the development will be built without the use of city funds, but does not elaborate on where the funding will come from.

Quadriad did not respond to calls for comment.

Depending on which plan they move forward with, Quadriad's development might also include the renovation of the 191st Street 1 train station entrance, a complicated station that includes a three-block-long pedestrian tunnel from Broadway to the train and a long elevator ride up from the 180-foot-below subway station.

The preliminary plan also includes the beautification of nearby Gorman Park and the development of new green spaces within the complex and immediate area, reported the Manhattan Times.

The next step for Quadriad will be to present its plan to the Department of City Planning.

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