Eccentric Glass Design Gets Second Chance in Flatiron District

Glass designed building in Flatiron District gets second opportunityIt is rare when a developer has the opportunity to build a new construction condominium in Manhattan from the ground up, which but a new project is in the works from Anbau Enterprises. New is only relative when it comes to this project, however -- the firm is looking to build off of a design formerly intended as a hotel. What they're looking to build, though, is the interesting part -- the new construction condominium that Anbau Enterprises is planning to build on a former parking lot on West 23rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue looks likely to be an instant landmark among Flatiron District condominiums, and could be one of the most ambitious new construction condominiums in Manhattan, period. Then again, given that Anbau paid $18.5 million for the lot, ambition shouldn't be a problem.

And on Central Park South -- a mini-neighborhood that, as we reported back in March, has emerged as one of the most promising new spots in Manhattan real estate -- Anbau's planned 93,000-square-foot condominium could fit right in. More proof, if you needed it, that there's more to the lower Flatiron than Madison Square Park's beloved Shake Shack and some new luxury hotels.

The story of Anbau's untitled (and unbuilt) 23rd Street luxury condominium project begins with a real-estate company called Horizen Global. Horizon is a small firm that planned to build a very big project -- a glass hotel designed by architect Carlos Zapata. Before Horizen Global could start construction on the project, the property went into foreclosure and was taken back by the bank, leaving a somewhat eccentric design seemingly doomed never to see sunlight. But the old design has gotten a second chance in the Flatiron District, where Anbau Enterprises believes it will fit in the other towers in this elegant if rapidly modernizing lower Manhattan neighborhood. With some small changes planned for the design -- mostly to enhance energy efficiency, in anticipation of a possible run at LEED certification -- Anbau is on its way to starting construction on a new project.

Anbau Enterprises has had a couple of other projects in Manhattan: 110 Central Park South and 136 West 22nd Street, two luxury condo conversion projects completed before the market went down. The company also started another project at 124 West 23rd Street that has been at a halt for two years because of the market.

This new building is yet another project near Madison Square Park; developers have been looking to snatch up stalled projects in the area and get to work -- neighborhood icon and unfinished mega-project One Madison Park is in turnaround, and Toll Brothers bought another lot on East 22nd Street last week. So with Anbau Enterprises’ new project and others around Madison Square Park developing, the Flatiron District is continuing its rise -- and with Anbau's new 23rd Street condominium, that rise looks like it could be very stylish indeed.