Volume 75, Number 28 | Nov. 30 - Dec. 06, 2005

PROGRESS REPORT
A special Villager supplement

Arquitectonica

Top, a rendering of the second building AvalonBay Communities is developing on E. Houston St. at the Bowery in the Cooper Square Urban Renewal Area. (The view is of the south side of First St. at the Bowery looking southeast.) Currently under construction on the north side of E. Houston St., this building will be nine stories and feature 206 apartments. The first residents are expected to move in by the end of 2006. Below, Avalon Chrystie Place on the south side of E. Houston St. opened in June of this year and features 361 rental apartments. It is almost completely rented.

YMCA and center, Whole Foods and housing on Houston

In June 2005 AvalonBay Communities opened the first of its luxury rental apartments in the Cooper Square development, realizing the city’s long-term vision for the redevelopment of the location on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. First designated by the city for redevelopment in the 1970s, the location on the south side of E. Houston and Chrystie Sts. had been a vacant lot for nearly 50 years.

In 2000 the city selected AvalonBay Communities in partnership with The Phipps Houses Group to develop the location. The plan calls for a total of four buildings with 712 rental apartments, 25 percent of which are reserved by the city for affordable, below-market-rate-rent apartments.

Construction began on the first building, Avalon Chrystie Place, in December 2003 and the first residents moved in in June of this year. Avalon Chrystie Place features 361 apartments, including studios and one- and two-bedrooms. The apartments’ features include gourmet kitchens with custom cabinetry, hardwood parquet flooring, programmable individual air conditioning and heating controls, cable TV/modem hookup in multiple locations and — in many apartments — a washer and dryer. There is 24-hour doorman service, a fully equipped fitness center with Cardio Theatre ™, a residents’ lounge and a sun deck with sweeping city views.

Avalon Chrystie Place also includes a community center — built by AvalonBay — which includes a competition-size pool. The neighborhood community center, operated in a partnership between University Settlement and the Chinatown Y, is located on the Bowery and will open in early 2006. Also in 2006 Whole Foods Markets will be opening one of their largest retail stores in the country in the first and second floors of Avalon Chrystie Place.

While Avalon Chrystie Place is now nearly completely rented, AvalonBay has begun construction on its second rental apartment building — on the Bowery and the north side of E. Houston St. A nine-story building, it will feature 206 rental apartments, a lounge, roof terrace and fitness center for residents, along with 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The first residents are expected to move into this building by the end of 2006.

AvalonBay is also currently in the design and development phase for a third building, which will be located on Second Ave. and the north side of E. First St. While designs are still being completed, it is anticipated that this building will be seven stories and offer approximately 100 rental apartments. AvalonBay expects to complete the development by early 2008.

An important part of the entire Cooper Square project is the affordable apartments. Each of the three AvalonBay buildings includes affordable apartments. The Phipps Houses, a nonprofit housing developer, under the supervision of the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the State Housing Finance Agency, is managing the program for the affordable apartments. In addition, Phipps Houses is constructing a fourth building located on the Bowery at E. First St., which will offer 42 affordable apartments and ground-floor retail space. Phipps Houses is estimating completion for the spring of 2006.

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