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

Carter's View

The Related Companies has released two new renderings of its large residential project on the former site of the Superior Ink Company at 469 West Street, which is also known as 70 Bethune Street, in the West Village.

Related had originally proposed a 270-foot-high, 23-story structure with residential condominiums for the site and that design was similar in its configuration to its development at 445 Lafayette Street designed by Gwathmey Siegel.

In 2005, Related went to the Board of Standards & Appeals for a variance for a 20-story and three-story mixed-use project with a 6.5 F.A.R. for 469 West Street/70 Bethune Street on a lot zoned for manufacturing and a 5 floor-to-area ratio (F.A.R.). Gwathmey Siegel & Associates was the architect for the project.

The project outraged preservationists who had desperately tried to save the old factory building and its 195-foot-tall smokestacks, urging the city to include the site in the West Village rezoning and historic district landmark districts. Community Board 2 voted against the project on the basis that all the findings necessary to obtain a variance had not been met and that its scale was out of context for the area.

In January 2006, Related modified the design and won a variance, which was amended in January 2007, for a 15-story tower on West Street with a three-story townhouse row on Bethune Street, with a maximum height of 186 feet 9 inches, including a bulkhead on the tower roof, and setbacks of 10 feet on West Street and 15 feet on Bethune Street. (Three residential towers with mostly glass facades that were designed by Richard Meier a few blocks to the south on West Street have a height of 199 feet.)

The Related project is known now as Superior Ink Condominiums and Townhouses and the site is just to the north of Westbeth.

The new plans were designed by Robert A. M. Stern, who has worked on previous residential buildings for Related. Mr. Stern is the dean of the Yale University School of Architecture and a co-author of the monumental series on New York architecture and planning including "New York 1880," "New York, 1900," "New York, 1930," "New York, 1960," and the recently published "New York, 2000."

The new design has more masonry than the previous design that employed a lot of glass and it made the townhouses "independent of each other."

Apartments are smaller but the number has increased from 64 to 84 and commercial space on the ground floor of the tower has been eliminated and basements have been added to the townhouses that will now have different rather than similar facades.

On West Street, the development will have a three-story base with arched windows on the third floor and another setback on the fifth floor where the windows will be arched and a tower with arched corner windows topped by a setback 15th floor.

One of the new renderings indicates that the red-brick townhouses will have 12-paned windows and some of them have two-stories of bay windows and some have stoops.
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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.