NEW YORK | 12-20 West 40th St | 361 FT | 32 FLOORS

Permits Filed: 20 West 40th Street


12-20 West 40th Street – image via Google Maps

New building permits have been filed for 12-20 West 40th Street, which had originally been proposed prior to the recession (old rendering at link, via Curbed). Between the old and new versions, the plans have seen a height increase, and the project’s latest iteration will rise 32 floors and 361 feet. Stonehill & Taylor is listed as the architect — a shift from Morris Adjmi — and HFZ Capital is part of a larger development group.

Besides the additional height, the scope of 20 West 40th Street has also increased, and evidently the project will be mixed-use, with a hotel and residences. The latest permits seem to have an error, given the previous proposal’s scope was only 186,000 square feet; the newest documents indicate the site will span over 800,000 square feet.

The 186,000 square foot figure is much more likely, though the number of planned rooms and residences has also increased with the new filings, from 204 to 274. The hotel will span the first fourteen floors, and contain 213 rooms; 61 residences will occupy the upper levels, with only two units on each of the top four floors. The Schedule A has the full details.

As the site is currently a parking lot, the new building will benefit the block. Stonehill & Taylor’s pedigree of Manhattan projects also supports the notion that 20 West 40th Street will be visually appealing; its location across the street from Bryant Park and the New York Public Library also warrants something decently high-end.

20 West 40th Street, old rendering of the site, image by HFZ Capital

Friedman is a putz.

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Agreed. And welcome to YIMBY!


Revealed: 20 West 40th Street, 32-Story Mixed-Use Tower on Bryant Park


Last month, a rather unhelpful rendering went up on a construction site on Bryant Park’s southern edge, for a 32-story, 361-foot hotel and condo tower. Developed by Ziel Friedman’s HFZ Capital in combination with some mystery investors, the building broke ground this summer and will soon look out over the New York Public Library’s main branch.

And now, YIMBY has what we believe is the first (real) look at the 200,000-square foot structure. The provenance of the renderings is unclear, but the shape of the building depicted matches 20 West 40th Street’s zoning diagram. Its texture also bears some resemblance to the basic drawing that was posted on the construction fence.

Stonehill & Taylor filed for the permit, and the design is restrained but handsome, with a gridded glassy exterior that compliments and contrasts with the surrounding array of ornate prewar buildings. The project’s crown consists of screens that rise above the highest occupied floor, reminiscent of the New York Times Building across town. And in terms of visual impact, 20 West 40th Street will add some modernist heft to the southeastern corner of the park, joining the new skyscrapers on the Sixth Avenue side.

But unlike 7 Bryant Park and the Bank of America Tower, 20 West 40th will not have any office space. The developers are instead choosing to take advantage of some of the site’s residential zoning allotment, and prop it up on a larger hotel base.

The Schedule A calls for a gym below ground for tenants and guests and two restaurant/bar spaces on the ground floor, with 215 hotel rooms (floors two through 14) and 61 condos (15 through 32). With just 50,000 square feet of net residential space, the average unit size is a mere 820 square feet, with no floor-through units.

The design follows one planned before the recession, whose 2008 new building permit filing never materialized into an actual building. Morris Adjmi was to design a 31-story, 204-key hotel on the site.

While YIMBY welcomes towers catering to all incomes, the relatively small unit sizes (and, presumably, per square foot prices) at 20 West 40th Street are a welcome sign that the market for full-floor duplex $3,000-a-foot apartments is indeed satiable, and ultra-luxury condos are not the only thing developers are willing to build.

Given enough building sites and available development rights, the market will eventually force developers to cater to lower income brackets, even on prominent Midtown sites — and it the city could relax zoning restrictions, this could happen on an even wider basis.

Another updated rendering?

teaser site up:

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LondoniumLex! That was one of
My favorite aliases!



Not feeling this tower very much. The site deserves much much better.

From the website:

I agree. I walk by it all the time and don’t bother taking photos.

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Since we have so much amazing architecture going up in this city, we can afford some misses like this.

I don’t think this is terrible (It’s not a Poon or Kaufman) but it’s not 56 Leonard or 53W53.

I agree.


Feb. 20th

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March 24th

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Metal grids will be inserted on the lower half of each window.

April 22n



Credit: FC


Other than BIG’s torqued towers along the High-Line, HFZ builds crap. I don’t like this tower at all.