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Superior Ink, 400 West 12th Street

Between West Street & Washington Street   |    West Village

Carter Horsley
Reviewed by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

The Superior Ink development in the West Village is a large project that combines a tall building facing the Hudson River and low-rise buildings on the rest of the block.

Its massing is somewhat similar to another waterfront project completed a few years earlier several blocks to the south, Morton Square.

This one was developed by the Related Companies and was completed in 2008.

It was designed by Robert A. M. Stern, who is best known for 15 Central Park West, the Chatham and the Brompton.

This development has a 17-story tower with 62 apartments on West Street with two setbacks and 7 townhouses on Bethune Street.

Bottom Line

A very prime location between the charms and quirkiness of the West Village and the hip sophistication of the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea and the High Line Park, this development offers buyers the choice of a tower and three-story townhouse living. The townhouses have elevators and gardens and have access to the tower through an underground corridor to access its many amenities.

Description

The light-orange brick tower has a one-story rusticated stone base, a few setbacks and many slightly arched windows.  Its façade piers terminate in narrow ripples and its side façades have center protruding elements near the top.

The red-brick townhouses are extremely handsome and look like some of the best in Greenwich Village and Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Some have stoops and some have bay windows and all have multi-paned windows.

The tower has a large and handsome metal-and-frosted glass canopy and the exterior of the building is illuminated with downcast lighting.

The building has central air-conditioning and the lobby has a large water feature encased in green marble. 

Amenities

The building, which is known as 400 West 12th Street, has a 24-hour concierge and doorman, valet parking, a fitness center, an event room, a screening room, an entertainment lounge, a children’s playroom, a bicycle room, private storage and some terraces.

Apartments

Kitchens have Sub-Zero appliances and master baths have free-standing bubs and marble and mosaic-tiled surfaces.

History

The development is on the former site of the Superior Ink factory that had two tall chimneys and it is just to the north of Westbeth, one of the best known residential conversion projects in the city.

In January, 2006, Related’s design won a variance 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 façades that were designed by Richard Meier a few blocks to the south on West Street have a height of 199 feet.)

The new plans presented in January 2007 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.”

Stern’s new design had more masonry than the previous design that employed a lot of glass and it made the townhouses “independent of each other.”

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

The red-brick townhouses have 12-paned windows and some of them have two stories of bay windows as well as stoops.

The townhouse designs are extremely compatible and very much in keeping with traditional Greenwich Village townhouses of the early 19th Century. The tower, on the other hand, relates more to the early 20th Century industrial architectural heritage of the area’s waterfront.

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