Triple Mint has often been accused of being overly focused on Manhattan south of 34th Street. We plead guilty. The simple truth is it just happens to be where we grew up and currently live. In the first of a series of quick roundups of new projects downtown, we focus here on the West Village. (We hope to have future posts soon on Tribeca, Soho, the Lower East Side, and Chelsea.) After the jump view four rare new condo developments in what is arguably the most sought after neighborhood in New York.
A number of factors come together in the West Village to make supply extremely limited, the most important of which is that many of the prime blocks are protected historic districts. New construction tends to be small-scale, expensive, and always contentious. Rarer still are former commercial structures that can be turned into loft spaces, since most of the area has long been residential. One exception is 147 Waverly Place (top image), a classic 12-story commercial loft building now being turned into 20 condominiums near Christopher Park and Sheridan Square. An aerial view rendering (above) of the four-bedroom penthouse duplex sort of says it all. The building's height will make for open city views over many of its low-rise neighbors. The firm BKSK is the conversion architect.
Just up the street from 147 Waverly is the Jefferson Court condominium, just seven residences skillfully carved out of two small-scale structures (above). The north building at 134 West 10th Street is a former stable and carriage storehouse built in 1874 and now nicely restored. The south building is a new design by Richard Cooke and Associates at 11 Christopher Street that is highly contextual and sensitive to its neighbors without being cloyingly historicist. Below is an interior view of one unit's living area.
Moving over now to the Far West Village, another contextual design can be seen in the new construction going up at 744 Greenwich Street, between Perry and West 11th Streets. This six-story red brick structure by BM Design Group will have five condominiums: a triplex townhouse unit, three full-floor units, and a duplex penthouse. Residents will enter off of Greenwich Street into a common garden. Below are front and rear views. Though we like the big windows, the brick and the ho hum form make this look a little too much like a school building. Hurry, we're late for class...
122 Greenwich Avenue
Finally, a few words on a proposed 36 unit project for a long-vacant lot where Greenwich Avenue merges into 8th Avenue at Jackson Square. The design, unveiled at a community board meeting by architect William Pederson of the venerable firm Kohn Pederson Fox, drew much criticism from neighbors for its modern design.
UPDATE: You can view One Jackson Square at 122 Greenwich Avenue HERE
We've only seen the spy shots taken at the meeting and now circulating on the web, so we will refrain from comment for now beyond saying that it strikes us at first glance as an interesting and worthy solution to an odd wedge-shaped lot. Be that as it may, we do want to note that some of those opposed to the building who happen to live in the nearby post-war glazed-brick high-rise boxes that went up in the 1950's and 1960's have the extra burden of explaining how the crap they live in should have ever been allowed to take out large swaths of the neighborhood they now cherish. Our point is simply that New York has always been a mix of variation, elegant and otherwise. As one commenter at Curbed wrote:
"...most of them have no clue whatsoever of architecture other than wanting every building going up to look like they built in 1880. It's one thing to preserve historic buildings but what the hell is this fixation on the 19th century these people have!!?"
Even here in the West Village there is room for new and old. We would argue that both are vital.