Volume 20, Number 43 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN - MARCH 7 -- 13, 2008

Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund


Norten Bowery bound?
The latest Bowery development buzz has a 10-story condo building designed by revered “starchitect” Enrique Norten rising at 180 Bowery, according to Mixed Use tipsters. A previous item in this space speculated that a 16-story building could be on its way at the site, located between Spring and Kenmare Sts., after a rendering mysteriously surfaced, fueling fears from area activists of another incoming high-rise.

The rendering first came to light at a Bowery Alliance of Neighbors meeting early last month, said BAN member Anna Sawaryn, noting the person who brought it forward had inside knowledge of the project.

The former tenant at 180-182 Bowery, Empire Restaurant Supply, did recently merge with restaurant supplier Balter Sales Company farther north on the stretch, confirmed a Balter employee, although no records currently exist of planned new development at the site.

A spokesperson at Norten’s architecture firm Ten Arquitectos would neither confirm nor deny the building as of press time, citing the developer’s hesitance to publicize the project.

Downtown architect and developer Peter Moore of Peter Moore Associates — who himself is finalizing plans for an as-of-right, eight-story luxury hotel for the Bowery between Houston and Prince Sts. — cautioned that recent development in the neighborhood has been “chaotic and opportunistic,” and called on the Landmarks Preservation Commission to take a more active role in the area.

“It’s a more fragile piece of the urban fabric,” Moore said, equating the Bowery’s built environment to that of the Meatpacking District. “The aesthetic nature of these new developments has to be carefully considered. … It’s a huge missed opportunity.”


Hudson Sq. Rises
Community members who undertook the “Envisioning Hudson Square” design project last fall to imagine the future of the fledgling neighborhood just received a nod for their work in soliciting ambitious architectural renderings for the area: One of the firms hired to look at Hudson Square’s development future — Zakrzewski + Hyde Architects, in association with Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners — last week won the American Institute of Architects’ annual Design Award for its conceptual take on neighborhood.

The firm’s vision, “Hudson Square Rise,” featured functional, elevated, open green space linking the area’s large industrial holdovers, including the massive St. John’s Center, to the Hudson River Park and nearby Pier 40.

Community opposition to a proposed three-district sanitation facility in Hudson Square originally spurred the project “charrette,” which included four other architectural firms’ designs.

“We are hopeful that some or all of this award-winning ‘Hudson Rise’ design will be incorporated in the final design process” for the neighborhood, said charrette project manager Michael Kramer, noting the need for a “better way” to integrate the sanitation facility. “The charrette was designed to be a conversation-starter. Hopefully the city is listening and will allow for a ‘consensus-building’ solution.”


FiDi find
A 13-story residential tower in the western Financial District has hit the market for potential conversion into condos, corporate residences, a hotel or offices, according to exclusive selling agents Eastern Consolidated and Marcus Millichap.

The 60-unit building at 110 Greenwich St. at the corner of Carlisle St., originally built in 1929 as a fireproof warehouse, was converted in 1997 to a luxury apartment building with a ground-floor retail component.

The property features 14-foot ceilings and natural light due to its corner location, and also benefits from a 421g tax-exemption set to expire in 2015.

Eastern Consolidated senior director Robert F. Ortiz and senior associate Paul J. Nigido are partnering with senior associates Michael Forrest and David Shorenstein of Marcus Millichap in the sale.

“Apart from the conversion options, the retail tenant at the base of the 60-unit building is renting under market,” Ortiz noted. “Since that lease is due to expire in a year, there’s near-term upside potential for a new owner.”


Dot-com dreamin’
Bobby Weiss wants to help you find your way around the Meatpacking District, East Village and Lower East Side, and now the virtual tour guide has the tools to do it on a worldwide platform.

The real estate broker/online entrepreneur, who purchased the Web site eastvillage.com last year from longtime neighborhood artist Jim “Mosaic Man” Power, also lays claim to meatpackingdistrict.com and lowereastside.net after scooping up the domain names in a bid to turn them into premier neighborhood directories.

Weiss had already operated the Meatpacking site before ponying up $10,000 for Power’s dot-com last year, then purchased lowereastside.net after failing to settle on terms for the purchase of lowereastside.com. (He noted he only had to plunk down a paltry $800 for meatpackingdistrict.com and $600 for lowereastside.net, and that the owner of lowereastside.com was asking too high a price.)

“I literally have to walk the streets,” Weiss said of culling information for his nascent Web sites, on which he plans to offer retail, service, cultural and real estate listings. “It’s going to take me two years to really get them to top performance level.”

Weiss also wants to implement a Craigslist-style classified section on the sites, as well as a networking option allowing users to create their own profiles in the vein of MySpace and Facebook.

For now, though, meatpackingdistrict.com is the only fully functioning site.


mixeduse@communitymediallc.com



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