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Thread: Smyth Hotel Tribeca - 85 West Broadway - Brennan Beer Gorman (BBG)

  1. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post

    Very naaahce!

    I forgot about this ad!!!!

  2. #17


    Got a good laugh re-visiting this thread.

    Half way up.

  3. #18
    Kings County Loyal BrooklynLove's Avatar
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    question re smyth hotel - i've been watching it go up, and it seems to be covering up the windows in the seemingly expensive condos adjacent to the south. anybody know more behind that? just seems wrong.

  4. #19

  5. #20
    Kings County Loyal BrooklynLove's Avatar
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    ^^ right, that's the building. but what is the deal with smyth going flush up against the north facing windows?

  6. #21
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Greenwich Boy ^ beat me to posting the links while I was putting this one together ...

    It's quite a saga.

    The current mega-rich owner the PH at 60 Warren Street (aka 79 - 83 W. Broadway, just to the south of the Smyth Hotel) is not very happy about the Smyth rising ... seems the new Smyth building is getting in the way of attempts to sell this joint.

    But then, folks weren't too happy when this 4-story roof-top structure was added to an old brick munitions warehouse back in the 90's ...

    At one time thie 60 Warren PH was occupied by heiress / lawyer / former dot-com exec Elana Waksal Posner -- if the name Waksal sounds familiar it's probably because you remember hearing it when Elena's daddy, Samuel Waksal, got into hot water with the law a few years back (his dirty deeds regarding his company, ImClone Systems, also caused some trouble for a few of his friends, most notably Martha Stewart).

    The window below at 60 Warren Street looks to the north -- where the Smyth is now rising.

    The new hotel will block the view:

    Overlooking the dining area: A 24-foot window stretches two stories,
    letting natural light flood in to illuminate the Dale Chihuly chandelier, a
    Jason Brooks painting, and a 1,300-pound Antony Gormley sculpture
    that cantilevers from the wall. The wall beams had to be reinforced.

    60 Warren Street Townhouse/Penthouse

    cityspecific blogspot

    by jskrybe at flickr

    I couldn't help snapping a photo of this beautiful monstrosity in Tribeca
    the other night. Little did I know the puppy's up for sale — still holding at
    $28.5 million, no PriceChopping yet—and had been featured on Curbed
    several weeks ago and is featured in New York magazine's VU
    supplement this week. Plus it's filled with crazy art!


    Here's a Classic New York Story of
    No View Being Permanent

    Heuichul Kim
    The 24-foot north-facing windows of Edward Bazinet's
    penthouse will be blocked by the quickly-rising Smyth Hotel

    New York Sun
    Staff Reporter of the Sun
    January 10, 2008

    In New York, the saying goes, no view is permanent.

    The plight of multimillionaire Edward Bazinet proves the universality of this maxim: Even if you own one of the most expensive and unusual penthouses in Lower Manhattan, your view can still be blocked.

    The north side of Mr. Bazinet's five-story, modern-art-filled penthouse at 60 Warren St. has a sweeping 24-foot window with views of the Empire State Building, as well as a small greenhouse attached to the kitchen. But the sound of hammering and drilling on a new 14-story hotel-condominium called the Smyth just a few floors below foretells a shadier future. "I'm not thrilled, obviously," Mr. Bazinet, 64, who is worth more than $100 million after retiring from the ceramic collectibles business he founded, said in an interview.

    "My sixth-floor windows will be gone, and three other floors are losing north-side views," he said. "Their abutting wall will be right up next to my patio area and greenhouse."

    Mr. Bazinet put the apartment on the market in 2006 for $28.5 million, the most expensive listing for a downtown apartment at the time. But in October 2007, he took it off because of the construction, his broker at Sotheby's, Stephen McRae, said.

    "We had offers on it, but people didn't want to live through the construction," Mr. McRae said, adding that the penthouse will likely go back on the market after the hotel's basic frame is complete.

    Mr. Bazinet vowed to increase the price, arguing that the nearly 10,000-square-foot penthouse is so unique that one lost view will not diminish its value.

    The apartment has views of the city on all four sides, including the Hudson River on the west.

    A real estate appraiser, Jonathan Miller, said wrap-around views on a penthouse could account for between 25% and 50% of the price. He said he could not comment specifically on Mr. Bazinet's penthouse. "Anytime you lose one-fourth of your view, that's also natural light and privacy lost," he said.

    "It could be a very considerate impact" on price.

    Mr. Bazinet originally bought the space in 2001 for $13.15 million from the chief executive of StarMedia Network, Fernando Espuelas, who had bought it for $6.1 million the year before.

    One of the original developers of the penthouse, which sits atop the five-story 19th-century Munitions Building, was the founder of ImClone, Samuel Waksal, who is serving a seven-year prison sentence in Michigan for securities fraud. Mr. Bazinet said he sued Waksal and his partners for shoddy construction.

    Three years and millions of dollars later, the penthouse was transformed into one of the most unusual properties in Lower Manhattan, but Mr. Bazinet said he was tired of "vertical living."

    In the 2007 book "Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich," Mr. Bazinet told author Robert Frank that he wanted to scale back.

    "It's not comfortable," he told Mr. Frank. "Sometimes you don't know until you're living in a space. But this feels too big for two people. It's great when you have people for a party. But upstairs it feels like a big fishbowl with just a few people. There are no cozy areas."

    At one point Mr. Bazinet said he considered buying the plot of land where the new hotel is rising, which was on the market for $24 million, to prevent his view from being blocked. But he did not want the added responsibility of developing it. "I had enough headaches in New York," he said.

    Mr. Bazinet started out designing flower arrangements in his home state of Minnesota, and he hit on the idea of selling collectible ceramic villages in the 1970s, according to "Richistan." He retired from the company he founded, called Department 56, in 1997. He has two Ocicats, a rare breed of cat, and co-owns a Gulfstream jet.

    The architect who redesigned the penthouse and orchestrated the addition of another floor to Mr. Bazinet's penthouse, Andrea Ballerini, said he had enlarged the northern window to take better advantage of the view.

    "We cut the beam and made a bigger window," he said. "You can see completely to the Empire State Building."

    The Smyth, which will include 100 hotel rooms, 15 hotel condominiums, and a restaurant and bar in the lobby, "will be very bad," Mr. Ballerini said. "It is New York and it is bad luck."

    The penthouse has a private elevator, three terraces, a gym, and a dark room.

    Mr. Bazinet, who lives there with his partner, a Belgian photographer, has filled the apartment with modern art. Directly inside the 24-foot window that is losing its view is a 700-piece Dale Chihuly chandelier. Near a stairwell is a 30-foot LED installation by Jenny Holzer, and elsewhere are a Jason Brooks painting, a 1,300-pound Antony Gormley sculpture, two Eric Fischl sculptures, and a giant Bisazza-tile portrait of Napoleon, according to an article in New York magazine featuring the space.

    The developer of the Smyth, William Brodsky of TriBeCa Associates, said he has met with Mr. Bazinet to discuss mitigating the effect of the construction. One idea is to plant ivy or another plant on the section of the wall that blocks the apartment.

    "One of the things that we are not thrilled about is that we're taking Ed's view, and we're sorry about that," Mr. Brodsky said.

    © 2007 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.


    The Art House

    It’s a townhouse.
    No, it’s a doorman building.
    Wait — it’s both.
    And it comes with a Jenny Holzer installation
    and a 700-piece Dale Chihuly chandelier.

    By Wendy Goodman
    June 18, 2006

    Proof that it’s possible to have your real-estate cake and eat it, too: This five-story private home, with its expansive views and ample outdoor space, is actually perched on the roof of a nineteenth-century Tribeca building. The developers had started the townhouse (originally four stories) on top of 60 Warren Street but never finished it. “It was a shell,” says the owners’ architect, Andrea Ballerini. “And not even a good shell.”
    The owners had been living in Chelsea, but when they saw this property, they realized it had the best of many worlds: great light, outdoor space, breathtaking views south, west, and north, and the feeling of a townhouse with the security of a doorman building. Its configuration and wall space would also let them display more of their significant contemporary-art collection. They agreed to an early closing in August 2001 and began an extensive renovation (they also added the fifth floor, which now houses a gym, wet bar, bathroom, and separate terrace).

    Ballerini had already designed two other houses for these clients, so he knew that showcasing the art was paramount to the design. That meant putting Jenny Holzer’s three-story blue LED word display front and center, near the staircase, and adding more pieces of blown glass to the Dale Chihuly chandelier, because the original configuration wasn’t substantial enough. The Gerhard Richter painting recessed into the living-room wall appears as if it were created for the space. At first glance, a life-size Eric Fischl sculpture lurking in the doorway on one side of the master bath looks like the bogeyman looming to get you. Beyond the bath is the Jacuzzi room, where a portrait of Napoleon, rendered in Bisazza tile, surrounds the chrome tub.

    Even the notoriously picky artists themselves approve of, and collaborated on, the space. “The blue vertical LED always was to go by the stair,” says Holzer of her installation. “I liked this plan because, however irrationally and optimistically, I thought of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase and wanted to leave a ghost of that at the apartment.”

    The ghost will go to whoever buys the apartment, as will the very substantial Chihuly (there’s a cherry picker stored in the building’s basement, which comes in handy for dusting it). The rest of the art is moving out — unless a prospective buyer really falls in love. “Everything is an option,” the current owner says with a smile.


    Adding New Floors Atop Old Buildings

    October 24, 1999

    FIST-THICK bolts have been punched through 53-foot-long, 18,000-pound girders, forging a platform for four new floors atop the masonry walls of an 1860's building on Warren Street in TriBeCa -- an ornate structure that once warehoused munitions for the Remington Arms Company and, later, row upon row of champagne bottles for the G.H. Mumm Company.

    By spring, the developer hopes to have sold the four full-floor condominiums being fashioned in the old building, the 6,000-square-foot apartment with a deck on the newly created sixth floor and, perhaps, the new triplex that will top it all off -- for prices ranging from $1.4 million to $4.3 million.

    At 40 Prince Street in Little Italy, three new floors are being added to create a total of 20 apartments in a 1950's building that already has offices, art studios and residences. At 90th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side, scaffolding skirts a six-story 1920's building in preparation for the addition of five floors and a penthouse -- virtually doubling the building's size.

    The Manhattan residential market, where demand has long outstripped available acreage, has long inspired developers to reach for novel architectural forms -- from the so-called sliver building, rising high from a narrow lot, to the lollipop building (kind of a sliver building topped by T-shaped wings over adjacent brownstones and town houses). These days, it is increasingly spurring construction of piggyback buildings: more floors -- in one case 11 -- added onto an existing structure. At least a dozen piggyback buildings are currently in some state of construction.

    ''It's definitely a trend,'' said Richard C. Visconti, acting commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings. ''The strong economy is driving a tremendous amount of residential development.''

    And as certain areas of the city have been rezoned from commercial to residential use, Mr. Visconti said, developers find it feasible -- particularly in lower Manhattan where many older buildings retain unused development rights -- ''to buy buildings and add two, three or whatever the lot will yield in the way of additional floor area.''

    The phenomenon has generated considerable controversy, particularly from neighbors of buildings experiencing unanticipated growth spurts and, in some cases, people already living in the buildings.

    There are immediate concerns, like the din of construction, fear of falling debris and fire safety; and longer-term issues, like access to light and air, the structural integrity of the old building, the historic character of the community and, in grittier districts, the frustration that ''there goes the neighborhood'' (upscale).

    Not to mention sudden loss of that precious commodity: view.

    The Department of Buildings cannot quantify the trend in what it refers to as ''vertical enlargements'' because they are lumped together with applications for all sorts of building alterations. ''We have no statistics that say so many permits have been given for vertical enlargements.'' Mr. Visconti said. ''But across the board we're up 31 percent in our alteration applications'' -- from 46,214 in 1995 to 60,631 this year. ''What is new,'' Mr. Visconti said, ''is that everyone is seeing more and more of it.''

    Charles Dunne sees it every day -- and not just at the old munitions and champagne warehouse that his company is piggybacking.

    Mr. Dunne is a partner in the 60 Warren Street Company. ''I live downtown and I see it,'' he said. ''Many buildings are doing one or two floors; I know of five to 10. But I'd say another four or five are adding four or five floors.''

    ''One reason you're seeing this is because the price of raw space has gone up dramatically,'' Mr. Dunne said. ''So to make a project economically viable it's not always possible just to keep and renovate the existing structure. That leaves you two choices, either knock the building down and start from scratch or do what we did.

    ''We didn't just go out with the idea of adding to a building,'' Mr. Dunne said. ''We found a building we thought was beautiful and tried make it economically viable while preserving it.''

    Some people are not applauding, their reservations ranging from esthetics to fear of collapse.

    Andrew Dolkart, an architectural historian and author of ''The Texture of TriBeCa'' (TriBeCa Community Association, 1989), pointed out that 60 Warren Street is representative of the first generation of imposing buildings that, starting in the 1850's, transformed what is now called TriBeCa from a neighborhood of Federal-style row houses with sloping roofs and dormer windows into a commercial and manufacturing district.

    ''It's five stories,'' Mr. Dolkart said. ''That's typical because these buildings predate the elevator. It's an Italianate-style building with segmental arches on the windows of three floors and round arches on top -- a nice variation in the rhythms.''

    Such buildings were carefully proportioned for their height, Mr. Dolkart said, ''so when you add stories you destroy the proportions.''

    ''I hate this stuff,'' he said. ''The Warren Street building is a really significant structure and doesn't deserve to be the base for a taller building. I'd rather see it torn down.''

    Roger Byrom, a graphics designer, lives across the street from 60 Warren and worries that the building, with its old wooden joists and beams and load-bearing walls, could come tumbling down -- especially if a fire starts in the dry-cleaning plant on the ground floor.

    ''I've asked structural engineers, 'Am I crazy here?' and they all say no,'' Mr. Byrom said.

    ''With that structure on the roof,'' Mr. Byrom asserted, the building will press the limits of its load-bearing capacity. ''Can you imagine,'' he said, ''if any of the integrity of the 100-year-old brickwork is in question, that the building will just buckle and fall over?''

    Not a chance, said Joseph Vance, the architect. ''It was built to handle a lot of weight, stacked-up ammunition,'' Mr. Vance said. ''So it was extremely well built.''

    One wall, on West Broadway, for example, Mr. Vance said, ''is two feet thick at the bottom and tapers to 17 inches at the top.'' And engineers have calculated, he said, that the east wall -- a so-called ''party wall'' shared with the neighboring building -- ''can not only support what we are doing, but a four-story addition on their building as well.''

    The neighbors were not convinced.

    The co-op board at 56 Warren Street filed suit, primarily because of concerns that wood beams inside the old warehouse could catch fire and, with them, the building collapse. In June, City Councilwoman Kathryn E. Freed wrote to the Buildings Department, echoing those concerns.

    ''This problem is not unique to this project,'' the letter said. ''Several other buildings in lower Manhattan have been renovated without attention to this critical safety issue. Even a minor fire in one of these buildings could cause a major catastrophe!''

    Last month, the Buildings Department responded, saying, in part, that the builder ''will be installing noncombustible bracing at required intervals.''
    Explaining his architectural design, Mr. Vance said: ''We are creating a platform on top of the building, spanning from the west wall to the east wall, with three-foot-deep steel beams that transfer the weight of the entire four-story addition to the exterior masonry walls.''

    To deal with the issues raised by Councilwoman Freed and the neighbors' lawsuit, Mr. Vance said, it was decided to add fireproof steel bracing within the existing fourth floor.

    ''What they were concerned about is lateral stability,'' he said. ''If you are standing up and someone stands on your shoulders you're wobbly -- laterally unstable. But if you're sitting on the ground and someone stands on your shoulders, you wouldn't wobble as much.''

    ''The fourth floor,'' Mr. Vance said, ''is where the walls are thinnest. And we have, through quantifiable calculation, determined that with the fourth-floor steel beams, every joist in the building could be removed and it would still be stable.'' On that basis, and with other issues addressed, the lawsuit filed by the board of the neighboring building was settled.

    Asked if she was satisfied, Councilwoman Freed said yes and no.

    ''What the Buildings Department originally approved lacked these additional safeguards,'' she said. ''If the department is saying it is now safe, what was it before?''

    While questions of load-bearing capacity are quantifiable, those of esthetics are, as usual, in the eye of the beholder.

    The addition was designed to be ''modern, distinct from the building below,'' Mr. Vance said. ''We didn't want a Disneyland version of the old building.''

    For Ms. Freed, ''it's an ugly addition, but ugly isn't against the law.''

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  7. #22
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynLove View Post

    ... what is the deal with smyth going flush up against the north facing windows?
    Lot line windows ... a risky investment.

    Let it be a lesson to you.

  8. #23
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    "One of the things that we are not thrilled about is that we're taking Ed's view, and we're sorry about that," Mr. Brodsky said.

    The $ 28.5 million apology, unreal.

  9. #24
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    but not too sorry ...

    btw, the SMYTH has existing threads

  10. #25
    Kings County Loyal BrooklynLove's Avatar
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    thanks for the info guys. my bad for hijacking the thread.

  11. #26


    Sunday, Mar 09

  12. #27


    Sunday, March 30

    First facade panels are on site. Similar system as 15 CPW - stone veneer set in concrete panels. Can't be sure, but the stone may be manufactured cast stone. Looks good.

  13. #28
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The rough-cut panels look to be real stone.

    And I like what I see.

  14. #29

    Default Panels going on....

    I have been following this too, and took a close look last week. It is limestone at the base, but it goes beyond the lobby level, and appears to extend about 17+ feet from street level. Also the limestone seems to have a cove that I am guessing (hoping) will be a light fixture, which should make that rough cut stone a highlight at night.

    I like what I am seeing, too.

  15. #30


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Got a good laugh re-visiting this thread.

    Half way up.
    When I saw the Smyth Hotel's ad with those legs, I don't know if "[h]alf way up" would describe my reaction!

    ... oh, wait a second, you were saying that the building would be half-way up.

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