YIMBY Today: New York Wheel, Crown Heights Rezoning, and More

New York Wheel, image by Starneth B.V

New York Wheel [SILive]: Rich Marin has received “$150 million in foreign investment” from the Chinese — through EB-5 — to construct the 625-foot tall New York Wheel, in Staten Island’s St. George. The developer stated he “believes [he'll] be ready to break ground in December.”

Crown Heights Rezoning [WNYC News]: Residents and local leaders of Crown Heights are banding together to support a rezoning of the mostly low-rise commercial district in the western-most area of the neighborhood. Crown Heights has become a highly desirable area, and the “current limitations are out of sync with the current needs.” Business owners have asked city leaders “to consider mixed-use zoning that would allow for manufacturing on the lower floors of residential towers.”

145 West 110th Street [Harlem+Bespoke]: Amid recently approved permits, demolition is now underway at the single-floor religious structure that occupied 145-151 West 110th Street, in Harlem. If developers have their wish, “an 11-story residential tower will rise” on the park-front property.

24-12 42nd Road [The Court Square Blog]: Recently revealed, developer Ampiera Group has begun demolition of existing structures spanning 42-34 - 42-38 Crescent Street, and 24-12 42nd Road, in Long Island City. A shed-like structure is currently meeting the wrecking ball, as well as two abandoned townhouses; eight-story and 36-unit mixed-use building is planned for the site.

340 East 24th Street [Commercial Observer]: Ben Shaoul, partnered with 40 North Properties, has “received $71 million in construction funds” to construct a 14-story and 253-unit dormitory at 332-342 East 24th Street, in Kip’s Bay. Demolition of the existing six-story building started last Friday, per notifications, and permits in “support of excavation” have also already been filed; Ismael Leyva is designing.

432 Park Avenue [Curbed]: Eclipsing all other buildings in Midtown Manhattan, and scheduled to top-out at 1,397 feet this fall, 432 Park Avenue is set to reveal another unique feature; the building’s 10×10-foot windows have started shedding their wrapping.

431 Kent Avenue [Brownstoner]: An eight-building development — totaling 188 units, at 431-433 Kent Avenue, in Williamsburg — has received a “red brick façade and windows,” and completion appears imminent. The development also includes hundreds of underground parking spaces and storage for 81 bikes.

346 Lafayette Street [Curbed]: Renderings, by Meltzer/Mandl Architects, have surfaced for the development site at 346 Lafayette Street — also 57-63 Bleeker Street, in NoHo — and the existing one-story structure is currently being vacated. The development will feature “ground floor retail with eight additional residential stories.”

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Posted in 24-12 42nd Road | 340 East 24th Street | 346 Lafayette Street | 431 Kent Avenue | 432 Park Avenue | Crown Heights Rezoning | New York Wheel | Staten Island Flyer

DOB Digest: Mixed-Use at 535 Flushing Avenue, Staten Island Townhouses, and More

535 Flushing Avenue, image via Google Maps

Bronx:

1729 Haight AvenueThe owner of 1729 Haight Avenue — a vacant lot located in Morris Park — has filed to construct a three-story and three-unit residential building of 3,748 square feet; Gino O. Longo is designing.

1901 East Tremont AvenueAn anonymous LLC has filed applications to construct a one-story commercial building of 6,404 square feet at the vacant sliver of 1901 East Tremont Avenue, in Parkchester.

Brooklyn:

535 Flushing Avenue: Herab Realty has filed applications to construct a six-story and six-unit mixed-use building of nearly 13,000 square feet at vacant lots of 533-537 Flushing Avenue, at the northwestern corner of Flushing and Lee Avenues, in Williamsburg. The Jeffrey Kamen-designed building will have 2,900 square feet for commercial use, and roughly 1,100 square feet for a community facility.

306 MacDougal Street: Meir Meisels had filed applications to construct a four-story and eight-unit residential building of 5,455 square feet at the vacant lot of 306 MacDougal Street, in the eastern corner of Bedford-Stuyvesant; Leonid Segal is the architect of record.

2008 East 3rd StreetThe property owner of 2008 East 3rd Street — in Gravesend — has filed to construct a two-story single-family abode of 3,360 square feet; demolition of an existing two-story structure began in May, according to notifications.

925 Euclid AvenueDeveloper Frank Lapetina has filed applications to construct six, two-story and two-unit townhouses — each spanning roughly 2,150 square feet — at the vacant northeastern corner of Euclid and Wortman Avenues, in East New York. The lots being utilized are 923-925 Euclid and 687-693 Wortman.

Staten Island:

49 Tompkins CircleEdward Esposito has filed applications to construct twin, two-story and single-family abodes — each of 2,580 square feet — at the vacant lots of 47-49 Tompkins Circle, in Tompkinsville.

26 Herbert StreetAn anonymous LLC has filed applications to construct a three-story and two-unit residential building of 2,400 square feet at 26 Herbert Street, in the formerly wooded area of Prince’s Bay. In addition, the developer also filed applications for six, two-story and single-family houses for the newly paved Patricia Court, likely branching off Seguine Avenue to the east; each home will span roughly 1,900 to 2,000 square feet.

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Posted in 1729 Haight Avenue | 1901 East Tremont Avenue | 2008 East 3rd Street | 26 Herbert Street | 306 MacDougal Street | 49 Tompkins Circle | 535 Flushing Avenue | 925 Euclid Avenue

New Look: The Taystee Building

Entrance to the Taystee Building: image from Leven Betts/Janus Property

A fresh set of renderings are up for Harlem’s Taystee Building, at 450 West 126th Street, which will anchor the wider Manhattanville Factory District. The project is located between Amsterdam and Morningside Avenues, and is being developed by Janus Property Company and Monadnock Construction; Leven Betts is the design architect.

The Taystee Building

The Taystee Building: image from Leven Betts/Janus Property

West Harlem continues to see piecemeal redevelopment, but the Taystee Building will likely accelerate the neighborhood’s revitalization, breathing new life into a block that has long been neglected. The 11-story tower will span 300,000 square feet, becoming one of the larger office properties in Upper Manhattan.

Janus’ assemblage for 450 West 126th Street spans through to 125th Street, and the Taystee development will include a public passageway linking the streets, which will also create a courtyard for the building.

The Taystee Building

The Taystee Building: image from Leven Betts/Janus Property

No tenants have publicly committed to the project, though several companies were rumored to be interested last year. With construction continuing on Columbia’s Manhattanville expansion, the neighborhood should prove increasingly appealing to all sorts of companies, and while office development is not typically associated with West Harlem, the Factory District has already proven successful.

Taystee’s design is contemporary and attractive; while it will not impact the skyline, its influence will greatly improve a formerly derelict span of 126th Street. Per Leven Betts, “The building is organized into four volumes – two thin white lobby and circulation towers and two wide black commercial blocks,” and besides its LEED-silver status, the project will boast finished ceiling heights of 10′.

The Taystee Building

Manhattanville Factory District, Taystee Building at right, image from Janus Property/Leven Betts

The Manhattanville Factory District’s website outlines plans for surrounding blocks, which will see several older buildings refurbished. Between all of the structures involved, the total amount of new office space will measure approximately one million square feet; renovations of the Mink Building and Sweets Building are already complete, and Taystee is the next phase of the project.

Concept rendering for future development on 128th Street, image by Janus Property/Leven Betts

Concept rendering for future development on 128th Street, image by Janus Property/Leven Betts

Future plans for adjacent blocks are also pending, and while nothing formal has been announced, renderings are up for another major project that could rise on 128th Street, utilizing 165,000 square feet of development rights. While those plans are conceptual, the potential is immense, and West Harlem’s prospects are looking increasingly bright.

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Posted in 450 West 126th Street | Architecture | Harlem | Janus Property Company | Leven Betts | Monadnock Development | New York | Office | Renderings | Taystee Building | West Harlem

Construction Update: 11 North Moore

11 North Moore

Construction continues at 11 North Moore in Tribeca, which has now topped-out; the project began rising above ground approximately one year ago, and progress has been swift. The building’s facade remains missing in action, and no windows are visible, but scaffolding has recently encased the structure, designed by Adjmi & Andreoli developed by VE Equities.

11 North Moore

11 North Moore, looking north

11 North Moore stands ten stories tall, and the building has eighteen apartments, with units falling on the astronomical end of the pricing spectrum. In January, Curbed reported that the penthouse came on the market for $40 million.

The site was initially subject of a different proposal — also by Adjmi & Andreoli — which would have been dubbed 24 Varick. That iteration was shelved for the current design, which is more contextual with the surrounding neighborhood, utilizing a subdued concrete facade.

11 North Moore

11 North Moore, rendering by AA Studio

Renderings promise an attractive addition to the Tribeca streetscape, and 11 North Moore’s window panes will rank amongst the largest in New York City, comparing with 432 Park Avenue. Soaring ceilings and expansive layouts cement the project’s superluxe status.

11 North Moore

11 North Moore

Information previously posted on construction signage indicated 11 North Moore was supposed to be completed earlier this year, but clearly work is ongoing, and an early 2015 opening would appear likely at this point.

11 North Moore

11 North Moore and 56 Leonard behind

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Posted in 11 North Moore Street | 24 Varick | Adjmi and Andreoli | Architecture | New York | Residential | Tribeca | VE Equities

Permits Filed: 1499 & 1499A Nostrand Avenue

Vacant lot & trees at 1499 and 1499A Nostrand Avenue

Developers have been filing plans left and right for new apartment buildings on Nostrand Avenue in Flatbush lately, and today’s crop of filings comes at 1499 and 1499A Nostrand Avenue, at Erasmus Street, just south of Church Avenue.

Developer Astral Weeks, led by the Roubenis, has plans to build a pair of identically-sized four-story, eight-unit buildings, each of which would hold 5,632 square feet of rentable floorspace. Bricolage is the architect of record, and rentals are more likely than condos, given the emerging market for new development in this part of town.

These applications follow last week’s filings from the same builder for an identical pair of buildings just a few doors down, at 1471 and 1475 Nostrand. They may also be joined by a much larger 23-story tower by Hello Living, at 1580 Nostrand.

The buildings are not very dense, an unfortunate product of the ahistorical zoning along this stretch of Nostrand Avenue. Before urban decline set in and the 1961 zoning straitjacket was imposed on New York City, developers were eagerly snapping up single-family house and small tenements in Flatbush and redeveloping them into five- and six-story New Law tenements. These buildings, which are found both to the north and south of the site in question, can be a third denser (or more) than what’s currently allowed – an irrational situation given that the nearby B/Q and 2/5 trains are still under capacity.

1499 Nostrand Avenue

1499 Nostrand Avenue, via Google Maps

Still, piecemeal infill is beneficial. No completion dates for either 1499 or 1499A Nostrand Avenue have been announced.

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Posted in 1499 Nostrand Avenue | 1499A Nostrand Avenue | Architecture | Astral Weeks | Bricolage Design | Brooklyn | Flatbush | New York | Residential

Flushing Grows Up: A Conversation With F&T Group’s Michael Meyer

Flushing Commons, rendering from Perkins Eastman

About ten miles east of Grand Central Terminal, the 7 train terminates at Flushing Main Street. Stepping out into downtown Flushing, one is immediately struck with a sense of vibrancy, by the tangible energy of entrepreneurial activity. Flushing is home to over 5,000 businesses and 41,000 jobs, putting it right up there with Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City as one of the city’s most important outer borough business districts.

Like Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City, downtown Flushing – which vies with Sunset Park for the title of New York City’s most populous Chinese neighborhood – is brimming with potential for new businesses and job growth. The business district is getting a boost with the construction of Flushing Commons, a mixed-use project rising on a former municipal parking lot.

Flushing Commons

Flushing Commons phase I — image from Perkins Eastman

The first phase of this project will include 150 apartments and, notably, 220,000 square feet of commercial space, mostly offices. The second phase will add another 450 units of housing and an additional 150,000 square feet of office space, making Flushing Commons one of the largest new commercial projects in the outer boroughs.

Just how deep does Flushing’s potential for new office space run? YIMBY spoke with Michael Meyer, president of F&T Group, whose subsidiary TDC Development is leading the Flushing Commons development team.

F&T has been one of Flushing’s most active developers. Their Queens Crossing project, completed in 2007, included 210,000 square feet of office space, and they’re also working on One Fulton Square, another mixed-use mid-rise in downtown Flushing.

Right now the office market in Flushing is dominated by medical tenants, with Meyer estimating that 80 percent of Queens Crossing commercial tenants are medical users. “Most of the space we have here is office condominium,” Meyer said. “Our office building in Flushing Commons will be condo, and One Fulton Square, hitting the market now, is office condo. Those are predominantly sold to doctors, and they’re predominately sold to Chinese and Asian doctors,” with Flushing also being a major hub for New York City’s Korean community.

Flushing Commons

Flushing Commons — image from Perkins Eastman

“Right now you don’t have any large corporate entities that would be behind a lot of office growth,” said Meyer. “You don’t have the large blocks of office space I think you’re going to need, like how Jet Blue went over to Long Island City. Nobody is going to build it on spec,” he said, unless a corporate tenant is lined up. “There’s so much interest in investing in Flushing from Asia, from mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan. Maybe it would take a large corporation from there.”

Meyer believes that Willets Point would have been an ideal location to attract this type of tenant. F&T was among the developers to submit a proposal for Willets Point, but the city ultimately chose Related Companies and Sterling to develop the site.

F&T’s proposal included a pedestrian bridge linking Willets Point to a reactivated Flushing waterfront. The bridge would not only have been an iconic structure, but sought to “link and expand the development zone and create a nexus in this area.”

“Looking forward, there could still be elements of that kind of thinking,” Meyer says. He thinks that the city should look at the Flushing waterfront as an area to be rezoned for “more enlightened, urban development.”

The area on the western edge of Flushing, on the waterfront across from Willets Point, was rezoned over a decade ago, but “that zoning wasn’t ideal for redevelopment from an urban standpoint,” Meyer says. “It was really more suburban, particularly because of the parking requirements.”

Meyer believes a rezoning effort along with a new park and waterfront esplanade would unleash a torrent of new development.

“If you could get the state, city and federal governments coordinated on cleaning up the creek and doing some infrastructure development there – like a pedestrian bridge – you would totally transform the area. That would allow extraordinary, extraordinary development and have an effect for generations.”

Meyer also thinks that providing incubator space for startups could ultimately lead to more commercial growth. “When we start talking about Flushing, because of the very entrepreneurial populace here, there’s an opportunity to incubate future office demand by doing initiatives like that. If you started small and it attracted foreign venture capital it could result in more robust commercial growth, and that’s something that would sit well with the population here.”

Parking requirements and suburban-style zoning are hurting the prospect of new development along the Flushing waterfront. In fact, city parking requirements nearly derailed the Flushing Commons development. He notes that because of pressure from the local community – shopkeepers, residents, and elected officials – Flushing Commons will have twice as much parking as would have been required under zoning.

Flushing Commons

Flushing Commons — image from Perkins Eastman

“We prevailed at Flushing Commons, but we almost died because of the bias for parking. A huge threat to enlightened development is the attitude that people have towards parking and the misconceptions people have about parking, which is unfortunately enabled by local politicians who sort of support it.”

“If you didn’t have to worry about politics and you were trying to design a development in a congested area, you would come up with a traffic and urban and zoning plan that would not build so much parking.”

Meyer said that the Flushing Commons took so long to break ground because of the process of incorporating community benefits, but ultimately the idea of community benefits is valid.

“Getting all that to work,” including the parking, “was extraordinarily challenging.”

“I do think it is legitimate for community benefits to be introduced in developments where there is some sort of city subsidy, on city land. I think the political process by which that works is often counterproductive, and winds up making a lot of development expensive or unfeasible. Or it imposes such a burden that the development you ultimately get maybe isn’t the best for the neighborhood.”

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Posted in Architecture | F&T Group | Flushing | Flushing Commons | New York | Queens Crossing | Residential

Permits Filed: 262 Kent Avenue, Domino Sugar Factory Site A

262 Kent Avenue outlined in red, rendering by SHoP

Permits for 262 Kent Avenue, the northernmost site at Two Trees’ Domino Sugar Factory redevelopment, have been filed.

The building will sit on Site A, between Kent Avenue and River Street, just north of Grand Street. As with the filings earlier this month for Site D at 320 Kent, this application is just in preparation for infrastructure and groundwork, with actual construction coming later, after plans have been finalized and financing for the building is secured. The shorter building at Site E – the only one on the eastern side of Kent, bounded by South 3rd and 4th Streets – will be the first to go vertical, and half of its units will be reserved for below-market renters.

Domino Site Plan

Domino Plan, Site A outlined in red, image via SHoP

According to the permit, 262 Kent Avenue will contain nearly equal parts commercial (mostly office) and residential space, with about 281,869 square feet of total leasable floor area. The tower would rise 320 feet and 30 stories, with 93 apartments, for an average unit size of about 1,500 square feet – which is very large for rentals in Williamsburg. While the location and heat of the Williamsburg market would generally push builders in the direction of condos, Two Trees has said that it prefers holding onto its assets, and will therefore build rental apartments.

The office space was added after Two Trees took over the project from CPC Resources, in a deal whereby the developer swapped out a bit of residential space for a much larger amount of office space, which is seen as more amenable by local politicians wary of luxury housing.

Ismael Leyva is the architect of record, and while SHoP created the site’s masterplan, other architects will be designing some of the buildings. SHoP is set to design the first Site E building along with one other, though which building that will be has yet to be determined.

If 262 Kent Avenue does take on the form originally unveiled in the SHoP plan, it would be marked by a colorful bridge planted atop two towers – one with a traditional glass curtain wall, the other of the same colorful golden material as the bridge.

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Posted in 262 Kent Avenue | Domino Redevelopment | Ismael Leyva | SHoP | Two Trees | Williamsburg

YIMBY Today: Manhattan West Progress, Macklowe Buys in Midtown, More

Manhattan West, image by SOM/Brookfield

Manhattan West [DNAinfo NY]: Progress is apparent at Brookfield’s Manhattan West, where the developer is currently building a platform over active railroad tracks. Currently, “seven of the 16 bridge spans” have been installed, and Brookfield expects the structure to be complete by the end of the year; multiple towers of greater than 60 floors are eventually planned for the site.

110 Wall Street [The Real Deal]: William Rudin — likely to convert the Sandy-damaged 110 Wall Street into a residential building in the future — has purchased 35,815 square feet of air-rights from a near-by hotel, raising the “total developable area of 110 Wall Street to 290,025 square feet.” An agreement stated Rudin could not use the “property for residential use for a period of 84 months.”

Hunters Point South - Towers A+B [Curbed]: The SHoP-designed façade continues to make a slow trek up the 37 and 32-story towers of Hunters Point South‘s first phase. Glass installation has reached the the ninth floor of the 37-story tower, and the 10th of the second tower; totaling 925 residential units, opening is scheduled for next year.

East New York Rezoning [Gothamist]: De Blasio has unveiled the very basics surrounded his East New York Rezoning plan that envelopes a single square-mile centered around Atlantic Avenue. Transit-oriented development has been the focus of the initiative proposed by the mayor; the A/C and J/Z lines will be included in the proposal, while a redeveloped Broadway Junction will anchor the neighborhood. “Residential cores” will connect three main mixed-use corridors, which the Brooklyn Borough President has advocated “building tall [and] high.”

Pier 57 Redevelopment: [Crain's New York]: RXR Realty is reportedly partnering with developer Youngwoo, who “has won the right to redevelop the Hudson River Park’s badly deteriorated Pier 57,” near 15th and 16th Streets. The former 560,000 square-foot bus depot will soon be renovated and revamped to accommodate multiple tenants, and three have already announced “leases that would take some of the roughly 300,000 square feet of total available space.” Completion is set for 2015.

628 5th Avenue [The Brooklyn Paper]: Now that retail is closing at 628 5th Avenue, the owner has put the development site in South Slope on the market for $9 million. The upper floors of the three-story building “have been vacant since a 1966 fire,” rendering possible renovation intimidating; “current zoning allows for a residential building as tall as four stories.”

985 3rd Avenue [The Real Deal]: SL Green has sold a property between 58th and 59th Streets — spanning 985-987 3rd Avenue, in Midtown East — for $68.7 million; Massey Knakal Realty brokered the deal. Developer Harry Macklowe has been in contract to buy the site of nearly 90,000 buildable square feet.

429 Kent Avenue [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]: Construction has kicked-off at 429 Kent Avenue — in Williamsburg — where XIN Development Group is developing a 216-unit residential building, along with multiple townhouses. Dubbed Oosten, foundation work has commenced and verticality is imminent.

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Posted in 110 Wall Street | 429 Kent Avenue | 628 5th Avenue | 985 3rd Avenue | East New York Rezoning | Hunter's Point South | Manhattan West | Pier 57

DOB Digest: South Slope Projects, Staten Island Commercial Development, and More

101 Douglass Street pre-demolition, image from Google Maps

Brooklyn:

101 Douglass StreetUval Golan, partnered with another developer, has filed applications to construct a four-story and nine-unit residential building of 4,000 square feet at 101 Douglass Street, in Carroll Gardens. A three-story walk-up must be demolished before construction can proceed; Shahriar Afshari is designing.

236 17th Street: North South Slope LLC has filed applications to construct a seven-story and 17-unit residential building of 20,000 square feet at the vacant lot of 236 17th Street, in South Slope; Renzo Bolarte of Design Studio Associates is the architect of record.

Queens:

23-57 97th StreetApplications have been filed at 23-57 97th Street — in East Elmhurst — to construct a two-story and two-unit residential building of 2,616 square feet; demolition permits for an existing structure, placed towards the back of the lot, have yet to be filed.

243 Beach 129th Street: The owner of a two-story brick house previously damaged by a fire at 243 Beach 129th Street, in Belle Harbor, has filed applications to construct a new three-story single-family home of 2,500 square feet; the existing abode has yet to be demolished.

Staten Island:

245 Bricktown WayBricktown Pass LLC has filed applications to construct a one-story commercial warehouse of 56,300 square feet at 245 Bricktown Way, in South Richmond. The site is a new frontier for development, as “grading and clearing” are required; Rampulla Associates is designing.

2020 Richmond TerraceThe owner of 2020 Richmond Terrace — a dilapidated one-story structure at the western corner of Richmond and Park Avenue, in Port Richmond — has filed applications to “reconstruct [the] existing building,” likely encompassing the entire lot, which is partially vacant; the new commercial building will span roughly 4,000 square feet.

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Posted in 101 Douglass Street | 2020 Richmond Terrace | 23-57 97th Street | 236 17th Street | 243 Beach 129th Street | 245 Bricktown Way

New Look: Herzog & de Meuron’s 215 Chrystie Street

215 Chrystie Street, image from Herzog & de Meuron/Beyer Blinder Belle

A helpful tipster has sent along a fresh set of renderings for the Herzog & de Meuron-designed 215 Chrystie Street, on the Lower East Side, which will likely become the neighborhood’s first iconic high-rise. Ian Schrager and the Witkoff Group are the developers behind the project, which will have a hotel on lower floors, and condominiums above.

215 Chrystie Street

215 Chrystie Street, image from Herzog & de Meuron/Beyer Blinder Belle

The 370-room hotel will rest beneath eleven palatial residences, split between half-floor and full-floor configurations. As the latest batch of renderings make clear, the ceiling heights on upper levels will be soaring, and proportions will be enhanced by floor to ceiling glass. 215 Chrystie will stand 28 stories and 314 feet tall.

215 Chrystie Street

215 Chrystie Street, image from Herzog & de Meuron/Beyer Blinder Belle

In terms of comparisons, Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard is already rising, and the architects have another project imminent at 357 West Street, where they are also partnering with Schrager. 215 Chrystie will be eye-catching in its own right, and the new images are the first to illustrate the sheathing that will hide upper mechanicals, ensuring the building’s pinnacle tops-off in a cohesive and attractive way.

Each of Herzog & de Meuron’s designs utilize a raw, concrete facade, though the developments will be differentiated by strikingly different forms; the Jenga-like silhouette of 56 Leonard would tower over the relatively angular 215 Chrystie, and 357 West Street is a departure from both high-rises, offering a softer and more flexible take on typical concrete rigidity.

215 Chrystie Street

215 Chrystie Street, image from Herzog & de Meuron/Beyer Blinder Belle

Per on-site signage, completion of 215 Chrystie is expected at the end of 2016.

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Posted in 215 Chrystie Street | Architecture | Downtown | Herzog and de Meuron | Hotel | Ian Schrager | Lower East Side | New York | Residential | Witkoff Group

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