Community board demands modifications to Extell’s Riverside Center plan

Extell’s Gary Barnett and a rendering of the Riverside Center

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Community Board 7 voted 36 to 2 last night to disapprove Extell’s plans for an eight-acre Riverside Center project, unless the developer agrees to build according to some “modifications,” the Observer reported. The plan for the new development — to span 59th to 61st streets, and West End Avenue to the edge of the West Side Highway — includes five skyscrapers, at least 2,500 apartments, 210,000 square feet of retail, a hotel, a movie theater, an underground automobile service center, a new K-8 school and three acres of open space. The board is now seeking stronger commitments toward school spacing and affordable housing, plus a design that excludes an entire building from Extell’s plan. The community board’s decision is just the first step in a lengthy public review for the project. The mixed-use development is now working its way through the city’s rezoning process that began in May, and — after several local public hearings — it will now head to the City Planning Commission and the City Council for further scrutiny. [NYO]