Revealed: 144 West Street, Greenpoint

144 West Street, rendering by GF55 Partners

By: Rebecca Baird-Remba 8:00 am on November 3, 2015

At the corner of West and India Streets in Greenpoint, two starkly different residential developments are about to rise. On the western side of the block, along the East River, two developers have demolished an old envelope factory to make way for a 40-story residential tower. And YIMBY has the first look at the much more modest five-story rental building planned for 144 West Street, on the eastern side of the block.

“We’re hoping to have an approachable, neighborhood feel compared to big towers in the area,” said developer Josh Caspi, who heads Purchase-based Caspi Development. “We like more low-rise residential buildings.”

The warehouse-inspired development will have 25 apartments, five of which will go to families making up to 60% of the Area Median Income. Those units will be rented through a lottery to households where incomes max out at $36,300 for a single person and go up to $51,780 for a family of four. There will be 13 studios, 10 one-bedrooms and two two-bedrooms.

The city’s inclusionary housing program allows the developers to build 5,000 square feet larger than zoning would typically allow in exchange for including below-market units. With the floor area bonus, the building will host 17,615 square feet of residential space and 1,400 square feet of ground floor retail. The average unit will clock in at just over 700 square feet.

The facade will be clad in red brick, except for the corner facing the street, which will be wrapped in a wall of windows framed by anodized metal. “Our idea was to capture that feeling of factories with dark brick and lots of mullions on the windows,” explained architect David Gross of GF55 Partners. “We were trying to signal that there’s a modern building inside with the contemporary corner, window walls.”

Those modern interiors mean a vaulted lobby lined with reclaimed wood and a lounge with a wet bar on the first floor. The building will feature an interior courtyard, and residents in two second-floor apartments will get balconies overlooking the landscaped outdoor space.

The project won’t have any parking, and it would be difficult to excavate and maintain a garage because the property is 10 feet outside of the flood zone.

Barone Management and Matt Development are partnering with Caspi to build 144 West Street. It will be Caspi’s second ground-up residential project in the city, following on the heels of 93-97 Waverly Avenue, a 17-unit rental building finished two years ago in Clinton Hill. They’ve developed several hotels, including 456 Greenwich Street in Tribeca, as well as two office buildings at 135 and 161 Bowery in the Lower East Side.

Construction on the West Street rental is expected to begin in the next few weeks, and work is scheduled to finish by spring 2017.