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Morris Adjmi’s Soho Office Building Gets Landmarks Approval

Will replace an existing single-story building at the site

The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved a plan to demolish an existing single story building in the Soho-Cast Iron Historic District and replace it with a six-story office building on Tuesday afternoon.

"We looked at the historic examples throughout the district and I believe we are proposing something that is a contemporary interpretation of the district," Morris Adjmi, the architect on the project, told the commissioners prior to the approval. "This is an interesting and unexpected take on the way these buildings were organized."

Commissioners heaped praise on the project prior to the approval saying the design, though using steel, was a refreshing take on the cast iron architectural history of the neighborhood, and that there were enough references in terms of the arched windows and the scale of the building that allowed for its construction.

"The building is beautiful, contemporary, elegant, and respectful to the district," Meenakshi Srinivasan, the chair of the Landmarks Commission, said at the meeting.

The only change the Commission proposed was to reduce the setback on the penthouse structure on top as well as its height.

The building initially had a double height ground floor that the local community board was opposed to. The architect subsequently got rid of it as per the board's request.

The plan also includes retail on the ground floor which will be less than 3,600 square feet in size.

The Historic Districts Council, an advocacy group for the city's historic neighborhood was perhaps the only major voice of dissent. A representative for the group said, " the design channeled the Lincoln Center more than the surrounding buildings," and that the group was also concerned with the color scheme.

The project is being developed Premier Equities, which purchased the existing building at 134 Wooster Street (that has an Adidas store in it at the moment) for $10.87 million in 2009.