Following in the footsteps of other irregularly shaped recent developments (we're looking at you, One 7th!), a new 13,650-square-foot office/retail building is under construction at 2-8 Catherine Street?or 17 Chatham Square, if you prefer?deep in the bowels of Chinatown. The locals are already on edge about being excluded from the Lower East Side/East Village rezoning, and we're not sure if this eight-story building's frosted and clear glass façade will do much to smooth over any hurt feelings. The design from architect David Hu clashes mightily with the surrounding pre-war tenements and massive Confucius Plaza just one block to the northwest.
Dumpling junkies will remember that the site once housed a faux-pagoda made of brown cinderblocks that served as an HSBC branch (seen in the gallery above). Foundation work began last winter but construction eventually stalled, leaving an ugly pile of steel beams despite the fact that the building was supposed to have been completed by this summer. One reason for the hold-up: A stop work order slapped on the site in early June because of an improper street closure (whoops!). Will the site be back up and running soon? Unclear, but according to our research the developer is a dentist, so maybe he just needs to install a few more porcelain veneers to put him over the financing hump.
· Projects: Chatham Square Office Building [David Hu Architect]