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Towering Gardens of South Street Planned for Seaport

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Something's afoot at 80 South Street, defunct home of Santiago Calatrava's Tower o' Penthouses, which died a long drawn-out death. Plans are in the works to build a 300,000-square-foot, 780-foot-tall tower on the site that could be a mix of hotel, residential, and community space. Cord Meyer Development is the owner of the property and currently working out the specifics of air rights it has purchased over the years, and whether one half (150K square feet) of residential building will be allowed. Morali Architects has been posting renderings on its Facebook page along with notes on a planned mixed-use tower for the address. Early thoughts on what's in store with the new designs: a high-tech garage on the first three levels to equal the height of the elevated FDR drive; above that a small museum highlighting the history of FiDi and the Seaport; and a restaurant and spa befitting a 200-room boutique hotel. Other eco-conscious elements of the building include cascading gardens throughout the segmented facade, a heat pump to be installed when caissons are sunk as part of the foundation, and a building skin made of photovoltaic glass.

Architect Anthony Morali recently went to Mexico to investigate the use of open hanging gardens in architecture. And although the present renderings may not fully reflect it, Morali intends to design a segmented, green-walled building, with a facade that will open every 15 stories or so in a cascading effect. Morali's tower would be a vertical counterpart to the horizontal green roof hotel and condos being developed across the East River by Toll Bros. and Starwood at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Nothing concrete can get started at 80 South Street until approvals from the City Planning Commission and the Dept. of Buildings are gained, something that Anthony Colletti of Cord Meyer believes could take as long as a year, and certainly not before the end of 2012.
· 80 South Street coverage [Curbed]
· Designing 80 South Street: The Design Concept, Part One [Facebook]
· Morali Architects [moraliintl.com]

80 South St

80 South Street, Manhattan, NY 10038