New Look: 520 West 20th Street

520 West 20th Street520 West 20th Street, image from Morris Adjmi Architects

Earlier this week, YIMBY posted the first renderings for an office project underway at 520 West 20th Street, between the High Line and Eleventh Avenue. Now, we have a new look at the project courtesy of its architect, Morris Adjmi, which gives a much better idea of where the design stands. Eli and James Haddad (doing business as the Carolina Manufacturing Co.) are developing.

YIMBY also sent along some questions regarding prospective tenants and the overall look, and Adjmi described the project thusly:

The developer is looking for a single tenant to attach their brand and occupy what we believe to be a unique first-class office building in Chelsea. 520 West 20th Street will continue to respect the historic character of the neighborhood while embracing the exciting spirit that the repurposing of the High Line has created (like the Theory, High Line and Samsung buildings). We paid special attention to maintain soaring ceiling heights on each floor and created a multitude of outdoor spaces with views of the river, city and the High Line park.

Like the other Adjmi projects mentioned above, 520 West 20th Street will be a positive addition to the High Line corridor, which continues to boom with office and residential developments sprouting alongside its entirety.

While the aesthetic of new construction this far north typically skews towards the ultra-contemporary (best represented by like Gehry’s IAC Headquarters at 555 West 18th Street, and Nouvel’s Vision Machine at 100 Eleventh Avenue), the integration of the old warehouse at 837 Washington resulted in a striking office building that quickly leased (in its entirety) to Samsung. Hopefully this is a sign that more projects like 520 West 20th Street are in the works, as they tastefully integrate the neighborhood’s existing urban fabric into new construction.

Nearby, Adjmi also has plans for a ground-up office project of a similar size at 540 West 26th Street, which the Savanna Fund is developing.

In the case of 520 West 20th Street, the existing structure will also be maintained and completely renovated. But unlike 837 Washington, the building lies outside any historic districts and lacks landmark designation, proving that developers will indeed preserve and refurbish old buildings if it can add to profit margins.

Talk about this project on the YIMBY Forums

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