Volume 73, Number 48 | March 31 - April 6, 2004

Sliver: Builders have basic instinct for waterfront

By Lincoln Anderson

In a sign no property is too small to build on in the Greenwich Village waterfront development craze, construction is underway on a 24-ft.-wide lot between Perry and W. 11th Sts., where a slim, 11-story tower will rise with duplex condos selling for $4 million.

A local rumor had it a “really, really tall” tower was going up on the narrow site of a former garage at 423 West St. The exaggeration perhaps was fueled by the current anxiety about the escalating development of the waterfront.

“It’s a small sliver,” said Michael Yanko, C.E.O. of Horizen Associates, the development group. Yanko said the elevator will open into residents’ condos. Noting that most apartments have already been sold, he said buyers are purchasing two floors for duplexes, each 2,500-sq.-ft. floor going for $2 million. He described customers as “very, very rich and well to do that want some privacy — not like the wild scene in the Meier buildings.”

Yanko was referring to the twin, 16-story towers at Perry St., just two buildings over from his stylish sliver. A third Meier tower is rising at Charles St. The Meier-designed condos are selling for $5 million to $6 million. Like Meier’s buildings, Yanko’s will be sheathed in glass.

“The building will have a Zen feel,” he explained. Architect Patrick Han said he couldn’t release a design for publication yet as he was still fine-tuning it.

A selling point is a kitchen planned on the first floor where a chef will be on hand eight hours a day to whip up delicacies for the condo owners.

Although there’s just a bulldozer in a watery pit at this point, Yanko already has a name for the sliver, Hudson Blue. The building is slated to be finished by the end of the year.

Yanko said he acquired the small property a year ago, as the Meier towers were nearing completion.

“When I bought it, people thought I was crazy,” he said. “Now, every day people call me trying to buy it.”

Jennifer Givner, a Department of Buildings spokesperson, said permits on file call for building on top of the former two-story garage. Since the garage has been demolished, a new permit is needed, she said, adding that if someone calls 311 while work is underway, D.O.B. will dispatch an inspector to request proper paperwork and issue a complaint, if warranted.

Also plan Chelsea hotel

Yanko and Horizen are also in contract to buy a parking lot in Chelsea at 39 W. 23rd St. between Fifth and Sixth Aves. where they plan to build a 100,000-sq.-ft. “fractional-ownership condo hotel.”

“You live there three months of the year and you use it for your needs. The rest of the year, you rent it out,” Yanko explained of the ownership of the suites, which will be large, 750 sq. ft. Condo owners will own a portion of common areas, hallways and other facilities. Construction is scheduled to start early next year and finish in a year and a half.

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