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Public Gets Last Chance to Weigh in on Riverside Center Development

By Leslie Albrecht | November 22, 2010 8:52am

By Leslie Albrecht

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — Upper West Siders are gearing up for a key hearing Tuesday, where the public gets a final chance to weigh in on Extell Development Company's massive Riverside Center development.

The City Council's land use committee will hold the hearing at 9:30 a.m at 250 Broadway.

City Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Community Board 7 officials are urging residents to testify about the changes they'd like to see Extell make to Riverside Center.

The development would bring five high-rise apartment buildings, stores, an auto showroom and open space to eight acres between West 59th Street, West 61st Street, West End Avenue and Riverside Boulevard.

Community Board 7 voted in July to reject Extell's proposal. The Community Board is pushing Extell to make several changes, including removing one of the high-rises, building a 150,000 square-foot K-8 public school, and making 30 percent of the housing at Riverside Center "affordable."

Brewer has backed Community Board 7's proposed changes, and sent out an e-mail Friday reminding people to testify at Tuesday's hearing.

At a September Planning Commission hearing on Riverside Center, Brewer said Riverside Center will be built on the last significant piece of vacant land on the Upper West Side.

"We shouldn't forget that, because it's all we've got left," Brewer said at the September hearing. "We need to do it right."