Imagine if this 96-Story ‘RiverArch’ on the LES Stained the Skyline

Posted on: December 10th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

Given the gold rush mentality on the Lower East Side waterfront, it’s not surprising to see another bunkers development proposed. A so-called RiverArch all-purpose development to span the East River just north of the Manhattan Bridge.

Conceived by Scott Baker, the futuristic plan is part bridge-part apartment building. The 96-story RiverArch would house thousands of apartments, a school, parks, movie theater, and mental health/wellness clinics. Not to mention, another crossing option for commuters.

Below is more from the literature:

  • 7,630 apartments from studios to 9-bedrooms, and ranging in affordability from 8-figure Condominiums down to 30% of Area Medium Income Rentals.
  • 300,000 square-feet of new Public Areas.
  • A Major Bi-Borough public elevator transport system capable of moving 5 million passengers per year;
  • Public and Private gyms totaling 450,000 square-feet featuring: 12 11-story climbing walls; 1/2-mile running track; 2 Olympic-length glass bottom pools; and a Zip line;
  • 956,000 square-feet of commercial space;
  • A 900-seat High School;
  • 85,000 square-foot Event Space;
  • 132-seat movie theater;
  • A 350-seat restaurant with unparalleled NYC views on the 87th floor;
  • 350 indoor parking spots with indoor pickup/drop-off; parking spots for 1,344 bicycles;
  • Direct-to-barge garbage delivery, to reduce garbage truck traffic up to 90%

Baker has been advertising the over-the-top RiverArch concept with a “fly-through” video since last February, and is trying to net grassroots support. As well as investors. So, at the moment, RiverArch is largely a design on paper. A pipe dream.

This design comes at a particular time of greater real estate scrutiny in the Two Bridges neighborhood. Three proposed supertall developments are on deck for the waterfront, despite heavy local opposition. Those towers must now go through the city’s public review process, as determined by a State Supreme Court judge in August regarding City Council’s lawsuit against the city.

It’s seemingly a long way off, but then again, no one ever thought a gargantuan tower would rise atop Pathmark and eclipse the entire skyline.

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