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Get to Know Your New LES Skyline

Since we've officially become obsessed with BLUE, the 16-story Lower East Side apartment development by architect Bernard Tschumi, we've been distressed that all the renderings we've seen have yanked the glowing blue tower out of its natural habitat. Happily, an email from a BLUE public relations individual remedies that with the above illustration, showing the important symbiotic relationship BLUE will share with THOR atop the Lower East Side skyline. After the jump, the BLUE press release, including the revelation that the building will enjoy a "walk-in cooler for private deliveries from Fresh Direct." (Note also how they celebrate history while building on top of Ratner's old parking lot. Slick.)

BLUE press release:


‘Blue’ is First Residential Project for Renowned Global Architect Bernard Tschumi

New York, NY- September 12, 2005 – A breathtakingly beautiful, 16-story, luxury condominium, with an exterior that resembles a perfectly cut azure gemstone, is about to rise on New York’s historic Lower East Side, on the former parking lot belonging to Ratner’s, the legendary 100-year old, world-famous kosher restaurant known for traditional Jewish dairy delicacies.

Named Blue, the elegant 32-apartment property is the Lower East Side’s first residential full-time doorman building, and the first multifamily project undertaken by world famous architect Bernard Tschumi, who presided as Dean of Architecture at Columbia University from 1988-2003. Situated at 105 Norfolk Street a half block from the “F” train entrance on Delancey Street, Blue’s Ratner connection extends even further--its sales office, located across the street from the building at 100 Norfolk Street, occupies Ratner’s former restaurant kitchen. Lansky’s Lounge, a night club named after the famous gangster Meyer Lansky, briefly occupied a portion of Ratner’s space and shared the famous Ratner’s kitchen both before and after the restaurant’s closing last January.

Blue, estimated to cost $17 million, is the brainchild of developers Angelo Cosentini and John Carson, who have more than 30 combined years of experience in the residential real estate development industry. They are working in conjunction with Hudson Realty Capital LLC, a New York-based real estate fund, led by Richard Ortiz. Barrie Mandel, Senior Vice President of The Corcoran Group, will be selling the building’s one- and two-bedroom apartments, and luxurious duplex penthouse ranging in price from $745,000 to $3.95 million, and in size from 759 square feet to 2,494 square feet. Aine Brazil P.E. and Eli B. Gottlieb, P.E. of Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, executive architects SLCE Architects, and mechanical and electric engineers Ettinger Engineers complete the development team.

Individual apartments are being designed with luxurious fixtures and natural finishes, including bamboo floors, stone floor baths, and glass tiles, each offering floor-to-ceiling views, casement windows, and an abundance of light. Sleek kitchen cabinetry comes with state-of-the-art appliances. Residents will have the option to procure storage units at the cellar level, and enjoy outdoor space at the second floor’s cloistered rear yard, as well as sweeping open space on the fifth floor. The 24-hour attended lobby, with stone floors and dramatic lighting includes an integrated concierge desk. Some of the residences feature private terraces, with expansive views of Lower Manhattan and beyond. As an added amenity, the developers are equipping Blue with a walk-in cooler for private deliveries from Fresh Direct, and other similar grocery suppliers. Plus, the apartments are all equipped with high-speed fiber optic connectivity.

“The Lower East side is imbued with a history of rich ethnic tradition,” said Mr. Cosentini, “and the neighborhood continues to evoke the vitality of the wide diversity of immigrants who have inhabited its historic streets. What we’ve tried to do with Blue is build a world-class architectural icon, a signature one-of-a kind building that is emblematic, both externally and internally, of the Lower East Side’s spirit of reinvention and experimentation.”

Since the mid 1800’s, the Lower East Side has been populated by Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, Poles, Germans, and Chinese, among a host of other nationalities. The area abounds with landmark restaurants, ethnic food shops, cultural and educational institutions. Food shops that contribute to the local color include such famous places as: Katz’s Delicatessen, Gertel’s Bakery, Kossar’s Hot Bialys, Russ & Daughters, Yonah Schimmel Knishes, Gus’s Pickles and il Laboratario del Gelato. Other hotspots for locals and tourists alike include the Tenement Museum, the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater, and the New York Theater Workshop.

Internationally-based Bernard Tschumi, established in Paris in 1982 and now based in New York City, has received numerous awards including the Legion d’Honneur and the Royal Victorial Medal. His architecture spans three continents. While he has designed many cultural institutions and urban parks, Blue is his first residential endeavor.

Mr. Cosentini and Mr. Carson, who began their partnership in 1982, specialize in developing high-end residential condominiums. The pair have completed a number of New York City projects in the past three years, among them: The Atalanta at 25 North Moore Street, $92-million 17-story full-service condominium; 637 Hudson Street, a five-story $9.5-million newly-constructed condominium; 58 Thomas Street, a seven-story $7.5-million newly constructed condominium; and, in Brooklyn, Rose Hall, a six-story $5.6 million newly constructed condominium.

Corcoran Group Marketing is Blue’s exclusive sales agent and completion of the project is expected for Fall 2006. Visit the website at: or phone the sales office at 212 533-8822 to place your name on the Blue priority list.

· Big Blue Update: Toilet Water for the Soul [Curbed]
· What's Big, Blue, and Coming to the LES? [Curbed]