First Look at the 42-Story Building Planned for Broadway

There’s a new rendering, via YIMBY, of the 42-story building planned for 265 Broadway, between Chambers and Warren and across from City Hall Park. It fits right in—not! The building is mainly glass, with a setback off the street and balconies and draped gardens on the top half, culminating in what looks like an air-traffic control tower. Floors 3-12 are slated to be a “four-star boutique hotel” (no one ever says he’s going to build a two-star hotel), with everything above residential. Those units will be “extremely large,” says YIMBY, “with an average size of almost 2,500 square feet.” The architect is Gene Kaufman, and the developer is Roe Corporation, which is aiming to have it done in 2020.



  1. How is this even legal? Is this zone not landmarked? All my neighbors hate the jenga buildings enormity but we at least hoped it would not happen again.

  2. The design of the building looks somewhat like 56 Leonard Street

  3. Kaufman’s signature zig-zag. What a hack. Even his website has malware.

  4. I think looks like a hobbit hotel.

  5. The “draped gardens” give the building the appearance of what you see in movies about a post-apocalyptic city.

  6. Totally inappropriate design given its neighboring buildings.

    At least it doesn’t cantilever like 56 Leonard (which makes even those of us without OCD want to jog the upper floors back into place!).

    This building should be an interesting companion to 1 Beekman Street, rising just across the park. The designs may complement each other (see this page:

  7. commenting from a window facing directly north from Warren / Broadway: this will be a real eyesore!

    I’ll bet the owner of the large windowed unit (the one featured here has a few things to say about this construction.

    • I’m sure the owner of that penthouse will be upset but when you have lot-line windows, as those are, light and air is never guaranteed. Frankly, he should have done a better job of due diligence before spending that much money on opening up lot-line windows.

  8. Another horribly designed building in FiDi. Too bad that area around City Hall is not landmarked. FiDi is a real mess.

  9. I don’t see what’s so horrible about this. A 40+ story building in an area with awesome subway connections seems appropriate. The use of glass is a normal thing for modern buildings, and it’s not like the existing buildings on this block are architectural wonders. Personally I prefer this over 30 Park Pl’s attempt to blend in.

    People have to live somewhere.

    • I agree completely, and breathed a sigh of relief when I read your comment, that there were still people being reasonable about this topic. The building is completely uninteresting from an architectural POV, it’s true. But that it’s tall and dense is simply inevitable. People forget that before 1940 the race to build tall buildings centered on that neighborhood because it represented the civic and financial center of NYC, which role has become more decentralized as business moved to midtown during the depression, and much later began to move elsewhere (viz. Jersey City, etc.). But tall buildings have always been the architectural currency of that area. The Woolworth Bldg. down the street a few yards was the tallest building in the world until 1928. The fact that most of the new high-rises are not especially worthy is another matter. Sadly, that is true of most contemporary construction in this city.

      I’m always amazed when I read comments by NYC residents about new architecture. I can’t understand why people imagine the direction should be toward lower density, and that architects should be restricted to building squatty, low-density buildings with outdated materials and techniques. Cities are a technological invention to accommodate population growth and migration. How a person can live in NYC and resent a building for “enormity” completely escapes me. Does anyone think that in 100 years NYC will be characterized by 5-story row houses?

      • Can any building with apartments averaging 2,500 square feet be considered high-density? (Personally, I don’t mind tall buildings if they’re well-made and attractive. This one has me very concerned….)

        • Well, in the sense that more floors on the same plot equals higher density. So, yeah, but I share your concern about this design.

        • No, this is not high density on a square footage basis.

          As a basis for comparison, the Zoning Resolution purposely set lower limits of 1,000 – 1,200 square feet for dwelling units converted from lofts under the Loft Law (where there is more than one loft per floor), to avoid landlords further sub-dividing dwelling units into studio apartments.

    • Your comment has stuck with me as I walk around (because I live in that area), and I find myself disagreeing with your view of the architecture on that block. I happen to like 270 Broadway, hulking as it is, and 261 Broadway actually has quite a bit of charm, at least above the storefronts (which could use work). Both look solid, substantial, well made—which is not something I fear we’ll be able to say about the proposed building at 265 Broadway. (Rare is the glass tower that seems anything but value-engineered.) Moreover, if you’re walking on the east side of Broadway, you get a wonderful lineup of buildings to look at across the street, from Murray all the way to Reade (57 Reade aside). If this design gets built, the tallest building in that three-block span will be an undistinguished stack of glass that, in my opinion, will not stand the test of time.

  10. I worry a lot about any building in that area competing with The Woolworth Building – which is indisputably one of the great architectural monuments in NYC and needs a lot of breathing room. That – and the issue of scale – would be my first concerns.