Demolition is in full swing at 22 Thames Street, which was one of the few low-rise historic buildings in the neighborhood that remained attractive through the years. The old 22 Thames was 10 stories tall, and has already been reduced to its sixth floor – a fraction of the future tower, which could end up taller than 56 Leonard. Plans for the site have already undergone several shifts, but with the loss of the 113-year old low-rise, anything short of a starchitect showpiece would be a disappointing replacement.
Though the site is now active, no permits relating to actual construction have been approved. 22 Thames’ most recent denial from the Department of Buildings came last July, and that proposal, by Vinoly, would have risen 70 stories and 841 feet. Vinoly’s plan came after an initial filing from Goldstein Hill & West that would have had the tower rise 56 floors and 657 feet.
No renderings for either proposal were made public, but the shift from Goldstein Hill & West to Vinoly is definitely an indicator that the project will be high-end. Fisher Brothers will be developing the site.
22 Thames Street sits near the new World Trade Center, and the plot is a natural fit for a residential companion to the nearby office supertalls. The location is not exactly prime – diagonal from the 9/11 Memorial security lines – and the sidewalks in front of 22 Thames are typically overwhelmed by hordes of tourists. Something as skinny and luxurious as Vinoly’s 432 Park is unlikely, but the development does have nearly 400,000 square feet of air rights, which is enough for a significant skyscraper.