Volume 21, Number 15 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 22 - 28, 2008
Cubism isn’t dead
Santiago Calatrava’s stacked townhouse cubes may not have come tumbling down after all.
Despite reports earlier this year that Seaport developer Frank Sciame was looking to unload the 80 South St. property — and dump Calatrava’s acclaimed tower idea of staggered condo cubes — the situation is actually quite the opposite.
“It’s very much alive and active,” Sciame told UnderCover this week.
Sciame bought 100,000 square feet of air rights from 85 South St., just to the north of his planned development, bringing the total air rights for the project to nearly 300,000. That will allow him to build a larger base for Calatrava’s cubes, creating a more viable hotel space for a potential operator.
The new air rights also protect views from the townhouses north to the Brooklyn Bridge, giving the potential development clear sightlines to the East River from three sides of the building.
“It vastly improves the site,” Sciame said.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg told Downtown Express a few years ago that if he was looking to move Downtown, he’d want a Calatrava cube, which would have cost him at least $25 million.
© 2008 Community Media, LLC