Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A look at the boutique office building replacing the St. Denis on 11th and Broadway

[Photo by Jeremiah Moss]

Workers are prepping the historic St. Denis at 797-799 Broadway at 11th Street for demolition, as Jeremiah Moss reported yesterday.

Normandy Real Estate Partners bought the building for somewhere in the $100 million ballpark back in 2016.

[Image via Wikipedia Commons]

Plans were unveiled on Friday for the new building.

Via a news release:

799 Broadway is located at the corner of 11th Street and Broadway, at the convergence of Union Square and Greenwich Village. Designed by Perkins+Will, the new 12-story, loft-style building will comprise 182,000 square feet of boutique office space and will provide a dramatic complement to this quintessential New York neighborhood. With floor plates ranging from 3,600 to 22,000 square feet, 799 Broadway will feature floor-to-ceiling glass, private terraces, and 15 foot high ceilings. This combination of highly desirable location and state-of-the-art design will appeal to New York’s most progressive and creative companies.


Once completed, 799 Broadway will complement Columbia’s growing portfolio of differentiated assets in Midtown South, characterized by smaller floor plates, distinctive architecture, and high-end, modern finishes and amenities.

Speaking of once completed...

[Binyan Studios]

The 165-year-old building that is being torn down is noteworthy for many reasons. It opened in 1853 as the St. Denis Hotel, which is where Ulysses S. Grant wrote his post-Civil War memoirs and Alexander Graham Bell provided the first demonstration of the telephone to New Yorkers.

However, the building is not landmarked... and it is not in a Historic District.

Moss, who worked in the St. Denis, wrote this feature titled "The Death and Life of a Great American Building" for The New York Review of Books back in March.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: Maps show that Midtown South does NOT include the East Village/Astor Place

Report: Former St. Denis Hotel selling for $100 million


Scuba Diva said...

This is tragic and short-sighted.

Brian Van said...

I may not always agree with Jeremiah and I'm not inclined to criticize every modern-design building, but this planned building is quite an atrocity on a number of levels. It's a terrible design for urban utilization. And it's all the more terrible that they're allowed to simply dismantle a historical building to erect it. This is not a "complement" at all, it's a scar.

Thing is, when developers present something so starkly anti-contextual and radical, it is an attempt to signal exclusivity to potential tenants, which somehow is a mark of luxury. In this case it's just a sign that they're evil and stupid.

Anonymous said...

Oh the horror! Can we move this crap to De Moines.

noble neolani said...

Thank you Carolna Rivera, this is the first trickle in the coming cascade of development and the conversion of our neighborhood into the REBNY "mid-town south".

Anonymous said...

This pre-dates Carlina, and was in the works years back. Originally the new buyer was to keep it for professionals as it had been for years and years -- most of whom were therapists. I put the blame squarely on the landmarks commission for allowing this and the take down of the brownstones on 11 Street.

That landlord forced out all the therapists and should have been stopped by the city. But, as we know, there is no protection for small businesses.

Anonymous said...

The new building will not last 165 years, in 20 years it will look shoddy.
Look at the newish building on 3rd Ave 13- 14 St - looks dilapidated already.

Besides all that, this is a crime against humanity.

Where is the Community Board or Anyone to protect these buildings ?

cmarrtyy said...

This building may have predated Carlina but not Mendez her role model. Both are not leaders but tow the line for the Mayor. They only represent the party not the EV. How is that democratic? How are they representing the people?! Maybe if CHARAS was involved they would move their collective butts and do something for all the EV not just the party and their base... Besides, the building is truly ugly. And contextually it makes the entire area unattractive by exposing the sides and backs of neighboring building that were never meant to be exposed. GOD! WHAT A MESS...

Anonymous said...

This beyond-ugly glass monstrosity should *never* have been allowed, especially given its location directly across from Grace Church's bucolic rectory & church. It could not be more out-of-context.

The St. Denis should have been landmarked; it is historic and has served as home to so many small businesses that make this neighborhood a REAL neighborhood.

The new glass jenga-tower is really just a big "fuck you" to the entire neighborhood.

I guess we really are going to be Midtown South - and no thanks to ANYONE in city government; NYC has failed utterly to protect the St. Denis and our quality of life. De Blasio & co. sold us all out.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why this has to be the new aesthetic for EVERYTHING.... what is wrong with something that fits in with the older buildings/stays true to the neighborhood and NYC?

Anonymous said...

Please stop crying about the St. Denis Hotel. The building was stripped of any historical value in the 1920's, which is why it's not landmarked. Old does not equal landmark status, neither does Grant using the bathroom here. Go google educate yourself instead of being Jeremiah lemmings. It's current state is the real eyesore. Also, at least Perkins and Will designed it, which means they're spending some coin. Oh-and rebuttal crybaby fyi: I'm an architect practicing traditional architecture in the city.

Anonymous said...

I don't necessarily disagree with some of 1:15pm's points ... this city has been vanishing and rebuilding for centuries. Still, that is one ugly glass building. Really ugly.

EVQP said...


Anonymous said...

@1:15pm: I don't care what your credentials are! If you are an architect, you're part of the problem, and what you actually KNOW of the St. Denis is sorely lacking.

Oh, Perkins & Will? Are they like GOD?? I guess they're famous (in their own minds). Thanks for calling out the specific jerks who've demonstrated no sense of taste or context.

And I don't give a fuck how much "coin" anyone is spending on this ugly building.

I know a lot of architects, and they ALL have higher opinions of themselves than they deserve. They ALL think they're innovative geniuses; but most of them are hacks.

mYsHoooZzz said...

P&W's work belongs in LA and it's ugly.

My kids building block towers are more hip

noble neolani said...

This is just the beginning watch as the neighborhood tumbles and is replaced with shit building like this one. We can all bitch and moan but some of us are paying attention and voting for candidates who will stand up to REMBY, for the record I did NOT vote for Rivera, I did not believe she had/has enough spine to protect us from the mayor and his cronies. I was proved right when she caved to keep here career and perhaps pick up some developer money for her next campaign.
We all have to vote, go to CB3 meetings and at the very least listen and learn what's going on.
The alternative is to complain here after the fact.

Anonymous said...

Once again, this is an insult to our community, demolishing historical property in the name of progress, for mediocrity. Unless protective laws are written for buildings to be given landmark status this will happen over again. THE LAWS NEED TO CHANGE WHEREBY WHATS LEFT OF OUR CITY HAS LANDMARK OR OTHER PROTECTION. Especially from developers and big business investors.

Unknown said...

The problem with these type of buildings is that they do absolutely nothing for the community they are just more high priced apartments for people who can afford to spend millions of dollars and overpriced storefronts that go for incredibly high monthly rents which few businesses will be able to afford for any lengthy period of time. As a result it will be an overpriced clothing store or some other overpriced store that will close and the retail space will end up being vacant just like so many other spaces I see in the City. Many New York residents will not benefit at all from this development.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ people. The comments on here are terrible. Everyone is attacking and no one seems to be listening to one another. We are part of this problem. Think about it. NYC is changing. We have to deal with it.

Do I like the new plans for the building? Not really. But there's nothing we can do, except gripe on this site.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, anonymous from 1:15 pm again! With the logic that's being presented, get ready for a Gene Kaufman landmarked building coming soon!

Stay focused. The building was desecrated in the 1920's losing it's historical value--architectural or societal. Once beautiful Grandma has been in a coma for 100 years. She ain't comin' back.

I never said I liked the new building or the Architects behind it--and I actually agree with your sentiments about Architects 2:37pm. Also, thank you for acknowledging my word choice of coin, I think it's snazzy too and does deserve quotes!

I've been in meetings with Vornado to preserve Hotel Penn, supported the Rebuild Penn Station movement, convinced developers to restore a building in the Seaport and persuaded the Landmarks staff to allow us to rebuild an amazing gothic stoop removed in the 60's on the UWS. What have all of the negative nelly's commenting here done to impact our city for the better? Ears are open.

Anonymous said...

@1:15 You're missing a huge part of the point here. I used to be a tenant in this building. Sadly, yes, the facade was stripped in the 20s. But this was an AMAZING building to work in full of small businesses with affordable rent. That's what NYC is losing, not just the bones of this building (which were also beautiful). Hundreds of independent business people were displaced by this change and there's nowhere comparable for them to go. It's just a loss, to the people who worked here and the community they served. We should all be grieving that.