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Thread: Perry West - 173/176 Perry Street @ West Street - by Richard Meier

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulcrapek
    I think that would be attributed more to the construction team...
    Not necessarily. It's the CM's responsibility to make the design buildable. Meier did make many demands on the project team and the site was more problematic than anticipated (as noted in posts to this thread). Overall, the buildings are standouts. They look great. However, I don't understand the "privacy" issues. These are lofts with three walls of glass looking out over a public park. What were they expecting? Calivin Klein's triplex stands out like a sore thumb in the south tower and screams for attention for even the casual passerby.

  2. #32

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    I think the privacy is more about the celebrity of the buildings. People know DeNiro lives in Tribeca, but unless you know the address, you can't tell where. The worry is about "fans" camping out waiting for you to come out.

  3. #33

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    New York Magazine http://www.newyorkmetro.com/index.htm

    Glass Act

    One of the first tenants to set up house in Richard Meier’s towers embraces the exposure (most of the time) from his sleek—but luxuriously soft—modernist perch.

    INTERIOR DESIGN EDITOR: WOODY GOODMAN
    PHOTOGRAPHED BY FERNANDO BENGOECHEA
    TEXT BY ALEXANDRA LANGE

    As one of the first full-time residents of Richard Meier’s Perry Street towers, Michael Holtz has gotten used to life in the modernist fishbowl. The owner of the Smart Flyer, an upscale travel agency, Holtz can’t compete with his neighbors (Calvin, Nicole) for star status, but his second-floor apartment in the north tower still attracts plenty of attention: “Every Saturday morning, there’s a walking tour of the West Village,” he says, “and I’m sitting at the computer, and everyone’s pointing at me. Sometimes I pull down the shades, but usually I just play along and keep typing. If I had kids or was married, it would be more of an issue. It’s really the ultimate bachelor pad.” Of course, few bachelors live quite so stylishly. Holtz’s decorator, Chris Kraig, formerly of ABC Carpet & Home, has used shag rugs in wool and sisal, as well as pillows in raw silk and felt, to warm up the 1,800-square-foot concrete space, fitted out with American-walnut floors and anigre walls that float free of the perimeter windows and ceiling. “I love architectural spaces,” says Kraig, “but blended with a soft modernism, something tactile.” So no Mies (or even Meier, for that matter) but, rather, furniture that’s a mix of sixties Danish and contemporary Italian. “Michael was moving into one of the premier residential buildings of the last 50 years. The furniture had to live up to the architecture.”

    Photo Tour



    Down by the Riverside

    World-class architects are bringing high design and higher prices to an industrial-strength swath along the Hudson, west of the Village and north of Tribeca. Is lower Manhattan ready for a megadose of Eurostyle?

    By Deborah Schoeneman

    On a recent icy morning, a stretch limo glided up Greenwich Street to No. 497, an eleven-story luxury condominium rising behind a dramatically rippled glass exterior—an anomaly among blocks of squat warehouses mitigated only by the occasional café and dive bar. Carlo Salvi, an Italian entrepreneur with wild black hair who owns, among other less glamorous and more profitable companies, half of the modeling agency that reps Naomi Campbell, emerged from the car, trailed by a middle-aged assistant. Salvi is thinking about adding another address to his collection of homes—he’s already staked out Miami, Lugano, and London—so he’s checking out the Greenwich Street Project, where Campbell, Jay-Z, and Isabella Rossellini have toured lofts, and artist Richard Tuttle, among more than a dozen others, recently closed a deal. “I am in New York for only two months a year, so I don’t need a terrace,” Salvi says, surveying the massive wraparound glass balconies of the $6.6 million, 3,600-square-foot penthouse duplex that will be delivered raw. He guesses out loud that it would cost him another $1 million before he’d be finished, especially if he plans to take his broker’s advice to build a central glass staircase like the one in Apple’s Soho store. “I don’t need it, but I’ll buy it if I find a good deal.” Through slanted floor-to-ceiling windows, the unobstructed views of the river and the freshly renovated stretch of the $400 million Hudson River Park below are spectacular, even if a winter storm has turned the landscape into an icy tundra.

    There’s a real-estate revolution afoot on downtown’s Far West Side, and it’s a revolution from above. Salvi typifies a new breed of buyers being targeted by ambitious developers who are colonizing the Hudson River shoreline from the western edge of Soho north to the Far West Village. Speculators are betting that these high-end homesteaders will shell out millions for eye-catching architecture, picture-postcard sunsets, and such luxury amenities as resistance pools and guest apartments. The ideal buyer is not dissuaded by the fact that it’s all but impossible to hail a cab on these frigid, windy corners, since he’s likely to have a car and driver idling curbside, not to mention another home at the ready in gentler climes. There are no snobby co-op boards to impress. And let’s face it: The private chef may be the only one prowling the forbidding side streets in search of black truffles or aged Gouda.

    The Greenwich Street Project, brainchild of British developer Jonathon Carroll and Dutch architect Winka Dubbeldam, is just the first stop on Salvi’s neighborhood tour. On the same block, the fourteen-story 505 Greenwich Street, which opened its sales office in early January, touts a list of 400 prospective buyers waiting to look at apartments. A dozen blocks north, buyers are moving into Richard Meier’s celebrated twin glass towers at 173 and 176 Perry Street, developed by Richard Born, or eagerly awaiting a third, even more luxurious Meier tower going up next door at 165 Charles Street for developers Izak Senbahar and Simon Elias, who are, like the others, asking $1,500 to $2,500 per square foot for their new digs.

    A short walk from the Meier matrix is Morton Square, developer Jules Demchick’s sprawling compound of condos, townhouses, and lofts designed by Costas Kondylis, where buyers as disparate as artist Chuck Close and the teen television-and-tabloid stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will be moving in. And the West Village land rush isn’t over, either: On January 15, the Related Companies (which brought us the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle) signed a deal to develop high-rise condos on the site of the former Superior Printing Ink Company, a 33,000-square-foot lot about four blocks north of the Perry Street towers, at Bethune and West 12th Street. “It’s the last and best remaining site,” boasts Related’s 35-year-old golden-boy president, Jeff Blau.


    New Wave: Dutch architect Winka Dubbeldam designed the Greenwich Street Project, with its distinctive wavy-glass façade; 505 Greenwich is under construction (in foreground). (Photo credit: Pak Fung Wong)


    The dream these developers and their world-class designers share is the total transformation of the lower West Side riverfront, an area that extends from 14th Street south to Canal Street and from Hudson Street west to the river. Until recently an industrial wasteland a little too far from the cobblestones and quaint townhouses of the West Village and Soho, the area has quickly become a status sphere replete with Park Avenue amenities—and Park Avenue sticker shock. What distinguishes the new buildings beyond their luxe accoutrements is their bold attack on the skyline, bringing airy, spacious, open residential design more typically associated with California and Europe to the banks of the Hudson.

    The new condo coast owes its development in part to the Hudson River Park renaissance—Rollerblading! Trapeze school! Kayaking! Jogging trail! But it’s also a consequence of developers running out of commercial buildings to convert in Tribeca and Soho—and being unable, because of zoning, to go vertical in the meatpacking district. New buildings also lend themselves to high-tech amenities and luxury appointments (pet spa, anyone?). Embellish them with cutting-edge, brand-name architecture, and you’ve got catnip for the city’s restless buyers ever in search of the latest trophy home.

    “You’re seeing a lot of your typical Upper East Side buyers moving downtown for something hipper, cooler, with better views and new modern buildings,” Blau says. “The people who are buying in this market are used to having their own drivers.”

    And they’re willing to pay for parking garages, proximity to the West Side heliport, gyms with spas, and 24-hour concierges in brand-new buildings, rather than conversions of warehouses and factories like their Tribeca predecessors.

    The neighborhoods into which they’re moving range from the yuppie-friendly Far West Village at the north end, adjacent to the quaint cafés and chic boutiques that line the narrow streets of the West Village, to gritty pre-gentrification West Soho at the south end, an area almost completely lacking in amenities.

    Not surprisingly, current residents are somewhat ambivalent about the impending glamorization of the last stretch of viable real estate along the West Side Highway. High-rise development is allowable only because it’s outside the historic zone, which prompts West Villagers to worry that it will end up blocking the light and air—not to mention their river views.

    “The major concern of locals,” adds Arthur Strickler, district manager of Community Board 2, which oversees the Far West Village, “is we don’t want to have our side of the Hudson River mirror the New Jersey side.”


    People In Glass Houses: Both developer Jonathon Carroll and architect Winka Dubbeldam plan to live in the Greenwich Street Project. (Photo credit: Pak Fung Wong)

    If you’re looking for the man most responsible for luring the chauffeured set to Manhattan’s newest Gold Coast wannabe, look no further than Richard Meier. His name is the mantra uttered by downtown brokers and developers spinning the rationale for charging Central Park prices for Abingdon Square environs. When Richard Born broke ground three years ago on the matching Meier-designed glass towers at the river end of Perry Street’s windy corridor, Martha Stewart, Nicole Kidman, Calvin Klein, real-estate developer Scott Resnick, and Sun Microsystems co-founder William Joy were among the first to spend about $2,000 a square foot for raw space that included concrete floors, de rigueur wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows, and vertigo-inducing terraces. The only boldface name to have moved in so far is Rita Schrager, the former ballet dancer and ex-wife of hotelier Ian Schrager (though Boy From Oz star Hugh Jackman is renting there). But the condo board has already been elected: Resnick, Joy, Ian Schrager, and president Calvin Klein, who has almost finished his $14 million triplex.

    Bordered by West Houston Street to the south, Hudson Street to the east, and West 14th Street to the north, the Far West Village—the northern end of the new Condo Coast—is only a few blocks from the area where Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, and Anna Wintour live in nineteenth-century townhouses that have been protected by the Greenwich Village Historic District since 1969. It’s family-friendly, though the riverfront has yet to have a big family presence. Public School 3 and the Greenwich Village Middle School, both on Hudson Street, have some of the city’s highest test scores, and St. Luke’s School is also a desirable private-school option for the deep-pocketed buyer.

    Of course, not everyone is convinced that the new development will mesh with the surrounding area. “It’s really a separate neighborhood, it’s so far west,” says hotelier Jeff Klein, who owns a West Village townhouse and midtown’s City Club Hotel. “Two years from now, when Nicole and all of them get out of there, the glamour will be deflated and it’s not going to be as expensive. It’s a very inconvenient area. It’s not a neighborhood, even though two blocks east is great.

    “If you look at East End Avenue, that was created as an expensive enclave,” Klein continues, “but the prices per square foot are not as expensive as Fifth Avenue. The more central you are in the city, the better off you are.”

    But the riverfront really is pretty central, especially if, like Kidman, you travel by Town Car and helicopter. It may seem like the end of the world—or at least like Jersey City—but there’s actually a dry cleaner and a parking garage on the same block as the Perry Street towers, which are just a few blocks from established shops like Magnolia Bakery, home of the city’s most celebrated cupcake, and around the corner from Wallsé, one of the area’s top-rated restaurants.

    “All the old West Village people, like Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel, and Laurie Anderson, come in here, and I hear stories about before that are much different from what I see now,” says Kurt Gutenbrunner, Wallsé’s Austrian chef-owner. “Look at the traffic! When I came here in 2000, I never would have thought Jean-Georges would be down the street, and now he’ll be in the Meier building. I’m not so lonely here anymore.”

    Soon he’ll also be joined by the all-star team renovating Le Zoo, at 314 West 11th Street (about three blocks from the Perry Street towers). Mario Batali and Bono are among the backers of the new restaurant, slated to reopen by next spring with chef April Bloomfield, formerly of London’s River Cafe, a posh Italian restaurant.

    "You're seeing a lot of your typical Upper East Side buyers moving downtown for something hipper, cooler, with better views."

    The dearth of shops and services isn’t the neighborhood’s only obstacle. The Perry Street towers do look lonely from the street, as only a handful of buyers have finished the raw apartments they purchased, and just one, on the second floor of the south tower, has installed the white shades on the floor-to-ceiling windows that are the only allowable treatments to provide privacy. The Rear Window effect already has some buyers backing out of the building. “It’s not very private,” complains one uptown socialite whose new husband bought a Meier loft before they were engaged and has since put it on the market for $2.75 million. “It’s gorgeous, but it’s more of a bachelor pad.”

    Brokers—at least those who haven’t scored commissions in the towers—claim that selling unfinished apartments is a mistake, and 30 percent of the original buyers are trying to flip the Perry Street lofts, with unforeseen difficulty. Born counters that only 5 of 23 units are being flipped, and he doesn’t regret choosing to sell the spaces raw. “Very high-end users want to create their own environment, and whatever I would give them would probably not be what they want,” he says. Martha Stewart’s $6 million, 3,000-square-foot duplex sat on the market for more than a year before finally selling last week, and actor Vincent Gallo recently spent $1.6 million for a loft that the previous owner bought for $2 million—and just sold it since he doesn’t want to live next to a construction site.


    Eurosmash: Architect Costas Kondylis and developer Jules Demchick created the sprawling, mixed-design Morton Square for mid- and high-end buyers. (Photo credit: Pak Fung Wong)

    The third Meier-designed tower will be unveiled next spring, complete with a 35-seat screening room, a 50-foot lap pool, and a ground-level art gallery. Unlike the Perry Street buildings, there will be two apartments per floor, rather than one. The new sixteen-story tower will have 31 apartments, priced at about $2,500 per square foot. Meier is designing everything from the shower curtains to the kitchen sink.

    Meier and Senbahar agreed on “an evolution from the Perry Street towers,” Senbahar says, and in deciding to let Meier finish the interior space, the developer is betting he’ll be able to charge up to 50 percent more than the Perry Street prices: “I’ve always believed that the finished product in New York City is a better product, because construction is a tough business.” Prices will start at $4 million and cap at $20 million for the 5,000-square-foot penthouse with 24-foot-high ceilings.

    Senbahar closely resembles Morton Square’s architect, Costas Kondylis (who has also designed most of Donald Trump’s condo towers), and somehow it’s hardly surprising that they’re close friends who vacationed together over New Year’s in St. Bart’s. Both are born-to-the-manner Eastern Europeans, but while Senbahar is aiming for the high-end buyer, Kondylis and Morton Square’s developer, Jules Demchick of J. D. Carlisle Development Corporation, have created a compound suitable for middle-to-upper-class residents.

    Just a few blocks south of the Meier towers, Morton Square stretches from West Street to Washington Street, with rounded corners that evoke an ocean liner nestled next to the venerable townhouses and shops that line Barrow and Hudson streets. It’s also barely a block from the Archive, a redbrick Romanesque Revival building, constructed in the 1890s as a warehouse for federal archives, that was converted about ten years ago into luxury apartments—complete with a DÂ’Agostino supermarket, a Crunch gym, a dry cleaner, and paparazzi-hounded tenants including Monica Lewinsky.

    “Ours is a whole city block,” says Kondylis, who also designed 285 Lafayette Street four years ago, then a pioneering building and still home to such original buyers as David Bowie and Iman. “We took an urbanistic approach. What makes great urbanistic designs is to be contextual. We didn’t just want to drop objects on the site like Meier did.” Which is not to say that Kondylis doesn’t admire Meier’s design: “The standard is now set,” he declares. Kondylis used Meier’s aesthetic for inspiration, as well as the rounded corners of Chelsea’s massive Starrett-Lehigh building, home to the Martha Stewart Omnimedia mother ship.

    But Kondylis didn’t copy Meier, much to his developer’s relief. The façade is composed of just 65 percent glass, and the apartments are delivered finished. “We learned from Meier’s mistakes,” says Demchick, who sports a gold pinkie ring. “We’re trying to create substance and security. Floor-to-ceiling windows are not a secure feeling.”

    Brokers list Naomi Watts, Stanley Tucci, and Ally Sheedy among the celebrities who have toured the property more than once, and say that Sheedy is moving in, joining the Olsen twins, who bought a $3.5 million condo in lieu of shacking up in a Greenwich Village dorm next fall, when they plan to attend NYU.

    Built on a former United Parcel Service parking lot, the development near the north end of West Street includes a fourteen-story condo tower and six townhouses with loft apartments. They’re slated to be ready by next fall. Morton Square’s sales office opened last summer, and about 62 percent of the units, ranging in size from 1,160 to 4,000 square feet, are said to have sold for $1.1 million to $4.25 million.

    With its bicycle room and 24-hour valet staff, Morton Square feels more Upper West Side than West Village—which is precisely why artist Chuck Close and his wife Leslie decided to move there from Central Park West. They liked the underground parking garage, since he’s confined to a wheelchair and uses a van for transportation. But to draw buyers like Close, the creative-minded people whom the Far West Village developers are targeting, Morton Square’s developers also commissioned a lobby installation from trendy glass sculptor Tom Patti and plan to add jazzy features like handprint-recognition technology instead of keys to gain entry to the garage.

    They also built West Village–style townhouses and downtown-type lofts for people wanting a Tribeca feel—which seems to be working. Andrew Marcus, a 34-year-old single chiropractor, recently bought a $1.85 million, two-bedroom condo. The river views were a major selling point, drawing him from an apartment he owns in Murray Hill. “You can’t beat being on the water,” says Marcus. “Morton Square is unobstructed. Every night you see the sunset over Jersey City. And I don’t think there’s any better place to be than the West Village, for the downtown nightlife and restaurants.”


    A River Runs By It: Morton Square looks across the highway to the Hudson and points west. (Photo credit: Pak Fung Wong)

    The most isolated part of the Condo Coast is the southern extremity: The Greenwich Street Project and 505 Greenwich—just two blocks east of the West Side Highway and one block from UPS’s not-exactly-eye-candy loading docks and parking lots—are pioneers in a primarily commercial area that optimistic developers and brokers have dubbed West Soho or Hudson Square. Young hipsters pack nightlife mainstays like the Ear Inn, Sway, and Don Hill’s, but there is no bakery, shoe-repair shop, or pharmacy within winter walking distance.

    Around the corner from the new towers, the Vendome Group is planning a Philip Johnson–designed tower at 328 Spring Street to replace an earlier proposal that was rejected a few years ago by the Board of Standards and Appeals for being too tall.

    The Jack Parker Corporation is also building a rental property on Spring Street. And Peter Moore Associates, an architecture-and-development firm, is working on two eight-story condo towers in West Soho that should break ground next fall on Spring Street and Renwick Street and on Washington Street and Canal. Prices figure to average about $900 per square foot and apartments will feature river views. “I think it’s great that developers recognize that good architecture adds value,” says Moore. “It’s better than all this stuff that looks like Battery Park City. I’m excited about what’s going on down here.”

    Across from 505 Greenwich’s elaborate sales office on Spring Street is Giorgione, owned by Giorgio DeLuca (of Dean & Deluca). Sources say neighborhood resident DeLuca is now negotiating to take over the restaurant down the block, formerly known as Spring Street (and before that, Theo), between Greenwich and Washington streets—and to transform it into a restaurant and maybe a gourmet market for all the new high-end residents.

    Deluca’s timing may prove better than that of his predecessor Jonathan Morr. The BondSt restaurateur had shown the foresight to shoot for three stars in West Soho with Theo—a well-received restaurant that nonetheless failed—but it turned out to be three years too early, even after its reincarnation as the truffle-heavy 325 Spring Street. “It was meant to be an up-and-coming neighborhood, but it was very, very difficult to get people down there,” says Morr. “It was like going to a different state. But the neighborhood is going to boom because of all these new buildings.”

    Jane Gladstein of Metropolitan Housing Partners (Soho 25, the Sycamore), which is developing 505 Greenwich Street with financing from Apollo Real Estate, makes the lobby and courtyard planned for 505 Greenwich sound more like a New Age spa than a condo tower: Architect Gary Handel & Associates’ design features river rock, black bamboo, burnished copper, and Jerusalem limestone. The apartments will be delivered finished, with the obligatory Sub-Zero and Viking appliances, a wine cooler, ten-foot-high ceilings, and a flat-screen color-monitor security system. Prices will range from $770,000 for a 725-square-foot one-bedroom apartment to $3.5 million for a 2,500-square-foot three-bedroom penthouse.

    Denise Levine, 48, and her 51-year-old husband, Jay, who both work for Con Edison, recently bought a 1,000-square-foot apartment after renting for four years in Battery Park City, where they liked living by the Hudson River.

    “We love lower Manhattan, and here is a building that’s really in the middle of everything,” Denise says. “And I like the idea of a relatively youthful neighborhood. There are also nice restaurants in the area and convenient transportation. I wouldn’t say great, but convenient transportation.” The Levines even like the idea that another building is going up next door and that other condo towers are being built nearby, on the waterfront. “I think there will be more services soon in the neighborhood, more restaurants and delis. And everyone has FreshDirect now, so there’s no need for a supermarket.”

    Meanwhile, 37-year-old Jonathon Carroll chose not to have a sales office at all for his Greenwich Street Project. The hip Brit, who made a pile of cash as an investment banker in London, wants to spend his money creating something artistic. With a slight resemblance to actor Paul Rudd, he looks the part of the artsy kid in the pack of silver-haired suits. This is his first development project since hiring Winka Dubbeldam in ’97 to design his massive three-bedroom loft at 50 Wooster Street (also home to Claire Danes and Donna Karan). The loft—which has been featured in photo shoots with Lauren Bush for Town & Country, a Law & Order episode, and a Lenny Kravitz album cover—doubles as his office and features a model of the new building and a sample window in the middle of his living room.

    But Carroll’s probably going to sell it and move into the Greenwich Street Project’s penthouse—now that Salvi and Jay-Z have passed.

    The building’s 23 units range in price from $2 million for a 2,800-square-foot loft to $6.6 million for the 3,600-square-foot penthouse with its 1,700 square feet of outdoor space. There are two elevators, a gym with a sauna and infinity pool, and a shared courtyard. Though three young families have bought lofts, most buyers, says Carroll, either have grown children or none, like Tom Schaller, a 52-year-old architect who recently bought a 2,800-square-foot loft he hopes to move into this summer, after he’s fitted it out with a massive bedroom and a guest room–art studio. He’s a fan of Dubbeldam’s and wanted to live in a building with what he deemed “real architecture.”

    Schaller doesn’t expect any inconveniences or lack of amenities. “It’s not as if I’m moving to Nepal,” he says. “There are a lot of things around. But if I had kids, I might worry about it.”

    Carroll says he’s sold about 70 percent of the lofts and doesn’t regret delivering them raw, even though other developers and brokers claim it’s made for slow sales.

    “It’s always surprised me that New York is the most heterogeneous city there is, but in terms of where people live, it’s the opposite,” says Carroll, who likes to wear his olive-green raver sunglasses inside the apartment and says he only ventures above 14th Street to shop. “I didn’t want to make decisions on interiors for other people.” Call him earnest or disingenuous, but he also insists that money doesn’t matter. “The apartments are selling,” he says.

    “We will be sold out in the next two months.” And he believes luxury buyers want to design their own homes: “People buying more than $3 million apartments want to do it their own way.”

    When Carroll first bought the former food-storage lot that would become the Greenwich Street project in 2000, 505 Greenwich had not yet been planned and he hadn’t heard anything about the Meier towers. “People thought I was insane,” he says. “There was nothing there.” Frankly, he wouldn’t have minded if it had stayed that way, especially when the simultaneous construction of the adjacent buildings led to some inevitable complications—broken glass, ensuing catfights—that no one wants to talk about, at least on the record. “I would prefer if 505 weren’t there,” he admits on a recent afternoon, wearing designer army pants from Bergdorf’s. “But I knew something would go up there.”

    Although Dubbeldam, who moved to New York in 1990 from the Netherlands to attend Columbia’s architecture school, has designed commercial spaces (notably the now-defunct Gear magazine’s fabulous offices), this is her first residential apartment building. The wavy-glass-curtain wall was a choice that reflects an obsession with both form and function: “I wanted the façade to have more interface with the city,” she says. (The other reason was that, at the time Carroll and Dubbeldam applied for the permits, the city’s building code mandated that a new tower had to have an incline after 85 feet in height. But the code changed between the two buildings’ ground-breakings, so 505 Greenwich is taller and straight. “It’s not fair, is it?” Dubbeldam carps.)

    Dubbeldam is also moving from a Soho rental into the building this spring, and three buyers have asked her to design their raw lofts. “I love the new neighborhood,” says Dubbeldam, who found the spot for Carroll after they had unsuccessfully scoured Williamsburg, Dumbo, and the Lower East Side.

    “It’s on the edge of everything, but it’s not a hot spot yet. It’s a nice, calm environment, and I can go running on the river.”

    While some established area residents may resist having the Marc Jacobs set move in, the high-end developments are indisputably good news for area’s struggling small-business owners. To Javier Ortega, chef-owner of Pintxos, a tiny Basque restaurant right across the street from the two new buildings on Greenwich, the future tenants may as well be free gold. Five years ago, he came from Guatemala and opened the restaurant—but while the place fills up on weekends, he has yet to pack a crowd for a $35 dinner, including wine. Next door is Pao!, a popular Portuguese restaurant that was nevertheless almost empty at lunchtime one recent afternoon.

    “Now people are coming in, filling three or four tables and looking across the street and saying, ‘Maybe I’ll become a regular customer,’ ” says Ortega. “This is very good for people like me.”

    Can the new upscale owners blend into the neighborhood and, ultimately, bring growth to such an out-of-the-way area? “When I came here nine years ago, people said, ‘You’re going to die.’ Now there are five or six restaurants on the block,” says Don Hill’s eponymous owner, whose popular nightclub is adjacent to 505 Greenwich Street. “But I still don’t think families are going to move into the neighborhood. Whether the edgy artists are going to be able to come out of here, where the rent’s going to be so high, is another story. Rock artists are going to be trust-fund babies.”

    Strickler also doubts the waterfront-construction boom will abate anytime soon. “It’s the wave of the future,” he notes. “Ninety percent of the warehouses are all converted already. The only thing left is the empty lots.”

    What developers can do is make sure the buildings add stature to the skyline. “For the first time in New York, we finally have a real chance to show off some world-class architecture on our riverfront,” adds Related’s Blau. “It’s up to the developers to keep the bar raised high.”

  4. #34
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    I walked by this morning (2/13/04) on the way to work and snapped a few shots:

    http://img22.photobucket.com/albums/...rry-empire.jpg

    http://img22.photobucket.com/albums/...e/100_0015.jpg

    http://img22.photobucket.com/albums/...e/100_0014.jpg

    You can see foundation work is well under way for the 3rd Perry tower.

  5. #35

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    From the Downtown Express: http://www.downtownexpress.com/
    Stated in the article is the purchase for deverlopment of the Superior Ink building. The Westbeth is the yellow building on the far left of the photo above.

    Development boom near the river

    By Lincoln Anderson

    Touting it as the new “Condo Coast,” developers continue to chip away at the old industrial Hudson River waterfront area to replace it with a new “edifice complex” — a string of new designer buildings for an upscale market.

    Even as residents and preservationists are rushing to try to landmark the waterfront and Far West Village, news came last week that Related Companies has reached an agreement to purchase the Superior Ink building on a 33,000-sq.-ft. lot at West St. between Bethune and W. 12th Sts., just north of the Westbeth artists housing complex.

    In Hudson Sq., Rip Hayman, owner of the Ear Inn building on Spring St., finds all the changes to the west side bewildering, yet is taking things in stride. Around the corner on Greenwich St. two stylish, new, glass-sheathed residential buildings are being completed, the Greenwich St. Project by architect Winka Dubbledam, and the 14-story 505 Greenwich St.

    Hayman said local developer Nino Vendome plans to demolish his two-story warehouse building next to the Ear Inn next month to do ground tests for his planned Philip-Johnson-designed apartment tower. Hayman said preliminary tests show bedrock is far down — 95 ft. below the surface — so extensive pile driving will be needed.

    Hayman moved into the Ear Inn building in 1973 as a college student. Jokingly calling 505 Greenwich St. “Co-op City South,” he said, “It’s like New York City finally moved into Woho — West Houston.

    “Literally, no building has been built around here since 1946,” he said, referring to the U.P.S. building across Houston St.

    Hayman finds it hard to see the attraction of the area, wondering, “Why anybody would pay $1 million to live here when you have to walk 10 blocks to get a cup of coffee.”

    Up north a little ways, the former Pathfinder socialist press building recently was demolished by developers Izak Senbahar and Simon Elias for a third Richard Meier-designed apartment tower — to complement the two just-completed ones by Meier at Perry St.

    Four blocks to the south, the Olsen twins and other celebrity types are getting ready to move into Morton Sq., a sprawling condo complex on West St. built on a former truck lot.

    The Superior Ink building deal was first reported by New York magazine.

    David Wine, Related’s vice president of residential development, said in a telephone interview, “We’ve contracted to purchase the site. We plan to build a signature residential building. The West Village has been an incredibly vibrant and attractive residential community for a long time. This is obviously one of the last opportunities on the waterfront. It follows in the footsteps of very successful developments in the neighborhood.”

    Wine said he couldn’t comment on the project’s design yet or whether it will be 100 percent market-rate rental apartments or condominiums.

    “We don’t know anything about the specifics of the building at this point,” he said. “We plan to meet with people in the community as part of the process of developing the property. This has all happened very quickly — this is all very current.”

    He declined to reveal the purchase price.

    The site has an M-1 manufacturing zoning, which prohibits residential use. Wine said Related would try to get the property rezoned for residential use, though conceding rezoning is a lengthy process. The Superior Ink building, where ink for lithographers and printers is still produced, would not be incorporated into the project but demolished, he said.

    While Wine said the new Hudson River Park, the Village segment of which opened over the summer, has helped add to the neighborhood’s allure, he downplayed its effect a bit.

    “I think Hudson River Park has contributed to the appeal of the neighborhood,” he said. “I would say Hudson River Park really transformed some of the parts farther to the south. But Westbeth as an anchor — and the side streets — this part of the West Village has always been great.”


    Told that residents living behind the Superior Ink building are angry their river views will be blocked and that many Villagers are opposed to high-rise development along the waterfront, Wine said, “I’m sure we’ll be listening to their concerns,” adding, “I’m sure we’re going to hear the concerns of the city.” He declined to say what the concerns of the city regarding the Greenwich Village waterfront might be.

    Superior Ink said only their chief financial officer, Harold Rubin, could comment but that he was not available as of press time.

    A resident of 380 W. 12th St., a 50-unit, converted former cold-storage building that is eight stories tall — after having two stories added on — said they started hearing talk a few months ago that someone was trying to buy the ink factory. They checked building records, tried to talk to Superior Ink’s owners, but couldn’t find out anything.

    Superior Ink’s building is four and a half stories tall; Related’s will surely be taller.

    “I’m on the fifth floor and I have a complete view of the river,” said the woman. “And it’s more than that: There’s light and air. Five apartment lines are going to be affected, and the apartments in the middle don’t have windows on the side streets.”

    Aubrey Lees, former chairperson of Community Board 2 and current chairperson of the board’s Landmarks Task Force, said saving the waterfront from development will be the Task Force’s top priority when on Feb. 26 they have their first meeting with new Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairperson Robert Tierney.

    “We’re trying to impress on Mr. Tierney the importance of preserving the Far West Village and waterfront,” Lees said. “The development is increasing even as we speak. It’s got to be a priority. Everybody’s been talking about it for a while, but now we’ve got to focus on it. I’m sure Mr. Tierney will be receptive about this — he lives in the Village,” she noted.

    Tierney, in a statement, said: “Over the past few years, the commission has been working with community groups and local officials in the Village to address preservation interests, such as the Gansevoort Market Historic District, which was designated a few months ago. We are aware of the concerns for the waterfront area and will listen to the task force’s proposal at our next meeting.”

    Also, a town hall community forum is planned, titled “Save the Far West Village From Overdevelopment,” on March 10 at 75 Morton St. at 7 p.m. Co-sponsors of the town hall are Board 2, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Greenwich Village Community Task Force and the Federation to Preserve the Greenwich Village Waterfront and Great Port.

    Zack Winestine, co-chairperson of the Task Force, said it’s crunch time for waterfront.

    “I think there’s a feeling among all the activists and all the groups in the Village that this is make or break now,” Winestine said. “We’ve been worrying about the future for a long time — and the future is here.”

    Winestine said the Superior Ink building, while not beautiful, is “pleasing” to the eye with its old smokestack, and he feared it will be replaced by “another nondescript tall building.” By the same token, praising the area’s existing income mix, he feared it will be replaced by a homogenous population of wealthy celebrities.

    Winestine said they will focus on landmarking the waterfront and Far West Village from 14th St. to Barrow St., where people have recently noticed interior renovations are being done on the old abandoned Keller Hotel owned by the Gottlieb real estate company. However, city records don’t show the Keller as having been sold.

    Andrew Berman, G.V.S.H.P.’s director, said they had been keeping an eye on the Superior Ink site, always fearing it could become a development site.

    He said the new designer waterfront buildings are simply in the wrong location, if not downright ugly.

    Of Morton Sq., he said, “It’s hideous. Morton Sq. is kind of your worst nightmare of what new development would look like.” Of the Meier Perry St. towers, he said, “Even those who call it elegant architecture would have to admit it looks woefully out of context in the Far West Village — towering over two- and three-story brick houses.”

    Lincoln@DowntownExpress.com

    Downtown Express is published by
    Community Media LLC.

  6. #36
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    Getting...angry...can't stand NIMBY ass*oles...so frustrating.

  7. #37

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    March 11, 2004

    TURF

    The Art of Selling Luxury Condos as Art

    By MOTOKO RICH


    HERE COMES ANOTHER ONE A new Richard Meier tower, at right in this rendering, is rising on the far West Side.

    IZAK SENBAHAR, a developer of luxury condominiums in Manhattan, was commenting this week that neighbors should not complain about a glass tower overlooking the Hudson River that he is planning. It is being designed by Richard Meier for a site just south of the two Perry Street buildings the architect also created.

    "Simply by the fact that a new building by Richard Meier is being sold there, values will go up," Mr. Senbahar said. "Do you want to have a printer next to you or another high-class pure Richard Meier building next door?"

    Before he could continue, he was interrupted by Louise Sunshine, one of New York City's most aggressive promoters of high-end real estate. "No, don't say 'high class,' " she said. "Say 'work of art.' "

    In the latest marketing ploy for high-priced condos, Ms. Sunshine is trying to give real estate the cachet of fine paintings or sculpture. She plans to market the 31 apartments in the new Meier building, which broke ground in December, as "limited edition" residences. To underscore the point, Mr. Meier has commissioned clear acrylic models of the apartments — which he will sign and number to give buyers as a closing gift.

    It's an all-out effort to associate the prosaic arena of real estate with the flashier art world. Ms. Sunshine is doing everything but selling Andy Warhol-style images of Mr. Meier on the Internet: a gallery opening, a brochure designed by Massimo Vignelli and, for preferred customers, tours of a warehouse where Mr. Meier keeps models and sculpture.

    Mr. Meier called the marketing approach "flattering" and indicated he thought it appropriate. "There are not that many apartments like it," he said, in a conference room at his offices on 10th Avenue.

    Tomorrow, Mr. Senbahar and Ms. Sunshine will inaugurate their campaign with a party for those attending the Armory Show, one of the world's largest art fairs, which opens tomorrow in Manhattan. The crowd, which is promised to include only 20 real estate brokers out of the 350 people invited, can sip cocktails in the Charles Street Gallery — essentially a glorified real estate sales office, which contractors were scrambling to finish just days ago. On display will be renderings of the new Meier building and seven of the acrylic models.

    In addition, Mr. Meier, who has previously designed only 18 single-family houses, has agreed to display models of some of those rarities at the new "gallery," along with selections from his sculpture collection.

    The marketing pitch is part of Ms. Sunshine's broader attempt to link real estate and art in the minds of wealthy buyers. As part of a campaign to which she has given the slogan "Great Homes and Great Art Live Together," she has enlisted gallery owners willing to lend artworks to display in unsold apartments or in advertisements.

    In the case of Mr. Meier, Ms. Sunshine said she is showcasing the new building amid examples of his past work to attract "Richard Meier devotees." She said she believed such buyers would pay a premium to live in an apartment designed by the architect of the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.

    Mr. Senbahar, who with a partner, Simon Elias, is spending $100 million on the tower, plans to ask at least $2,500 a square foot, more than double the $1,268 average per-square-foot price for luxury real estate in Manhattan in the fourth quarter of last year, according to Miller Samuel Inc., a New York-based appraisal firm.

    With its glass facade, the new building, which is scheduled to be finished in March next year, will share an aesthetic with the two Meier towers on Perry Street. But where apartments in them were sold as raw space for buyers to customize, the new building has interiors and fixtures designed or selected by Mr. Meier.

    The bathrooms, for example, will have sinks and countertops of Surell, a synthetic material that can easily be molded, unlike the traditional marble or limestone chosen by architects in luxury buildings. "It is like lacquer, but smoother," Mr. Meier said, stroking the surface of a black lacquer conference table he designed. "It is not quite as cold as stone."

    He has also designed common amenities for the building, including a 50-foot pool, a fitness room, a wine cellar and a screening room with the same chairs he designed for the Getty Center.

    Mr. Meier is not, however, customizing each apartment. And because the building bears more than a slight resemblance to its two neighbors to the north, some local critics question how unique the new units are. "It seems a little ironic that these are being sold as limited edition Meier originals when it is now the third of the same tower, more or less," said Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which believes that the Meier towers do not fit in with older buildings in the neighborhood.

    For some in the art world, the marketing pitch seems disingenuous. "This is really stretching it quite a ways," said Richard Gray, an owner of the Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago and New York and the former president of the Art Dealers Association of America. "It's advertising license. I don't think it has the attributes that allow it to be seriously considered as a rare work of art."

    But others saw it as a clever way to package Mr. Meier's work as a brand that some luxury home buyers will covet. "It's not just about buying the building but the entire aesthetic and atmosphere," said Toshiko Mori, the chairwoman of the Harvard Design School.

    Other developers have selected star architects to design their condominiums. At Beacon Court, a tower being built on top of the new Bloomberg headquarters, the developer, Vornado Realty, has retained Cesar Pelli; RFR Davis, which has developed condos at 425 Fifth Avenue and the Impala on East 76th Street, hired Michael Graves.

    With prices in Manhattan skyrocketing, buyers expect more glamour in their homes. "Little by little, the bar keeps being raised," said Adrienne Albert, president of Marketing Directors, which helps developers sell high-priced real estate. "In order for people to understand if that's the right building for them to live in, they expect it to be more and more interesting and exciting."

    For Ms. Sunshine, who learned her trade as an apprentice to Donald Trump, the pitch for the new Meier building fits with her idea that real estate and art make natural partners. In a coming ad for a penthouse at the Time Warner Center, for example, she will use digital images of a Willem de Kooning painting, a Matisse sculpture and a 19th-century African sculpture, all borrowed from C&M Arts, a Manhattan gallery.

    Robert Mnuchin, the owner of C&M, said it was like "creating a mini-exhibition." Ms. Sunshine said she hoped to install art in other apartments she is trying to sell, including perhaps Mr. Meier's.

    For now, she said, he is the only architect getting the full star treatment. Although she represents Mr. Pelli's Beacon Court, for example, there are no plans to sell limited-edition Pelli apartments or to open an ersatz art gallery in his honor.

    Mr. Senbahar, the developer of the new Meier building, said most buildings do not qualify as art. "You can't give it a couple of bricks and two windows and call it art," he said.


    A selling point is that Mr. Meier has designed the kitchens, at back, right, and the pool, far right.


    The architect, Richard Meier.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  8. #38
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    If ever there was proof that architecture is returning to New York City, Perry West is it.

  9. #39

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    It's nice, but not as elegant as Perry West. Somehow, three doesn't look as good as two.

    I was hoping for something related, but different - a little disappointed.

  10. #40

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    I'd hate to be in the middle tower. You have paid through the nose, and now your Northern and Southern exposures are the architectural equivalent of looking into a mirror.

  11. #41
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    Maybe if it was black, it would look better, not so redundant.

  12. #42
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    [monotone]Hooray. Now it's Perry-Charles West.[/monotone]

    I have to agree that this is going to look a little boring where the original two were a major statement.

  13. #43

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    http://www.thevillager.com/

    Meier as the new Moses: Villagers ratchet up anti-development fight

    By Lincoln Anderson



    Vowing to stop the building juggernaut that seemingly overnight has reshaped the Far West Village waterfront into the new so-called “Gold Coast,” over 250 residents joined politicians and preservationists in a rally last Sunday against overdevelopment.

    The demonstrators gathered on Charles St. by the construction site of the third luxury apartment tower on the waterfront designed by famed architect Richard Meier. The two other 16-story, Meier towers, with green-tinted glass and white metal, as the third will have, flank Perry St. The $5 million and $6 million condos offering sunset views of the new Hudson River Park have been scooped up by the likes of Calvin Klein and Martha Stewart.

    “These people don’t want to make a profit — they want to make a killing,” Stu Waldman, of the Federation to Preserve the Greenwich Village Waterfront, told the crowd.

    Although the challenge seems daunting — five more high-rises are reportedly in the works within the 12-block area — Waldman recalled past battles where Villagers fought the power and, against all odds, won.
    “Forty years ago, we took on Robert Moses. He was supposed to be unstoppable,” Waldman said, referring to the planning czar’s urban renewal and highway schemes that would have decimated and divided the Village. “Thirty years ago, we took on the governor and the mayor and we defeated Westway…. Greenwich Village is once again pissed off!”

    Turning arch developer Donald Trump’s “Apprentice” catchphrase around, Waldman warned, “I have two words for you, developers — You’re fired!”

    “How many people here think Morton Sq. is a contribution to the neighborhood?” Zack Winestine, co-chairperson of the Greenwich Village Community Task Force, asked of the new 14-story, 283-unit residential development at Morton and West Sts.

    “Boooooo!” hooted the protesters.

    “The reason this neighborhood is so hot is because people have fought for 40 years to keep it low scale,” Weinstein said. “The developers are profiting from the hard work of this community — and they’re giving nothing back.”

    Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, stressed it’s been 35 years since the 1969 designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District, and that the wait to expand protections to the Far West Village has been more than long enough.

    The area targeted for historic district designation runs from Horatio St. — the southern boundary of the newly approved Gansevoort Market Historic District — to Barrow St., and west of Washington and Greenwich Sts. — the eastern border of the Greenwich Village Historic District.

    On the median across West St., a young Libertarian from the Lower East Side drew protesters’ wrath as he shouted into a bullhorn and held a sign reading “Let People Develop Their Land And Lives.” He claimed to be there on his own, but someone at the rally said he knew him and alleged having recently seen him with some developers at Lotus nightclub.

    Led by Berman, State Senator Tom Duane and Councilmember Christine Quinn, the rally made its way down Washington St. to Weehawken St.

    “Mayor Mike, we can’t wait! Save our neighborhood before it’s too late,” they chanted.

    A small historic lane with 19th-century houses and former stables, Weehawken St. was once a market area for goods ferried from New Jersey. Like the rest of the former Village working waterfront, it could potentially be razed at a minute’s notice for new development.

    After the protesters had funneled into the one-block-long street, from which the Meier towers were still clearly in view above the low rooftops, Berman reminded everyone the next action will be a rally on City Hall’s steps on Sun., May 23, at 2 p.m.

    People filled out red postcards to Mayor Bloomberg; Robert Tierney, chairperson of the Landmarks Preservation Commission; and Amanda Burden, chairperson of the City Planning Commission. These were collected in garbage bags and will add to the over 1,500 postcards already sent to City Hall urging that a combination of landmarking and zoning protections be quickly extended to the Far West Village.

    Berman said the City Hall demonstration is “to bring the message home that we will not rest until our neighborhood is protected. We are going to keep it going.

    “Without landmarking changes, without zoning changes, this could be another Meier tower — like the one you see in the distance,” Berman warned.

    “Booooooooo!” answered the crowd.

    Said Duane, “The reason that people love living in Greenwich Village is because it’s low rise and low scale. And if they don’t act soon, they’re going to destroy Greenwich Village.”

    The Villager is published by
    Community Media LLC.

  14. #44

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    ^What a load of crapola from a news rag known for such. :roll:

  15. #45

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    Is this the same group that kept putting up roadblocks to the Hudson River Park development?

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