The recession stalled and cancelled projects across all of New York City, but one of the most high-profile victims was 56 Leonard. The Herzog & de Meuron-designed residential tower got as far as foundation work before construction was put on-hold. Now, after four years of dormancy, the architectural marvel is finally set to rise.
Permits filed with the Department of Buildings were just recently approved, and rumor has it that construction on the tower itself should begin as early as next week.
56 Leonard should serve as an example of what can go right when an architectural team (in this case H & de M) actually creates a project with lofty ambitions. The tower will be incredibly out of scale with the rest of TriBeCa but in this case, that isn’t a bad thing. The low-rise nature of 56 Leonard’s surroundings will serve to enhance the building’s presence on the skyline.
8 Spruce Street is another new Downtown residential tower (that actually did rise during the recession), and that tower’s height and isolation also serve to ensure its mark on the city, even when viewed from Brooklyn or New Jersey. The situation will be similar if not more dramatic for 56 Leonard.
The cantilevered apartments will rise 57 stories and slightly over 800 feet, and the target demographic is the same set that’s currently buying at One57 and will soon be buying from 432 Park Avenue. There’s enough divergence in location that competition should not be a problem, although 56 Leonard and 432 Park Avenue should be reaching completion within a year of each other.
One cause for concern could be the future tower being built by Silverstein at 99 Church Street, which will house condominiums and a Four Seasons. That project was designed by Stern and will also be exceptional, rising 67 stories and over 900 feet. Renderings show a tower that harks to the New York of the 1930s, with a stunning limestone facade and soaring yet graceful proportions.
56 Leonard is finally being revived after an acquisition by Hines, which also owns the site for the future Torre Verre. There’s no word on whether that project will be coming back soon, though.
The below video shows 56 Leonard literally falling into place, and it’s a great watch. One major bonus of the site will be the jelly bean-like sculpture resting under the tower’s base.