New Commercial Building Slated to Rise Across From the Standard

taconi New Commercial Building Slated to Rise Across From the StandardThe High Line may be getting a new neighbor.

The opportunistic landlords Taconic Investment Partners and Square Mile Capital are planning a new office and retail building at 837 Washington Street, across from the Standard Hotel, a structure that would rise over the two-story red and tan brick building currently on the site.

Taconic, which owns Chelsea Market and the former Western Beef building that houses the Apple store in the Meatpacking District, last month filed an application with the Department of Buildings to put up a commercial building that would rise to 100 feet. It would need approval from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, given that the site is in a historic district.

“We’re really in early stages of showing our thoughts,” Paul Pariser, co-CEO at Taconic, said when reached today. “It’s a special building that is very contextual and would work great as part of the Meatpacking District.”

Mr. Pariser said the building is currently envisioned to have “a steel exoskeleton with glass behind,” and the architect is Morris Adjmi Architects, which also has other projects by the High Line, including 450 West 14th Street.

It’s an interesting turn for a site that was bought in July 2008 by the event planner Robert Isabell for $45 million. Isabell intended to develop the site himself, and took out a $48 million short-term loan from Taconic and Square Mile. But Isabell died in early July 2009, a month before the 20 percent interest loan matured.

After the maturity date, the lenders filed a lawsuit seeking foreclosure, but ultimately worked out a deal outside of court, according to Mr. Pariser. (The Post has a story on that here.)

Now, with Taconic and Square Mile in control of the property, the new landlords have developed their own plans for the building, hence the filing with the Department of Buildings.

The building is one of what might become a mini office district around the High Line, given that 450 West 14th is slated to be office and Romanoff Equities has its own office building planned for 860 Washington. Generally, the High Line has been known for spurring residential construction further north in Chelsea, an area that was rezoned in 2005.

Mr. Pariser said the development team is in the process of reaching out to neighbors and others to get feedback about the plans for the building, and has not yet filed an official application with the landmarks commission. 

ebrown@observer.com