40 Mercer Street

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40 Mercer Street, New York City, NY

40 Mercer Street

The modern styling of 40 Mercer Street
Building Information
Developer André Balazs
Architect Jean Nouvel
Number of Units 48
Number of Floors 13
Year Built 2006
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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40 Mercer Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning M1-5A
Title of Land Condominium



40 Mercer Street was once the site of a department store and then a parking lot. This project was first designed as a hotel in 2000, but these plans were abandoned after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. André Balazs then changed his idea towards a residential structure. Zoning regulations were changed to accomodate residential structures in that area.[1]

Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, the well-known French starchitect, was brought in to design the new building. His concept incorporated lots of glass cladding. Its glass exterior and dark blue top makes it easy to distinguish from other buildings nearby. Although 40 Mercer Street stands only 13 stories high, it is very noticeable sitting on a 6 story pedestal base with a blocky multi-faceted tower set back from the street. The set back provides space for the rooftop garden and lounge.

There are very few apartments in this building which provides residents with a certain sense of distinction. The fenestration in this building is very unusual. Fenestration refers to the design and placement of windows in a building. The windows open down or slide across by the use of a motorized mechanical system. Each assembly unit weighs 1,100 pounds, which required an augmented structure to carry the additional load.[2]


40 Mercer Street is well situated in Down-Town Manhattan in an area called SoHo, the area being "SOuth of HOuston (Street)". Much of SoHo is included within the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission's designation of the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District. 40 Mercer Street may not exhibit cast iron architechtural elements, but the window styling works within that neighborhood. Belgian blocks are used as paving stones for many of the side streets of SoHo.

Goods and services of all kinds are just steps away. The area is teeming with good mid range and high end restaurants, espresso bars, shops, and markets. The New York Film Academy is within a quarter mile. Dance schools, high schools and public schools are within a short walk.


No expense seemed to have been spared on this full service luxury building. Suites boast dramatic 11 and 12 foot ceilings with floor to ceiling windows.

An acoustical engineer was consulted to help design insulated windows that would reduce street noises. These specially designed mechanized windows open sideways or down utilizing motors to open up to the air creating a terrace in the living room. The window panels that make up the curtain wall are made of triple glazed glass to help reduce the intensity of a warm day. The assemblies weigh in at about 1100 pounds per unit. Additional structural augmentation was added to the building to support the additional weight.[3]

The building sits atop an underground parking garage, a rarity in New York City. A pool and a garden rooftop lounge are built on the pedestal base of the building at the foot of the tower.

Layout and Features

Leaving the Belgian block cobbles behind, the discreet entrance off Mercer Street brings residents into the attended lobby. In addition to the garden and the pool, 40 Mercer Street has a 12 person jacuzzi and a world class fitness center for personal training.

Wood and stainless steel finish the kitchens and tall 9 foot solid wood doors adorn some of the apartments. Critics have hailed it as one of the district's finest examples of progressive architecture and modern engineering.[4]

Floor Plans

40 mercer Street offers 30 floor plans. Here are a few examples:


White glove elegance greets residents at their home at 40 Mercer Street. From the underground parking with direct access to the building to the concierge ready to help with your every need.

The Garden Lounge, screening room, and unusual window operation all contribute to the modern architecture design by Jean Nouvel. There are no balconies but with window systems that open up to the air, this may not seem necessary.


40 Mercer Street Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues No

40 Mercer Street is pet friendly and children in the building have easy and ready access to schools. With no balconies, however, a barbeque is not practical.


40 Mercer Street was not designed or constructed to follow any specific green or LEED certification guidelines.

Contributions to a greener awareness through during the construction would focus mainly on the window systems. Triple glazed and tinted glass was used to help diffuse some of the sun's impact on apartment heat and furniture fading. Residents may also contribute to a greener status by using transit for their day to day needs and using New York's recycling programs.


Although state of the art design and construction principles were applied to 40 Mercer Street, not all advertised promises have been fulfilled at the time of this writing.

The Residential Unit Owners within 40 Mercer Street have filed a lawsuit against the designers, construction companies, sales organizations, legal and accounting firms that owned and administered the building during the sales cycle. The Residential Unit Owners have alleged in the suit that not all work has been completed and that some items are sub-standard both with materials and workmanship.

Some of the deficiencies cited in the lawsuit are:

  • Roofing systems allows pooling of water
  • Leakage of water is causing vegetation growth beneath the paving stones
  • Defects and cracks of concrete balcony surfaces
  • Sporadic leakage through the south curtain wall of the building
  • Water infiltration along the slab and retaining wall of the parking garage
  • Defective glass panels that need replacing
  • Gaps in floor boards
  • HVAC system does not sufficiently heat or cool tower units
  • Street sidewalk is in poor condition creating tripping hazards for passerbys
  • Showers in the health club have no hot water
  • No electrical outlets in massage studio rendering massage equipment useless

The list is quite comprehensive. In all, the total damages being asked for by the Residential Unit Owners is more than $80 million.[5]


  1. City Realty Review
  2. Contractor Website
  3. Contractor Website
  4. Nest Cube
  5. Supreme Court of the State of New York

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