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


Cast Iron House's penthouse; Renderings Courtesy Hayes Davidson Cast Iron House's penthouse; Renderings Courtesy Hayes Davidson
Knightsbridge Properties has done it again. The New York-based company with a posh London name has developed a penchant for breathing new residential life into some of downtown’s most beautiful buildings. With 54 Warren Street and Obsidian House under its belt, the developer is now enthralled in the reinvention of a magnificent cast-iron building at the corner of Broadway and Franklin Street. Named Cast Iron House, the project is the team’s third foray in Tribeca, and as the responsible developers they are, they’ve tapped one of the world’s most skillful architects, Shigeru Ban, to mold 13 condominium residences inside.
Knightsbridge picked up the property in 2002 and gave the then-rusted cast-iron exterior an impeccable top to bottom makeover–restoring the building’s floral details that subtly evolve from one floor to the next and painting the facade the tone of silky butter pecan ice cream. Scrumptious and sumptuous indeed. The building was built during the late 19th century’s industrial boom at the peak of James Bogardus’ catalog-order cast-iron façades. The Neo-Grecian-styled building gained city landmark status in 1983 and remains one of the largest and most ornate cast iron structures in the city.
cast-iron-house-5 Recent photo of construction progress; CityRealty
In 2012, Knightsbridge moved forward with plans to convert the commercial building into a unique collection of loft residences. With Japanese architect Shigeru Ban at the helm, 13 duplexes with double-height great rooms and vaulted windows are being sculpted inside. Earlier this month, we took a quick look-around a model unit and marveled at the airiness provided by 25-foot-tall ceilings and wide expanses of windows that reveal ornate Corinthian columns beyond. Understated details and finishes selected by Ban include custom soaking tubs and sinks. Ban’s signature fluid layouts allows the kitchen, living, and dining areas to flow together without the interruption of walls.
Cast-Iron-House-0094 Looking from the upper level of a model unit; CityRealty
The building will be capped by two spectacular penthouses held within two newly-constructed floors. In an unusual move, the Landmarks Preservation Commission permitted a very-visible, 23-foot-tall addition to “float” above the 135-year-old structure. Citing Ban’s exemplary design and sensitivity, the commission allowed a discreet framework of white metal and glass that will appear as a minimalist extension of the cast-iron columns below. The penthouses will also be duplexes, each with 4 bedrooms and universal living floors wrapped in Ban’s signature moveable glass walls. Each penthouse will be benefitted by a large terrace overlooking low-scale Tribeca.
Could Cast Iron House be the thoughtful new prototype for penthouse additions in the city? We’ve always wondered why so many of New York’s penthouse additions appeared so undistinguished from the outside. Often bearing no relation to the historic buildings they rest upon and seemingly constructed out of cardboard, we’re fortunate that many of them are masked by greenery and/or hidden from street level. In historic districts, such as the East Tribeca Historic District that Cast Iron House resides in, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has exhibited its preference that penthouse additions be virtually invisible from the street.
Knightsbridge-Properties Rendering of Cast Iron House's east penthouse
Further showing an understandable lack of confidence in architecture and development today, real-life mock-ups must be constructed atop the buildings to determine the addition’s visual impact (hopefully minimal) prior to the hearing. With numerous cherished buildings receiving layers of thoughtful additions in decades’ past, we wonder why we are so incapable of well-designed, harmonious additions today, and instead choose to rest on our laurels and tuck the new out of sight. [/rant end]
The stretch of Broadway surrounding Cast Iron House between Canal and Worth streets has long been a transitional area between SoHo’s shopping mall, the civic offices of the Financial District, vibrant Chinatown and the charming blocks of Tribeca. Over the last decade, the corridor has been evolving into a more Tribeca feel and has encountered a surge of high-end residential activity such as the game-changing condo at 93 Worth Street, a 5-unit conversion at Six Cortlandt Alley and a 111-unit new condo by Toll Brothers at 91 Leonard Street.
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67-Franklin-3 Cast Iron House Unit 6/7
67-franklin-2344 Unit 6/7 upper floor
The sole unit for sale at Cast Iron House, is a corner 5-bed/ 4-bath duplex on the sixth and seventh floor. Priced at $10.55M and spanning a palatial 4,250 ft², the home features direct elevator entry, white oak flooring and exposures to the north and east. Amenities in the building will include a garden courtyard with 40-foot-tall bamboo trees; a water room with sauna and steam room; an exercise room; and a game room
The average condominium price in TriBeCa reached $2,375 a square foot this month, 16.5 percent higher than the $2,039 a square foot posted last year during the similar period. The median listing sales price for the neighborhood is currently $6 million ($2,466 / ft²), significantly more than the $2.75 million ($1,987/ ft²) for all of Manhattan.
Tribeca-sales-34 Graph of Tribeca and Manhattan closing prices; CityRealty
67-Franklin-23 Rendering of finished product. View from the corner of Franklin & Broadway
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