A SALUTE TO UNION SQUARE: Condos, Tech Hub, hospital to transform area

With several important residential, retail and healthcare projects well underway, not to mention plans for a cutting-edge tech center and digital training hub, the Union Square-14th St. district is undergoing a major transformation that will add to its proud reputation as one of Manhattan’s most dynamic districts.

“All this activity on virtually every corner of Union Square-14th St. reflects the diversity and attraction of our community to a wide range of stakeholders and newcomers alike,” said Jennifer E. Falk, executive director of the Union Square Partnership. “Existing businesses and organizations are looking to expand, residential real estate developers see potential, and new businesses want to tap into the area’s vibrancy.”

Union Square’s energy and central location appeal to both the tech sector and residential developers. Union Square East is home to major Mount Sinai health facilities, and a mini Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital is coming to E. 13th St. (Courtesy Union Square Partnership)

Perhaps nowhere is change more evident than at the intersection of 14th St. and Sixth Ave. Two major residential projects with street-level retail are being built just steps from the PATH train and 14th St. subway stations. At the northwest corner, at 101 W. 14th St., excavation work has begun for a 13-floor, 45-unit condo building led by developer Gemini Rosemont. With a facade of glass boxes, plans for the building, designed by ODA New York, call for 21 duplexes and two retail spaces with a combined 5,830 square feet.

Directly across Sixth Ave. at the northeast corner of 14th St., Landsea Homes, with partner DNA Development, is leading a 82,695-square-foot project at 530-540 Sixth Ave., which will include retail and 50 residential units, enclosing 57,161 square feet of residential space.

There’s work coming underground, too. The M.T.A. is planning to upgrade the subway station at this intersection with a handicap-accessible elevator.

These investments, coupled with mixed-use developments on 14th St. nearing completion on the district’s east side, will bring streetscape improvements and new ground-floor retail options to the entire community, including the neighborhood’s second Trader Joe’s, at 14th St. and Avenue A.

The Union Square area remains a destination for retail, with the likes of Paragon Sporting Goods. (Courtesy Union Square Partnership)

The Union Square Tech Training Center, coming to 124 E. 14th St. at Irving Place, promises to put the Union Square neighborhood in the international spotlight as New York City burnishes its reputation as a worthy rival to technology hubs in other cities and states. The city-funded project, now moving through the government-approval process, is expected to generate 600 well-paying jobs and to create what the New York City Economic Development Corporation calls a “multilevel ecosystem for diversifying talent and growing the next generation of companies and industries.” E.D.C. is developing the project with developer RAL Development Service.

The glass-fronted building, with 240,000 square feet of space, will house a workforce development center operated by the nonprofit Civic Hall that will span three floors and serve tens of thousands of New Yorkers a year, and pave the way for future tech entrepreneurs and leaders.

“As a central transportation hub for all New Yorkers, the center of New York City’s ever-growing technology ecosystem, and the historical heart of local and national labor movements, Union Square is the ideal location to create a new tech training center dedicated to making sure all New Yorkers can participate in the 21st-century economy,” said Andrew Rasiej, founder and C.E.O. of Civic Hall. “The new Civic Hall at Union Square is being developed to both help the underserved get the job training they need and also ensure that the technology industry itself becomes more diverse, inclusive, and supportive of the public interest.”

Digital skills training will be offered to the public, as well, at daily and weekly public events, including book talks and hackathons. The building will also feature step-up, affordable office space for growing companies that have graduated from Civic Hall, incubators or co-working spaces. In addition, the center will offer modern, market-rate space to attract established, industry-leading corporations to the ecosystem, according to E.D.C.

As plans for the modern glass-fronted tech center take shape, one of Union Square’s historic buildings, the iconic Tammany Hall, at 44 Union Square East, is in the midst of a total makeover. The structure’s interior is being transformed into office and retail space by New York-basedArchitecture firm BKSK. A glass-and-steel dome – evoking a tortoise shell — will provide a modern contrast to the landmarked edifice, famed as the headquarters of the city’s Democratic political machine of the late 19th century.

According to BKSK Partner Todd Poisson, “The dome calls attention to the hidden narrative of Tammany Hall’s origin.”

Moving on to the core of the district, Union Square’s robust healthcare services are getting even stronger. Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s new 70-bed mini hospital on Second Ave. between 13th and 14th Sts., slated to open in 2022, will include a state-of-the-art emergency department. Neighboring New York Eye and Ear Infirmary will stay open during the work, and is getting its own upgrades.

Meanwhile, Mount Sinai-Union Square, at 10 Union Square East, a healthcare anchor in the district, has added an urgent-care center open to the public 365 days a year.

“As Union Square continues to grow and evolve as one of the city’s leading cultural and business centers, we at Mount Sinai are working hard to transform Mount Sinai Union Square into one of the city’s leading healthcare centers, as well,” said Jeremy Boal, president of Mount Sinai Downtown and executive vice president and chief compliance officer of Mount Sinai Health System. “In addition to our new state-of-the-art urgent-care center, our newly renovated facility will provide one-stop access to specialty and primary-care doctors, diagnostics, labs and pharmacy services.

“Our goal is to create a destination for excellence in healthcare and wellness that works seamlessly with our larger Downtown network,” Boal added. “The future of healthcare is in Lower Manhattan and we couldn’t be more excited to offer these essential services to the entire Union Square community.”

One Response to A SALUTE TO UNION SQUARE: Condos, Tech Hub, hospital to transform area

  1. Albert & Mary Dantonio-Heitzer

    Disgusting this onslaught of housing for the rich.

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