Construction Update: 855 Sixth Avenue

855 Sixth Avenue

Full renderings may be lacking, but construction at 855 Sixth Avenue has begun in earnest, where the Durst Organization is erecting a 41-story mixed-use tower (with the help of some foreign EB-5 investors looking for a slice of the American dream), as YIMBY previously reported.

The tower will be predominately residential, with 375 luxury apartments (20 percent of which will be rented at below-market rates), but will also include a sizable office component and 57,000 square feet of retail space.

855 Sixth Avenue

855 Sixth Avenue

Because the large development site bleeds into the industrial M1-6 zone between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, the developer cannot build the entire site to its highest and best use – luxury residential – and will therefore be including a substantial 127,000 square feet of office space on the second through sixth floors (to put that in perspective, that’s not that much smaller than the Jeanne Gang-designed all-office “Solar Carve” tower going up on the High Line).

While the office space won’t be as profitable as luxury apartments – and office space hasn’t been more profitable than residential space anywhere in the five boroughs for longer than we’ve been around – Durst will likely have no problem finding tenants. Unlike the towers going up at the World Trade Center and on the Far West Side, 855 Sixth sits squarely within the Midtown South subdistrict, where tech and creative companies are eager to lease space.

855 Sixth Avenue

855 Sixth Avenue

The tower should add some heft to an area that’s been crying out for height to accompany the once-lonely Empire State Building. And the partial renderings that have been released show a clean façade designed by Cook + Fox (SLCE is the architect of record), mercifully bereft of the PTAC heating and cooling units that normally pockmark rental buildings in New York City, but which are unheard of in office towers.

855 Sixth Avenue

855 Sixth Avenue

Per on-site signage, completion of 855 Sixth Avenue is expected in April of 2016.

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Posted in 855 6th Avenue | Architecture | Construction Update | Cook + Fox Architects | Durst | Midtown | New York | Office | Residential | SLCE

Interview with the Architect: John Cetra

Walker Tower

YIMBY sat down with John Cetra — of husband and wife duo CetraRuddy – to discuss the pair’s recent work in New York City, which is verging on prolific. In addition to the record-setting conversion of Walker Tower, the firm’s current projects include Stella, 12 East 13th Street, 135 East 52nd Street, and a ground-up development at Greenpoint’s 77 Commercial Street. Even with their stellar roster, the most iconic may be yet to come, with the Roseland Tower set to transform the Midtown West skyline, and an as-yet-unannounced skyscraper that will become the tallest building on the Upper East Side, breaking the 1,000′ mark.

YIMBY in bold.

Between Walker and Stella, which project has been more challenging?

What we’re going to do at Stella – we’re recreating the head-dress, which is what the original stone crown resembled. And that’s really interesting because we’re literally going to replicate what was taken down.

Walker Tower is a little different because there was a lot of re-interpretation, since we actually added to the original structure — it was a bit more of a challenge, and it was also the first of the two we worked on. The original architect planned a very ornate structure.

Walker Tower

Walker Tower, northern penthouse view

What’s your favorite thing about the interiors at Walker Tower?

I love the layouts. Wherever you are, you’ve got these views: North, South, East, and West. And fireplaces. Michael really wanted fireplaces — real ones. So we got them to work.

It’s also an amazing opportunity for residential conversion because nothing else can go up nearby; it’s zoned R8, but new buildings in the neighborhood have a height limit of 120 feet. The views are forever. Stella is actually somewhat similar in that regard, as the surrounds there are also restricted.

The thing about Walker Tower is that it’s totally different from every other project I’ve seen, with all the love and care that went into it, all the hardware and stone — literally everything. But Michael wanted the best — we did the opposite of value-engineering. He never said “Oh, we can’t afford that,” — instead, it was “What else can we do to this to make this apartment even more amazing?”

And that’s why it’s the most expensive building in Lower Manhattan!

Yes. And that’s why you get the most amazing apartments, too.

12 East 13th Street

12 East 13th Street — image by CetraRuddy

 

How about 12 East 13th Street? That’s a little more boutique.

Yes — it’s only eight apartments. All of them — except for one — are either duplexes or triplexes. It used to be a parking garage; we are re-inventing its form, and shifting air rights from the back of the lot to the top of the old garage, which will add four stories. The triplexes have amazing staircases, and the upper units will have fantastic views to the north. The building is 75 feet wide, and when you walk into the space, the living and dining rooms take up the entire width. The smallest apartment is 2,700 square feet.

Any details on your Greenpoint project, at 77 Commercial Street? 

Well, we had to go through ULURP. I think we came up with something that really worked well; we had to be very conscious of the development’s relation to the streetscape. It’s a very long building, spanning over 400 feet. The base rises eight stories, and the two towers run 30+ floors above that.

Why not something tall and iconic?

Because of the zoning along the Brooklyn waterfront, which limits the height to around 400 feet. Not that height is necessary for a building to be iconic.

242 West 53rd Street

242 West 53rd Street — image by CetraRuddy

Are you allowed to talk about the Roseland Tower?

It’s going to be about 60 stories, and I think it’s going to be a really beautiful building. The exterior curtain wall is going to be very unique, and it’s going to have some really amazing features. The building changes form as it goes up. It’s going to be dynamic.

Do height constraints bother you?

When you talk about things like contextual zoning, I hate the fact that I can only go up to X height, and not even a little bit more; there’s no flexibility. All of these controls and limitations were set before inclusionary zoning existed, so now you can add 20% more floor area to a building, but the allowed envelope is the same. You’re squeezing more square footage into the same volume, which is how you end up with nine foot ceilings.

CetraRuddy has some fantastic projects that are decidedly contemporary, but you also draw from classic and traditional elements, as seen at Walker and Stella. Which direction do you prefer?

I appreciate old and new. What I love about Walker Tower is that we took this building, interpreted it, and came up with something that isn’t Ralph Walker, but is still decidedly Art Deco.

One Madison was going to be this tall skinny building right next to the Met Life tower — but replicating Met Life would have been a missed opportunity. Context is important. When designing residential buildings, you want to avoid monotony, because once you’ve worked out the perfect floor-plan, recycling it 50 times can be tempting — though it results in a building that’s really boring. What we did at One Madison was create blocks of apartment types, one with wrap-around terraces, and that really lent itself to something unique.

Flatotel Conversion

135 West 52nd Street, image by Williams New York

Your recent slate of work is stellar, and it seems like things are really taking off. Any other major developments we haven’t covered?

We’re working on the former Flatotel at 135 West 52nd Street for Joseph Chetrit, and that building is being totally re-done. And it’s fantastic – that’s the tallest conversion we’ve ever worked on.

The building’s curtain walls never quite – they weren’t doing enough. And also, the exterior has deteriorated so much that it would actually be impossible to keep the tower as-is; the facade was literally falling apart. It’s an interesting issue to address, and by giving the building a new look, we will also improve its energy efficiency.

It’s very interesting taking a building that opened in 1991, and re-doing it; that was a bleak time for architecture. We wanted to do something interesting; it’s a series of boxes stacked one on top of another – sort of like Russian Matryoshka dolls. And so we played off of that and carved into it, adding depth.

Lastly, I hear there may be a supertall you are designing on the Upper East Side?

That is going to be a very innovative building — it’s going to be exciting.

And it’s going to be around 1,000 feet tall, yes?

Around.

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Posted in 12 East 13th Street | 212 West 18th Street | 221 West 17th Street | 435 West 50th Street | 77 Commercial Street | Architecture | CetraRuddy | Flatotel Conversion | Midtown | New York | Residential | Stella Tower | Supertall | Walker Tower

Revealed: 338 West 15th Street

338 West 15th Street, old townhouse shrouded in trees -- image via Google Maps

The existing townhouse at 338 West 15th Street is undergoing a major overhaul, and the first renderings are up for what the expansion will look like; C3D Architecture is designing, and the developer is listed as Jacob Benmoha.

338 West 15th Street

338 West 15th Street — image from C3D Architecture

Permits reveal the formerly multi-family home will be converted into a single-family residence, spanning five floors and 5,959 square feet; the original structure measured 3,068 square feet, so the addition will roughly double the building’s size. Its height will increase from four to five floors, and from 40 to 60 feet.

338 West 15th Street

338 West 15th Street’s rear view — image by C3D Architecture

338 West 15th Street’s ultimate appearance will be a contemporary upgrade compared to the old structure, which was quite diminutive. Its sleek, two-toned facade will contrast nicely against pre-war neighbors, and given conformity to the street-wall, the design will benefit the block’s urbanity.

The building will be appropriately scaled to its surrounds, though the location should be zoned for additional density, given excellent public transit access. While preserving historic character is a good thing, side-streets should not be immune to suitable density, and if new developments are aesthetically superior to their predecessors, there is no reason to prohibit growth.

338 West 15th Street also shows how size is no longer a reliable indicator of population density; though the building clocks in with an FAR of 3.71, it will only be home to one family. As household sizes have continued to expand the need to revise limitations on residential development has become readily apparent, and current policy ignores major shifts that have occurred in New York City’s demographics.

Regardless, the transformation of 338 West 15th Street still presents an opportunity for improvement, and completion is likely by 2015.

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Posted in 338 West 15th Street | Architecture | C3D Architects | Chelsea | New York | Residential

Revealed: 261 West 25th Street

261 West 25th Street

On-site renderings are up for The Naftali Group’s new project at 261 West 25th Street, where demolition of the existing structures is now complete; excavation for the residential building is now beginning, and Goldstein, Hill & West is the architect of record.

261 West 25th Street

261 West 25th Street

Permits reveal the development’s scope, which will measure 128,259 square feet. The 12-story building will be entirely residential, and given how large the 49 units will be — averaging over 2,600 square feet each — condominiums would appear likely.

261 West 25th Street

261 West 25th Street

Naftali’s page on the project appears slightly out of date — and also lacks any renderings — but confirms the building will likely host condos.

Appearance-wise, 261 West 25th Street will be quite attractive, with a classic brick facade cast alongside soaring casement windows. The structure appears to take inspiration from classic Gotham architecture, and will greatly improve the surrounding block, enhancing the street-wall. The site spans to 267 West 25th Street, and despite a relatively large scope, the small number of units will guarantee a ’boutique luxury’ product.

On-site signage indicates completion of 261 West 25th Street is expected in November of 2015.

Posted in 261 West 25th Street | Architecture | Chelsea | Construction Update | Goldstein Hill West | Naftali Group | New York | Residential

YIMBY Today

Hunter's Point South with the new TF Cornerstone buildings at right; image by ODA

Hunter’s Point South [Crain’s New York]: Mayor De Blasio has taken the first step towards building out a large chunk of the Hunter’s Point waterfront in Long Island City by “moving forward with a nearly $100 million construction project to build both a new waterfront park and a series of roads, water mains and sewer lines”. Previously desolate, Hunter’s Point South will soon “be home to up to 5,000 units of housing.”

6200 8th Avenue [The Real Deal]: Developer Andrew Kohen, head of MSK Properties, has sold 6200 8th Avenue in Sunset Hill for $51.5 million. The buyers of the 160,700 square-foot site are “listed in property records as 62-08 Realty LLC and 37-19 Realty Inc.” Kohen previously had plans to build an 11-story residential building, along with a Home Depot, but that scheme crumbled after the financial downturn.

175 Greenwich Street [Crain’s New York]: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will not provide the “$1.2 billion financial guarantee that would allow” the construction of 3 World Trade Center, where GroupM has already committed to taking 515,000 square feet. The PA is now resolving of a plan that would allow construction of Silverstein’s 80-story building through a “private-sector deal.”

239 West 52nd Street [The Real Deal]: Algin Management has plans to build a 59-story residential tower at the Roseland Ballroom site in the Theater District, and air rights for the project are currently being assembled; the developer recently bought 60,000 square-feet of air rights from a pair of Broadway theaters owned by The Shubert Organization.

280 Hawthorne Street [Curbed]: Residential Development Group is building four three-story townhouses at 280 Hawthorne Street in Prospect Lefferts Garden. The brick buildings will be a huge benefit to the community, repairing another hole in the urban landscape, while also infusing the street with new residents.

29-10 Hoyt Avenue South [Brownstoner]: A two-story brick building at 29-10 Hoyt Avenue South in Astoria has been bought by United Nu-Land Development LLC for $1.8 million. Zoning allows the developer to “building a new building more than three times the size of the existing one,” with a maximum FAR of 3.4. The full scope of plans have yet to be revealed.

347 Bowery [Bowery Boogie]: Developer Urban Muse is proceeding with on-site demolition after filing for permits a few months ago at 347 Bowery. “Twin sidewalk bridges” have been erected in front of the building which will soon be demolished for a 13-story residential tower.

115 7th Avenue [Crain’s New York]: The Rubin Museum is placing 115 7th Avenue in Chelsea on the market, where a 70,000 square-foot building could be built if a developer were to demolish the current five-story building. The “premier site” could potentially fetch more than $60 million.

180 East 88th Street [New York Times]: Developer DDG plans to demolish three townhouses at 180 East 88th Street in the Upper East Side for a residential building. The building has yet to be filed for with the Department, but DDG plans to “cantilever over the neighbor to the south.”

1370 Bushwick Avenue [Brownstoner]: Constructed has progressed at 1370 Bushwick Avenue, where a five-story, 10-unit building is being constructed. Once completed, the structure will have a brick façade with contemporary windows.

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Posted in 115 7th Avenue | 1370 Bushwick Avenue | 175 Greenwich | 180 East 88th Street | 280 Hawthorne Street | 29-10 Hoyt Avenue South | 347 Bowery | 6200 8th Avenue | Architecture | Bushwick | Chelsea | Hunter's Point | Hunter's Point South | New York | Office | Queens | Residential

Interview with the Architect: Cary Tamarkin

Cary Tamarkin

YIMBY sat down with architect and developer Cary Tamarkin — of the eponymous firm — to discuss his latest project at 508 West 24th Street, as well as his background and the inspiration behind his ‘neo-Bauhaus’ aesthetic. YIMBY in bold.

508 West 24th Street

508 West 24th Street

How did you get your start in architecture & development, and what’s your background?

So my background — I knew I was going to be an architect at age 12. I drew a lot, and since I started at a young age I was getting a lot of accolades. Then it morphed into architecture, because — actually, I wanted to be a painter, and then somewhere around age 15 or 16 I realized it would probably be hard to make money as a painter, and that I was actually interested in making money. So it occurred to me that architecture might combine art and business — so I continued with architecture, and ended up graduating from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. So I made this decision to go into architecture, went through all the schooling; and in school, people tell you that architects don’t make any money.

But I wasn’t focused on that — I wanted to do good work. After graduating from the GSD I started an architecture business in Boston with a partner, and it became a perfectly great, young, architectural firm – in Boston, it’s also fairly easy to stand out from the pack. We were doing houses, restaurants, clubs — and getting lots of publicity — but then the partnership ran its course over ego-driven things. 

But that role was just as an architect, and not as a developer?

Well, after the split, I came back to New York. And at that point, I was tired of working day and night and not making much money. If you’ve been designing buildings since age 12, you’re an architect, and not necessarily a businessman — but I wanted to be a businessman as well. It took me a long time to get to the point where I was ready to not be an architect — and I said to myself, what could I do that at least gives me the chance to make money? Real estate development, advertising — it seemed like stuff I might be good at. I decided on real estate development for no particular reason, and this was in 1991. So I was 34 years old, decided to leave architecture, quit therapy, and ask my girlfriend to marry me, all in the same day! 

Was that your mid-life crisis?

No. That came when I got divorced four years ago. But I decided to get into real estate development. And luckily the timing was good; it was the end of the terrible slide that began in ’87, and it was the beginning of a very long upturn. I didn’t know how to do development, I didn’t know what a pro-forma was. I spent six months talking to ex-developers who were wishing they had played golf every day through 1987 because of what had happened — so the climate was bleak. But they did have time on their hands, and many were willing to sit with me and give their wisdom about the business. The more I learned, the more I started walking through Tribeca, and taking pictures of buildings — just learning the city, inside and out.  

What year did you buy 508 West 24th Street, and what’s the project’s back-story?

When we started this project — number one, no-one had been doing any new development in the city, and banks were not lending for development projects. There were no projects going on. That’s why everything is coming up out of the ground now. We bought that site for very little money compared to what sites cost now. I was very excited about it because it’s adjacent to The High Line. The Carlyle Group agreed to be my equity partner. 

508 West 24th Street

508 West 24th Street

I always say that the building’s aesthetic is neo-Bauhaus; is that accurate?

I guess it is fine to call it “neo-Bauhaus”.  At this point it is becoming clear that there is a consistency to our buildings. That is because we are consistently interested in the basic tenets from which all great architecture stems, such as proportion, light and quality of craftsmanship.  We refer to this as “classic modernism”. We’re interested in building for the duration of time, so it’ll be there forever or ; we’re also interested in building well, with beautiful materials. No developers splurge for steel windows. None of our projects scream for attention. I like getting attention, but I don’t want to scream for it. 

508 West 24th is surrounded by big-name projects; there’s a Gehry, a Selldorf, a Denari; they’re all screaming for one thing or another. When you’re an architect and you have an exciting site, you want to put all your ideas into it. But we don’t do that; we do the opposite. Especially here, where our building is between two dancing metal buildings; I don’t even know how that became appropriate for apartments.

Being anchored between these two buildings, we really wanted to build an anchor. [Beton Brut concrete] was the heaviest material we could think of; it doesn’t swerve, and it does not dance. One more thing about this, is that all units are three-bedroom apartments — as opposed to when I did 456 West 19th Street, when The High Line was just an idea. It wasn’t even there. So when you do a development, you have to speculate about who your audience is, what their taste is going to be; you have to pick hardware, and the entire style. Do you do vanilla things, so it’ll appeal to the most people? Do you do what you would love? Not necessarily. You find some point that feels appropriate and worthy of representing yourself. I didn’t start out with an interest in developing a signature style, but if I start to look back on my body of work, it has certain looks to it — which, by the way, now steel casement windows are showing up everywhere. Copycats. Now I need to think of a new idea — and it’s clocks. I’m putting them on every one of my buildings. The clock at 508 West 24th will be up pretty soon.

508 West 24th Street

508 West 24th Street

Can you explain why and how you chose Beton Brut concrete?

Building with concrete — it’s tricky. The world’s best concrete expert is Reginald Hough, who worked in I.M. Pei’s office. He knows everything there is to know, and flies around the world talking to people doing concrete buildings. Now concrete has issues — no matter who is doing it. And then I started reading about Louis Kahn, and even Tadao Ando; it’s an intimate material that reveals how it’s made.

Even the time of year, and weather — both can affect its appearance. Cold leaves dark streaks when it cures, correct?

Yes. When the first pours started happening, you were asking whether we were going to wash it down — which you can do – but as the rest of the concrete went up, and the casement windows went in, it became apparent that the curing marks and tie-holes are really the only ornament on 508 West 24th Street. Like a patina on copper. Beton Brut just refers to the nature of the concrete, and the work that went into it; it’s rough and tough. Brut means raw. 

508 West 24th Street

508 West 24th Street

How about the penthouses?

Penthouses are always king of the hill, and they’ve been designed as such; they all have grand outdoor space, which is very important. In fact, I’ve really learned something with this building, which is how much people love outdoor space. I mean I can’t stand little slab balconies — and that’s what I always considered to be outdoor space. But at 508 West 24th Street, we built terraces that are 30 feet long and seven feet wide — and those sold very quickly. 

508 West 24th Street

Outdoor terrace of Penthouse N, at 508 West 24th Street

First-off, one mandate I made for myself was that all apartments would have a view of The High Line — and the penthouses all have private outdoor space. And the top penthouse — penthouse A — is full-floor, and has its own spot. Well it’s not really a spot, it’s a huge terrace with water views on top of the building with ultimate privacy because nobody else is allowed up there. That’s on the tenth floor, and it’s got special twelve-foot ceilings, and  – the most important thing regarding this building, of all this, is that it’s completely surrounded by light. Every room has these continuous bands of casement-windows, which are inspired by the Starrett-Lehigh Building. Most of the buildings we do feel very lofty, and that’s the point — we want people to ask “is it new, or was it that I never noticed this building here?”

508 West 24th Street

Interior of penthouse N

The other two penthouse floors — 8 and 9 — we made duplexes out those floors, because they have wrap-around terraces. And they have separated built-in planters that allow for privacy. The penthouses also have fireplaces, bigger bedrooms, better views. The downstairs of Penthouse N is totally open, has tons of outdoor space, and a big lofty living space — as well as an eat-in kitchen. Upstairs you have all the private areas. And the elevators open into each apartment, for privacy. 

And finally, how has the neighborhood changed since your last project, at 456 West 19th Street?

456 West 19th was creatives, a lot of singles; [West Chelsea] was still an industrial area when that was built, and even a little bit scary at night. Now, things have changed so quickly, and 508 West 24th has a lot do with families. As I said, all units are three-bedrooms, The Avenues School is two blocks away; we’ve got people moving here from California with two-year olds that want them to go to that school. Twelve of fifteen apartments are sold, and the building will be finished in August.

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Posted in 508 West 24th Street | Architecture | Cary Tamarkin Architects | Chelsea | Construction Update | New York | Renderings | Residential | The High Line

Revealed: 132 West 27th Street

132 West 27th Street, photo by R. BelBruno

A tipster sent in photos of on-site renderings for a new hotel at 132 West 27th Street in Chelsea, where ground has also been broken; the architect of record is Peter Poon, and the developer is Artimus NYC.

Permits for the tower — which were partially approved two weeks ago — indicate it will eventually stand 21 stories and 213 feet tall, with 124,934 square feet of space divided between 313 hotel rooms.

132 West 27th Street

132 West 27th Street, photo by R. BelBruno

While the glimpse of the building’s future appearance is not all-encompassing, the image confirms an aesthetic typical of Poon’s work in the neighborhood, which is very unkind to surrounding structures; 132 West 27th Street will be stepped back from the street, with a small plaza occupying the space between the sidewalk and the front door.

Beyond the entryway, the tower’s form is as basic as can be; every aspect of the design appears to be as standardized as possible. The on-site rendering is only black and white, but the colors of the facade may degrade the site’s appearance further, and several garish siblings have risen along surrounding blocks over the past few years.

132 West 27th Street

132 West 27th Street, photo by R. BelBruno

Poon’s latest splendor of value engineering is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.

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Posted in 124 West 27th Street | 132 West 27th Street | Architecture | Construction Update | Hotel | Midtown | New York

Construction Update: 505 West 19th Street

505 West 19th Street -- eastern foundation

Excavation work is now complete at 505 West 19th Street, which HFZ Capital is developing. The site will soon house a pair of High Line-straddling buildings, which will be linked by a one-story connection underneath the elevated park, and the project’s architects are Thomas Juul Hansen and Goldstein Hill & West.

The site has come a significant way since last August, when excavation was just beginning. Both components will stand ten stories tall, and Curbed recently posted a series of renderings for the site, which also came with the information that the western tower will only have eight residences, compared to 27 inside its eastern counterpart. Permits indicate the entirety of the development will measure 100,480 square feet, with ground-floor commercial taking up 7,839 square feet of the total.

505 West 19th Street

505 West 19th Street, rendering via Thomas Juul Hansen

Per the official website, the project’s exterior “recalls the elegance of classic modernism while respecting the visual language and history of The High Line,” and the towers “rise up and seem to float above the refined glass and dark metal podium.”

505 West 19th Street

505 West 19th Street — western foundation

The description looks to be spot-on, though the final product will ultimately tell the tale; given the price-point of approximately $2,500 per square foot, 505 West 19th Street’s ultimate appearance should not disappoint.

Thomas Juul Hansen’s work on the project further cements the notion that buildings along The High Line are trending towards a more conservative take on contemporary architecture, as other developments like Sherwood’s 500 West 21st Street and the Tamarkin-designed 508 West 24th Street are also part of the collective ‘throwback’ movement.

505 West 19th Street

505 West 19th Street

Completion of 505 West 19th Street is expected in 2015.

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Posted in 505 West 19th Street | Architecture | Chelsea | Construction Update | HFZ Capital | New York | Residential | The High Line | Thomas Juul Hansen

Permits Filed: 55 West 17th Street

55 West 17th Street

The first permits are up for a new development at 55 West 17th Street, which Toll Brothers City Living is developing; The Real Deal reported on the site’s sale last October, when it was bought for $68.5 million. Morris Adjmi is listed as the architect of record.

Despite the lack of drawings or renderings, the filings give the first detailed look at what will likely house a host of high-end condominiums; the development’s total scope is 91,714 square feet, which includes 5,231 square feet of ground-level retail. The remaining 86,483 square feet will be split between 55 residences, averaging nearly 1,600 square feet apiece.

Toll Brothers has a penchant for high-end design, and the company’s current roster of projects includes Portzamparc’s fantastical ‘fortress of glassitude’ at 400 Park Avenue South, as well as the more traditional 1110 Park Avenue, designed by Barry Rice. Adjmi’s past designs have proven appealing to a high-end clientele, explaining the architect’s involvement at 55 West 17th Street, which will likely target the boutique luxury segment of the market.

55 West 17th Street will rise nineteen floors, and stand 200 feet in total; the Schedule A has additional specifics. The second and third levels will have six units each, with the number of residences per floor shrinking as the tower rises; duplexes begin on the 13th story, the 17th floor will be occupied by a single unit, and the penthouse will span the entirety of the top two levels.

55 West 17th Street

55 West 17th Street

No completion date has been announced, but the market in the neighborhood is increasingly lucrative; Walker Tower is located two blocks to the west, and that development has set astronomical price milestones. Given the demand for units in the vicinity — and the fact that demolition permits for the existing six-story building on-site were filed and approved in February — construction appears to be imminent.

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Posted in 55 West 17th Street | Architecture | Chelsea | Flatiron | Morris Adjmi Architects | New York | Residential | Toll Brothers

Vision: VIVO on The High Line

VIVO on The High Line, image via NBRS/Metropolis Mag

Metropolis Magazine’s Living Cities competition has resulted in several interesting concepts, and yesterday, Curbed reported on AMLGM’s scheme for a mass of tubular towers over Queens. Another winning entry from the competition is NBRS + Partners’ vision for a development along The High Line, situated on the site now occupied by Related’s 500 West 30th Street.

VIVO on The High Line

VIVO on The High Line, image via NBRS/Metropolis Mag

NBRS’ page on the project gives a detailed overview of the intentions and ideas behind the structure’s design. Perhaps the most important take-away is the building’s versatility, as the “expressive steel structure solution permits agility,” which “allows for flexible internal space planning, future proofing the base building against the pressures of demography, market and demand.”

Introducing the concept of ‘future-proofing’ is especially pertinent to the renewed debate regarding landmarking in Manhattan, as the vast majority of the city’s current building stock was not built with the distant future in mind, which is resulting in a myriad of issues across the region.

VIVO on The High Line

VIVO on The High Line, image via NBRS/Metropolis Mag

Designing structures that are meant to last forever should be considered and encouraged, as the vast majority of New York’s current stock was built for profit, not permanence. VIVO hits on this idea with the versatility of the tower’s exoskeleton, as the interiors can be transformed to accommodate any number of uses.

Besides the adaptability of NBRS’ vision, the building would also integrate The High Line, presenting an idea that has been touched upon but never fully embraced by developments adjacent to the park. Related’s towers at the Hudson Yards represent a step forward — with The High Line set to become an integral aspect of 10 Hudson Yards‘ lobby — but VIVO takes the park to the next level, pushing its “vitality vertically to reach the New York skyline some 40 stories above.”

VIVO on The High Line

VIVO on The High Line, image via NBRS/Metropolis Mag

The vision for VIVO offers a forward-thinking take on vertical living that will hopefully be emulated in other sites, adjacent to The High Line or otherwise — and while 500 West 30th Street is now home to the Robert A.M. Stern-designed ‘Abington,’ opportunities for projects that truly push the envelope along The High Line remain.

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Posted in Architecture | NBRS + Partners | New York | Renderings | Residential | VIVO on The High Line

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