After an 11-year run, the popular Antiques Garage flea market, where bargain hunters haggled over an eclectic assortment of used goods, shuttered its weekend fairs in the summer of 2014. Like many soft sites around the Flower District, the parking garage used by the market at 112 West 25th Street was purchased by development interests, namely Extell, who later sold to Lam Generation for $68 million. Since the purchase, the three-story garage has been razed and groundwork has finally begun for a 330-room, four-star Marriott Renaissance Hotel.
With the help of some unused neighboring development rights, Lam’s tower will grow to 140,000 square feet of floor area and stand roughly 450 feet high over its mid-rise Chelsea locale. The neighborhood’s current tallest building, Chelsea Stratus, is just one lot away and rises 25 feet higher than Lam’s upcoming tower.
NAA Architects were commissioned as the architects of record, while the hotel gurus at Stonehill & Taylor Architects are the interior designers. The firm’s page explains that the site’s unique history inspired them to create a design of anachronisms and intriguing pairings of old and new. The building’s first three levels will be clad in limestone and will include a ground-floor restaurant covered in lush plantings. Above it all will be a sprawling rooftop bar and an outdoor swimming pool providing majestic views over the city. Mr. Lam tells the Observer, “It was the Antiques Garage [so] the concept for this hotel was bringing back the flea market finds and keeping a garden-themed hotel.”
The massing of the tower is rather heavy-handed. It ascends in three inelegant intervals and is setback from the area’s consistent streetwall. Above the pastiche limestone base, the exterior is outfitted with an undistinguished glass curtain wall and its shear lot-line walls are left bare. The building’s three setbacks will be furnished with lush vegetation that will be visible from the street. The project is slated for completion in 2018.
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Renderings via Lam Generation; Construction shots via 6sqft
Neighborhoods : Chelsea