Slimmer, taller tower at Superior Inks site gets a variance to build

The Board of Standards and Appeals on Tuesday approved a variance for the new Related Companies residential building planned at the historic Superior Inks factory site on West St. between Bethune and W. 12th Sts.

The B.S.A. approved a 190-foot-tall tower with 160,000 square feet of space with a floor-area ratio of 5. Related’s original proposal was for a 270-foot-tall tower with 210,000 square feet of space and an F.A.R. of 6.5.

“It’s a big improvement over the original version,” said Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which lobbied to decrease the building’s size. “We’re gratified that our fight had some improvement on it. We’re still fighting to save the existing building,” he said of the old factory, noting he called Robert Tierney, commissioner of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, on Monday asking him again to landmark the building.

Berman said the new building plan is skinnier and actually taller, which surrounding residents prefer to the earlier plan. However, while the original building’s curvilinear design has been replaced by a rectilinear one, G.V.S.H.P. and neighbors don’t like the 10-story, sheer glass walls that the design now has on its north and south sides. Berman said they’re going to ask all the area elected officials to put pressure on Related to change this part of the design.