Glassy condo, with controversial design, coming to Flatiron District

July 01, 2011 12:20PM

Anbau Enterprises paid $18.5 million for a parking lot in the Flatiron District, and plans to turn it into a glass condominium with a highly unique exterior that extends beyond the brick structures surrounding it, the Wall Street Journal reported. The land, at 39-41 West 23rd Street, was previously owned by Horizen Global, a small company with a pre-downturn plan to build a glass hotel by Cooper Square Hotel architect Carlos Zapata on the site. The design — which architecture scholar John Messengale compared to Frank Gehry’s IAC building in Chelsea — prompted the local community board to request that City Planning not grant a permit for the building, which is located in the landmarked Ladies’ Mile Historic District. Nevertheless, the planning commission approved the plan with slight modifications, but the property was foreclosed on before Horizen could begin construction. Anbau, which also developed 110 Central Park South and 136 West 22nd Street, will use a design similar to the one conceived by Zapata and Horizen to construct a 22-story condo with 38 units. “We like the design and think it will be a great addition to the other towers in the Flatiron District. In fact, some people refer to it as the ‘Tower District,'” said Stephen Glascock, president of Anbau Enterprises, through a spokesperson. [WSJ]