Developer Shelly Listokin's plans to turn a former DUMBO Watchtower building into condos have cleared a significant hurdle – by winning city Landmarks Preservation Commission approval to add two floors to the top of 200 Water St. and rebuild its back facade.
Aufgang Architects' revised designs for the condo conversion received the preservation agency's okay at a public meeting in Lower Manhattan Tuesday. An earlier try on Oct. 1 to get LPC approval for a more drastic makeover of the 1950s-vintage factory building was unsuccessful.
Listokin – who was involved in the residential redevelopment of 20 Henry St. – bought 200 Water St. and neighboring lots 173 and 177 Front St. through an entity called DUMBO Assemblage LLC for $30.6 million last March, city records indicate.
The Jehovah's Witnesses sold the properties as part of an ongoing effort to shed DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights holdings ahead of the relocation of their world headquarters to upstate Warwick.
Listokin's Urban Realty Partners plans to construct 15 apartments in the Water Street building, which had been used by steel-wool pad makers Brillo Manufacturing Co. before the Witnesses owned it.
The commissioners voted yes to the revised designs because, among other things, they call for leaving the red-brick facade on the Water Street side of the building largely intact. The original idea was to use new bricks to reconstruct that wall.
On the back of the building, concrete will be used as a construction material, like on the existing building. The initial reconstruction plan called for a nearly all-glass facade.
Two glass-clad floors to be added to the top of the building will be set back from the roofline on the Water Street side of the property to make them less visible to passersby – and make room for a patio.
For next-door 177 Front St., Listokin has filed plans with the city Buildings Department to construct a 105-unit, 12-floor apartment house with commercial space on the first floor.
That lot is outside the DUMBO Historic District – so the Landmarks Preservation Commission won't be weighing in on those design plans, which were also done by Aufgang Architects.