Architect A-Listers Release Glitzy Designs For Upper West Side Waterfront Development

Rock star architects turn gleam team for three new buildings dubbed Waterline Square.

By Jeff Vasishta November 21, 2016

To put this in perspective, the starchitects involved in the Upper West Side’s new waterfront development is the equivalent of three Hollywood A-Listers (Pitt, Gosling and Franco?) in the same movie. That’s the kind of punch that Richard Meier, Rafael Viñoly and KPF generate. The dream team have turned gleam team for three high-rises that do the shimmy shimmy shake in cutting edge glassy designs on a five-acre site between West 59th and 61st Streets.

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Dubbed Waterline Square, the new development will be a part of Riverside Center. In addition to the condos and rentals, there is a Mathews Nielson-designed park—complete with tree-lined fountains and a grassy strip. The development continues the re-imagining of Manhattan’s far west side, which for many years had been something of a dimly lit industrial wasteland. The development of Pier 57 at 15th St, which will include new Google offices and TV presenter/chef Anthony Bourdain’s Asian style night market, is continued to the new condo buildings around 29th St/ High Line and up into the gargantuan Hudson Yards and now beyond.

Riverside South, the site of the New York Central Railroad’s from freight yard, is a 57-acre chunk of  land between 59th and 72nd Streets. Included is the 16-tower Trump Place complex (from where the Trump named logo was taken down this week), as well as Riverside Center. Boston-based General Investment and Development Companies (GID) are footing the bill for the Waterline Square project. KPF had already been on board when GID purchased the parcel and their (KPF’s) project will, according to, be known as Two Waterline Square. It will stand at 61st facing the Hudson River. Richard Meier’s One Waterline Square will be at 59th Street and Raphael Viñoly’s Three Waterline Square will sit at the intersection of West 59th  Street and Freedom Place South. All the buildings will be a mix of rentals (at the bottom) and co-ops (on top) with one to five bedroom units available in each, with according to the promotional material, “100,000 square feet of sports, leisure and lifestyle amenities.” The site doesn’t offer sales numbers but one thing’s for sure—it won’t be cheap.

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Manhattan housing is at a premium because of the jobs being added to the island. More than half of the city’s Fortune 500 companies are relocating below 42nd Street, which, according to the Hudson Yards promotional site, is adding jobs faster than Silicon Valley. Bar the leaking toilets reported the Post in March, most of the press has been generally positive. Related Urban CEO and president Kenneth Himmel, who’s masterminding the 1-million-square-foot retail and restaurant portion of the complex, told the NY Post:

“Manhattan’s West Side is the most underserved retail market in the US.”

He added to the New York Times, “The building that invites you in and tells the story of what you’re doing in the whole project is the retail. It gets you up inside the whole project. It’s the public accessibility side of this that’s so exciting because we really get to showcase what we’re doing.”

And we can’t wait to see it.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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