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

Carter's View

The Board of Standards & Appeals held its second hearing this afternoon on an application for variances to permit the construction of an 11-story residential building at 482 Greenwich Street on the northwest corner at Canal Street.

Red Brick Canal LLC is the developer. It had acquired the site from Arman, the artist who recently died and had maintained an outdoor studio on an irregular, triangular-shaped lot at the address.

Thomas McKay and Garrett Gourlay are the architects for the project that will employ a synthetic light-colored material as piers on Canal Street, where its height will match that of an adjoining red-brick building to the west, and a glass facade with inset balconies on the east facade on Greenwich Street.

The discussion centered mostly on "hardship" issues and Bill McCorkin, a cost consultant, told the board that mandated acoustic insulation requires that the project's triple-glazed windows have more space between the glass. Mr. Gourlay told the board that the building will only have glazing on 40 percent of its facades. He also said that proximity to the Holland Tunnel and soil conditions will require expensive caissons and that its irregularly shaped lot also presented economic hardships to the developer. He said that the project has a "75 percent efficient floor plate" while larger sites can attain 85 percent efficiency.

Some residents of nearby buildings testified that the area "is a great market for residential projects," noting that this project has 100 feet of river views and faces a small park.

Richard Barrett of the TriBeCa Community Association of the Canal West Coalition told the board that there should be legislation to follow up on developers' "rate of return," adding that sometimes it is stated at 6 percent and turns out to be closer to 600.

A resident at 497 Greenwich Street, a new project nearby, challenged assumptions that pricing at 482 Greenwich Street might be about $1,000 a square feet and suggested that a probable range might be $1,300 to $1,800 per square foot for lower floors and $2,500 for upper floors.

Meenakshi Srinvasan, the chairperson of the board, asked the applicant to provide more details of its costs and comparable values and continued the hearing to June 20.

Mr. Mckay has indicated that the project would have a large-scale work by Arman, the only one in the city.

Arman was born as Armand Fernandez in 1928 in Nice, France. In 1947, he met Yves Klein with whom he hitchhiked in Europe. In 1951, he taught at the Bushido Kai Judo School and then served as a medical orderly in the Indo-Chinese War. Influenced by a Kurt Schwitters exhibition in 1954. he began working with stamp ink-pads, in part to critic Abstract Expressionism and in a few years was throwing ink objects at canvases. In 1958 he dropped the "d" in his name, inspired by a printer's error. He proceeded to explore the use of many different materials in her art and assemblages, including rubbish and burnt objects and sliced and smashed objects and organic garbage. In 1964 he had his first museum retrospectives at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
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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.
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