On a prominent street corner in the Upper East Side, a property manager sought to reposition a ground floor space to attract new commercial and retail tenants. The project scope included a complete gut renovation and re-design of the 9,100 sq. ft. space, including the basement and entire retail storefront. EDG provided structural analysis, spatial studies, tenant-specific layouts, and full architectural and structural design services.
The existing building was extremely fortified, enclosing invaluable real estate and separating the interior from the street. EDG analyzed the load-bearing structures, discovering opportunities to reduce walls and open the floor up to the outside. Working within tight structural constraints, EDG enhanced customer experience by relocating stairs, introducing expansive windows, and optimizing floor layouts. The team supported the owner’s ongoing search for tenants, providing several renderings on quick turnaround, customized to individual commercial and retail prospects.
The re-imagined space at the intersection of Madison Avenue and East 80th Street draws pedestrians into an immersive environment that blends retail sales with a lifestyle embodying its products. With a distinct sensitivity to material design, brass and brown fiber cement finishes respond to the surrounding residential context. A new basement skylight and warm wood finishes create an airy, contemporary ambiance. Making the most of the existing configuration, the new commercial space breaks down barriers between interior and exterior, passerby and customer.
Construction Cost: $1.5 Million
The Briarwood Apartments property extends block-to-block and avenue-to-avenue, holding 280 units in two nearly identical buildings. The existing buildings were situated off-center on the lot, creating an awkward 60-ft. rear yard. Site challenges included complicated zoning issues, a sloping site, parking constraints, as well as the impact of an addition on the existing structure. After seeing our success on another project in Queens, the client retained us to do an investigation of the site’s development potential. Two other architects had previously assessed the property and determined they could only build a small, 30-unit building on the corner of the lot.
With every project, we know there is a puzzle to solve and that anything is possible. We carefully navigate the Zoning and Building Code, which is often misunderstood, and involve the Department of Buildings in our analysis to ensure compliance. For this project, we obtained three “pre-considerations” from the Department of Buildings to clarify zoning issues that could potentially affect the feasibility of the project later on.
Where other consultants saw only a large backyard and an unsightly view of the back of a building, EDG envisioned a completely new structure. With our expertise in the Zoning and Building Code, we designed a compliant addition that spanned over 600 feet in length. With two new building segments, our thorough investigation enabled the addition of 180 units to the property.
The EDG team initially performed a property analysis for this entire city block on 106th Street, from street-to-street and avenue-to-avenue, between Madison and Fifth Avenues. The goal of the project was to unlock the maximum value of the property by utilizing the maximum allowable floor area, repurposing existing space, and increase parking on the site. As a result, our work includes designing approximately 170,000 sq.ft. in total new floor area and renovating 48,000 sq.ft. as part of over 10 projects throughout the development site.
The owner previously retained two other consultants who determined only 20,000 sq.ft. of the remaining FAR could be used. We revisited the original zoning analysis performed on the existing site and found multiple locations available to construct approximately 170,000 sq.ft. of gross floor area. Our work also included navigating the Harlem-East Harlem Special Purpose District, as well as recent rezonings and the original zoning at construction. We looked at the site holistically, carefully examining the existing building's operations, while considering the seamless integration of the proposed buildings. We also considered structural considerations for all proposed work.
Our high-level understanding of zoning and building design experience gives us the advantage of having a complete picture of a development site. For this project, we navigated a large number of zoning and code considerations, including subdividing the site. We de-risked dozens of potential issues on an incredibly complex site to make the development possible. As a result of our initial work finding ways to capture the full underutilized FAR, we are currently designing the reprogramming of 48,000 sq.ft. of ground floor spaces, including: retail, commercial and community facility space; a 60-car parking garage expansion; additional commercial/community facility space; the consolidation of lobbies to recapture floor area; as well as the design of a new 19-story residential tower.
In the age of autonomous cars and algorithmic transportation, cities transform from gridlocked streets into a lush paradise. The Loop NYC city ushers in an era of dedicated thoroughfares for self-driving vehicles – “micro-highway loops” repurposed from major streets. With newfound pedestrian space, inhabitants & tourists alike enjoy 24 new miles of walkable area.
With streets re-purposed for the pedestrian, Loop NYC will introduce over 200 acres of parks. In this newfound abundance of interstitial territory, these inner-city peninsulas will allow individuals and communities to connect in novel ways. Loop NYC presents a vision of a city that strengthens communities and forges new relationships between them.
Loop NYC is a new framework for civic interaction, cultural enrichment, environmental resiliency, and equitable economic growth – fueled by the advent of autonomous vehicles.
The project was for the property assessment and site planning of four zoning lots with existing buildings on the waterfront in Long Island City, Queens. The subject property extends street-to-street, encompassing two corners, and is an Inclusionary Housing site. Massing and 3D renderings were prepared. We are currently in schematic design for the new building.
The size of the site gave us some flexibility, however the existing buildings on the site created constraints. We needed to be sure that our proposed lot merger didn’t create a new non-conformance with yards or distances between buildings. The property also had a portion of the site with a Landmarks designation, and although we were able to work the design around the boundaries, we worked with Landmarks to ensure compliance.
Ultimately, we determined that the site had approximately 200,000 sq. ft. available and usable, far greater than the owner’s original estimate of 60,000 sq. ft., provided by their previous architect. Yards and courts were carefully navigated to maximize the use of floor area on the site while providing maximum and minimum building dimensions that lend well to the future design of the apartments. The site is in a flood zone, so residential occupancy is not permitted at ground floor, and the site is not on a retail corridor, so we dug in deeper for ground floor use. We utilized the existing occupancy at the ground floor, looking to lower the use from existing manufacturing to public parking, which will be of great benefit with the new ferry opening nearby.
The Fire Island Pines Pavilion bar and nightclub is an icon of Fire Island Pines, one of New York's favorite summertime getaways since the 1950s. In 2011, a devastating fire destroyed the original Pavilion, and EDG was brought on to serve as the structural engineer for the new 8,000-sq.ft. structure. EDG worked alongside award-winning architectural designer HWKN who crafted a dramatic design to honor the legendary site.
It includes a terrace, outdoor bar and lounge, indoor bar, and dance floor with bleachers at each end, as well as a gym and three retail spaces. Although the venue regularly serves as a club and hosts parties at night, the space is also used for performances, as an art gallery, and even a wedding chapel in the daytime. To celebrate the Pines’ beloved beach culture, the design incorporates exposed-wood surfaces and structural materials throughout, creating the perfect beach backdrop for any event.
This Brooklyn project is a re-development of an existing three-story building with a commercial ground floor in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Working with a developer, the scope included a gut renovation and addition to transform the structure into an attractive co-living space. EDG provided zoning, financial models, help in fundraising through private equity, development analysis, planning, and full architectural and structural design for the 9,000 sq. ft. mixed-use building.
The objective was two-fold: create a “singular address” as a Brooklyn focal point and design a kit of parts adaptable for future developments. Given the building’s prominent corner location adjacent to McCarren Park, Bond and EDG aimed to refresh the outdated townhouse and maximize the buildable area. The team gutted existing spaces and added a fourth story, doubling the residential area. Leveraging in-house zoning and code expertise, EDG and Bond produced highly efficient floorplans, with a rentable area only 8% below gross area. The communal living units and amenities are economical and modular to support Bond’s long-term strategy.
The four-story revitalization features a diversity of social spaces, including a retail base with outdoor seating, interior courtyard, rooftop, and basement recreation area. The design opens the building to the neighborhood, playing to local elements while introducing a signature aesthetic. Paying homage to its eclectic and heterogenous orbit of an industrial warehouse legacy, Victorian fronts, and new residential projects, the building plays up this spirit with a dynamic façade with changes character from day to nighttime. Individual living spaces are elegant, comfortable retreats from the city. Carefully considering the desires of the target demographic, the color palette and material finishes evoke a cool sensibility balancing energy with calm. The innovative mixed-use development creates a community of shared value and sets a new standard for co-living.
For this Tribeca Penthouse project, we worked with award-winning architectural designer, Steve Blatz. We performed the structural design for the gut renovation of a 6,000-square-foot apartment and a 5,000-square-foot addition of vegetative green roof space and landscaped roof decks. We investigated the existing structure for the remediation of construction defects and managed legal work associated with the penthouse addition and structural support of the green roof and roof decks.
After finding evidence of issues with the existing construction, we performed probes to identify the defects. Had we waited to investigate the structure, like many consultants do, we would have needed to completely redesign the project during construction, halting work and increasing the budget. This project included extensive interior alterations, where structural work involved a new interior courtyard, interior column removals, and reinforcement of existing structural elements. The roof decks were required to be independently supported so that loading was not transferred to the cast iron frame.
All of the construction defects were handled without having to demolish any of the existing structure, which saved hundreds of thousands of dollars. All new work was carefully designed so the existing cast iron framing was not used as structural support, and apartments below were not affected. The contractor for the project was impressed by EDG’s communication with them, as well as our focus on constructability, and has since recommended us on several projects.
The Victoria’s Secret retail store in Herald Square recently expanded their ground floor space by 30,000 sq. ft., taking over the entire basement and cellar floor as well as the fourth and fifth floors of the building. As part of the alteration, we designed the renovation to the existing floors, portions of the sidewalk vault space, and the fourth and fifth floors for conversion to storage, requiring a floor load increase. The project also included a sky bridge in the building’s courtyard on the fourth and fifth floors, which required façade alterations.
Prior to EDG’s involvement, another firm designed a repair to the 100-year-old basement for a new retail space. After reviewing the report and plans, we conducted our own assessment, performing probes and a historical review of the structure, to determine the Building Code construction requirements when the building was constructed in 1909. Prior to even probing the structure, we determined that it had significant additional capacity based on its original design.
Probes confirmed our expectations; the basement was constructed of very heavy steel and exhibited minimal deterioration. Savings over the original estimates were about 1 million dollars and the work was completed in a fraction of the time, so the store could open earlier than anticipated. Our assessment of the existing construction conditions also allowed for a larger sky bridge for the same cost. This project reflects our commitment to ensuring our clients always receive the most value for their money.