Pyramid Tower To Rise On Manhattan's West Side



Jill Urban

It’s now an empty lot, but big plans are in the works to turn a stretch of West 57th Street into an eye-popping, ultra modern tower.

“The design of the building is really quite interesting. It is a 600 and some odd unit residential rental in the shape of a pyramid with a sloping roof,” explains Durst Fetner Residential C.E.O. Hal Fetner.

The residential tower, known as W57, would be located between 57th and 58th Streets, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Designed by renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the signature structure will transform the look of the West Side.

“When you are gonna come up the West Side Highway you’re gonna see this building actually grow. Your first glimpse of the building will be on the corner of 57th and 12th. And as you get closer and closer its actually going to grow,” says Fetner.

The building has quite an unusual layout. Most of its residential units will sit on the north east side of the building and slope down. The other corner will offer community or amenity space with a courtyard in the middle. It was designed to protect the views of the residents in Durst’s neighboring building, The Helena.

Aside from the residential element, the building will also include a retail component. A large space will be available to accommodate a big retailer on the 12th Avenue side. There will be room for smaller, local, community-type retail as well.

Plans for the building were recently presented to the community board, and overall the response was positive.

“I think the community was intrigued by the design. The vast majority liked it,” says Manhattan Community Board 4 District Manager Robert Benfatto. “They liked the fact that it was pulled back to keep from obstructing views. They liked the way it looked although they were curious as to how it would look from the street and they like that there would be retail downstairs but they hope maybe an affordable supermarket could come in. There was interest in how much affordable housing would be there and if it was permanent and what the community center and cultural center would end up being.

Durst Fetner says it will work with the community to address its concerns. Another public hearing will be held later this year.

The plans are in the early stages and the developer says the project wouldn’t break ground for at least 16 months. They hope to have the project completed by 2015.