Landmarks gives JDS’ skinny tower plan a warm welcome

October 01, 2013 06:13PM

JDS Development and Property Markets Group’s plans for a super skinny 1,350-foot tower designed by SHoP Architects were met warmly by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The firms picked up the historic building at 107 West 57th Street, along with 45,000 square feet of air rights, for a total of $217.8 million—$131.5 million for the land lease, $46.3 million for the building itself and an additional $40 million for a neighboring site — back in March. And while JDS and PMG could build an as-of-right tower at the steel front without any LPC approval, the companies have instead opted to set the building back.

The move acquiesces to the LPC somewhat, but also necessitates the demolition of the back part of the building. The tower, once finished, would exist in part on the landmarked site, which gives the LPC a say in reviewing the project.

The commission took little issue with the proposal, noting only qualms about the height of the glass street wall and questioning just how much of the tower would be on the landmark site and how much would not, Curbed reported. At the end of the day, all but one of the commissioners said the building was worth approval thanks to its impressive design.

Margery Perlmutter, the sole dissenter, said she was confused by her fellow commissioners’ willingness to sign off so eagerly.

“We’re looking at this ‘for the good of the city’ as if there’s no other place to build a tower,” she said. Despite her objections, a mildly-tweaked version of the plan will likely be approved when presented. [Curbed]Julie Strickland