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Vu.

Onward and Upward?

Eight blue-sky proposals—and their chances for getting off the ground.

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Key
5 Order the address labels
4 All signs point to yes
3 Quite likely
2 Glimmer of hope
1 Snowball, meet hell


Courtesy of Coalco  

383–391 West 12th Street
Architect: Christian de Portzamparc
Developer: Coalco
Since the City Planning Commission “downzoned” the far West Village—essentially forbidding anything too tall—the Pritzker-winning architect’s heap of sugar cubes built on Diane Von Furstenberg’s old headquarters has been paralyzed. Coalco won’t say that the plan is dead, but contextualism advocates are dancing on its grave.
Probability Factor 1


Courtesy of Bernard Tschumi  

Blue
105 Norfolk Street
Architects: Bernard Tschumi & SLCE
Developer: On the Level Enterprises
For a while, Tschumi (the ex-dean of Columbia’s architecture school) had something to be blue about: The neighbors booed his colorful glass-walled project. But the plans are approved and workers have already broken ground; the naysayers will soon have nobody to complain to but the doorman.
Probability Factor 5


Courtesy of Grzwinski Pons  

115–119 Norfolk Street
Architects: Grzywinski Pons
Developer: Zeyad Aly
Matthew Grzywinski and Amador Pons made a splash when they built the brash Hotel Rivington amid the Lower East Side’s tenements. Here, they’ve turned to glass once again, using it less as a colossal curtain than as an airy veil. The building’s still waiting on approval, but the design’s “as of right,” meaning that it requires no special permits.
Probability Factor 3


Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava  

Townhouses in the Sky
80 South Street
Architect: Santiago Calatrava
Developer: Sciame Development
Santiago Calatrava’s South Street pile of a dozen townhouse-size glass cubes is audacious, as is the pricing—$29 million to $59 million. But doubters think it’s too complicated and expensive to build. And the developer is using presales to test the waters; if he can’t sell the apartments, the whole thing may be called off.
Probability Factor 2


Courtesy of TEN Arquitectos  

One York Street
Architect: Enrique Norten, TEN Arquitectos
Developer: Stanley Perelman
It’s full speed ahead for Norten’s Tribeca project, which knifes a glassy new slab of apartments into a nineteenth-century Tribeca warehouse. Locals have grumbled, but the City Council has already okayed its construction. (The structure’s not landmarked, and its air rights are all in order.)
Probability Factor 4


Horizen Condominium
39–41 West 23rd Street
Developer: Horizen
This 26-story tower planned for the Flatiron district looks a little like an awards-show statuette, but done right—with materials that enunciate its “folds”—it could become a showpiece. (Strangely, the developer flatly refuses to name the architect.) It’s premature to ask what the neighbors think; the project’s in its infancy and will likely change a lot.
Probability Factor 2


The unnamed Superior Ink project
West Street between 12th and Bethune Streets
Developer: The Related Companies
Charles Gwathmey’s early design is said to allude to his anticipated but tepidly received Astor Place tower. This time, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation wants to stop him early (or get Related to offer a less aggressive design): It’s fighting to landmark the ink factory on the site.
Probability Factor 2


Courtesy of SLCE Architects  

310 East 53rd Street
Architect: SLCE Architects
Developer: Macklowe Properties
It’s all but a done deal for this Midtown East project, which has many observers swooning over its fairly graceful translucent tower. But some worry about the limestone base, which looks modest at tabletop-model scale but could, because of the building’s large footprint, give off a foreboding vibe.
Probability Factor 5


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