57th Street Tower Moves Forward After Developer Adds School

By Mathew Katz on April 25, 2014 10:11am 

 A rendering of the proposed TF Cornerstone building on West 57th Street.
A rendering of the proposed TF Cornerstone building on West 57th Street.
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TF Cornerstone

HELL'S KITCHEN — A new tower on West 57th Street moved closer to reality this week after the developer won approval from a City Council committee in return for making several concessions to the community.

The City Council's Land Use Committee approved the 1,189-unit rental development at 606 W. 57th St. after TF Cornerstone agreed to put a public pre-K program in the building, construct a smaller parking garage and use union workers, officials confirmed.

In addition, 237 of the building's units will be permanently affordable, and affordable tenants will have equal access to all amenities, TF Cornerstone previously agreed.

The development, which has already received approval from the local community board and City Planning Commission, recently came under last-minute fire from neighbors who said the already-overcrowded neighborhood's schools, hospitals and public transportation couldn't handle the huge influx of new residents.

In a statement, Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, who represents the area, said she understood the concerns.

“I hear the project’s detractors loud and clear: I understand why the residents who live along West 57th street do not like this development," Rosenthal said. "It takes away their light and air, 57th Street is overrun with overdevelopment and there are common sense questions about the wisdom of building so close to the water’s edge, in light of the impact of Superstorm Sandy and climate change."

TF Cornerstone requires a zoning change to build the 28-story development, which needs city approval. The proposal will now go before the City Council as a whole.

“We are pleased that the zoning subcommittee voted favorably on our plans for 606 West 57th Street and are grateful to Councilmember Rosenthal for ensuring the community’s voice is heard throughout this process," a TF Cornerstone representative said in a statement.

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