Meatpacking site readies for glassy tower

August 18, 2011 11:57AM

From left: 437 Washington Street (source: PropertyShark) and a rendering of the Romanoff Equities building to come

A demolition permit was filed this week for 437 West 13th Street, the Greenwich Village Society of Historical Preservation reported on its blog, paving the way for construction of the controversial 10-story, 175-foot office tower planned by Romanoff Equities adjacent to the High Line.

Romanoff has been battling with City Planning to maximize the size of the glassy tower, initially filing plans for a 250-foot with the expectation of a zoning variance that would clear the way for the building to exceed zoning regulations by 66 percent. Romanoff claimed that because the High Line ran through the property, it would need to build larger to recoup its investment.

As The Real Deal previously reported, the plans were reduced to 215 feet, then 201 feet and finally a 175-foot tower with a 6.18 FAR that still exceeds the neighborhood’s FAR of 5 by 24 percent. The most recent reported plans call for a 116,000-square-foot tower with two floors of retail and eight floors of retail designed by James Carpenter and dubbed 860 Washington.

The building being razed is a single-story art deco structure built in 1936, GVSHP noted, that was used by NY Dressed Poultry Market and later, Atlas Meats. It is one of the few remaining low-rise structures that harkened back to the days when the Meatpacking District lived up to its namesake. The building fell just outside the boundaries landmarked by the city in 2003. [GVSHP]