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

525 Greenwich Street’s Hugo Shows Not All Hotels Must Be Ugly

Hotel Hugo, 525 Greenwich Street

Hotel Hugo has been open since April, and YIMBY stopped by the other day to check out the completed project at 525 Greenwich Street.

The hotel is of the same mold as the skinny budget hotels that have been sprouting like weeds in hot neighborhoods like the Garment District and Sunset Park, where housing is not allowed. While Hotel Hugo offers comparably-priced rooms, the design’s execution by Los Angeles-based Italian architect Marcello Pozzi is far superior, with casement windows and a clean, modern façade, unsullied by PTAC grills.

It’s an improvement on the earlier Hotel Indigo in Chelsea, also developed by Morris Moinian’s Fortuna Realty, which had a more traditional red brick-and-masonry design. 525 Greenwich offers a model for developers keeping Peter Poon and Gene Kaufman busy with projects, showing that affordable hotels don’t have to look terrible.

Hotel Hugo, 525 Greenwich Street

Hotel Hugo, 525 Greenwich Street

Hotel Hugo does, however, emulate one feature of the McSam-style hotels: the set-back and broken street wall. As with so many buildings in New York, this feature was designed by the zoning code, not the architect or developer.

Because of hotel developers’ desire for consistent, shallow floor plans and the zoning code’s prohibition on tall street walls, architects – whether they’re Peter Poon or Marcello Pozzi – are given no choice but to set the buildings back from the sidewalk. Until planners rethink their sky exposure plane and tower rules, this is likely how all but the most luxurious hotels will continue to be designed in New York City.

Hotel Hugo, 525 Greenwich Street

Hotel Hugo, 525 Greenwich Street

In any case, this may be one of the last hotels in Hudson Square for a while. The area, including 525 Greenwich, was rezoned for residential use last year. Where allowed, apartments are always highest and best use in New York City, and the hotels of the old “M”-zoned Hudson Square are now giving way to luxury condos.

525 Greenwich will almost certainly be the last large budget hotel in the neighborhood. As appears to be the pattern for new rezonings, future hotels in Hudson Square with more than 100 rooms (Hotel Hugo has 122) will require a sign-off from the City Council – something developers are unlikely to get without using more expensive union labor, which translates into a pricier final product.

Hotel Hugo, 525 Greenwich Street

Hotel Hugo, 525 Greenwich Street

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Posted in 525 Greenwich Street | Architecture | Downtown | Fortuna Realty | Hotel | Hudson Square | Marcello Pozzi | Morris Moinian | New York

Revealed: 6 Water Street

6 Water Street

On-site renderings are up for yet another Kaufman-designed hotel, this one coming to 6 Water Street, in the Financial District. Permits, which were issued on July 1st, indicate the developer is Sam Chang.

6 Water Street will stand 29 stories tall, and will have 249 rooms; the scope will total 125,684 square feet, which is about average for new hotel developments in Manhattan.

6 Water Street

6 Water Street

Kaufman’s latest creation replaces pre-war architecture that was undersized but attractive, and the site’s new occupant presents a marked downgrade for a block that enjoys excellent transit access; 6 Water Street is just a short jaunt from several express trains as well as the Staten Island Ferry, and would make an excellent location for either residential or office development.

6 Water Street

6 Water Street

Unfortunately, New York State imposes a floor-area ratio limit of 10 on residential developments, rising to 12 with an affordable housing bonus. As a result, the developer went for the 50 percent higher FAR allowed for commercial property, likely because the less desirable eastern half of the Financial District couldn’t generate the rents or condo prices to make less dense housing worthwhile.

This disparity between residential and commercial zoning is nonsensical, where FARs of up to 33 are allowed for office plots at Hudson Yards. Neighborhoods in Manhattan with excellent transit should be very dense regardless of use. With a state zoning tweak and a city one to take advantage of it, a more attractive and in demand – not to mention, profitable – residential project would likely have been built on the site.

The density cap is especially absurd given that the Financial District is the one part of the city where residential buildings already exceed the modern density limits, due to office-to-residential conversions. Exceptions to state law were made for this type of redevelopment – nearby 67 Wall Street, for example, is about twice as dense as state law would allow for new apartment buildings – to no ill effect.

Correcting the problem would be a major step forward in solving New York’s housing crisis. And while the de Blasio administration likely doesn’t care about FAR limits for market-rate development, it’s hard to see the state opposing anything the city asks for with regards to density, given the lack of opposing interests upstate.

Per on-site signage, completion of 6 Water Street is expected in the winter of 2015.

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Posted in 6 Water Street | Architecture | Construction Update | Downtown | FiDi | Financial District | Hotel | Kaufman | New York | Sam Chang

Revealed: 60 West 37th Street

60 West 37th Street, pre-demo at left, rendering by Peter Poon at right

The first renderings are online for another Peter Poon-designed hotel, this one coming to 60 West 37th Street. Hidrock Realty is the site’s developer, and demolition of existing parking garages is now complete. A tipster pointed out Gace Engineering’s page on the project, which also reveals that Embassy Suites will be the occupant.

As YIMBY reported in March, permits indicate the tower will span 195,360 square feet, split between 313 rooms; the building will stand 42 stories tall, making it one of the larger budget-minded hotels to come to Midtown Manhattan in recent years. Gace’s site gives slightly different figures of 165,000 square feet and 41 floors, but the difference is trivial, and the DOB filings are likely accurate.

60 West 37th Street

60 West 37th Street, renderings by Peter Poon

Design-wise, the renderings don’t look infuriating, but given the frequent discordance between depictions and reality – especially when it comes to budget hotels — anyone holding their breath is likely in for disappointment. The tower spans from 36th Street through to 37th, giving Poon the perfect opportunity to wreck two street-walls instead of just one.

Beyond the tower’s unfortunate form, its use along 36th Street will detract further, as the site’s rear-end will hold a two-story parking garage. Both sides of the new Embassy Suites will deaden the surrounding street, and 60 West 37th Street is another instance of new development blighting an established neighborhood due to outdated zoning, which prohibits land being put to its highest and best use.

A completion date for 60 West 37th Street has not been announced, but with demolition of existing structures finished, verticality appears imminent.

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Posted in 59 West 36th Street | 60 West 37th Street | Architecture | Embassy Suites | Hidrock Realty | Hotel | Midtown | New York | Peter Poon | Renderings | Uncategorized

Revealed: 42-44 West 29th Street

42-44 West 29th Street

Another day, another cheap hotel going up on the West Side. Today’s street wall-wrecker sits at 42-44 West 29th Street, wedged in between two pre-war loft buildings on a block where retail mostly caters to wholesale clothing and accessory buyers.

Gene Kaufman is the architect of record, and the 18-story and 43,580-square foot building will contain 109 hotel rooms. Devli Properties — which really didn’t want to talk to Curbed about it two years ago — is the developer.

42-44 West 29th Street

42-44 West 29th Street

The site should be destined for dense residential development, but with local politicians hostile to luxury housing, the area has held onto its outmoded M1-6 zoning, which only allows commercial uses. Since cheap hotels are the most profitable commercial use, these are the only things that are generally built in the vast M-zoned lands on the West Side.

42-44 West 29th Street

42-44 West 29th Street

One day, perhaps rents in the area will rise to the point where new office buildings are the highest and best use, but sadly, today is not that day. The neighborhood’s inflexible zoning code is to blame for penny-pinching buildings and unsightly setbacks, and until policy changes, the blight will continue.

Per on-site signage, completion of 42-44 West 29th Street is slated for June of 2016.

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Posted in 42-44 West 29th Street | Architecture | Chelsea | Construction Update | Devli Properties | Flatiron | Hotel | Kaufman | Midtown | New York

Permits Filed: 38-51 & 38-55 11th Street

Desolate lots and the warehouse in between the future hotels at 38-55 11th Street -- image via Google Maps

While Court Square and Hunters Point are undergoing a building boom due to their residential rezoning during the 2000s, the area north of the Queensboro Bridge — formerly called Ravenswood, now considered southern Astoria — is also seeing a surge of activity, though with hotels rather than apartments.

According to building permits filed on Friday, another 203 rooms will soon join the neighborhood, at 38-51 and 38-55 11th Street. 38-51 will stand 14 stories and span 51,327 square feet; next door at 38-55, a 16-story, 67,077-square foot twin will also rise, each with about the same number of rooms. Between the pair, only nine parking spaces would be built in an enclosed garage.

With no residential construction permitted in Ravenswood — and little demand for the warehouses, office buildings, and industrial structures allowed by zoning — budget hotels have recently emerged as the highest and best use. Floor-area ratios of up to five are allowed between the Ravenswood and Queens Bridge public housing complexes, presenting an opportunity for neighborhood infill.

38-55 11th Street

38-55 11th Street — image via Google Maps

While residential development is more desirable than cheap hotels in this housing-starved city, the new buildings will make better use of the land than the auto body shops and low-density warehouses that dot Ravenswood. New jobs will also offer employment opportunities for residents of the two New York City Housing Authority projects bracketing the neighborhood.

Teddy Lee of Flushing-based Iron City Construction is the developer, while the architect is Forest Hills-based James Y. Cheng. No completion date has been announced.

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Posted in 38-51 11th Street | 38-55 11th Street | Architecture | Astoria | Hotel | Iron City Construction | James Y. Cheng | Long Island City | New York | Teddy Lee

Permits Filed: 61 Bond Street

61 Bond Street -- image via Google Maps

The first permits are up for a 13-story hotel at 61 Bond Street in Downtown Brooklyn, which will be chiefly located on Schermerhorn, with only a sliver fronting Bond Street.  GB Lodging is listed as the project’s developer, and the architect of record is Stonehill & Taylor.

The Commercial Observer reported that GFI and Spruce Capital have partnered to construct an Ace Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn, and while the LLC on the permits for 61 Bond is different, the filings correspond to the site listed in the article.

Permits indicate the tower will span 156,985 square feet, with a total of 285 rooms, making it one of the larger new hotels in the neighborhood. GB Lodging’s portfolio includes several higher-end developments including The Beekman, which will be topped by contemporary turrets, and if 61 Bond Street is home to the new Ace Hotel, an attractive final product would be likely. A PDF from last decade offers additional analysis and graphics depicting the site’s potential.

Other new hotels include the Kaufman-designed 300 Schermerhorn and 40 Nevins, one of which will be occupied by a Holiday Inn. 61 Bond Street will be higher-end than both, which should translate into architecture that is significantly more appealing.

61 Bond Street

61 Bond Street — image via Google Maps

No completion date has been announced, but construction continues to surge in Downtown Brooklyn, and 61 Bond Street comes on the heels of major new towers slated for 340 Flatbush Ave. Extension33 Bond Street, and the announcement that several more of Forest City’s Atlantic Yards towers will soon begin rising.

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Posted in 61 Bond Street | Ace Hotel | Architecture | DoBro | Downtown Brooklyn | GFI Development | Hotel | New York | Spruce Capital

Permits Filed: 120 Nassau Street

The former 199 Jay Street, now being demolished, via Google Maps

The first permits are up for a major mixed-use development in Downtown Brooklyn, located at the intersection of Nassau and Jay Streets. While the applications are filed under 120 Nassau Street, the site includes an office building at 199 Jay Street that is currently being demolished. Woods Bagot is the architect of record, and Thomas Aschmoneit of 203 Jay St. Assoc LLC is listed as the developer.

120 Nassau Street will total 290,420 square feet, and the project will be divided between residential, hotel, and ‘community facility’ components, split between two buildings. The hotel will rise eight floors and have 119 rooms, while the apartment tower will rise 32 stories, with 381 units; the Schedule A has additional floor-by-floor details.

Given the residential portion will stand 425 feet tall, 120 Nassau Street will make an impression on the greater skyline, as the lot is located close to the edge of Downtown Brooklyn. Woods Bagot has a forward-thinking and attractive slate of recent work, and the firm’s involvement would indicate an appealing end-product at 120 Nassau Street.

120 Nassau Street

120 Nassau Street aerial, via Google Maps

The old 199 Jay Street was also attractive, though the loss of the 7-story structure should yield an improvement that makes better use of the land underneath. 120 Nassau Street will stand next to an entrance for the Manhattan Bridge, and given potential visibility, the site merits an iconic design, which Woods Bagot will hopefully deliver. An abundance of parking lots in the surrounding neighborhood beg additional development, and as the Brooklyn boom accelerates, rapid changes appear likely for the entire area in the near-future.

No completion date for 120 Nassau Street has been announced, but with demolition already underway at 199 Jay Street, construction would appear imminent.

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Posted in 120 Nassau Street | 199 Jay Street | Architecture | DoBro | Downtown Brooklyn | Hotel | New York | Residential | Thomas Aschmoneit | Woods Bagot Architects

Permits Filed: 11 West 37th Street

11 West 37th Street, image via Google Maps

The first permits are up for a new hotel at 11 West 37th Street, in Midtown. Michael Kang is the architect, and DOB filings list WL Group Construction as the developer, though The Commercial Observer reported that Sam Chang acquired the site for $8.5 million back in January.

11 West 37th Street will stand 18 stories tall, and the building will span 24,684 square feet, making it quite compact; the hotel will have 68 rooms.

Michael Kang’s portfolio does not signal a promising future for the site, which is located at the epicenter of the ugly hotel boom, at the edge of the Garment District. Sam Chang’s involvement also portends an unfortunate end-product.

The West 30s are being increasingly dominated by anti-urban hotels, with nearby projects including developments at 38 West 36th Street and 60 West 37th Street, which is just down the block from 11 West 37th Street.

11 West 37th Street

11 West 37th Street, aerial via Google Maps

 

Regardless of the site’s potentially unattractive future, the scope of the project will be very limited, so 11 West 37th Street’s impact on the streetscape and skyline is likely to be minimal. Once again, it is up to the city to discourage unattractive development; given everything that has been built in recent years, it would be prudent to abandon the notion that manufacturing will ever return to the Garment District. Clinging to false hope has resulted in the current wave of street-wall-defiling hotels, and the surge will continue until macro-level changes occur.

No completion date for 11 West 37th Street has been announced, but demolition permits for the existing low-rise are lacking, so construction is not quite imminent.

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Posted in 11 West 37th Street | Architecture | Hotel | Michael Kang | Midtown | Midtown West | New York | Sam Chang

Revealed: 137-61 Northern Boulevard

137-61 Northern Boulevard -- image by Raymond Chan Architects

The first renderings are up for a mixed-use development at 137-61 Northern Boulevard, in Flushing; Century Development Group is building the project, and Raymond Chan is the architect.

Permits are currently lacking, though Century’s page on the project has the details. 137-61 Northern Boulevard will have a 116-room hotel, 91 condominiums, retail, and two floors of space for community facilities; the total scope is 205,350 square feet.

Renderings indicate that Aloft is the hotel partner; residences will have access to the included amenities, and the product appears to be relatively high-end for Flushing standards.

Design-wise, the project will be relatively average; the facade will have a mix of glass and white paneling. The massing is broken up by minor variations, and an outdoor terrace will be located above a portion of the ground-floor retail. Most importantly, 137-61 Northern Boulevard will contribute to Flushing’s continued growth and densification, and the neighborhood is quickly emerging as one of New York’s primary peripheral nodes.

137-61 Northern Boulevard

137-61 Northern Boulevard — aerial via Google Maps

Queens Chronicle reported on Century’s plans back in 2010, and the on-site low-rise – formerly a Sears — is currently occupied by a WB Supermarket. The transition to higher-density development will be a marked improvement compared to current conditions, especially considering proximity to both the 7-train and the Long Island Rail Road.

137-61 Northern Boulevard

137-61 Northern Boulevard — image via Google Maps

Per Century’s website, completion of 137-61 Northern Boulevard is expected in 2017.

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Posted in 137-61 Northern Boulevard | Architecture | Century Development Group | Flushing | Hotel | New York | Queens | Raymond Chan Architects | Renderings | Residential

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