The Real Deal New York

HFZ’s Chatsworth addition gets no love at Landmarks

January 08, 2014 03:00PM

The Landmarks Preservation Commission bashed HFZ Capital Group’s controversial plan to top the landmarked Chatsworth Building with a two-floor penthouse addition in a Tuesday hearing.

William Higgins of Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, a historic property preservation and rehabilitation consultancy, presented the developer’s proposal for 344 West 72nd Street, which drew critiques for a lack of handicapped-accessible passageways at the new entrances and for its “contextually inappropriate” design, as Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wrote to Landmarks Chairman Robert Tierney.

Candace Burnett, a longtime resident of the building, said the proposed addition would be like “topping the head and crown of Lady Liberty with a VIP observation deck.”

Tierney, for his part, said he was “very skeptical” of the plans and announced another public hearing in two weeks’ time. Higgins, on behalf of HFZ, said that the developer is willing to make changes to the proposal.

HFZ’s Ziel Feldman picked up the 13-story rental building for $150 million in January 2013, and announced plans to tack on a posh new addition in October. The developers of the nearby Apthorp condominiums at 390 West End Avenue are similarly planning to top the historic property with four luxury penthouse apartments, a plan that hasn’t fared much better with the community. [Curbed]Julie Strickland