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

Carter's View

Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told today that a representative of The Related Companies Jesse Masyr of the law firm of Wachtel & Masyr, has indicated it has scaled back its plans for a new 104-unit, condominium apartment building on the site of the Superior Ink building at 70 Bethune Street, which fronts on West Street overlooking the Hudson River in the West Village.

Initially, Related had indicated it wanted to build a curved, reflective-glass tower very similar to the one it is now finishing at 445 Lafayette Square adjacent to Cooper Union in the East Village. That tower has been designed by Gwathmey Siegel Associates, the architect also for Related for the Superior Ink site.

Gwathmey Siegel has now designed a masonry-clad structure for Related at the Superior Ink site, Mr. Berman said. The height of the tower, he continued, has been reduced from 20 to 15 stories and the plan now calls for the tower to be placed on the western end of the site with town-house units on Bethune Street.

The new Gwathmey Siegel design for the site is not curved, according to Mr. Berman, whose organization has been campaigning for the project to be smaller in height and size so that it might be more compatible with the neighborhood, which is the subject of a rezoning plan by the city that will be considered by the City Planning Commission September 14.

Related is understood to be planning to seek variances from the Board of Standards & Appeals for getting a "community facilities" bonus, according to Mr. Berman, who said that Jesse Masyr, who represents Related, has been meeting with his organization and that further negotiations are anticipated. The related site is included in the proposed new zoning district and that district would permit the site to be developed for residential uses whereas the existing zoning only permits industrial uses.

The Superior Ink facility on the site has two smokestacks and was originally a Nabisco cracker bakery that was erected in 1919. It is not far from some white modernist towers designed by Richard Meier on West Street for two different developers.

The building plans originally filed for the site by Related called for a 225-foot-tall tower that would become the tallest tower on the "Gold Coast" of the West Village and would be 15 feet taller than two of the Richard Meier towers at Perry and Charles Street on West Street.

The new design calls for a building about 190 feet high, Mr. Berman said.

Related is one of the city's most active developers and was a co-developer of the Time-Warner Center at Columbus Center and recently was named a co-developer of the Moynihan Station project that will include new facilities for Pennsylvania Station in the James A. Farley Post Office building on Eighth Avenue between 31st & 33rd Streets.
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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.