When the old Bancroft Bank Building met the wrecking ball a few years ago, the site, at 3 West 29th Street, was tentatively planned to give rise to a residential tower designed by Moshe Safdie. In September of 2017, that changed, when HFZ Capital filed plans for a Bjarke Ingels-designed office skyscraper, as reported by YIMBY. Now, we have the exclusive reveal for the first renderings of the new building, which will apparently be even more prominent on the skyline than originally planned.
According to materials for the project,
The building will incorporate a LEED certified design and highly amenitized offering package promoting employee connectivity, communal workspaces, and fitness options that will pioneer a new frontier of wellness and sustainability within the workplace. The building is designed with smaller 13,400 square foot floorplates that will attract an underserved market while leaving ample lot area to design a vibrant park surrounding the building.
The last part of the description is what’s critical to the eventual density, with the site’s developer utilizing the plaza bonus and neighboring air rights in order to build the new office space. According to the applications filed with the Department of Buildings as of September, 300,000 square feet will be contained with a 34-story and 551-foot envelope.
While the DOB filings from September show 34 floors, the first renderings of the project paint a picture that is substantially different. A rough count reveals approximately 60 stories in the version depicted in the images, which would correlate with a roof height of approximately 800 to 850 feet above street level. That also portends a much larger overall footprint, possibly approaching 600,000 square feet.
Despite the apparent height decrease last year, the plans by BIG may end up matching or exceeding the original residential iteration by Safdie. A source tells YIMBY that the initial building applications were submitted so that foundation work could begin ahead of the submission of the actual plans.
Design-wise, the structure will be both broad and tall, with a glass envelope. Flair will consist of a series of terraces along the eastern side of the skyscraper, with each floor set to have its own outdoor space. In this regard, it appears the project is similar to Tishman Speyer’s Spiral, also designed by BIG, which is under construction on the Far West Side.
As for 3 West 29th Street, the project has been officially dubbed “29th and 5th” according to the marketing materials. It also has an address at 8 West 30th Street.
No formal completion date has yet been announced, but with groundwork underway, things are already moving forward. HFZ assembled the air rights from several adjacent properties, including Gilsey House, as YIMBY previously reported.
The transfer of that square footage required approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which was granted, conditioned on the base of the new tower matching its neighbors.
Whether the new design must go through the LPC once more remains to be seen, but the similarities in scope could mean construction has no remaining obstacles. Completion by 2021 would seem to be a reasonable estimate, and HFZ KIK 30th Street LLC is the official entity behind the building applications.