Elusive Extell Refuses to Confirm Building Heights of One Manhattan Square, and Other Updates

Posted on: July 30th, 2015 at 4:58 am by
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Extell Development Corp. and project management firm LendLease visited the community last night to discuss the two sky-scraping towers it’s constructing along the Lower East Side waterfront. The developer has committed to holding quarterly meetings to update the neighborhood on the latest info, and potentially allay the rampant fears in the aftermath. Local politicians and their representatives were in the house.

Nevertheless, as you might imagine, the carpet-bagging suits weren’t completely forthcoming with plans. Before we dive into the drama, though, here is an excerpt of the updates relayed:

  • Project completion is on target for 2019.
  • Pile driving efforts are 95% complete, and will officially conclude in the next few months.
  • Foundation has “significantly progressed,” and should be done by year’s end.
  • Work on the superstructure begins thereafter.
  • Plaza sidewalks around the site are temporarily patched. It’ll be fixed like this until the project is complete, at which a full sidewalk replacement is planned … in 2019.
  • Cherry Street sinking is “normal” given all the activity. Patchwork will be ongoing until 2019 when the roadbed is fixed permanently.

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Extell brass talking it up

The main takeaway from the meeting, however, was that Extell brass refuses to confirm the final height of its flip-flopping market rate phallus. Even though paperwork filed with the Department of Buildings confirms 72 stories. Reps remained mum on the matter and employed Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer to speak on their behalf. When pushed, a lawyerly response followed – “this is a construction meeting, and we’re not here to address that tonight.” Yup, pretty much sums up Extell’s ego and non-caring nature. The enormous tower of Sauron – nearly three times the height of the Manhattan Bridge – will carry 1.1 million square-foot with 815 units and various over-the-top amenities.

Frustrations flared as building residents and neighbors fumed over legit concerns such as cracked walls and ceilings, doors that don’t close, stuck windows, dust, and mosquitos from standing water at the project site. Extell acknowledged the issues inside 82 Rutgers Street, and assured tenants that the building itself is structurally sound with seismographs placed throughout the area to monitor vibrations. They also promised to fix construction-related problems at their own expense. However, such relief won’t actually happen until at least the first quarter of 2016.

That’s at least six more months in a precarious position.

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Cracks inside a stairwell at 82 Rutgers St.

Other complaints voiced include decreased water pressure from Extell’s reliance on fire hydrants for water, after-hours work, the definition of “affordable” in the “Poor Door” building next door, and whether there will actually be an affordable supermarket onsite. With the exception of the latter (“committed to an affordable supermarket in one of the spaces”), all issues are “taken into consideration.”

The next community meeting with Extell will be in November.

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