Extell’s Riverside Center gets thumbs up from some neighbors

September 16, 2010 01:30PM

Extell’s Gary Barnett and his proposed Riverside Center

More than 150 Upper West Siders attended a hearing last night by the city Planning Commission to discuss Extell Development’s planned Riverside Center, DNAinfo reported. But after months of public criticism, several people expressed their approval for the project, a mixed-use complex of apartment high-rises and stores on an eight-acre piece of land spanning 59th to 61st street, and West End Avenue to Riverside Boulevard. Supporters said the new center would transform what is now a deserted stretch of the West Side — with a parking lot and abandoned rail yard — into a real neighborhood. The Planning Commission will vote on the project later this fall, followed by the City Council vote. Gary Barnett, president of Extell, defended the project, saying that it would add vibrancy to the area, but not everyone is satisfied. Community Board 7 and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer have asked Extell for more affordable housing, less density and a commitment to build a 150,000-square-foot school, which could add $35 million to the project’s cost. [DNAinfo]