Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission actually said it was okay to demolish a buildinggasp!on 17th Street and replace it with a new, taller one. As reported by Evan Bindelglass for New York YIMBY, the group gave a thumbs-up to the plan by developers Sherwood Equities and Arun Bhatia Development to replace a three-story building between Fifth and Sixth avenues, currently used by the Catholic Medical Mission Board, with a 16-story structure. According to a Department of Buildings permit that is pending approval, it set to house 15 condos, including a few duplexes, a gym, bike storage, and some units with terraces, over 40,866 square feet of residential space. It definitely helped that the development team tapped preservation-savvy firm Beyer Blinder Belle to design the building; commissioners called the pretty standard-looking building "sedate" and "appropriate."
Even the Historic Districts Council, which veers strongly to the preservation side of preservation vs. development, approved of the demolition, because the existing structure "appeared in pallor compared to the examples provided of the fanciful Ladies Mile-quality buildings in the district." The New York Landmarks Conservancy also backed the project, as did Community Board 5 and the Real Estate Board of New York (which is pro-development, so that one's not a shocker).
It's not a given that the LPC will green-light new buildings in this area. Morris Adjmi had to refine his design for a through-block residential building on 17th/18th Streets before it was approved. And in some situations, like on 19th Street, they just say no to demo. But in this case, make way for condos!
· Landmarks Approves 16-Story Building For 8-10 West 17th Street [YIMBY]
· Morris Adjmi-Designed Flatiron Project Cleared by Landmarks [Curbed]
· Ladies Mile Historic District archive [Curbed]
· Morris Adjmi-Designed Building in Flatiron Won't Get Built Yet [Curbed]
· Landmarks Shoots Down Plan to Demolish Ladies Mile Buildings [Curbed]
· All Landmarks Preservation Commission coverage [Curbed]