If there ever was any doubt, now it’s clear: Larry Silverstein has a taste for tall buildings downtown.
Lower Manhattan’s development king announced plans on Tuesday morning for a new 912-foot hotel and condo tower to rise at 99 Church Street, complete with a Four Seasons on the first 22 floors.
The skinny limestone and masonry tower is slated to be the tallest residential skyscraper in the city, rising 80 stories on the same block as the Woolworth Building, which itself was once the world’s tallest building.
Taken with the buildings at 150, 175 and 200 Greenwich Street planned for Ground Zero, which will rise to 975, 1,137 and 1,270 feet, respectively, Mr. Silverstein will in five years own four of the seven tallest buildings downtown.
But unlike his Fumihiko Maki-, Richard Rogers- and Norman Foster-designed towers to rise five, four and two blocks south, Mr. Silverstein has gone with a much more traditional approach for 99 Church, tapping Robert A. M. Stern, the dean of Yale’s architecture school and lead architect of the über-successful Zeckendorf-developed 15 Central Park West.
“I would say it’s classic and classical in its composition,” Mr. Stern told reporters at the Alliance for Downtown New York breakfast, where the tower renderings were revealed. “Today’s avant-garde is tomorrow’s not-so-avant-garde.”
Mr. Silverstein said he called up Four Seasons for the offer—he would own the hotel rooms and pay the hospitality firm a fee to manage the property—which will be the second New York location for the five-star hotel upon completion, expected in 2011.
As for his towers-to-be to the south, Mr. Silverstein seemed eager for construction to begin as the Port Authority finishes excavations.
“Shortly, very shortly,” he told the crowd at Cipriani’s Wall Street. “Middle of next month, up we go.”