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Carter's View

The modernization of the Far West Village continues as construction work advances on a new condominium apartment building at 163 Charles Street, just to the east of 165 Charles Street, the third of three mid-rise condo buildings designed by Richard Meier in a row fronting on West Street for two different developers.

The new tower has been designed by Daniel Goldner Architects for Barry Leistner, who bought the site for about $5,900,000 in December from Kenny Schachter, who had previously commissioned a 9-story, 6-unit building from architect Zaha Hadid, a winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture. Schachter is an art gallery owner who is married to Illona Rich, a fashion designer who is the daughter of Denise Rich and her ex-husband, Marc Rich, a financier who was pardoned by President Clinton.

The new building will be 8 stories tall and a triplex and two duplex apartments and ground floor commercial space. It is expected to be completed by the end of next summer.

The handsome design has a two-story base with a step-down entrance and four balconies. The facade has floor-to-ceiling windows with a Mondrianesque-pane pattern. Its clean-cut, modern lines complements the design of the Meier buildings, but the project ran into opposition from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation that argued that the property and several others should be landmarked by the city.

The building that had been on the site was originally built for a cartman and a carpenter in 1832 and included a rear stable that had been converted to an art gallery by Vito Acconci facing Charles Lane, a narrow cobblestone street with no sidewalks.
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.