March 20th, 2012, 09:07 AM
NYC Aficionado from Oz
Tribeca's Mini-Condo Tops Out at 137 Franklin Street
by Pete Davies
The skinny mini-stack of three duplex condos at 137 Franklin Street in Tribeca has topped out, the full shell of concrete rising six stories up against the old bricks next door. Now crews are busy screwing in the metal studs, getting ready to fill in the openings with some contextually appropriate metal, bricks and glass. In fact, the creative team at Studio MDA, apparently fans of Rubik's Cube, recently posted a vid on YouTube showing their design process for the facade concept, giving a modern twist to the historical face planned for 137 Franklin.
Zoning diagrams filed at the Department of Buildings show the lower level duplex will cover about 2,920 square feet, with the middle duplex coming in at almost 3,200 square feet. The upper duplex, with mezzanine and mega-ceilings, will hold a hefty 3,930 square feet (not including the rooftop terrace overlooking the triangulated trees of little Finn Square). There's no word yet on pricing of the units at 137 Franklin, but potential buyers might be interested to know that the new building sits on a plot controlled by a 150-year ground lease.
StudioMDA: 137 Franklin Street [YouTube]
April 21st, 2012, 03:22 AM
NYC Aficionado from Oz
Loading-Dock Chic on North Moore Street
By CHRISTIAN L. WRIGHT
Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
Bubby’s, on Hudson at North Moore, has a Holstein for a mascot.
As the life-size fake Holstein grazed outside Bubby’s on the corner of North Moore Street and Hudson one recent afternoon, a man in a kerchief and a five-day beard was putting a fresh coat of light-blue paint on a wooden bench that usually sits on the sidewalk outside the restaurant.
Working on the restaurant’s old steel loading dock, the painter might have been a performance artist riffing on a small-town springtime chore in the shadow of the street’s hulking industrial buildings. He took no notice of the smiles people flashed his way as they passed by. TriBeCa is many things, but bucolic is not really one of them.
North Moore is only four blocks long. It is the quintessential TriBeCa street, paved with cobblestones and lined with warehouses that have been converted into posh apartments and independent stores. It extends from the West Side Highway to its point-of-a-triangle intersection with West Broadway. North Moore is just south of the curlicue feeders to the Holland Tunnel and a stone’s throw north of the World Trade Center, where construction cranes stick up like egrets catching a ride on a giraffe.
A bit wider than many Manhattan streets, it has a unique name (there is no South Moore) that adds to the poetry of the neighborhood: Laight, Hubert, Collister, Desbrosses, Lispenard, Walker, North Moore.
The other day, a cab dropped off John Gomes, an executive vice president of Prudential Douglas Elliman, at One North Moore, a new six-unit condominium designed to blend in with the brick facades and enormous windows. As he got out, the driver asked, “How will anyone find you?”
“Exactly,” said Mr. Gomes, who shares a listing in the building with Fredrik Eklund.
TriBeCa has become one of the most seductive addresses in the city, and people pay a lot to live here.
Apartment 6 at One North Moore, with three bedrooms and three baths and almost 3,000 square feet of space, just sold for $5 million. A penthouse unit with 2,300 square feet of terrace at Nos. 39-41 costs $21.5 million. At the homely Independence Plaza, erected in 1974 as a low-to-middle-income residential complex, even a modest two-bedroom apartment now commands upward of $5,000 a month.
“People really want to be here,” Mr. Gomes said. “Everyone, from the single guy to the young couple to the empty nester, gay and straight, black and white. And there are so few choices, we can’t keep up with demand.”
While it is no longer the cutting-edge no-man’s-land that drew club life in the ’80s, TriBeCa does manage to hang on to a clandestine aura. North Moore looks much as it did in the late 1800s, when manufacturing — from ice to glass — took place in the five- and six-story warehouse buildings that are so coveted today. Everywhere are steel loading bays, shaftways, cast-iron flourishes, canopies suspended with large-link chains and old signs carved in stone (see Merchants Refrigerating and Ice Manufacture at No. 35).
North Moore is also a good example of the transformed neighborhood — from industrial zone to enclave of live/work artists to stomping ground of the rich and famous. (John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette, lived at No. 20.)
These days, it mixes an impressive stroller brigade with the workaday scenes of, for instance, a recycling truck siphoning cooking oil out the backdoor of Mr. Chow’s (121 Hudson) and a pediatric practice a few doors from Espasso, the Brazilian design shop at No. 38 North Moore. The tiny Smith & Mills restaurant at No. 71 looks as if it had been decorated with finds from Parisian flea markets, like rickety little metal chairs and frayed upholstery. It shares the street with the Brandy Library, No. 25, a clubby urban place that has strict rules (“As in any library please avoid using loud and/or vulgar language”).
There’s not really a bustle but a steady street life that’s equal parts fancy tourists, well-heeled residents, waiters taking smoke breaks, New Yorkers from other parts of town. The top-chef restaurants are a big draw, from Paul Liebrandt’s Corton (239 West Broadway) across the avenue from the eastern end of the street, to Andrew Carmellini’s Locanda Verde (377 Greenwich Street) at the corner of North Moore toward the western end.
The Greenwich Hotel, built on an old parking lot and co-owned by the unofficial mayor of TriBeCa, Robert De Niro, has become an anchor of the street, a spot for both the Mercedes dealer’s power breakfast and the film producer’s extended stay in the North Moore duplex suite, where the huge slanting glass window gives a painterly view that skims the street’s rooftops.
“In the four years since opening,” said the dashing and wonderfully named Philip Truelove, general manager of the hotel, “the main difference is the movement of people. There’s a lot of life, but it’s still quiet.”
Mr. De Niro is also a founder of the TriBeCa Film Festival, which is currently under way.
You could argue that residents of North Moore get more for their money. They’ve got Hook and Ladder 8, the iconic firehouse made famous by the “Ghostbusters” movies. You can see authentic memorabilia from the first film on the interior walls when the garage door is open.
Residents also have an original work by Frank Gehry, the architect who did the interiors at the Issey Miyake store at the southwest corner of North Moore and Hudson; up close, the curving titanium sheets look like a study for the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. They’ve got Terrarium, a 2006 light sculpture by Grimanesa Amorós in the lobby at the Bayer Building at 54 North Moore. From the street, you can see it change color and effect at intervals throughout the day and night.
And they have Lilac, their very own lighthouse tender. A 1933 steam-engine vessel, it is docked against great big black rubber bumpers on Hudson River Park’s Pier 25, which extends North Moore past beach volleyball pitches and a turf playing field way out toward New Jersey. The former Coast Guard ship is now managed by the nonprofit Lilac Preservation Project and will be open a couple of afternoons every week after Memorial Day for free tours, above and below deck.
Meanwhile, back at Bubby’s, where a plate of scrambled eggs and toast is $17 (cash only on weekends), they even have stroller parking. The angled lines of the spaces have just received a fresh coat of paint.
April 21st, 2012, 03:30 AM
In the long run...
I agree. Very nice!
Originally Posted by Merry
June 5th, 2012, 10:35 PM
137 Franklin St
Ready for cladding.
July 1st, 2012, 07:38 PM
July 2nd, 2012, 01:07 AM
Build the Tower Verre
Too short. Should be taller.
October 17th, 2012, 04:45 PM
13 October 2012
October 20th, 2012, 12:00 AM
NYC Aficionado from Oz
October 24th, 2012, 12:24 PM
They should have let them go up a few more stories, at least flush with the building next door.
October 24th, 2012, 12:41 PM
It's a small footprint. Maybe there was no room for building services if the building got higher.
I don't know the specifics, but a certain occupancy rate requires wider stairwells, or two stairwells, etc.
March 14th, 2013, 12:38 PM
March 14th, 2013, 01:23 PM
Given the location, that brick is bound to get dirty again.
March 31st, 2013, 01:10 AM
137 Franklin Street - 30 March 2013
March 31st, 2013, 03:39 AM
In the long run...
March 31st, 2013, 08:47 AM
That greenhouse thing on the top does a nice job of better tying this to the building next to it than how this was looking before.
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