If you’re actively looking for, or are currently a resident of, an Upper West Side apartment, or a Washington Heights apartment–basically, anywhere on Manhattan’s western shores from Lincoln Square to the Inwood–know that there are some interesting changes coming soon.
I mean, there are ALWAYS interesting changes coming soon, no matter where your NYC apartment; relentless reinvention has been integral to the city since the days the Dutch ruled the place. But a few things recently caught my eye that, if not exactly neighborhood game-changers, will certainly have an effect on the character of these communities.
The area along Riverside Drive between 72nd and 62nd Streets has been completely transformed since the mid-1990s, when eleven condo and rental apartment buildings arose from the decrepit rail yards and became home for 8,000 New Yorkers.
And there’s lots more people coming! Six more Upper West Side rental apartment buildings, with some 3,000 additional homes, are planned for just south of here, down to 59th Street. Which will also mean more local businesses to support them.
To make things as pleasant as possible for all those folks, we now have Riverside Park South, a 21-acre stretch between Riverside Park proper and Hudson River Park that functions as the sub-neighborhood’s backyard (for example, at top). A little more than half of Riverside Park South is completed; nearly five more acres are in the works, scheduled to be done by 2015.
Jumping uptown a bit, to 171st Street, the Columbia Medical School will break ground early next year on their eye-catching (to say the least!) new 17-story tower on a perch overlooking the Hudson River.
Designed by Diller Scofidio and Renfro, who have done an excellent job with the Lincoln Center redesign (two above), as well as being responsible for the biggest architectural success story of the past decade, the High Line, the Columbia Medical School building in Washington Heights will feature an exposed interior on one side, complete with “floating terraces in the sky”, so much so that it almost looks as if the building is falling apart.
In fact, so extreme is the deconstruction that when the The New York Times first ran the above images they called them “cutaway renderings.” Of course, even residents of Washington Heights who are NOT medical students will feel the change in this neck of the woods, as new shops and restaurants catering to the newcomers will undoubtedly not be far behind.
These are just a couple of the changes that are coming to the Upper West Side… and the “Upper-Upper” West Side.
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