Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Residential Conversion Planned for Tribeca Landmark

The economic meltdown stalled plans to convert Tribeca's 443 Greenwich Street into a luxury condo-hotel. However, this summer, a new owner—Metro Loft Management—bought the landmarked property, and now plans are in the works again for a building conversion. The original permit called for a residential conversion with up to 120 hotel rooms, but the new proposal scales back the conversion to 100 apartments averaging 2,500 square feet each, along with two enormous penthouses and an eighth floor addition. Although the hotel option is still on the table, CB1 approved the permit renewal for the huge, red brick building, on the condition that the developers not include a hotel.

Special Permit for 443-453 Greenwich Granted

In July of 2008, the property’s then-owners requested—and were granted—a special permit from the City Planning Commission, with Community Board 1 support.

The original permit approved  the developers plans for conversion of the building into residential apartments, construction of up to 120 hotel rooms with ground floor retail, and to add an eighth floor to the structure.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission signed off on the plan. However, 2008 being 2008—the project stalled. This past summer, the property was bought by SGN, a company owned by Nathan Berman of Metro Loft Management. By now, the construction permit has lapsed, because there has been no substantial construction in over four years.

In 2010, the city rezoned northwest Tribeca from manufacturing to residential and hotel (up to 100 rooms), mooting part of the original permit. The rest of the permit, however, has been renewed allowing Berman to convert the building for residential use, with 80 to 100 units, averaging 2,500 square feet.

SGN said that the hotel component has been shelved for the moment, but options were being kept open. A health club component, along with a restaurant, has been floated as a possible compromise.

Plans for two ultra-luxury penthouses spanning the entire eighth floor are still in the design phase.

Neighbors from 195 Hudson, 181 Hudson, and 47 Vestry were surprised that no one had run the idea by them, and are not pleased.

Still, there was lots to dislike: The plans called a putting the mechanicals on the far eastern side of the roof—right by the two residential buildings—and any increase in traffic was going to be a nightmare for the neighborhood, given all the cars and buses that descend on neighboring Tribeca Rooftop each night.

Cut To The Chase
  • CB1's role is strictly advisory, and the vote is non-binding, so Berman can still build a hotel if he wants.
  • Construction of the additional floor is already a done deal.
  • Moving the mechanicals will be a tough fight, because their position has already received approval from the difficult-to-please Landmarks Preservation Commission, which only cares about sightlines from the street, not from adjacent buildings.