another day, another parking lot to be developed / Varick Street Tribeca edition

more View Diligence due [UPDATED]
The guy at Tribeca Citizen had a nice catch yesterday in response to a reader’s jackhammer question: building permits for the parking lot on Varick Street opposite the First Precinct. The Department of Buildings permit (yes, Erik: transparency is a wonderful thing!) is for a 9-story new building, 119 feet high, that will cover 80% of the lot, built out to the sidewalk on Varick, Beach and N. Moore Streets (if I am reading this right) with a 30 foot “rear yard equivalent”. While this structure is not as large as the “old renderings” TriCi found, it is large enough to deprive some neighboring lofts of views [Feb 1: Curbed has the link to new renderings, looking like a full-lot 5-story base.]

a prophecy fulfilled (not cinema worthy)
If it seems like only a week ago that I was (again) beating the drum about the need for View Diligence in the due diligence process for buying Manhattan lofts, that is because it was only a week ago I was (again) beating the drum about the need for View Diligence in the due diligence process for buying Manhattan lofts. I won’t repeat what I said in my January 24, banging the View Diligence drum (again), for Glass Farmhouse loft views from 448 West 37 Street, except to quote the punch STRIKE closing line:

Methinks I will be back to this topic again. And again. And ….

I just did not think the return visit would be so soon.

This parking lot has been a pretty prominent Tribeca feature since, well, forever (or, at least as long as Tribeca has been “Tribeca”; it was there when I bought in the American thread Building in 1981). Property Shark has no information about former uses of this lot, but it does show the earliest permits to erect that illuminated billboard facing the exiting Holland Tunnel traffic as being from 1995.

not much lost, but every bit hurts
I see only a limited number of residential loft buildings that will be impacted by a 9-story building covering 80% of this parking lot. The main impact will be the loss of the Ghostbusters views (the handsome FDNY at the SE corner of N. Moore and Varick) and a sliver of light and other views from the south windows in the 7-story 19 Beach Street, itself a 2002 new development.

It was just a month ago that I enthused about the views from this building, in my December 21, tunnel living has its benefits, as 19 Beach Street loft sells up 22% over 2005, about views from the then-recently sold 5th floor loft:

I had never thought before in these terms, but seeing the corner views south and west from this loft immediately spurred the thoght that these are the best views of any of the spillway lofts. The long wall of windows facing west present a view anchored by the First Precinct on the cater-corner and the extremely handsome back of The Ice House, a prospect marred only by the tacky tower of 388 Greenwich, which has long since lost its giant bright red umbrella. The huge sky to the northwest is wonderful, but not my favorite angle from here.

The south view down Varick is wide and long, with a buffet-table of varying and classic Tribeca buildings including the Ghostbusters firehouse, the 5-story Walker’s building, perhaps the most handsome building in Tribeca at 140 Franklin, and the Woolworth Building; even the squat mass of the Western Union Building has its charms.

Once the parking lot is gone, that south view down Varick will be less wide, with the new condo taking up the 2 east panels in the living room south windows in the featured photo and all the south views from the 3 bedrooms. It appears as though they will also lose the Woolworth Building views, alas.

The loss of views at the 5-story 9 N. Moore Street will be more severe: you can see in that Property Shark photo of the parking lot that there are as many as 4 west windows on some of these floors that will lose all west light. The last building sale here was the 2nd floor that sold in post-Peak 2008 for $1,096/ft with 3 windows that will be blocked (how close will a 30 foot “rear yard equivalent” be?). The floor plan is best viewed from the PruDE site, showing a Long-and-Narrow footprint that soon will have windows only front and back (and that second bedroom becoming “interior”).

Across the street at the Atalanta, 25 N. Moore Street the lower floors will lose their east views. See, for example, the footprint of #7C on the northeast corner of the building. The master bedroom and one living room wall will soon face a new, taller condo (see the [currently] wide open prospect from the master bedroom in pic #5 of the listing photos).

Again: if you are interested in a loft that looks over a parking lot or any development site, The Google is your friend. And few views are forever. Be careful out there.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012


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