Queens Plaza Towers Rising and Renewing A Neighborhood
With a long rich heritage that is documented back to the early 1900s, the area known as Long Island City has a new neighborhood called Queens Plaza. This area is sprouting a small metropolis worth of skyscrapers, ushering in thousands of new residents, hundreds of hotel rooms, and a few hundred thousand square feet of office space. Once the site of the 18th-century village called Dutch Kills, Queens Plaza straddles the western end of Queens Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens, between 21st Street and Jackson Avenue and is surrounded by elevated subway tracks and the Queensboro Bridge.
With the neighborhood’s quick access to Midtown and now the up and coming Hudson Yards development, it’s no mystery why the plaza is turning into Manhattan’s newest bedroom community. Of more than 30 new projects underway in the district, the newest residents will get to call a trio of buildings their home when completed in 2018. Owned by Tishman Speyer, the large scale glass-wall structures will sport over 1,800 new luxury apartments.
The project has actually been on the books since way back in the last days of the Giuliani Administration, when FXFOWLE Architects designed a 4.2 million-square-foot development called “Midtown East Queens.” The $1.4 billion scheme, which would’ve been a trio of crystalline-shaped towers, fell through after September 11th. However, in 2004, The New York City Economic Development Corporation signed a deal with Tishman Speyer for a 99-year lease on the city-owned property that stipulated that Tishman would have to start building no later than 2015.
With the notice to proceed, the final design was conceived by AJLP Consulting, the architecture team of Goldstein, Hill and West, and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects for the project to have three different construction companies build each tower simultaneously – Turner Construction (Building A), Hudson Meridian (Building B1), and Triton Construction (Building B2).
For the intricate and sophisticated glass design, W&W Glass was selected to supply curtain walls for all three buildings. W&W Glass was chosen due to their vast experience with extremely tall glass-dominated towers. These towers are higher than average, with Building A rising up 48 stories while Building B1 and B2 tower up 57 and 47 stories each.
The professionals at W&W Glass chose Sotawall® Hybrid-Wall®, a high performance unitized curtain wall system that is specially designed for hi-rise residential buildings. Viracon insulated glass was chosen for their high quality fabricated glass products and their capability to supply the large volume of glass required within the tight schedule. The structurally-glazed system was comprised of floor to ceiling glass with spandrel glass and zero-siteline operable vents integrated in. Most vision glass panels were typically 5′ wide by 10′ tall, with overall glass for the project totaling up to more than 700,000 square feet. The glass towers were designed as a group to have a unique pixelated appearance from a distance with alternating vertical bands of dark and light glazing. This gives the development a cohesive signature appearance.
Aside from the new apartments, the $875 million trio will contain roughly 3,000 square feet of retail space and a 2.5-acre central park. The new buildings are directly adjacent to two new towers that are earmarked for commercial space as WeWork and Macys have committed to locating there. Tishman was prepared to build the complex on spec, but ended up pre-leasing nearly half of the $700 million development, or more than 800,000 square feet–250,000 to WeWork Cos. and 550,000 to Macy’s Inc. Looks like there is much more to come in this bustling neighborhood.
To learn more on the progress of these buildings, click here.
W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.