Cover Story: Riverside South Greeting a New West Side Presence

Looking for a luxury condo with breathtaking views of the Hudson River? Want to buy a home loaded with amenities that's within walking distance of Lincoln Center and other Upper West Side hot spots? You're in luck. In October, the 15th floor sales office of 200 Riverside Boulevard, the first condo in Donald Trump's ambitious new Riverside South development, opened its doors. Finishing touches are now being put on the 46-story, 377-unit building located between 69th and 70th Streets, and a March occupancy is estimated by The Marketing Directors, Inc., the exclusive marketing and sales agent for the luxury property.

One of 16 buildings planned for the Riverside South site—which is slated for completion by the year 2009—200 Riverside Boulevard should have no problem delivering the pampered lifestyle it promises. Amenities are also enviable at 180 Riverside Boulevard, a 516-unit rental next door that has been occupied since August. But, if you decide to make Riverside South your new home, don't be surprised if not everyone in the neighborhood puts out the welcome mat for you. It's been a decade since Trump first announced his plans to develop the unsightly Penn Central rail yard, but some area opponents still haven't gotten used to the idea. The loss of river views (the condo is 46 stories and the rental is 40) and overcrowding are two reasons some Upper West Siders wish Trump had picked another spot to build the largest development ever approved by city planning

Not a Speedy Process

"For 50 years people have been trying to build on this spectacular site," says Trump. "Now, for the first time, the most incredible of all developments is taking shape." Upon completion of all its buildings, Riverside South will comprise 5,600 units of housing as well as commercial space and a 30-acre waterfront park. The site stretches from 59th Street to 72nd Street and from West End Avenue to the Hudson River. The two buildings that have been erected are part of Phase I. Trump plans to begin the next two buildings in 1999, with two more to follow in 2,000. The next 14 buildings to be erected will range in height from 15 to 40 stories and will maximize views of the park. The Riverside South development is expected to create approximately 20,000 construction and permanent jobs and infuse more than $4 billion into the city's economy.

According to Richard A. Kahan, chairman of the Riverside South Planning Corporation, Riverside South grew out of an effort by local community groups and citywide civic organizations in the late 1980s to stop Donald Trump from building his original development, Trump City. "Six of those groups—the Regional Plan Association, the Municipal Art Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Parks Council, the Riverside Park Fund and Westpride—did more than just express opposition," explains Kahan. "They offered an alternative plan that reduced Trump City's density while creating a new public park and much-needed affordable housing. Then, after a series of unprecedented negotiating sessions with his opponents, Mr. Trump accepted their alternative plan and joined to create the Riverside South Planning Corporation, a not-for-profit entity."

In 1992, armed with the support of these same six civic groups, Trump's pared-down proposal went through the Uniform Land Use Review Process, a grueling series of community hearings and city approvals, to have the zoning changed from manufacturing to residential/commercial. In 1995, Trump formed a partnership called Hudson Waterfront Associates with five Hong Kong-based companies including New World Development, The Shui On Group, Glorious Sun Holdings, the Edward Wong Group and the Far East consortium. Today, Hudson Waterfront Associates is the owner of the Riverside South development, and the project is being managed by Trump/New World Project Management.

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3 Comments

  • These so called "luxury" condos should be converted to affordable housing as they sit there 60-70% empty for at least three years since they opened. The only people are buying are foreigners who only live here a few weeks out of the year. They don't use any services on the street level and just use up and waste space. New York is done for if there is no housing for those making under $40k a year and as the unique businesses leave or can't afford the commercial rents... How much does a NYC cop start with $28,000 a year?
  • SassyLou: New York would be "done for" if it were overtaken by "those making under $40k a year". Get an education to develop a profession that someone would be willing to pay you more than 40k a year then buy yourself something nice. Don't envy those who can afford better than you can. They worked hard for it and still do.
  • That's telling her Jon. People like Sassy Lou have no idea what it costs to construct these "Affordable Housing Buildings". And WHO pays the rent Sassy? If the building costs $400 a sq ft to build and a person can only afford $800 a month...who pays the cost of running the building? YOU DO that's who. So as Jon suggests...go get some education and information and THEN make statements. And remember that most of the affordable builders in town are scam artists (Remember Atlantic Development????????)