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Thread: Tribeca: Historic vs. Cutting-Edge Architecture

  1. #1

    Default Tribeca: Historic vs. Cutting-Edge Architecture

    The question of historic vs. modern is heating up in Tribeca's unlandmarked areas.

    What's best for the community? The city?

    Preserving the old or building contemporary structures? Keeping the low density or building high?

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Quote Originally Posted by archtype View Post
    What's best for the community? The city?
    The best one-word answer to those questions: diversity.

  3. #3
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Preserve old, existing and VIABLE buildings (which means good bye to a few 1 & 2-story auto shops).

    The new building should either be brilliantly reverential ala the RIVERLOFTS (IMO the best looking new large building in Tribeca) or totally cutting-edge new (still waiting for that, but 1 York might do the trick).

    Faux Tribeca is NOT needed (see: Tribeca Grand Hotel ).

    (Although the new DeNiro Hotel does a better job with this than TGH.)

    Empty lots should either be built upon or made into green spaces.

    Billboards should ALL come down.

    I'd prefer lower-rise in the Parker zone, but alas ....

    Will Canal St. be a fantastic looking Boulevard / Brooklyn <> NJ Hi-Way in 10 years? Only time will tell.

    Oh yes ... Robert Moses (aka The would-be Killer of Downtown) can roll over in his grave

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    New conversion in Tribeca in a somewhat notorious property at 372 Broadway (8 units) ...

    Google MAP (attached below, showing 372 Broadway and 88 Leonard Street)

    Conversion of 372 Broadway has been in the works for awhile, but then faltered -- now it seems to have new legs ...

    Multi Capital Group Closes A Condo Conversion Loan
    In The TriBeCa Area Of New York City

    Multi Capital Group, a Real Estate Investment Banking firm has closed an $18,500,000 condominium conversion loan in connection with their client's purchase of 372 Broadway. The property is located in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City.

    New York, NY (PRWEB) March 29, 2006 -- Multi Capital Group, a Real Estate Investment Banking firm has arranged for an $18,500,000 condominium conversion loan in connection with their client's purchase of 372 Broadway in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City.

    The loan was a combination of Senior Debt and Mezzanine financing with a total capital structure of 92% LTC. The property located in the trendy neighborhood of TriBeCa NY, consists of an existing building that will be completely renovated and fitted with luxury finishes. The project will have an additional Penthouse level added to the structure.

    According to Eli Verschleiser a partner at the firm, this area will continue to see new developments within the next 6-9 month. "We are involved in numerous transactions within a 6 block radius of the site. I guess TriBeCa is still where developers still get one of the highest price per square foot." The site is located on Broadway just south of the recently topped off 345 Broadway / 88 Leonard development being built by Leviev Boymelgreen

    Multi Capital stated that the client for this transaction is a leading multi-family / office building owner and operator for over 30 years. The client has a proven track record of successfully developing and repositioning properties in all of the Tri-State markets. The client has extensive experience with all aspects of multi-family real estate including: land assemblage and planning, construction rehabilitation and residential condominium conversions. The client owns and/or manages more than 5,000,000 SF of Real Estate in the New York Tri-State region.

    Multi Capital Group ( is a national Real Estate Investment Banking firm, prominent in Debt and Mezzanine financing as well as equity participation, and investment sales. Its clients include some of the most active developers and institutions both nationally and in the New York metropolitan area.


    Checkered challenge
    September 3rd, 2003

    An investor group including a local builder and a Californian who made a bundle on dot-coms bought a downtown industrial building with a checkered past - to turn into apartments.

    They paid $4.9 million for 372 Broadway. The seller of the 18,750-square-foot cast-iron and brick building was Manhattan residential converter Yair Levy. The sale brokers were Levy's son-in-law Dan Deutsch and partner Barry Zuckerman, both of Murray Hill Properties/TCN. Another Murray Hill broker represented the buyer.

    The five-story property is two blocks south of Canal Street, in a landmark district where Chinatown, TriBeCa and the City Hall area intersect. A decade ago, the building was the subject of front-page stories. One floor of the building was carved into 16 tiny cubicles and rented illegally to poor immigrants.

    Owners of the condos next door at 376 Broadway are keeping an eye on what happens to the ground floor of the newly acquired building. Four years ago, neighborhood residents successfully opposed the construction of a nightclub there.

    Deutsch said the building's new owners have decided to put a restaurant in the space rather than a bar, in order to avoid controversy. "They want to be community-aware," he said.


    The building's notorious past:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5

  6. #6
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    OMG, that looks decent. Must be the work of an assistant.

  7. #7


    The Downtown Express
    Volume 21, Number 34 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | January 2 - 8, 2009

    Architect Henry Smith-Miller is hoping developer Second Development Services, Inc. finds an investor to build his oddly-shaped penthouse design at 78-80 Leonard St.

    That’s not origami, that’s a Tribeca penthouse

    By Julie Shapiro

    In a neighborhood where rooftop additions are met with frustration and resignation, the architect Henry Smith-Miller designed the least obtrusive addition of all: an invisible one.

    The two-story mesh metal topper for 78-80 Leonard St. will be impossible to see from the street. But Smith-Miller did not design it for a vacuum —neighboring residents will have a clear view of his unique materials and shapes.

    The multi-faceted condo addition looks like a piece of paper that was folded into an origami pattern and then unfolded again, with creases remaining. The 9,530-square-foot addition has no windows but is made of tin, wire glass and corrugated metal. It looks solid from the outside but allows people on the inside to look out, as through a screen. Smith-Miller calls it a “stone cloud.”

    “There are a lot of additions that are not very inventive — the aluminum-and-glass bungalow,” Smith-Miller said. “I got thinking about how to add onto the building in a language similar to what you usually find above the cornice…. The roofscapes of Soho and Tribeca are very different from the shapes on the street.”

    Smith-Miller was inspired by rooftop mechanical equipment and the gritty feeling of darker, less polished materials. His addition will be a matt gray.

    Like most development projects these days, the penthouse addition is far from a sure thing. The project, by Second Development Services, Inc., has a potential investor but the funding is not definite, said Barbara Resnicow, director of development for S.D.S.

    “If that doesn’t work out, we’ll probably wait to see how the market goes,” she said. “It’s not easy to get financing.”

    Since 78-80 Leonard St. sits in the Tribeca East Historic District, the addition also needs approval from the city Landmarks Preservation Commission, which will hear the application this month. Community Board 1 gave advisory approval to the landmarks application with a 32-5 vote in December.

    C.B. 1 usually turns down any rooftop addition over one story tall, purely on principle. But this time, there was a wrinkle: “We all liked the design very much,” said Bruce Ehrmann, co-chairperson of the Landmarks Committee. In a positive resolution, the board called the modern design “arresting and aesthetically breathtaking.”

    “It’s an unbelievable project for Tribeca — amazing,” added Brian Lutz, a public member.

    But the approval was not unanimous. Paul Sipos, a board member, called the design “hideous” and said it was a bad precedent. Allan Tannenbaum, another board member, agreed and added that he didn’t believe the addition would be invisible from the street. Other developers have promised the same thing and don’t follow through, Tannenbaum said.

    Smith-Miller replied that he lives in Soho and wouldn’t lie to the community, and besides, it’s his reputation on the line.

    “We will deliver what we tell you we will,” he said.

    Smith-Miller agreed to downsize the mechanical equipment that will sit behind the addition on the roof, since board members worried the bulky equipment would eclipse the new design.

    The addition will top the adjacent but separate buildings of 78-80 Leonard St., which are connected inside. The more architecturally significant is 80 Leonard St., built in 1861 with an arcaded facade that has two-story columns. Designed by J. H. Giles, the ground floor is cast iron, while the marble top four floors are divided into two-story segments with arched windows.

    The building suffered several fires and was derelict until Second Development Services intervened in the mid-1990s to preserve the exterior and renovate the interior, converting it to apartments. Both the apartments and the ground-level retail in 78-80 Leonard are now vacant again, as the development company upgrades them. The 18 high-ceilinged loft units, including some duplexes, will be on the market soon, going for about $1 million to $1.5 million, Resnicow said.

    The rooftop addition, which will have eight condo units, will take more time. If the construction started in the middle of 2009, it could finish in the middle of 2010, Resnicow said, though Smith-Miller said it could be a little longer. And the construction is dependent on getting financing, which could push the project’s completion off even further.

    Smith-Miller said his addition is particularly interesting because it is shaped by landmarks laws, zoning, setbacks and sightlines. The unusual, sloping shape bends so as to be invisible — which Smith-Miller thought was important because he is breaking the unwritten rule of never adding more than a one-story addition.

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission does not comment on pending applications, but spokesperson Lisi de Bourbon said visibility from the street is one factor the commission considers, along with scale, massing and consistency with the existing building.

    Smith-Miller got the idea for the metal screen on the addition after working with stainless steel screens for government projects. A screen is like a chameleon, changing color and apparent texture at different times of day as the light hits it at different angles. Thom Mayne is using a similar screen in his design for the new Cooper Union building on Third Ave.

    The entire structure will hang from new supports, because Smith-Miller did not want to place too much weight on the building’s existing columns.

    The next step on the project is for Smith-Miller to design and build a mock-up of the addition on the rooftop.

    “Then people can go out on the street and see if they can find it,” he said.

    Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects

    78-80 Leonard Street

    New York, NY

    9,530 SF

    SDS Development Services, Inc.

    Addition of 8 new units to existing residential condominium building

  8. #8
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    That ^ is a great looking design and a smart project. It creates a bridge between the buildings within the Tribeca East Landmarked District and the new 88 Leonard building which sits just outside the District.

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