Press Release


New York, NY (February 2012)—GF55 PARTNERS, an Architecture and Interior Design Firm based in New York City, is pleased to announce construction has commenced on Harlem River Point, a large mixed use mixed income housing complex. David E. Gross AIA and Shay Alster AIA of GF55 Partners are the Partners-in-Charge for Harlem River Point.

Harlem River Point is situated between the elevated Metro North rail line on the west and the Harlem River Drive on the east, the site is in a rugged area. The project is seen from the train, the highway and across the river from Queens.

David E. Gross says, “The site is both challenging and inspirational. Harlem River Point is a contextual response to the specific site and a significant beacon for New York City’s affordable housing program.”

The project was awarded in a competition from The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in the dark economic winter of 2008. When complete, Harlem River Point will consist of 313 units of affordable housing in three buildings, the ACS Early Childhood Center and retail space. The project contains 276,000 GSF and will be built to Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.

The design consists of two rectangular buildings that are closed on the west by a 6 story “green bridge” and open on the east. The buildings step taller towards the East River. A detailed and landscaped courtyard sits between the buildings. The buildings are bracketed by green sound buffers that address noise issues created by the highway and train. The green sound wall on the east is a series of interlocking arcs that hide the highway.

Within the confines of the inherently rectilinear structural system, shifting building masses create a community of buildings in scale with the surroundings. The architecture communicates on the pedestrian scale and urban scale simultaneously.

Shay Alster adds, “The buildings create a distinct recognizable form as a mini skyline when seen from a distance. Harlem River Point belongs to its site and to city as a whole.”

Over the past 25 years, GF55 Partners has completed multi-family large scale urban mixed use projects, individual apartment buildings and suburban developments in NY, New Jersey, Connecticut., Ohio, Tennessee and Alabama. GF55 is one of the most prominent architecture firms in Harlem completing over 2 million square feet in that area alone.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with the partners, please contact Glenna Gross.