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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Four Seasons condo tower adds to the downtown skyline

the downtown skyline of 2011
lower manhattan skyline renderings by dbox

tribecaThe tallest residential tower to be built downtown, will be at 99 Church Street at the crossroads of Tribeca and the Financial District. Developer Larry Silverstein announced that the property would be operated by luxury hotelier The Four Seasons as their second New York City location, just at the edge of the World Trade center site. With the exception of the Ritz-Carlton at the Battery, Lower Manhattan lacks this level of accommodation. The Four Seasons' midtown branch is the priciest and arguably the best, in Manhattan today. Robert A. M. Stern Architects are responsible for the design. Mr. Stern's 15 Central Park West has recently sold to record setting sales figures, a fact Mr. Silverstein did not miss in his address. For this downtown project, he's given us another limestone clad building, but this one rises 80 stories with a tall, slender profile, and one would imagine, commanding views of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey and the NY Harbor.

"I never dreamed that I'd build something right next to The Woolworth Building and taller than it too"
—Robert A.M. Stern, Architect

Architect Robert A.M. Stern and WTC developer Larry Silverstein overlooking a model of lower ManhattanMuch of the northern facade from it will look over low rise neighborhoods up toward Midtown's skyscrapers. It's in close proximity to Cass Gilbert's historic Woolworth building, and becomes a skyline element, referencing the older stone buildings of the financial district and bridging them with the glass curtain wall towers of the World Trade Center site. Surely a delicate position contextually for any architect to work in. Mr. Stern remarked after the talk that "I never dreamed that I'd build something right next to The Woolworth Building and taller than it too"

Built on the site of the 11 story former home of Moody's (now tenants at Silverstein's 7 World Trade Tower) the lower half of the building will house a 175 room Four Seasons Hotel with the remainder dedicated to 143 private condominium residences of up to 6500 square feet, with hotel services. It was further described as a limestone and cast stone tower that rises to a dramatic skyline profile of full-floor penthouses and setback terraces. The Hotel entrance on Barclay Street leads visitors into four floors of lobbies, lounges, restaurant, ballrooms, and meeting facilities, as well as a spa, fitness center and pool. A second entrance to the restaurant is on Church Street. The public rooms of the Hotel face a through-block landscaped public plaza framed by a lower annex building that conceals building services and access to below-grade parking. A separate entrance and lobby at 30 Park Place serves the Residences. Amenities for the private residents are located between the Hotel and Residences and include a 75-ft heated indoor pool, fitness center, lounge area, and children’s room. The project is also a green, LEED certified, sustainable development. Corcoran-Sunshine marketing will be the agency for the condominium residences when offered.

four seasons condoAs a Tribeca resident I think that this is an appropriately sited and conceived property. While it is extremely large at 694,000 square feet, it has an elegant feel that is actually adding to the visual complexity that is emerging in the downtown skyline of 2011, when both it and the World Trade Center Memorial will be completed. It promises a decidedly up-market feeling to a somewhat dowdy part of the city and has the scale to be a major influence. It is not in the Tribeca Historic District, but close enough to bring patronage to the smaller boutique businesses here. In my opinion it should help expand the revitalization of the area of the proposed South Tribeca Historic District, below chambers and west of Broadway. It may well cause appreciation in values for nearby commercial and residential property. Would love to hear what our readers think of the design and their impact on the neighborhood.

Lobby and building plans continued after the jump.

four seasons lobby plan
four seasons lobby       rendering RAMSA, courtesy SPI
four seasons site cross section
four seasons tower rendering RAMSA, courtesy SPI

Updated 01.31.2008