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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

Construction is nearing completion at 40 Mercer Street that occupies the full north blockfront in SoHo on Grand Street between Mercer Street and Broadway.

Although initial renderings suggested this 13-story building would be a glistening setback towers with colorful highlights, its imposing and impressive built appearance is more like the superstructure of an aircraft carrier in a dark battleship gray with complex, textured facades.

The building has 41 residential condominium apartments and some retail space and it is distinguished by its very large sliding glass windows.

According to the project's website, the very elegant building's design "marks the most cutting-edge use of glass in a residential building in the United States to date with colored and transparent, filtered and clear glass, and the largest sheets, approximately 7 by 12 feet, ever used on a residential project." The windows are triple-glazed.

On lower floors, six-foot-wide sash windows can be lowered to create safety railings and on higher floors the large windows open sideways by means of key-operated motors and the windows have recessed shades to "insure uniformity of appearance from the street, and blackout shades are provided in all bedrooms." Some of the apartments will have a sliding wall bookcase that can be moved to enclose or open up spaces.

The building has been designed by Jean Nouvel, the well-known French architect who designed the Cartier Foundation Building and L'Institute du Monde Arabe in Paris, the Lyon Opera House and the Commercial Centre Euralille in Lille. This is his first project to be completed in New York. He designed a cantilevered low-rise hotel in Brooklyn jutting into the East River just south of the Williamsburg Bridge and a very dramatic multi-building complex in Chelsea along the High Line, but these projects have not yet advanced beyond the planning stage.

SLCE Architects is also working on the project.

The project was developed by Andr?alazs Hines Interests.

The building has a five-story base and its setback tower runs parallel to Grand Street. Initial prices for one- to three-bedroom apartments ranged from about $1.9 million to almost $6 million and two penthouse units that will have private pools are priced "upon request."

The project's website indicated today that only 3 three-bedroom apartments, all in the base, and one of the "pool residences" at the setback level have not been sold.

Apartments have been planned by Mr. Nouvel and Carlo Molteni to use Italian walnut, Tanganika and Wenge woods in the open-design and very sleek kitchens that will have glassfront Sub-Zero 650 Series refrigerators, Gaggenau 36-inch-wide ovens, Miele dishwashers, wine refrigerators, and Sharp drawer model microwave ovens.

Master bathroom vanities are white oak and walnut with Starphire glass countertops. The bathrooms have stainless steel-trimmed glass shelves, stainless steel Lefroy Brooks faucet sets, Calacatta marble slab floors with timer-controlled radiant heating, six-foot-long tubs and the shower has an 8-inch-diameter rain shower head.

The building will have a garage, 24-hour concierge service, a garden lobby lounge, private storage, and a block-through private park and M40, its private club designed by Roman and Williams, will have a 50-foot lap pool, a bar and lounge/screening area and a swing.

The project was first designed as the 180-room "Broadway" hotel. It was redesigned at the suggestion of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission to have the windows and floors of the base relate closely to the scale of neighboring cast-iron buildings.

The building is just to the south of 44 Mercer Street, a five-story residential condominium development designed by Traboscia Roiatti Architects on which demolition has just begun.
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Additional Info About the Building

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.