McGowan recently completed the architectural addition of a new multi-level commercial and retail space, lobby and outdoor tenant amenity space at Leader House.
The 30-story residential property is located on Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side.
Originally developed in 1968, Leader House is owned by Starrett Development. The building’s original design included a large pedestrian plaza directly in front overlooking Columbus Avenue.
Starrett Development identified an 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 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 Avenue. 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 square feet of commercial space in the building’s cellar and sub-cellar. These new commercial and retail spaces provide ceiling heights ranging from 15-18 feet.
The new space has been well received by the nretail tenants. New leases are signed or in negotiation by destination retailers, special education schools, health clubs and restaurants.
In addition, the top floor of the new commercial structure contains over 9,500 s/fof roof decked open space, including a garden area with stone pavers, landscaping planters and a synthetic turf lawn for recreational use by tenants of the building.
The project’s significant structural modifications, managed by the McGowan 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 the removal of the existing floor slabs between the first 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 the 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. A new redundant boiler system, new cooling tower and new fire alarm system were 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.