With 175 Greenwich Street nearing its opening day and 200 Greenwich Street hopefully expected to begin construction within the next few years, most of the World Trade Center’s rebuilding is nearing completion. But one major hole in Downtown’s fabric still remains, at the site of the former Deutsche Bank Building. Plans for a pot-bellied skyscraper had been proposed around the time of the tower’s demolition, but in the years since, the plot had seemingly been forgotten, and is currently covered in asphalt. Today, YIMBY has a major update on the site, thanks to zombified plans from Chinese developer Dalian Wanda Group, which would yield a new residential and hotel supertall designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.
The plans were created back in 2014, when Wanda and a handful of additional Chinese developers were embarking on a major international property development spree. While several of their projects made it past the planning stages, the Chinese government has since begun a sharp crackdown on this practice, which has seemingly halted anything additional entering the pipeline on their behalf.
Nevertheless, the fully-fleshed proposal would have placed KPF’s design on the site of the old Deutsche Bank, far surpassing its bulky predecessor in terms of skyline impact. The building would have two separate lobbies for the hotel and residential components, with the hotel occupying the first dozen or so floors, and the residential located above that.
Besides the height, which would put the pinnacle around 1,050 feet, the hotel lobby would include a seven-story atrium, making for a fairly dramatic base. Additionally, there would be a major retail component in the form of a department store.
The tower’s total area would measure over 1.4 million square feet, with 240 rooms over 350,000 square feet of hotel space, 200,000 square feet of retail for the department store, and about 850,000 square feet for condominiums.
The architect describes the project thusly:
The landmark tower design inherits the folding gesture that ties in with the Freedom Tower and WTC Park. The ground plane is folded up to create a sense of enclosure.
Beyond the design’s nod toward the rest of the site’s evolution at its base, the tower itself would complement the glassy giants of the complex quite nicely, punctuating the Downtown skyline with yet another attractive contemporary exclamation point.
Unfortunately for residents of 125 Greenwich Street, eventual progress will come at the complete sacrifice of their western views, which will be almost entirely obstructed. While that site’s developers are hurriedly racing skywards and are already creeping above the neighboring low-rise fabric, its inhabitants could imminently feel quite claustrophobic even on the upper floors, with 5 World Trade Center likely to overshadow the building in both height and width.
When asked for comment on the potential impact of 5 World Trade on its imminently-extant neighbor, Stribling’s President Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan told YIMBY:
Any time views are obstructed it has the potential to affect pricing. If people are specifically looking to have a great view, prices will likely have to come down to entice buyers who may otherwise lose interest. Although, for some, a fabulous building can be fun to look at as well.
While Wanda Group’s plans are unlikely to be realized due to the Chinese government’s crackdown on overseas real estate, the re-conception by Kohn Pedersen Fox is certainly a sign that the site is actively being considered for development, and is a major improvement over what had previously been anticipated to rise.
No official word on the site’s progress has been released in years, and any tentative completion date for whatever does result remains under wraps.