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Decrepit Soho Office Building Will See New Life As Apartments

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Current photo of 40 Wooster Street. Via Google Street View.

And the conversion trend rolls on, unstoppable. Yesterday the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to approve a rooftop addition and support a residential conversion at 40 Wooster Street in Soho. In addition to the topper, and the transformation of former commercial space into four apartments with ground-floor retail at the base, the building will be restored.

The six-story building was designed by Buchman & Deisler and completed in 1896. Northwind Group acquired it for $16.35 million in 2014. The presentation to the LPC was made by preservation architect Lisa Easton of Easton Architects and architect Yossi Melamed of Melamed Architect. The building's cast iron and other surfaces will be cleaned, painted, and repaired where needed. The storefront will be restored to historic condition. A new elevator shaft constructed. Visibility of the new penthouse will be from the south, though most of it will be obstructed when a new building at 74 Grand Street is completed.

The units will be floor-through from the second to the fifth floor and the sixth floor (the upper floor of the duplex starting on floor five) will have 21-foot ceilings and connect to a private rooftop cabana with an outdoor spa and fireplace.

Commissioner Roberta Washington said she would have preferred a less tall addition, but wasn't ready to vote against it. Commissioner Michael Devonshire called the restoration approach "impeccable." Community Board 2 approved of the restoration, but not the change of use. No public testimony was delivered at Tuesday's hearing, and the LPC approved the project, change of use and all.

—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 Landmarks Preservation coverage [Curbed]