Thursday, December 27, 2012

56 Leonard Street Restarts After a Four-Year Delay

Lend Lease, construction manager for 56 Leonard Street - the long-stalled Jenga Building at the corner of Church Street - said that construction would re-start this week. The unique 58-story tower has been likened to a “Jenga” block for its offset slabs that alternate to a height of 830 feet.  It may not sound like much for New York City, but this building, situated in the Tribeca neighborhood , will tower over the low-rise houses at its base.

The developer says that plans have not substantially changed from Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron’s original design, although plans for the giant street-level, chrome sculpture were no longer on the table.

At 830 feet, the 146-unit condominium building will be the tallest in Tribeca.

Good news for the restarted project is that the excavation and foundation work were completed prior to the shutdown, so once the Con Edison vaults are finished, they can start with structural work.

Although the completed foundation has sat untouched for more than four years, the bad news is the project will still take another four years to complete - due to the building’s many cantilevers, which make for slow going.

The timetable set by Lend Lease is as follows:
December 2012 – January 2013
          - Con Ed vaults and foundation remediation
December 2012 – August 2014
          - Superstructure
November 2012 – January 2016
          - Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and sprinklers
July 2013 – April 2015
          - Facade
August 2013 – January 2016
          - Interiors
February 2013 – March 2016
          - Project completion

Community opposition may be one factor for the tower’s delayed construction, but the construction stalled when the economy took a nosedive.

Lend Lease, and luxury developer Alexico Group, planned to rehabilitate the project when they bought the construction site from New York law School $136 million.

The project is being constructed under a $275-million Project Labor Agreement reached with the Building Trades Employers' Association of New York, representing more than a dozen labor organizations.

The cantilevered apartments will rise 58 stories and target the same demographic set that is currently buying at One57 and will soon be buying from 432 Park Avenue.

There is enough divergence in location that competition should not be a problem, although 56 Leonard and 432 Park Avenue should be reaching completion within a year of each other.

Apartments are expected to cost between $5 and $35 million dollars, and range from 1,430 square feet for a two -bedroom unit, to 6,380 square feet for a 5-bedroom penthouse.