Another day, another ultra-wealthy person hiding behind an anonymous LLC decides to transform a normal Manhattan building into a supersized megamansion. The property in question this time is 21 West 10th Street, a circa-1833 Federal-style townhouse built on land that was once owned by John Jacob Astor.
The property was, until recently, separated into ten different apartments, according to the Real Deal, but a buyer known only as West 10th Townhouse LLC picked up the five-story home last spring for a whopping $31 million. Now, plans have been filed with the Department of Buildings, revealing the new owners’ intention to convert it into a 9,000-square-foot, five-story, single-family mansion.
The only problem: The house lies within the Greenwich Village Historic District, which means that it needs Landmarks Preservation Commission approval before work can actually begin. But coincidentally enough, the LPC is due to hear the plans today—meaning presentation materials are online, and we can take a peek at what Peter Pennoyer Architects (the architect of record for the project) has in store.
The plans on file with the DOB call for a total gut-renovation of the building—a necessity to transform ten apartments into one megamansion—but the exterior wouldn’t get a total makeover so much as a face lift. Pennoyer’s proposal calls for restoring the facade close to its original condition, replacing iron and stone work, and swapping out non-original details (including an entry door and railings) with ones that closely match ones on the neighboring buildings.
The changes appear to be in keeping with the surrounding townhouses—on a block often called the “Gold Coast” of Greenwich Village—and the Historic Districts Council hasn’t issued a statement against the changes, so it seems unlikely that the owners will meet with much resistance at the LPC.
If everything goes according to plan, the Frankenhome would join similarly oversized townhouses in Greenwich Village and the West Village, including (but not limited to) Sarah Jessica Parker’s parcel on West 11th Street; an 11,000-square-foot assemblage down the block that was purchased by telecom executive Dexter Goei last year; a garage-turned-megamansion on Jane Street; and Napster founder Sean Parker’s triple-home parcel on West 10th Street.
Update: As of this morning, the LPC unanimously approved Pennoyer’s plans for the townhouse, which means it can move forward. In an unexpected twist, one of the speakers in favor of the renovation was the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.