Press CurbedNY : Contested Tribeca apartment building finally clears Landmarks by Paul Castrucci

The plan was sent back to the drawing board several times before it was finally approved on Tuesday

By Amy Plitt and Tanay Warerkar


UPDATE 1/23/18: The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission resoundingly approved a proposal to replace a set of low-rise commercial buildings on Canal Street with a seven-story residential building, on Tuesday.

The Commission liked the revised approval presented by the architecture firm Paul Castrucci Architect, which reduced the height of the building from nine stories to seven stories, and reduced the facade material from red brick to terra cotta, to be more in line with the buildings in the neighborhood (more details on the latest iteration of this project below).

The Commission praised the firm for heeding all of its advise from a previous hearing in July last year, but still had a few pointers. The Commissioners agreed that the architect should either do away with the current glazing on the building’s facade or try to pick a more muted version of the color they’re presently going with. They also asked the architect to reduce the ceiling height on the building’s penthouse to make it less visible from street level.

The architect will now work with the Commission’s staff to rectify those concerns as this project moves forward.

Seven months after the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided to take no action on the proposed new buildings at 312-322 Canal Street, a revised proposal for the project is due to be presented before the LPC at tomorrow’s meeting. It’ll be the third time that plans for this parcel of land will appear before the LPC.

Let’s back it up a bit: Paul Castrucci Architect, the firm behind the (now stalled) revamp of ABC No Rio, has been trying to get plans for a new Canal Street building approved since 2011, when changes to the storefronts those addresses encompass were made without LPC approval. (The buildings are part of the Tribeca East Historic District.) The 2011 proposal was nixed, and it took the firm until last year to come back with revised plans—which were summarily rejected by the LPC for being “completely inappropriate.”

What did the commission have an issue with? Just about everything: “There is a real problem with the monolithic aspect of this application, and it takes away from the granular nature of Canal Street,” LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said during June’s meeting, where she noted that the site deserved a building that is “new and contemporary.”

It remains to be seen if the revised plans, which will be presented during tomorrow’s LPC meeting, will fit the bill. One of the biggest changes concerns the building’s height; the previous proposal put the roof height at 97 feet high, but the revised one takes it down to a bit over 86 feet (with the street-facing wall going to 76.6 feet). And rather than having a flat, brick facade, the revised plans now include a facade made from terra cotta, not so dissimilar to that of Annabelle Selldorf’s 10 Bond Street.

The building will still be home to more than a dozen apartments (most of them one-bedrooms, with one four-bedroom penthouse), with three ground floor retail spaces. Maybe, as the old adage goes, the third time’s the charm?

Take a look at the full revised plans here. We’ll update with more information on the LPC vote as it becomes available.

Press in Curbed - Pearl Paint's Canal Street conversion finally clears Landmarks Commission by Paul Castrucci

The conversion will create eight apartments with retail at the base



The third attempt proved to be lucky for developer Trans World Properties. After two failed attempts, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission finally approved the residential conversion of Pearl Paint’s former headquarters at 308-310 Canal Street.

When the application appeared before the Commission last week, the LPC was largely happy with the changes the architecture firm on the project, Paul Castrucci Architect, made from their previous visit to the Commission last November.

They did however have problems with the rooftop bulkheads, which they said didn’t really reduce the scale of the rooftop addition even though the architects had dropped a floor from their previous proposal.

When they first came before the Commission in November 2016, plans called for two-story additions on both buildings at 308 and 310 Canal Street. The ground floor would have retail, and there would be eight apartments located above that, spread out over the two buildings.

The Commission found the proposal to be “overwhelming” at the time, so the architect came back with a revised proposal last week. That proposal addressed most of the Commission’s concerns including reducing the rooftop addition to a single story, distinguishing the two additions on each building, and reducing the height of the addition on the Canal Street side. The bulkheads however still stuck out.

Now the architects have decided to remove the bulkheads from the roof entirely and instead place them at the back of the building on a newly constructed ridge. That in turn has also reduced the appearance of a taller addition on the Canal Street side, and the Commission was happy with the changes right off the bat.

“It’s really great that they’ve been creative with their approach, and using the sloped roof has really worked to their advantage,” Meenakshi Srinivasan, the chair of the LPC, said at the meeting.

Within a matter of minutes, the Commission had unanimously approved the changes. Now Pearl Paint’s conversion can finally move forward.

Link to original article

Tribeca Citizen Press : Design Phase/Pending Approval for 312-322 Canal Street by Paul Castrucci

Tribeca Citizen, "Rendering for a New Nine-Story Building on Canal Street"

There has been talk for a while about a new building at 312-322 Canal, currently the site of a wide, two-story retail building. The conventional wisdom, as espoused by a member of the Community Board 1 Landmarks Committee back in November, was that the project was on hold till the real estate market heated back up.

Perhaps not. City Realty has details on the current plan, which is for a nine-story building, most likely rental apartments, with a façade of red brick. The developer is presumably still Trans World Equities.

The stretch of stores on 312-322 Canal Street is finally being revisited by Paul A. Castrucci Architect after the team’s first proposal was denied by the Landmark Preservation Commission in 2011. Back then, the plan was to keep the retail but the design was deemed too bland for the lively area. This time around, their design is a for a residential, multi-family project that is slated to become Passive House–certified, [meaning it] must be primarily heated by passive solar gain and internal gains from people or electrical equipment, which saves up to 90% of space heating costs.

Here’s the rendering. No plans have been filed yet, and the project will be subject to Landmarks Preservation Commission approval.

Press: Tribeca East Historic District proposal featured in YIMBY by Paul Castrucci

Former Pearl Paint Building’s Redevelopment Stalled At Landmarks

by Evan Bindelglass for New York YIMBY

Pearl Paint, an icon at the northern edge of TriBeCa, closed over two years ago, pushed out because the rent was too high. The larger of its buildings, at 304-306 Canal Street, is already under redevelopment. Now, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is overseeing the redevelopment of 308-310 Canal Street. The agency held a public hearing on it last Tuesday, but no approval was granted.

308-310 Canal Street, 2016 and as proposed

308-310 Canal Street, 2016 and as proposed

308 Canal Street and 310 Canal Street are both four-story, through-block, store and loft buildings. 308 is Italianate in style and was constructed between 1864 and 1865. It also occupies the address 55 Lispenard Street. 310 is taller, neo-Grec in style, was designed by John J. Devoe, Jr., and built in 1879. It also occupies the address 53 Lispenard Street, and is wider on that side. They both fell under the LPC’s jurisdiction when the Tribeca East Historic District was designated in 1992.

308-310 Canal Street, existing and proposed

308-310 Canal Street, existing and proposed

The proposal for the pair is to add two stories on top to allow retail on the first floor and eight residential units above. There would be two apartments per floor on the second, third, and fourth floors, and two duplex would span the fifth and sixth floors. Grayson Jordan of Paul A. Castrucci’s Lower East Side-based architecture firm presented the proposal.

The rear (Lispenard Street) fire escape would be removed from 308 Canal Street. The façades of both buildings would be cleaned up, as would the cast iron and cornices. The storefronts would be set back 18 inches, to better reveal the cast iron columns. 308, famously white with red accents, would be treated in the same brick color as 310, with the storefront, fire escapes, and cornice in blue. The rooftop additions would be done in zinc.

Commissioner Kim Vauss said she has fond memories of shopping at Pearl Paint. “It’s a sad thing,” she said of the closure. She also lamented the loss of some of the area’s grittiness. As for the actual proposal, she applauded the restoration.

Commissioner Adi Shamir-Baron called the new storefronts “fancier,” but said they make sense.

A big sticking point for many of the commissioners was the proposed two-story rooftop addition. Commissioner Jeanne Lutfy called it “overwhelming.” While some believed a two-story addition was possible, many believed a single-story addition would be more appropriate.

Manhattan Community Board 1 also disapproved of the addition, but endorsed the restoration work.

“While the window replacements are a vast improvement, HDC finds much of this application to be troubling. Though currently in poor shape, much surviving historic material exists at the storefronts to provide a road map for a more sensitive approach,” testified Barbara Zay of the Historic Districts Council. “Our committee felt that at the very least they should include more substantial bulkheads and that it would be best to avoid floor-to-ceiling glass. While we could imagine a one-story rooftop addition being acceptable here, the proposed addition is way too big for this building, making the entire façade appear quite top-heavy in the renderings. A better choice of materials would also go a long way toward making the addition more acceptable.”

In the end, the commissioners took no action. The applicant will have to re-work the proposal and return to the LPC, possibly with new options for both one- and two-story additions.

View the full presentation slides here: