By Brian J. Pape, AIA
The first ever skyscraper in the West Village, at an “unprecedented” height of 450’, is planned for the full block at Washington Street and Houston Street. This rendering of the proposed towers is a view looking southeast from West Street and Leroy Street, at the south edge of the West Village. It is directly across Houston Street from 550 Washington Street, the office project that Google acquired for $2.1 billion last year.
570 Washington Street, aka Clarkson Square, has now gotten financing to proceed. A joint venture comprised of Zeckendorf Development, Atlas Capital, and the Baupost Group secured a $322 million loan from investment giant Blackstone to acquire the full-block 1.3-acre site from Westbrook Partners, according to a report by Greg Dool in The Real Deal, July 8, 2022. Boston-based Baupost has been active in the city, most recently selling the American Copper Buildings in Murray Hill. Atlas Capital is one of the initial investors in the property.
The CookFox Architects designs are for the $1.25 billion two-tower luxury development, one tower along West Street overlooking the Hudson River, the other smaller one facing east on Washington Street. Initially, the developers included plans for 30 percent “affordable” and “senior” housing units, for a total of 1.7million square feet of floor area. A building of such height was made possible by being outside any historic district, with modified manufacturing zoning, and having purchased development air-rights from Pier 40/Hudson River Park.
There’s a real challenge to building on a flood plain, an in-filled shoreline that was once under the Hudson River, along a busy highway. Excavation and construction has not yet started on the barren, fenced site.
Rendering Credit: CookFox Architects.
Brian J. Pape is a citizen architect in private practice, LEED-AP “green” certified, serving on the Manhattan District 2 Community Board Landmarks Committee and Quality of Life Committee (speaking solely in a personal, not an official capacity. He is also co-chair of the American Institute of Architects NY Design for Aging Committee, a member of AIANY Historic Buildings and Housing Committees, and a journalist specializing in architecture subjects.