By Brian J Pape, AIA, LEED-AP
Development in NYC takes a long time, and it may also have to weather Great Recessions. Such is the case for 90 Morton, aka 627 Greenwich Street, once an abandoned, eight-story printing warehouse. When architect and developer Peter Moore and KMG Partners paid $37.8 million for the site in 2005, they had planned to convert it into residences by getting the zoning changed in 2008. The Royal Bank of Scotland took the property back in 2012, but didn’t sell the property until mid-2014 when Criterion Real Estate bought it for $75 million. It was sold for $105 million to Isaac Hera’s Brack Capital Real Estate, a Dutch investment and development firm, later in 2014.
For years when walking by, one could smell the mold and damp air emanating from the empty loft building. Fortunately, as the loft building at 75 Morton Street across the street was finally transformed into a new community school, so too 90 Morton has had a renaissance.
Issac & Stern Architects began designing for 29 condominiums and three commercial units on the ground floor in 2015, but they were later replaced by Asaf Gottesman of Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture as the designer, with Marc Turkel of Leroy Street Studios (LSS) for interior designs. Sales began in April 2018 by Reuveni Real Estate, with prices for the condominiums starting at $5.3 million.
Construction was halted for the pandemic, but now, as 90 Morton Owner LLC, its 35 residences, 122,000-square-foot area, twelve-story, 150-foot-tall, mixed-use project is getting its final details inside and out.While the original window openings have been reglazed with energy-efficient industrial-style windows, the two-story base masonry has been reclad with large limestone slabs that cleverly conceal inserts of LED strip lighting on the vertical mullions.
Up above, a four-story addition of dark facades and railings for outdoor terraces play out as contrast to the light masonry walls, both cantilevering out in some areas, and receding in others. Residential units will range from 1,813 SF, 2BR to 5,820 SF, 5BR homes, with some 12’ ceilings and original concrete columns, plus industrial-modern custom cabinet kitchens.
90 Morton Street amenities include a 24-hour attended lobby, a resident’s library, cold-storage room, a fully-equipped fitness center and yoga area located next to the main lobby, a children’s playroom, a 64-foot indoor pool in the cellar with clerestory windows, with direct elevator access, saunas, changing rooms with showers and individual lockers. To top it off, a common roofdeck, full outdoor kitchen, a barbecue station, a powder room, a gas fireplace, and 360-degree views will be available.
The median price for condos in Greenwich Village is $5.775 million and $2,768 per square foot, according to brokerage CityRealty, so this seems to be priced right in there. Yes, it’s for the rich, but that’s all we seem to be getting in the West Village.
Brian J. Pape is a LEED-AP “Green” Architect consulting in private practice, serves on the Manhattan District 2 Community Board, is co-chair of the American Institute of Architects NY Design for Aging Committee, and is a journalist for architecture subjects.