NYC's Land Scarcity = Building Conversions


360 Central Park West Rendering

360 Central Park West

New York City has always been synonymous with reinvention. As The New York Times states, “Building have been no different,” and recently, this has been especially true. In the city of dreams, every building is given the possibility of a second chance, including office towers, cathedrals, power plants, parking garages, schools, cinemas, warehouses, and even banks.

According to The New York Times, there is a reason there are more of these unique conversions – land is extremely scarce – and historic districts make new constructions almost impossible. Overall, it might just have to do with curb appeal. In 2014, conversions made up half of the total of permits according to NYC’s Department of Buildings.  Let’s take a look at some of New York City’s newest residential conversions.

360 Park West

In 1929, the then-25-year-old Second Presbyterian Church was demolished originally to replace the Romanesque building by a new crafted high-rise designed by Rosario Candela. While the church as still remained living on in the buildings ground floor, occupying a sanctuary and classroom space that faces West 96th Street.  Developer Argo Real Estate has recently acquired the building has plans to convert the current 16-story rental building into luxury condos. CetraRuddy Architects will be at the forefront of the redesign, crafting the interiors that will sport a mix of one to four bedrooms, according to Yimby. While on the Northwest corner of the same intersection stands 361 Park West, a remarkable landmarked church that is also going under a similar reconstruction project.

465 Washington Street

Washington Street has been a hub for redevelopment over the last few years according to Curbed NY, and 465 Washington Street is the latest project and has been in the works for little over a year. The site is currently occupied by a five-story building that owners plan to double in size according to Tribeca Citizen. All crafted and designed by Zakrzewski + Hyde, the Tribeca apartment building will be enlarged and converted to create a space for seven zero-net-waste condominiums, featuring a roof deck located on a sixth floor recess.

548 West 22nd Street

According to Curbed NY, the former Dia Art Foundation building - located in Chelsea is no stranger to pre-war conversions - had plans to convert into a residential/gallery designed by architect Joseph Pell Lombardi – but plans never fully panned out. The current building now serves as an event space, but that won’t be for long. Annabelle Selldorf recently showed community members an early rendering of what is to become of the four-story brick building, transforming it into a 19-story, 26-unit building made of glass. While Selldorf plans to implement new elements into the structure, the existing facade – including it’s square protrusion – would remain as the building’s new base. Property Markets Group and Harch Group renderings revealed plans to keep art on the first floor, and turn the second into a parking garage, while using the third for amenities. Residences will be built upwards from there.