Trump Place


Trump Place

Trump Place (also known as Riverside South and Trump City and Television City) is an apartment complex originated by Donald Trump on the Upper West Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan, New York.

The $3 billion project on a 56 acre site between 59th Street and 72nd Street was to include 16 apartment buildings with 5,700 residential units, convert|1800000|sqft|m2 of studio space, convert|300000|sqft|m2|-4 of office and retail space, and a 23 acre waterfront park. The studio and office space was not approved. Nevertheless, Trump Place is the biggest privately-developed complex currently being built in New York City.

History

Rail Yards

The land for the development is a freight rail yard once owned by the New York Central Railroad. New York Central's rail track north of 72nd Street was buried in the 1930s in a Robert Moses project called the "West Side Improvement." The project was bigger than Hoover Dam and created the Henry Hudson Parkway. It also created Riverside Park and was so skillfully done that many believe the park and road are at grade level.

New York Central merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad to form Penn Central in 1968 as the rail lines were suffering severe financial difficulties that would ultimately lead to the demise of both. The rail yard was to be called the "Penn Yards" even though Penn Central only owned it for a brief period.

In 1962 the railroad proposed a partnership with the Amalgamated Lithographers Union to build a mixed-use development with 12,000 apartments, "Litho City", on platforms over the tracks. The late 1960s saw various proposals by the city's Educational Construction Fund for mixed residential and school projects.

As the railroad as well as the city faced bankruptcy, Donald Trump first optioned the property for $10 million in 1974. His proposal for 12,450 apartments depended on public financing, which never materialized. Eventually an Argentinian developer bought the property and plans for "Lincoln West" were approved in 1981, but the developer later declared bankruptcy before any construction had started.

In January 1985, Donald Trump bought the site for $100 million in partnership with developer Abe Hirschfeld.

Television City and the 152-Story World's Tallest Building

In 1987, Trump proposed turning the complex into Television City with the headquarters of NBC along with its various studios. The plan involved in convert|16500000|sqft|m2 of construction. The Television City name also infringed on CBS's registered trademark for their Los Angeles facility.

The centerpiece of the project was to be a Helmut Jahn designed 152-story tower.

The project generated fierce opposition and was ultimately scrapped. NBC eventually negotiated to continue broadcasting in Rockefeller Center.

At this point the project was renamed Trump City and downsized slightly to convert|14500000|sqft|m2, but that failed to satisfy the critics. In 1989 six civic organizations proposed an alternative, known as "Riverside South" — a largely residential project of convert|7300000|sqft|m2 with a relocated West Side Highway and a 23 acre public park. Hobbled by his weak financial position, Trump acquiesced and formed a partnership with his critics. The compromise project was approved in 1992 without the studio and office space that Trump substituted for some of the residential space. The final project size was convert|5800000|sqft|m2 with the two southern blocks still largely available for additional development.

The Hong Kong Investors

As Trump faced bankruptcy in the early 1990s during his divorce from Ivana Trump and marriage to Marla Maples,he was forced to sell the land to a group of Hong Kong investors, but he remained as the public face of the group (as he has on many other projects that have his name but which he really doesn't own). Plans were delayed for several years as the new investors sought public financing.

The new investors began construction in 1997. In 2005, the Hong Kong investors sold the property to the Carlyle Group. Trump sued, contending that the sale for $1.76 billion was $1.5 billion less than what the property was worth. Trump lost his suit, but Trump's name remains on the buildings.

Burying the West Side Highway

One of the key components of Riverside South was burying the West Side Highway from approximately West 70th Street to West 61st Street. This section is the only remaining elevated section of the elevated highway which once extended to the southern tip of Manhattan.

Plans to reconstruct the highway had been proposed for years. A portion of the elevated highway, which was mostly built in the 1920s and 1930s, collapsed in 1973 at 14th Street. Rather than repairing the antiquated road, the state closed it and proceeded with a plan to replace the viaduct with an interstate highway in new landfill, known as Westway. Fifteen years later, after the failure of the Westway proposal, the state settled on an at-grade boulevard and a new Hudson River Park.

The section between 72nd and 59th Street was a little thornier because, while it owned an easement, neither the state nor the city owned the land. Acquiring the land to relocate the highway was thought to interfere with private development, which was seen, at the time (the 1970s), as preferable to the alternative –- public financing of a park (See History of New York City (1946-1977)).

Despite city approval in 1991 of the plan to bury the road, opponents claim it would offer a windfall to the developers of the Trump project and waste the public funds used to renovate the viaduct in 1990. Residents have been further upset by the necessity of closing the West 72nd Street exit from the West Side Highway.However, in June, 2006, the developer began construction of an enclosure for the relocated highway between 61st and 67th streets, while battles over burying the section continue.New north-south roads inside the development are called Riverside Boulevard and Liberty Place.

Buildings

Trump Place is projected to be completed by 2009. It will consist of sixteen apartment buildings, condominiums, and lease properties. As of the end of 2007, there are seven buildings completed and have been mostly rented out (and the condominiums are completely sold out). It is projected to pay for itself within ten years of completion.

Living

As with all dwellings bearing the Trump name, living quarters in Trump Place is likely to be positioned towards the affluent living/premium and high-end housing segment. Nevertheless, 12% to 20% of the units will be "affordable," as required by the City Planning Commission approval of the project.

External links

* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE6DD153DF932A35754C0A966958260&sec=&pagewanted=print Critique of original Riverside South plan]
* [http://www.riverside-south.org/ Riverside South Planning Corporation]
* [http://www.trumpplace.com/ Trump Place management office]


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