Construction Update: 100 Greenwich Street

100 Greenwich Street

Construction at 100 Greenwich Street is in full swing, as the 25 story hotel’s lower levels are now taking shape. The building was designed by architect Gene Kaufman, whose similarly scaled hotel at 6 Water Street is currently rising on Manhattan’s southern tip.

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100 Greenwich presents a more cohesive look than Kaufman’s 6 Water Street effort, with a white, uniform façade stretching upwards from a dark base, which largely matches the existing streetwall height and depth. The design is minimal, without any decoration nor crown definition. The façade is saved from complete banality with a vertical ribbon running along the middle, which visually connects the central window bays into a single feature.

Materiality and detail quality on this ribbon will determine whether the feature is a boon or an eyesore. In either case, the façade’s impact upon the streetscape will be understated, since the midblock site on the narrow Greenwich Street does not provide ample vantage points, and another tall structure blocks much of the building’s frontal exposure.

The cleared site in September 2013, before wall anchoring at 96 Greenwich next door

The cleared site in September 2013, before wall anchoring at 96 Greenwich next door

Prior to demolition, the structure at the site was rather representative of Greenwich South’s low-key, gritty ambiance during its pre-9/11 years. The five-story walkup, with a bodega and a lingerie store at the lower level, was covered in sooty water stains, featured no ornament, and presented no architectural merit whatsoever.

The predecessor in 2013; image by Google

The predecessor in 2013; image by Google

At the turn of the decade, prolific hotelier Sam Chang had proposed a 32-story hotel for the site, around the corner from his other emerging project – a 49-story, 400 room Holiday Inn at 99 Washington Street. As Chang focused his efforts on the Holiday Inn, the building at 100 Greenwich was demolished in 2014. The site sat as a rubble-strewn ground lot until developer Sun Moon New York LLC commenced construction earlier this year.

View across Greenwich Street

View across Greenwich Street

The project’s small, 90 by 50 foot lot presents certain challenges to the builder. The new building occupies the entire site, allowing very little room for construction staging. Its adjacent, pre-war neighbors are showing their age and have to be treated with care during foundation work. The wall of 96 Greenwich had to be pinned with tiebacks for added structural stability. Nine years ago, lack of caution during foundation prep for the 58-story W New York Downtown Hotel and Residences, one block to the north, caused the next-door building at 120 Greenwich to shift one inch, requiring emergency installation of temporary, heavy duty supports for the pre-war structure.

A subway entrance to the Rector Street station for the 1 Train sits directly in front of the building, adding additional constraints.

Background, from left to center: 19 Rector Street, 50 West Street (under construction), and Holiday Inn at 99 Washington Street

Background, from left to center: 19 Rector Street, 50 West Street (under construction), and Holiday Inn at 99 Washington Street

As Greenwich South continues its post-9/11 transformation, the building will leave a barely noticeable mark on the district’s emerging skyline, since it is obscured by nearby tall buildings from nearly all directions. The 197-room hotel will be the latest in a string of hospitality additions to the area. The Holiday Inn at 99 Washington (2014), the W (2010) a block north, and the renovated Club Quarters World Trade Center will soon be joined by the 356-foot-tall Marriott Courtyard at 133 Greenwich, up the street. The latter is topped-out and is in the process of receiving its façade.

Residential additions to the neighborhood are on the way as well. 50 West Street is rising a block away, and the ornate, pre-war tower at 68 Trinity Place, which sits essentially next door, is undergoing demolition for a new apartment building. Further up the street, foundations are underway for 125 Greenwich Street, which will become one of the tallest buildings in all of Lower Manhattan.

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