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Thread: The Standard Hotel - 848 Washington Street - by Polshek Partnership Architects

  1. #1

    Default The Standard Hotel - 848 Washington Street - by Polshek Partnership Architects

    New York Daily News -

    Developing beef in Gansevoort

    Wednesday, October 15th, 2003

    A high-rise hotel that developer Stephen Touhey plans to build in the Meatpacking District will be half-filled with apartments - though residential construction is forbidden there.

    What's worse, preservationists and politicians charged yesterday, city officials showed him how to skirt the law.

    "The Department of Buildings is colluding," Congressman Jerrold Nadler said at a press conference. He called on Mayor Bloomberg to stop the construction of the proposed 450-foot skyscraper on a site at the corner of Washington and W. 13th streets.

    It would be almost as tall as the United Nations Building, dwarfing neighboring properties of seven stories or less. But the possible arrival of apartment dwellers worries the project's opponents more than its overwhelming scale.

    The presence of residents in the West Village neighborhood will jeopardize 50 meatpacking companies that employ 500 people, Nadler and others said. Residents will hate the noise of truck traffic while they're trying to sleep, as well as the stink of blood and guts in the cobblestoned streets.

    "I'm worried about my men. My men need jobs," said Ray DeStefano, a shop steward at Walmir Meat.

    Late-night clubs won't have a prayer if apartments are built. Nearby Hogs & Heifers will be driven out of business within a year, owner Michelle Dell predicted.

    Touhey tried to get a variance to build a 32-story apartment tower, designed by famous architect Jean Nouvel. Both the Department of City Planning and the Department of Business Services opposed the variance. In March, Touhey gave up and said he'd build a hotel - which city zoning does allow in the Meatpacking District.

    But the Department of Buildings told Touhey to change the wording on his application for a construction permit, so he can build 49% of the units in the tower as apartments, said Andrew Berman, who heads the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

    Deputy commissioner Ron Livian signed the application.

    Berman's group recently won landmark status for the Gansevoort Market Historic District, but Touhey's development site was excluded from the protected neighborhood.

    Buildings department spokeswoman Ilyse Fink said it was "offensive" of Nadler to speak of collusion, and legal for a proposed hotel to be 49% residential in the industrial neighborhood. And the document that caused the fuss is only a request for an opinion of what's allowed to be built at the site, not a construction permit.

    "Perhaps Mr. Nadler should go back and read the zoning resolution himself," she said.

  2. #2
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Gah, just make the whole thing into a hotel.

  3. #3

  4. #4


    The irony is that 20 years from now residents in Nouvel's building will be NIMBY's in their own right. "You cant build taller than us, our views will be blocked, it will strain the infastructure, bitch, bitch, bitch."

  5. #5
    Forum Veteran
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    Nov 2002
    New York City


    I like the building. I just have to side with the NIMBYs this time. No one wants to live in the Meatpacking District the way it is now. It's a great place to visit, no doubt; but live? I'll pass.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran
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    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    It should be a hotel or they should somehow make all residents sign "No-Bitch" clauses giving them no rights to complain since they should know damn well what they are getting into. Besides, there doesn't have to residnetial buildings in every corner of Manhattan.

  8. #8
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    They ought to make the top floor a club. Every resident would know what they're getting into.

  9. #9
    Forum Veteran
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    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Wieland
    Things change.
    Change should not be forced. The district is still a viable industrial area, as opposed to other parts of the City slated for redevelopment.

  10. #10


    I walked around there with my friends from high school last weekend and I've never smelled anything so pungent before...when we got underneath the High Line we actually started to run.

  11. #11


    November 9, 2003


    A Tower Returns, to the Neighbors' Dismay


    Besides keeping strange hours, meatpackers and nightclub impresarios had little in common until a 32-story tower was proposed for 848 Washington Street, in the heart of the meatpacking district. The apartment tower and its well-heeled tenants, they argued, would ruin the neighborhood's witching hours.

    Together, they succeeded in stopping the proposal before the city's Board of Standards and Appeals, where the developers had sought the variance needed to build a residential building. But now the same tower, designed by the same French architect, Jean Nouvel, is back.

    While many opponents of the tower weren't paying close attention, the developer asked the city's Department of Buildings to rule that the tower would not violate the site's zoning if only 49 percent of the units were apartments, and the rest were hotel rooms. The department gave its approval earlier this year, which means that the tower can be built on a site that lies just outside the recently created Gansevoort Market Historic District.

    "This developer is trying to sneak a 450-foot-tall Trojan horse into the meatpacking district," said Andrew Berman, executive director of Save Gansevoort Market, an advocacy group. "It doesn't make sense for the city to designate this a historic district and then allow this development."

    The developer, Stephen Touhey, said there was no subterfuge involved in his effort to build the tower. In fact, he said he has since modified his project, and is now planning to "build a pure hotel" with about 100 rooms and no residential units.

    If all goes as planned, Mr. Touhey said, "We will finalize our agreement with a hotel operator in the next 30 days and break ground in the late spring." Still, he added, "I can't say at the end of the day that it won't have any long-term apartments."

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  12. #12


    From another thread, the site at present. View north on Washington St. The tower would be on the left of the High Line.

  13. #13


    The Exception to Prove the Rule

    This Manhattan quarter nearby the meat market, along Hudson River, is crossed by what remains of an old railway and old metal bridges across the 12th and the 13th streets, a few steps from Washington Street.

    The building site is crossed by the rails. The realism incites to build a massive block above the rails. The analysis of the site characteristics, in a neighborhood where the inhabitants are willing to keep the meat market and what remains of the past, leads me to construct around the rails by maintaining bridges and tracks, by creating an urban terrace, a public terrace for bars and restaurants. This leads to the construction of three buildings above three tiny places: two triangles and one trapezoid. Shops are under the tracks in the continuation of the sidewalks of Washington Street.

    A thin tower rises up in the sky, an industrial like tower above a proportion of a harbor chimney. It contains large apartments with quadrate views over the "land-marks" of Manhattan, and over the fabulous light of the Hudson sunset, through all kinds of windows, small or large. This explains the atypical façades, the light effects being accentuated by the use of different materials, the steel becoming shimmering above the rails:

    - to diffract the rising and setting suns and create light gaps against the sunlight

    - to assert the exception of an arrow of shade and light rising up in the middle of warehouses.

    Jean Nouvel

    Status : In Design
    Location: Washington Street, Manhattan, New York
    Dates: Initial Design August 2001
    Net floor area: 140 250 sq ft, 13 000 m2
    Gross floor area: 165 000 sq ft, 15 300 m2
    Program: A 150 meter high tower with 34 luxury loft apartments
    Construction cost: 50 000 000 €, 45 000 000 $
    Client: Landmark Development (Under "Projects: Landmark.")

  14. #14


    June 10, 2004

    Hotel Back In Play for Meatpacking District


    ANDRÉ BALAZS, the hotelier who transformed the Chateau Marmont, a seedy hangout on the Sunset Strip, into a celebrity haunt, and a SoHo factory into the Mercer, said yesterday he is planning to build a hotel on a much-fought-over lot in the meatpacking district.

    Mr. Balazs bought the property last week despite one unusual obstacle. His hotel will have to straddle the High Line, the raised rail bed that runs up the West Side.

    Details are sketchy — no announcement has been made of architect, room count or completion date — but Mr. Balazs said the hotel will be part of his Standard chain, with rooms starting for less than $100. He plans to open a Standard on an island off Miami in October, making the one in New York his fifth.

    He also said he will keep down the height. Several years ago, Jean Nouvel, the French architect, designed a black, industrial-looking 31-story condominium tower for the site. The neighborhood went into shock, not because of the design — opponents said they liked it — but rather because they said it would attract wealthy homeowners who might try to clean up the bawdy late-night atmosphere and early-morning butchering.

    Interviewed yesterday, Mr. Balazs said he was sensitive to the neighborhood. The property is bordered by West Street, West 13th Street, Washington Street and Little West 12th Street.

    "What we're doing will be very, very substantially lower" than the previous design, he said, and it will be a hotel, not a residential tower. "I don't even think the word `tower' will apply to us," he said.

    He said his plans are for an "as of right" development, which means no requests for variances from the existing zoning. "Absolutely everything — the size, the scale — will be as of right," he said. "We're not seeking to do anything different."

    Is there a chance he will choose Mr. Nouvel as the architect?

    "No, I don't believe so," he said.

    The site had been optioned by Stephen T. Touhey, the developer, who needed a city variance to allow residential use in the area, which had been used for manufacturing. In March 2002, Mr. Touhey jettisoned a plan for a three-building complex, leaving only the 31-story main condominium tower. But opposition was vociferous, and eventually the option lapsed.

    Mr. Balazs said yesterday that he had been watching and was ready to jump. He declined to say how much he paid for the problematical lot, but said it was cheap enough to be able to offer hotel rooms to a mostly younger clientele. Rooms will look toward the Hudson, the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, he said.

    Will guests understand the somewhat raucous atmosphere of the district?

    "Absolutely," said Mr. Balazs, who lives in SoHo, also among gritty buildings. "That is our Standard clientele."

    And the Standard, if it is built, will be only a few blocks from the Gansevoort, a 14-story hotel that opened in March — also built as of right — which features exterior columns that glow like a jukebox, in hues of red, purple, blue and yellow.

    But there is already one big difference: rooms at the Gansevoort start at $325.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  15. #15
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    But there is already one big difference: rooms at the Gansevoort start at $325.
    oh, my!...That is expensive. :|

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