March 30, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The city has selected an architecture firm to come up with a master plan for Sunnyside Yards, the first major step since it released a study last year that considered the feasibility of a large-scale development over the 180-acre area.
The Economic Development Corporation has selected PAU, a Park Avenue-based firm headed by notable architect Vishaan Chakrabarti, sources told Crain’s. Chakrabarti is behind the Domino Sugar Refinery project in Williamsburg and is also known for his work on Chelsea’s High Line.
PAU declined to comment on the appointment, and the EDC said it has not officially designated a team, Crain’s said.
EDC documents show the agency released a request for proposals for a Sunnyside Yards master plan in the fall of 2017, and expected to begin the one to two year master plan process in early 2018.
The master plan is expected to shape a long-term vision for a future overbuild of the site, which includes figuring out a zoning framework, the development’s phasing, and which components could be built out first, according to the EDC.
The feasibility study released last year says about 80 percent of the yards can be decked over, which allows for a variety of development scenarios to be built out. The study envisions three types of scenarios for the entire yard, which include residential, a live/work/play mix, or a destination type. All the concepts include thousands of residential units, schools, retail, and other mixed-use spaces.
Amtrak, which owns most of the Sunnyside Yards, approached the city in 2014 to discuss the possibility of a large-scale development above the yards in 2014. Mayor Bill de Blasio has publicly supported building over the yards, calling it a “tremendous opportunity” to bring housing and other amenities to the area.