Horizen Global has announced plans for a 21-story residential tower at 39 West 23rd Street in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District. Despite a negative vote by Community Board 5 in fall 2006, the development’s design by Carlos Zapata Studio and Gruzen Samton LLP has been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), the City Planning Commission and the City Council after promises to reduce its height by a few stories and a requirement that the developer restore retain the facades of the existing low-rise residential building at 37 West 23rd Street.
Zapata’s 90,670 square foot design calls for a white-glass-clad, narrow tower that not only slants to the north above its-low rise base on 23rd Street, but also cantilevers over its rear yard and also slightly over an adjoining low-rise residential building that is part of its zoning lot to the east at 37 West 23rd Street. It will reach a height of 278′ above West 23rd Street and 90′ at the townhouse section on West 24th Street. The project would have retail on the ground floor and residential condominium apartments above. The developer expects to construct between 44 and 76 units although as-of-right zoning for the site permits about 110. The building would replace a 96-car parking lot.
Opponents of the project including Community Board Five argued that the proposal “significantly destroys the continuity of the elegant decorative historic street wall … despoils the special aesthetic character of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District streetscape … will cast deep new shadows across the neighborhood … is incongruous to the neighborhood.”