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Kris
July 11th, 2003, 06:01 AM
July 11, 2003

A Loft Feeling, but Without the Lofts

By NADINE BROZAN

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/07/11/nyregion/11real.large.jpg
A former Bank of New York office tower downtown is being converted into a 398-unit rental building.

In real estate parlance, the term "loft" connotes rambling space, while "studio" suggests a compact nest. The Moinian Group, a developer of residential and commercial properties, has worked to blend the two in its new rental building at 90 Washington Street in downtown Manhattan.

The 398 units in the building, a former Bank of New York office tower that has been named 90W, are not lofts, "but they have a loft feeling," said Joseph Moinian, chief executive of the firm that bears his family name. The apartments are smaller-scale versions of traditional lofts, with spaces of various shapes flowing into one another without walls or doors.

Mr. Moinian designed the sizes of the units 420 to 800 square feet to limit rents. They will range from $1,466 for single-room studios to $2,600 for spaces designated as living, dining gallery and a designation reflecting that it is a room without a window home office.

Mr. Moinian is hoping to attract tenants who might otherwise share quarters on the Upper East Side with roommates. "We know our customers well," he said. "They are young, first-time apartment occupants. They have jobs or are getting jobs in Manhattan or the boroughs, and they are very educated." Despite the economic downturn, he said, he believes that there are still enough young people commanding salaries of at least $45,000 a year, which permits them to qualify for the apartments.

Nor is he deterred by the proximity of ground zero, about two blocks to the north. "Negotiations on our deal had started long before 9/11," he said. "It was taking a long time, and that put us back even further. But my commitment is to downtown and we really wanted to continue being here." The Moinian Group owns six residential, commercial and retail buildings in the area, and construction is planned for two more.

Funding for 90W includes Liberty Bonds, which were created to encourage construction downtown after 9/11, and loans from the city's Housing Development Corporation and Key Bank. The total cost is estimated at $82 million.

In return for Liberty Bond funding, rents will be stabilized, with increases limited for 30 years to those set annually by the city's Rent Guidelines Board. The developer will also receive tax abatements for 14 years under the city's 421-g program, which is meant to stimulate the conversion of commercial buildings south of Murray and Frankfort Streets to residential or mixed use.

Construction on the building, whose facade was preserved but interior gutted, began in January and is due to be completed by Thanksgiving. The first tenants are scheduled to move in by the end of the summer.

Depending on their location, the apartments have sweeping views of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park City, the Empire State Building and the canyons of the financial district. "Even a bad view in this building is a good view," said the architect, Avinash Malhotra.

Initially, the configuration of the structure posed a challenge, but Mr. Malhotra said, "Usually I try to take the weakness and make it a strength, and here the weakness was the fact that the apartments were very deep, as much as 200 feet." To keep the units from resembling railroad flats, he designed secondary corridors "so that you enter in the middle of the apartment," he explained. "It makes the interior space more efficient."

In some units, he created office space; there is no city requirement that such space have windows. "The way we live has changed over the years," he said, "so the home occupation room has come onto the market. Many people want a separate area where they can work."

Much attention has been paid to the communal facilities, which were designed by Nancy J. Ruddy, an interior design architect. As Mr. Malhotra put it, "The apartments are not so big, so the amenities act as an extension of your apartment, and the club room becomes your living room."

The 13th floor is used for a 12,500-square-foot recreation center with 18-foot ceilings that includes a gym, a lounge and a roof terrace with putting greens and driving cages.

In addition, upholstery and furniture cleaning, dry cleaning and shoe shining will be offered on the premises. The building's underground garage "will accommodate cars and S.U.V.'s, no matter how big, as well as boats," Mr. Moinian said.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Gulcrapek
July 11th, 2003, 03:03 PM
Why did they preserve the facade?

ZippyTheChimp
August 6th, 2003, 11:09 AM
Gulcrapek, are you out in the wilderness with a laptop?

TLOZ Link5
August 6th, 2003, 09:14 PM
Gul does have a point, mind you:

http://skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/6/2001/04/100381.jpg

http://skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/6/2001/04/112604.jpg

Courtesy of skyscrapers.com.

ZippyTheChimp
August 7th, 2003, 04:22 PM
Speaking of facades, the mammoth Battery Garage in the foreground is getting a new one. I couldn't locate an image. A small section on the Greenwich side is done - looks like horizointal aluminum slats.

disgruntledtenant
August 8th, 2003, 10:56 AM
Landlord The Moinian Group with management Residential Management failed to inform new tenants of delayed move-in date than Aug 15 as specified on lease agreement. No call or correspondence whatsoever by LL/mgt. Checked with leasing agent on site (Washington St and Rector St) once every two weeks, told by employees of the leasing agent everything was on schedule. The latest update on Aug 2 from manager of leasing agency stating everything was on schedule was for sure a misrepresentation when ten mins later we uncovered from his assistant apt is not going to be ready by Aug 15. It was more frustrating after going into the apartment to see the walls are yet to be installed. No phone call from landlord/mgt after this visit until we searched for landlord's no and screamed at people. Another misrep when Residential Management employee attributed the delay to timing of permitting - how can these people blame the situation on permitting delay when the walls/toilet/kitchen are not installed yet!!!! She then commented it was a bit unusual. Wanted to caution potential interested parties about gross negligence & misrep on the part of landlord, management & leasing agent in our opinion. We don't want to see more tenants get hurt.....

RAUL DUKE
September 13th, 2003, 07:02 AM
yOU FOUND OUT ON 8/2 THAT THE 15TH WAS A NO-GO? I FOUND OUT ON THE 13TH, AFTER THOSE SCURVY SHIESTER BASTARDS TOOK 5 MONTHS OF SECURITY. LIKE YOU, I WAS IN THAT ****ING RENTAL OFFICE WITH THE LOOPING PR-VIDEO OF A FLAKEY GIRL HAPPY AS SHIT ABOUT HER NEW, 90W STUDIO-****ING-LOFT. THOSE RAT-BASTARDS SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES. PERSONALLY, I'D LIKE THEM TO DISCLOSE WHENABOUTS THEY LEARNED OF THE PERMIT-DELAYS, GIVEN I GAVE THOSE ****S THE ADDITIONAL 2-MONTHS OF SECURITY ON JULY 30TH.
IF THAT ISN'T CLEARLY INPROPIETY AND ACTING IN REALLY ****ING BAD-FAITH, THAN WHAT IS?

billyblancoNYC
September 14th, 2003, 05:09 PM
Speaking of facades, the mammoth Battery Garage in the foreground is getting a new one. I couldn't locate an image. A small section on the Greenwich side is done - looks like horizointal aluminum slats.

Is this still going to be some type of performing arts venue? I hope it is. I also hope we some some nice glass skin on this thing...