Action soon for 315-317 Broadway?

With Broadway Spirits now located down the street, I thought it was worth revisiting the plans for 315 and 317 Broadway, at the corner with Thomas Street.

In December 2020, the Landmarks Commission approved plans for the old McDonald’s building — 317 Broadway at the corner with Thomas — for a 14-story building with an entrance on Thomas. That would be attached to a 20-story building rising up behind the five-story cast iron and marble structure at 315 Broadway, a city landmark since 2016.

The developer is United American Land, which also owns 319 Broadway across the street; 415 Broadway, the deco bank building on the southwest corner of Canal; and which is currently developing 277 Canal.

The new buildings will eventually house 76 residential units, and the restored 315 will have commercial loft spaces. The materials will be largely precast light grey terrazzo (love!) and painted aluminum, with grey brick for the lot line walls. The architects called it an “urban collage.” It seemed in 2020 that 23 of the 76 units will be affordable as part of the city’s Voluntary Inclusionary Housing program, meaning they will be permanently set as rent stabilized at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income.

This is how 315 was described in its landmark hearing:

The 315 Broadway Building is a palazzo-inspired store and loft of the type that once lined Broadway and shaped the streetscapes of pre-civil war New York. These “commercial palaces” were built in the 1850s-1860s throughout the wholesale dry goods district now known as Tribeca. The palazzo style had been popular in the 1830s-1850s among English cotton retailers, to whom it represented the architecture of Renaissance-era merchant princes and provided impressive exteriors for their businesses. The building was constructed as a speculative investment by the retired linen merchant Thomas Suffern in 1861. 315 Broadway has been leased by dozens of tenants since its construction, including the Hagstrom Company, Inc., a cartography and publishing firm that designed and printed the 1943-1956 New York City subway map, from 1948-1969.