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'Ultimate Soho Penthouse' Plans Ultimate Renovation

The new owner of the "ultimate Soho penthouse" at 459 West Broadway wants to give the space the ultimate rooftop terrace—or at least he wants to renovate it. Developer/rich man Leonard Stern sold the 4BR/4.5BA duplex in October for $14.65 million (only $400,000 more than he bought it for in 2010), and now, thanks to Tuesday's action by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the space will get a major facelift.

Architect Mike House of raad studio detailed the changes. The terrace's current pool will be enlarged and elevated from the rest of the roof deck. A pergola will be constructed over seating near the pool to provide for privacy and shade. An outdoor kitchen with a dining area will be built where there used to be a sun room (see the old floorplan here), and the tile floor will be replaced with greenery. The LPC only has say over what happens on the building's exterior, but the renderings indicate that an interior renovation is underway as well.

The commissioners didn't have a lot to say in their approval of the project. However, the applicants were asked to see if they can work with neighbors to reduce visibility as long as it still falls within the general design approved by the LPC. Community Board 2 also approved the proposal. The Historic Districts Council echoed the concerns of visibility and light blockage raised by residents of 141 Wooster Street. "Our committee had trouble discerning the visibility of the proposed addition from the drawings provided," HDC's Barbara Zay said. "While a building of this height could handle a small addition on its roof, we would prefer that the height be brought down to reduce its impact."

Now we can only hope that the owner puts the place back on the market when the renovation is complete so we can see the finished product.

—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.
· All 459 West Broadway coverage [Curbed]
· All Landmarks Preservation coverage [Curbed]

459 West Broadway

459 West Broadway, New York, NY