Developers No-Show At Tenant Meeting

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:15

Residents of 315 West 61st Street hoped to meet with Riverside Center developers but were left hanging Upper West Side A tenants association at 315 West 61st Street was snubbed by developers working on the massive Riverside Center project .

Despite being invited, the developers declined to show up to a meeting called by the association seeking an update on construction progress.

"This is a curious decline by Tishman's public relations department," said Dan Kassell, the tenants association treasurer. "As they have continued to decline since the first invite in April 2013, again to our fall 2013 meeting, and recently, I surmise that no contact with their neighbors is their modus operandi."

The building has 119 residents and is operated by the Met Council. It sits directly across the street from where Tishman Construction and the Dermot Company are constructing five residential buildings and a school along the Hudson River. In total, the project is estimated to include 2,500 apartments and will take five years to build.

Residents of 315 West 61st Street and others in the neighborhood are concerned about the impact that a such a massive amount of new residents will have on the surrounding area, including on the transportation infrastructure. Representatives from the construction companies were invited to the tenants association meeting to provide an update the construction progress and field questions from residents.

In an email that Kassell turned over to the Spirit, in which Tishman declined his invitation, a representative of Tishman wrote, "the Dermot Company is Tishman Construction's client at the 21 West End Avenue [Riverside Center] project. At Dermot's direction, representatives from Tishman will not be present at the meeting. For future requests, please reach out to Dermot directly."

Representatives from Dermot also declined to attend the meeting.

"I would encourage you to speak to your own ownership/management agent about any future updates," a Dermot representative told Kassell in an email.

Kassell criticized both companies for failing to engage with existing residents that are impacted by the work at Riverside Center.

"Riverside Center is a five year ongoing construction project that requires a friendly relationship with contiguous neighbors," said Kassell. "This is not acceptable to Met Council residents and our tenants association."

A representative of Tishman referred the Spirit's inquiry to Dermot, who did not return a request for comment.