Extell’s planned 72-story tower at 250 South Street is only a few dozen feet tall so far, but the luxury residential project has inspired anti-gentrification protests and reportedly created cracks in neighboring buildings. So, the developer hopes to appease annoyed neighbors by installing murals around the block-long construction site on the Lower East Side waterfront.
Dubbed One Manhattan Square, the building will reach 823 feet into the air between the Manhattan Bridge, FDR Drive, Cherry Street, and Rutgers Street. It’ll span 1.2 million square feet and include 815 market-rate apartments, plus 23,000 square feet of retail. A 14-story, 205-unit affordable tower is also under construction down the block at 229 Cherry Street, where a Pathmark grocery store bit the dust in 2014.
Extell hired three New York-based artists – Margaret Inga Urías, Nicholas Forker, and Jessica Tynk – to design a series of unique installations.
Urías created black and white works based on historic maps and photographs. Some sections are clearly based on population density maps, others resemble 19th century fire insurance maps, and a few are abstract line drawings. This also isn’t her first foray into commissions for big developments. In the fall, she painted a large mural on the ground floor of Ava Dobro, a 57-story residential skyscraper that Avalon Bay is finishing up in Downtown Brooklyn.
Forker – an illustrator who got press in 2011 for becoming the first artist to paint a mural at SoHo clothing store Rag and Bone – drew a sequence of Lower East Side tenements. He washed them in bright colors, and he was “influenced by his ties to the Lower East Side and his Italian ancestors who immigrated to this neighborhood at the turn of the century,” according to press materials from the developer.
Finally, Jessica Tynk created a colorful comic strip based on architectural details from the Manhattan Bridge and other neighborhood landmarks. “She wanted to commemorate the architects and engineers who push the boundaries of what is possible,” notes the developer’s description of the murals.
Reps from Extell told the local community board that sales will launch in September. The firm also lowered their asking prices, and units will start at a million bucks, The Real Deal reported in February.
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