Feb. 8, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Plans to demolish a building in Greenpoint’s Historic District to make way for a glossy penthouse have since been scrapped, with developers now focusing on facade work that will bring the home closer to its historical appearance.
The revised plans for 111 Noble St. were presented to the Landmarks Commission earlier this week by Ralf Mayer, president of MDIM, the architecture firm in charge of the project.
The Feb. 6 visit marked the first time the firm returned to the commission since October, when the agency shot down their application to demolish the two-story wood frame home, built in 1855. The structural engineering firm behind the initial plan, however, claimed the building’s structural issues called for demolition.
At the time, the Landmarks Commission said while the building had been heavily altered in the 20th century and lacks many of its original features, the developers should take the home as an opportunity to preserve history rather than introduce an out-of-character building to the historic district, set up by the city in 1982. The commission also suggested that the developer’s team was exaggerating the structural issues found in the house.
Developers said they took heed to the concerns raised by the commission and by a slew of historical organizations and Noble Street residents, and headed back to the drawing board. Rather than demolition, the developers have simply applied to alter the facade, extend the building into the rear yard, and add a third story with a rooftop addition to the home. The number of units, and the interior features, have remained.
“We decided to really go back and try to mimic the old existing building,” Mayer said at the Landmarks Commission hearing.
Renderings for the proposed building show white tapered columns, a railing fence, a restored awning, and other elements that have since disappeared or have undergone heavy alteration over the years. The current home, for example, has brick pillars and fences.
Other renderings show a discrete penthouse extension on top of a proposed third floor to the building.
Members of the Landmarks Commission lauded the revised plans, and unanimously approved the application.
“What the commission did properly was to determine, with the help of staff, that this building was still there,” a member of the commission said. “It just had been dramatically and badly altered over the years. But it can be brought back.”
Records show that the current owner, Roei Paz of 111 Noble LLC, bought the building back in 2016 for nearly $2 million.