NEW YORK CITY, NY — Mc Gowan recently completed the striking architectural addition of a new expansive multi-level commercial and retail space, new building lobby and outdoor tenant amenity space at Leader House, an existing 30 story residential property on Columbus Ave. in NYC’s Upper West Side residential neighborhood, between West 92nd & 93rd Streets.
Originally developed in 1968, Leader House is today owned by Starrett Development. The building’s original design included a large pedestrian plaza directly in front overlooking Columbus Ave. Starrett Development identified an exciting opportunity to create a new commercial and retail space, including a new building lobby, by recapturing the plaza sidewalk space and replacing it with a with a newly designed, more expansive and vibrant commercial, retail structure providing both the public and the building’s tenants with exciting new retail stores and tenant amenity space. Leader House’s project design team included WASA Architects & Engineers, working in concert with De Simone Structural Engineers, to design the new building lobby and the multi-level commercial and retail structure at the base of the building along Columbus Ave. Mc Gowan was selected by Starrett Development to organize and perform the project’s complex construction.
Leader House contains 280 residential units on its 30 floors covering over 200,000 s/f. Starett Development’s newly created commercial and retail space adds over 32,000 s/f of first floor retail space in addition to over 17,000 s/f of commercial space in the building’s cellar and sub-cellar. These new commercial and retails spaces provide ceiling heights ranging from 15-18 feet in height. This new space has been well received by the neighborhood’s retail tenants. New leases are signed and/or in negotiation by exciting destination retailers, special education schools, health clubs and restaurants.
In addition, the top floor of the new commercial structure contains an oasis of over 9,500 s/f of roof decked open space, including a garden area with stone pavers, landscaping planters and synthetic turf lawn for recreational use by tenants of the building.
The Leader House project is a noteworthy example of how some building owners today are making significant architectural changes to their building’s to create more vibrant commercial, retail and tenant spaces. The project’s significant structural modifications managed by the Mc Gowan project team included extensive demolition of the original building lobby and the shallow retail space along the Columbus Avenue side of the building. The project scope called for removal of the existing floor slabs between the 1st floor, cellar and sub-cellar levels, and excavating 30 feet deep into rock and soil to expand the building’s basement footprint. This major demolition work required installing 25 tons of steel for the temporary shoring to support the 45 year old structure and included installation of 30 steel whalers and wood lagging for the new excavation, waterproofing at the structural connections to the old foundations and reinvigorating the subsurface drainage with additional ejector pumps. The project called for installation of new meter rooms for electric and gas service, including altering the building’s oil burner equipment to accept gas, as well. A new redundant boiler system, new cooling tower and new Fire Alarm system was installed to service the new commercial and retail spaces. In addition, four new hydraulic elevators and two escalators were installed to serve the newly created commercial and retail spaces. The building’s underground parking garage now accommodates 127 vehicles.