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Shrager taps Herzog & de Meuron and John Pawson for Lower East Side hotel.
Detail of Herzog & de Meuron's latest Manhattan project.
Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron

In recent months, a host of long-delayed apartment towers and hotels on Manhattan’s Lower East Side have begun rising, and in some cases opening, high above the low-slung former tenement neighborhood. For the most part, these projects have done so without much architectural design or distinction, but one new building could break the trend. Enter: Herzog & de Meuron.

Real estate blog New York Yimby uncovered renderings for the firm’s 314-foot-tall, glass and concrete tower that is set to house luxury condominiums and Ian Schrager’s latest boutique hotel, which contains 370 rooms. The upper floors at 215 Chrystie Street are reserved for luxury apartments to be designed by John Pawson.


It does not come as too much of a surprise that Shrager—a co-founder of Studio 54—chose Herzog & de Meuron for his latest project. The prolific hotelier developed the firm’s 40 Bond Street, a luxury condominium building in Noho where he happens to own a penthouse.

As with many new high-end projects, 215 Chrystie offers floor-to-ceiling windows that promise its guests and residents sweeping views of the city. The structure, which is framed in concrete and accentuated with prominent fins, resembles some of Herzog & de Meuron’s most recent work. This tower could be the taller, and more organized, version of the firm’s celebrated Miami parking lot, or a more buttoned-up sibling of 56 Leonard, its Jenga-like skyscraper rising in Tribeca.

At this point, though, given the limited number of renderings, it is hard to understand the building’s full impact—especially from a distance. But given the big names surrounding 215 Chrystie, one thing is very clear: it will cater to the very wealthy. And as with most recent Lower East Side developments, it will rise in stark contrast to its past.

Site of Shrager's new hotel on Chrystie Street.
Courtesy Google Maps

In 2012, Schrager paid $50 million for the site, which housed a community garden for low-income residents at the neighboring 10 Stanton Street. The Wall Street Journal reported that the owner of 10 Stanton gained tenants’ support for the sale by promising to extend federal rent subsidies and build a rooftop recreation space.

Schrager’s plans were also challenged in court by the Norman Foster-designed Sperone Westwater Gallery, which claimed the building was out of context with the neighborhood. At the time, local blog Bowery Boogie wrote, “its ulterior motive, of course, was preventing the blockage of light into its own gallery.” A judge ultimately rejected the petition and the project moved forward.

Beyer Blinder Belle is the architect of record for the project with completion expected by the end of 2016.

Henry Melcher