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MePa Office Tower Revealed & REJECTED

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Over in the Meatpacking District, André Balazs's new Standard hotel straddles the High Line on the south side of West 13th Street, at Washington Street. One block north, the under-construction High Line Building also rises over the elevated rail platform, at West 14th Street. We've commented on the close relationship between these two buildings before, but little did we know that developers the Romanoff brothers planned on using the new buddies as mere slices of bread in a Meat sandwich. Folks, do surf on over to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which has a stunning reveal and update on a project we knew nothing about: a glassy new office tower designed by GKV Architects at 437 West 13th Street, just across the street from the Standard. The building comes complete with a three-story retail base, zinc-clad window mullions and a GVSHP-angering north-facing wall of pure, uninterrupted terra cotta. That is, if the building comes at all.

According to GVSHP's update, the 215-foot-tall tower?which would replace an old low-slung meat market building?is 55% larger than zoning permits, and therefore needs variances. Community Board 2 wasn't feeling the bulk and rejected the size variance, but did vote to support doubling the size of allowable retail space (the developer wanted triple). The developers may now plead their case to the Board of Standards and Appeals.

As proposed, the building would be glass on three sides and have a blank wall of white or gray terra cotta facing the Gansevoort Market Historic District. Above, a number of explanatory renderings and graphics to help explain the tight squeeze of this proposed office building. It's wedged in between Washington Street and the High Line, so it's not quite right in the middle of the Standard and High Line Building. Still, the High Line Building can't be pleased about the competition, and Balazs can't be pleased about the prospect of office drones spying on his guests. On second thought...
· 437 West 13th Street [GVSHP]