By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — Rumors of a mysterious new development that have been swirling in the Upper West Side since several area businesses were forced to close have finally been confirmed.
Plans are underway to build a 20-story residential building on Broadway between West 77th Street and 78th streets, according to the Department of Buildings.
Property owners Lawrence and Melvin Friedland, founders of Friedland Properties, submitted plans to the DOB in February for the new residential high-rise, which would house 180 apartments, a DOB spokeswoman said.
The plans call for a building with 172,473 square feet of residential space and 18,689 square feet of commercial space.
The DOB disapproved the initial plans — a common step in the development process — but Friedland can re-submit them after making changes to comply with building and planning codes.
Representatives from Friedland Properties were not available for comment.
The plans confirm the rumors that have circulated about the future of the block, which has seen a series of businesses close in recent months.
The new high-rise would cover 2182 through 2186 Broadway, the mid-block building where Cosi, S. J. Kim's Tae Kwon Do school, and the now-closed Ruby Foo's was.
Businesses in surrounding buildings — Susie's Nail Salon, Laile Rowe and Manhattan Diner — have told DNAinfo that they're closing, in some cases because landlord Friedland Properties told them their buildings were being demolished and replaced with condos.
Other businesses on the block, some of which have closed, include Curl Up and Dye hair salon, a watch repair service, a travel agency, and a jewelry-making school.
No plans have been filed at the Department of Buildings for the northern end of the block, where New Pizza Town, a Subway restaurant, World of Nuts and a jewelry shop are.
There are also no plans on file for the southern corner, where Manhattan Diner is. Manhattan Diner's co-owner told DNAinfo in February that his restaurant was moving out to make way for new development.
The manager of Vai restaurant, around the corner from Manhattan Diner on West 77th Street, told DNAinfo recently that it's closing because the building is being torn down and replaced with condos.
Some tenants on the block complained in February 2010 that Friedland allegedly refused to negotiate rents, forcing them to leave, The Real Deal reported.