Over the past decade, developer Sam Chang and his McSam Hotel Group have built an astonishing number of hotels in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and in the process have built up quite the reputation for pockmarking the city with characterless tower blocks that diminish their surroundings. One of the developer’s latest ventures is a 26-story, 566-room hotel beginning excavation work at 334 West 36th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.
Once occupied by the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, the mid-block English Gothic structure was built as the Christ Church Memorial Building in 1905. The savvy developer purchased the 15,000-square-foot site in 2013 for $50.8 million in anticipation for yet another hotel. Local preservationists connected with Community Board 4 to convince Chang to save the church facade and incorporate it with the new building. Surprisingly, he obliged, but the Gene Kaufman-designed structure is not quite a miracle.
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At a narrow Midtown lot at 1050 Sixth Avenue, construction is moving forward on a slender 24-story residential tower penned by New York’s most beloved architect, Gene Kaufman. Rising behind the landmarked Bryant Park Studios Building (aka The Beaux-Arts Building), Kaufman’s oft substance-less style will likely stand in sharp contrast to the charming 1901 structure. Skyline Developers, the New York division of Jersey-based Garden Homes Development, are the developers. The Orin Wilf-led firm owns the adjacent art-deco office tower at 1040 Sixth Avenue, and their new venture here will replace two turn-of-the-century walk-up buildings.
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Construction work has begun on Sam Chang‘s latest endeavor for his McSam Hotel Group, a 12-story, 130-key hotel tower at 111 East 24th Street in Gramercy, a 6,000-square-foot site that was formerly a parking lot operated by Champion Parking. Approved plans filed with the Department of Buildings list Chang’s designer of choice, Gene Kaufman, as the architect of record, and the illustration posted on the construction fence depicts a lackluster design comprised of two six-story volumes with differentiating fenestration.
Two years after renderings were first unveiled, 6sqft brings a construction update for a two-building condominium complex rising in East Harlem. Known as the Style and developed by the the Fane Organization, the property sits on a block-through parcel of land between East 131st and 132nd Streets, bound by Madison and Park Avenues.
The Style’s 31 residences are housed in two buildings with distinct addresses on opposite ends of the lot, but they’re unified by an interconnecting lobby and courtyard. Gene Kaufman Architects is handling the design of the buildings, which are similar, but not identical. Despite the project’s bold name, however, they’re quite ordinary in design. The most distinguishing feature are sand-colored frames encircling the exteriors’ windowed and black-paneled areas, reminiscent of Midtown’s Solow Building (but without the bell bottoms).
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Construction has begun on a cross-braced, utilitarian artists’ space in the heart of Bushwick at 13 Grattan Street. According to the Wall Street Journal, after the great success of the adjacent artist production studio space The BogArt in 2005, contemporary patrons of the arts Marianne and Ted Hovivian decided to meet the growing demand for affordable work and exhibition space with a new 40,000-square-foot building. The mixed-use development will be divided between 23,000 square feet of artist lofts on the second through fourth floors and an additional 8,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
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