“When they first started building here, no one believed in it,” said Gilad Azaria, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate who has lived for 12 years on Riverside Boulevard, the neighborhood’s main drag, and who frequently sells in the area.
Waterline Square, which broke ground in 2015 and will open to residents in 2018, “will make the area more of a neighborhood,” said Mr. Azaria, who isn’t involved with the project.
Stylistically, the $2.3 billion project is a departure from the past. Its towers are angular and glassy, unlike the boxier brick-and-stone versions in the area whose names through the decades have included Lincoln West and Riverside South.
A partnership that included Mr. Trump developed most of those earlier buildings, and even though that group is no longer the landlord, Mr. Trump’s name still appears on facades there.
At Waterline, three major firms designed the exteriors of the towers, Richard Meier and Partners Architects, Rafael Viñoly Architects and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; each firm was responsible for a different address. But a detailed master plan imposed by the city in 2010 largely determined the buildings’ crystalline shapes, according to GID.
Still, GID officials seem grateful that their product will stand out on a somewhat homogeneous strip. “We wanted to break the mold of what came before,” said James Linsley, the president of GID, which also owns the nearby Aldyn, a rental and condo complex, and the Ashley, a rental tower.
Mr. Viñoly went even further, describing the first buildings in the area as “the blandest thing in the world.” But, with the final piece falling into place, he said, “it’s certainly…