At the corner of Elizabeth and Kenmare Streets at the edge of NoLIta, demolition work began in early March to make way for a seven-story condominium, Mr. Ando’s first stand-alone project in the city, although he has designed a restaurant (Morimoto in Chelsea) and residential interiors in Manhattan.
Fans of Mr. Ando, a Pritzker-Prize-winning architect, have already weighed in, with the project, at 152 Elizabeth Street, receiving about 200 inquiries from potential buyers, according to Leonard Steinberg, the president of Compass, which is marketing the property. Sales are expected to begin in April, with prices for the seven units starting at around $6 million for a half-floor apartment and likely to rise to more than $30 million for the four-bedroom penthouse, according to Mr. Steinberg.
The boutique condominium is expected to open in November 2016. The building’s design will resemble a glass jewel box suspended in poured-in-place concrete — classic Tadao Ando, who typically likes to blend buildings with their natural surroundings and almost invariably employs concrete. The southern facade along Elizabeth Street will have a garden wall planted with vines, including Virginia creeper, which turns a brilliant red in the fall.
With 152 Elizabeth Street, Mr. Ando joins an exclusive club of celebrity architects who have made their mark on the city’s landscape. Developers competing for buyers willing to pay stratospheric sums for new construction tend to select architects with star power, especially for smaller buildings that lack the impressive views of a skyscraper. Mr. Ando is currently designing another ground-up condo elsewhere in Manhattan, though he declined to elaborate on the specifics of that project in an email interview. ….