I’ve been running all over Manhattan this week and unfortunately haven’t found much time to post. As luck would have it, though, my travels did take me past the sites of two interesting high-rise projects which I thought I’d quickly point out.
I’ve actually posted about the first before. 11 Times Square, at the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, will stand forty stories tall, contain one million square feet of speculative office space, and will be designed by architects FXFOWLE to achieve LEED Silver at a cost of $400 million (rendering to the left, looking east back into Times Square itself). SJP Properties, primarily a New Jersey-based developer, teamed up with Prudential Real Estate Investors to purchase the 37,825 square foot development parcel (currently a parking lot) from the Milstein family for some $306 million. The Milsteins had controlled the lot for the past twenty-two years until the sale closed at the end of this past December. Occupancy is expected in the first quarter of 2009.
The second, Skidmore, Owing and Merrill’s 101 Warren Street, is a 32 story residential condominium in Tribeca. While not a LEED building, the developer Edward J. Minskoff Equities spent $3 million of the project’s $600 million overall cost on a private .8 acre pine tree forest for residents. 112 of the building’s 228 units sold in the first eight weeks of sales; whether the pine forest was a factor in such alacrity, who knows, but as the project’s landscape architect Thomas Balsley (who was responsible for for including trees in the World Financial Center atrium when that complex was constructed back in the late 1980s) notes, “[t]hey’ve run out of ways to market a kitchen.”
One landscape architect interviewed in the Forbes article (linked below) points out that “if God wanted you to plant trees on rooftops, he would have designed trees better. . . . It’s a big undertaking, but it can be done.” For example,
Mature trees need anchoring and special irrigation systems. Replacing trees that fail will be a big event. Trees grow. The lower branches will be lost as the trees grow older, so condos looking into walls of green now will be looking at trunks one day.
I’ll be on the lookout for any pictures of and reactions to the 101 Warren pine forest. Either way, it’s one of the more ambitious green design elements that I’ve read about in a high-rise development.
- FX Fowle Architects to Design New Times Square Tower
- 11 Times Square (gbNYC.com)
- 101 Warren Street
- Gardens in the Sky (Forbes.com)