In case you couldn’t tell from our skyrocketing real estate prices (and towers), every square foot of Manhattan land is precious. According to the city’s PLUTO database, there are roughly 33,000 building lots in Manhattan. Each that becomes viable for redevelopment presents a unique opportunity to alter our varied and oft-chaotic cityscape.
DDG is one developer that doesn’t take new development prospects for granted — understanding that each site is a chance to produce greatness. With a half-dozen downtown condo-buildings now under their belt, the design-development firm led by Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Joe McMillan has steadily produced fresh takes on construction, architecture and high-end living.
The firm’s two most recently-finished ventures at 325 West Broadway and 12 Warren are no exception, and to showcase their journeys from conception to reality, the team has released a pair of time-lapse videos that succinctly play out the dance of construction. Now open for occupancy and in their final unit sales, one project quarries and hand-stacks layers of roughly-hewn bluestone block 12 stories high while the other presents an organic-like exoskeleton softened by vegetation.
First up is 12 Warren, positioned at the edge of Tribeca and a stone’s throw from City Hall Park. The building’s standout feature is its bluestone facing quarried from upstate New York and meticulously layered to evoke a natural rock formation. The material is novel in its use here (it even covers the balconies), but preservationists tell the Times that bluestone once made up half of the city’s sidewalks, primarily in areas near the harbor that were developed first.
Construction was finished in 2017, becoming a capstone of an eclectic Tribeca block of stately pre-wars and minimalist newcomers. Sales launched in early 2016 bringing to market a grand collection of triplex, duplex, and full-floor homes, many with private outdoor spaces. Many residences have direct elevator access and the rocky theme is infused throughout the interiors. Shared amenities include a 24-hour doorman / concierge, fitness center and private storage for purchase.
Next up is XOCO 325 at 325 West Broadway in SoHo. In 2012, DDG snapped up the former vacant Tootsie Roll candy factory buildings. Sited on a through-block site within the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, two of the buildings on Wooster Street were preserved. Separated by a courtyard, the two pre-wars are juxtaposed by a modern new 10-story condo fronting West Broadway that was designed by DDG. In March 2013, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the new building’s design with glowing remarks.
The project is notable for its double curtain-wall composed of an outer cast-aluminum system and a glass window wall two feet behind. The developer says the cast-aluminum façade is a modern reinterpretation of the district’s loft buildings, and its proportions and bay spacing are reminiscent of them. XOCO’s (pronounced sho/co and named after the Catalan word for chocolate) sinuous pre-manufactured components bring to mind human anatomy, Gaudi, and melting chocolate. Between the project’s distinct wings is a landscaped courtyard overlooked by private balconies. Other amenities include an attended 24-hour concierge / doorman, fitness center and private and bicycle storage available for purchase.