BY: NIKOLAI FEDAK ON JULY 29TH 2014 AT 7:00 AM
TEN Arquitectos has had several recent projects make headlines, but one that’s been out of the spotlight is 1393 York Avenue, at the northwest corner of 74th Street and York, on the Upper East Side. The site is currently home to the Church of the Epiphany, and plans for redevelopment were actually filed and disapproved back in 2008.
The old permits show a total scope of just over 120,000 square feet; the tower would have risen 29 stories and 340 feet tall, with 51 units in total. While filings do not break out the development’s various components, the Church of the Epiphany would have remained on site, occupying the base of the new scheme.
Though the initial opportunity may have faded with the crash of 2008, 1393 York Avenue remains a prime candidate for redevelopment, as the church has extensive air rights; the site is also located near the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway, and once it opens, transit access will greatly improve.
Potential at 1393 York Avenue is obvious, and TEN Arquitectos’ plans were attractive; per the firm’s own description, the “design proposes the creation of a new series of exterior spaces,” which would have opened up a formerly hidden courtyard while also connecting the site’s “disparate” built elements, dominated by the glassy condominium tower.
The development’s impression on the streetscape would have also been positive, and improving access to the formerly hidden church courtyard would have been a major plus.
Ghosts of the 2008 crash have persisted across New York City, but many stalled projects are now moving forward, and as the opening day of the Second Avenue Subway approaches, pressure on sites like 1393 York will increase. At this point, TEN Arquitectos’ plan will probably not materialize, but with prospects for the neighborhood looking increasingly bright, redevelopment of the Church of the Epiphany seems like an eventuality — and soon, something will surely replace the existing structure.