The stunningly tall towers rising along 57th Street are taking the Manhattan skyline to a whole new level. Despite their relatively small footprints, some projects are actually replacing true architectural gems. Between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2016, the LeFrak Organization and Vornado Realty leveled three pre-war buildings at 27-33 West 57th Street. Although the latest reports indicated a “seven star hotel,” final plans are still unknown. Given the site’s Billionaires’ Row location and proximity to Central Park, whatever gets built will most likely be very tall, and very expensive.
As we have reported, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is in the process of dealing with the backlog of 95 items that have been on its calendar since before 2010, some for decades. That process took a big step forward Tuesday, with 30 sites remaining on the calendar as priorities for designation vote by the end of 2016. Five sites were removed from the calendar for lack of merit.
Prime Rok Real Estate and Greystone Property Development have purchased the eight-story, 33,000-square-foot building at 164 West 74th Street, on the Upper West Side, for $28 million. According to Commercial Observer, the new owners are planning to convert the building, which is currently Phoenix House’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, into 14 to 18 condominium units. As currently proposed, the structure’s façade will be lightly restored, the rear will be partially demolished, and the interior will be gut-renovated. Barry Rice Architects is designing the conversion, but any alterations to the property will have to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, as it’s located within the Upper West Side-Central Park West Historic District.
In May of 2015, YIMBY reported that the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved RFR Realty’s planned commercial restoration of the landmarked Germania Bank Building, a six-story, 36,000-square-foot building at 190 Bowery, in NoLIta. Bowery Boogie now reports the restoration is well underway and crews have replaced the property’s windows. A new entrance is also being installed on the ground level and other alterations are now taking place. The building will eventually have a ground-floor retail space and the upper five floors will be leased as office space. Higgins Quasebarth & Partners and MdeAS Architects are behind the restoration design. Completion can probably be expected later this year.
A three-story row house in Brooklyn is going to stay that way for the time being. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission did not approve a proposed addition to 75 St. Marks Avenue, near the…