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Thread: 785 Eighth Avenue - 40-story Condo - Theater District - by Ismael Leyva Architects

  1. #1156
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Looks like a hotel is coming on board here ... from CURBED:

    Eighth Avenue's Stalled Skinny Tower Might Have a Pulse

  2. #1157
    Senior Swanky Peteynyc1's Avatar
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    Eighth Avenue's Stalled Skinny Tower Might Have a Pulse

    Monday, October 18, 2010, by Pete Davies





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    Sitting empty for over a year, the sliver building at 785 Eighth Avenue may soon be known as more than just the Great Wall of Hell's Kitchen. Developed by Esplanade Capital and designed by architect Ismael Leyva as a skinny stack of condos that later looked headed towards corporate rentals, the building now looks like it's coming back to life as a hotel.
    Rising from the Graves in Hell's Kitchen. >>
    Newly amended applications have been filed at the Department of Buildings, and the changes include the addition of "hotel" classification on the Schedule A form. The first floor facing onto Eighth Avenue was previously set aside as "commercial" space, and now it's an "eating and drinking accessory to apartment hotel." An application for a liquor license recently came up for consideration before Community Board 4. That license was applied for by the "OSG Group LLC" and shows that the operation is "d/b/a Graves Hotel," an apt name for a project that's been quiet as a crypt.
    Might this be the same Graves as Graves Hotels Resorts, the Minneapolis-based hospitality up-and-comers with a condo-hotel currently rising in Williamsburg? Something to consider, and meanwhile, back in Manhattan, the tower's lobby and entry around the corner at 306 West 48th Street have been unwrapped. Inside is a nearly finished space, outfitted in earthy-toned Mexican onyx from the Onyx Design Group.
    Outside, a chunky canopy in stainless steel protects the front door and the tower's angled balconies take a bite out of the Midtown sky. Way up top at the 42nd floor, a space previously set to share two condo units, the entire space has been re-designated in recent filings as an "accessory lounge for apartment hotel," and the space above on the 43rd floor, once listed as a full-floor penthouse and marketed as such by the Sorrento team, has disappeared from the DOB paperwork. Clearly not all the mysteries of this tall tower have been unearthed.

  3. #1158

  4. #1159
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Leyva: Kaufman on a bigger budget.

  5. #1160

  6. #1161

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    Pretty nice composition. Lots of pointy things. ^

    Did you use your tripod for this one?

  7. #1162

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    Thanks...no tripod- just braced camera up against a light pole.

  8. #1163
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    ^^ I love Worldwide Plaza. Nice photo, scumonkey .


    A Sliver Shines Above Midtown

    By DANA RUBINSTEIN

    Few would argue that Ismael Leyva's sliver glass skyscraper at 785 Eighth Ave. fits in with its neighbors. Soaring 43 stories, the building ruptures the grim composure of a low-rise block that, with its boarded-up windows and live adult videos, evokes pre-Giuliani Times Square.

    That's another way of saying, sometimes contextualism is overrated. Many architects almost zealously stress the importance of buildings complementing their neighbors.



    But in this case, the glass tower, whose serrated edge of angular, blue-tinted balconies tears diagonally across its eastern facade, serves not to complement its neighbors so much as to underscore their shoddiness. The glass shard of a building makes the dingy three-and five-story buildings next door seem dingier, and the seamy building boasting adult videos and scantily-clad mannequins even seamier.

    The tower's impact derives in good part from the unnaturally small size of its base. The building rises on a plot of land that stretches only 24 feet along Eighth Avenue, widening to a mere 40 feet toward the back. Mr. Leyva, a Mexico-born architect, says it was certainly the skinniest lot he'd ever built on. Indeed so waifish is the building that last year, while it was still under construction, the Skyscraper Museum featured it in a program titled, "Slenderness: New York Hong Kong."

    The building's only significant flaw is the enormous concrete wall that comprises its northern facade. But that's not the architect's fault.

    "My client could not acquire the corner building, so we don't have legal ventilation," says Mr. Levya, referring to the developer, a partnership of Esplanade Capital LLC and Times Square Development. "So we have no choice but to have a blank wall."

    To ameliorate the effect. Mr. Levya rendered the wall two-toned. That helps. On the flip side of the property, Mr. Levya was able to do the exact opposite, cantilevering the building over the neighboring structure to increase the living space of the condos inside.

    The ground floor, now empty, will feature retail, with the buildings' occupants entering through a lobby on 48th Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues.

    Soon, Mr. Levya predicts, the block front will take on the characteristics of his building, rather than the other way around.

    "These existing buildings will be demolished and new buildings are going to come up," Mr. Leyva says. "All these small six-story and five-story buildings are going to eventually disappear."

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000..._MIDDLE_LSMini

  9. #1164
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    And when the "shoddy" buildings next door to the south are razed and towers rise tall then Mr. Leyva's building, with the full facade of south facing glass bump outs, will be even less the good buy than it is now (hard to imagine, seeing as how it has stood there incomplete and empty for two years). What's the point of a wall of glass facing onto another tower 20' away?

  10. #1165

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    I don't really see your point and why would another tower begin on the block if this one remains empty?

    Should we only build glass wall residential towers on sites where the views are ensured to be eternal? Very few sites in Manhattan can promise that.

    Though I personally don't care to have an entire wall of glass in my tiny apt, I can see why others would--even if they face someone else's unit 20' away and have nothing to look at.

  11. #1166
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    A tower 20' feet away not only isn't much to look AT, but such a close building offers the opportunity for others to look in at you -- and your every move. One could always pull the curtains, but that kind of negates the open wall of glass.

    Chances are new towers won't rise here until this one is occupied. But the future residents would be smart not to fall in love with the prime thing that this one has to offer.

    The major point behind the design of this tower are the uninterrupted, floor to ceiling views to the south. As Leyva points out: Those views will be gone before too long, so caveat emptor.

    Or in this case: pensio caveo.

  12. #1167

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    If, as Leyva predicts, other towers will rise on this block, I wonder how tall something could rise on the north parcel. Hopefully, it will be tall enough to obsvcure the blank wall.


  13. #1168

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    A tower 20' feet away not only isn't much to look AT, but such a close building offers the opportunity for others to look in at you -- and your every move. One could always pull the curtains, but that kind of negates the open wall of glass.

    Chances are new towers won't rise here until this one is occupied. But the future residents would be smart not to fall in love with the prime thing that this one has to offer.

    The major point behind the design of this tower are the uninterrupted, floor to ceiling views to the south. As Leyva points out: Those views will be gone before too long, so caveat emptor.

    Or in this case: pensio caveo.
    Since the project might possibly be a hotel our discussion might be irrelevant.

    But yea, it's the buyers fault for not doing the research and thinking their views will last forever. Leyva doesn't know any more than us when a tower will rise there and what it will look like, so why design for it. Either way rooms here will always be able to see the river and probably down some of Eighth Avenue.


    As for the privacy issue, the only ways for the new tower to have north-facing living area windows is if it setbacks from its northernmost lot (the porn store) or the developer buys the porn store's development rights and develops on the southern two lots. Don't see that happening and don't see why a developer would want to have north facing unit windows with 785 there already.


    If anything, units/rooms in 785 will most likely look out onto a blank wall and bathroom windows. Also, unless the new tower is as narrow as 785 it probably won't be more than 450'.

    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    If, as Leyva predicts, other towers will rise on this block, I wonder how tall something could rise on the north parcel. Hopefully, it will be tall enough to obsvcure the blank wall.
    No more than 20 floors. There's a better chance of obscuring that blank wall with a tower development on the next block.
    Last edited by Derek2k3; January 26th, 2011 at 08:50 AM.

  14. #1169

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    Quote Originally Posted by scumonkey View Post
    Never been a fan of One Worldwide. Childs had good intentions when he set out to design a homage to the classic New York skyscraper, but it came out very heavy-handed and the proportions are really, really off. its design elements echo the slender, pyramid-topped towers like Metropolitan Life and especially the Woolworth, but the tower has the massing of an average late 20th century large floorplate office money maker. As the result, the tower looks downright obese.

  15. #1170

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    Our fatter squatter buildings are representative of our expanding waistlines...

    I'm all for more of this w/o the ugly side of course.

    judo_dad

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