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Demolition Imminent: 3 West 29th Street


3 West 29th Street

The green fencing of doom has risen around the base of 3 West 29th Street, which will be torn down to make way for a mixed-use development by HFZ Capital. The Real Deal reported on the building’s impending demolition last week, which will vanish along with adjacent structures at 11 West 29th Street and 8 West 30th Street.

While YIMBY supports new development, the existing 3 West 29th Street — aka The Bancroft Building, which was built in 1896 — is one of the best remaining examples of nineteenth century New York City in the neighborhood. The facade’s brickwork is remarkable, and the structure adds significantly to NoMAD’s character.

3 West 29th Street — the fencing of doom

Demolishing the interiors would be one thing, but the facade merits preservation. The adjacent structures will be no great loss, but The Bancroft Building is a definite gem, and — if anything — integrating its brickwork into the future skyscraper would boost potential pricing. Projects like the Hearst Tower and 111 West 57th Street prove that incorporating legacy buildings can be both aesthetically pleasing and cost-effective, and it often results in pricing premiums.

Plans for the future development are vague, though a massing diagram — via Curbed — outlines the site’s potential. With air rights totaling 350,000 square feet, the replacement will likely make a mark on the skyline.

Given NoMAD’s surging profile and cache, it is entirely possible that HFZ’s development will be aesthetically superior to The Bancroft Building; progress is not possible without sacrifice. The neighborhood is no stranger to change, and even The Empire State Building — located four blocks to the north — came at the cost of the old Waldorf Astoria.

3 West 29th Street

Regardless of sentiments for historic architecture, it does appear that 3 West 29th Street will be coming down. Permits confirm the green fencing of doom is here to stay, as demolition was approved on February 12th. While HFZ’s project will put the land to a higher and better use, it would still be nice the exterior of The Bancroft could remain. No completion date for the new building has been announced.

3 West 29th Street


Vision: Bancroft Building’s Replacement at 3 West 29th Street


NoMad Tower, image from FR-EE

NoMad’s transformation is occurring at a breakneck pace all the way to 30th Street, and HFZ Capital’s project surrounding Collegiate Church may soon become one of the neighborhood’s largest residential towers. The site spans the width of the block, encompassing the former Bancroft Building at 3 West 29th Street, as well as 11 West 29th Street and 8-16 West 30th Street.

Now, YIMBY has the first renderings of a concept proposal for the assemblage, from architecture firm FR-EE. The 400,000-square foot building would be mixed-use, and per the architect,

“The lower levels are allocated to a hotel with a selection of curated upscale restaurants and shops, while the upper levels are reserved for residential, one and two-story apartments.”

A mixed-use configuration would be sensible given the location, and the design optimizes the square footage for that purpose, extruding floor area outward as the tower rises. This maximizes the size of (likely) condominiums on upper floors, which is key to development in a market where height allows for significant price premiums. 45 East 22nd Street has a similar configuration, though that project is entirely condo.

FR-EE’s vision looks to stand approximately 55 stories tall (although it will not be used by HFZ), which would make it one of the largest towers in the neighborhood. Nearby, 15 East 30th Street will stand 830 feet tall, and across the street, another 50+ story tower is slated to rise at 281 Fifth Avenue.

Because the site sits just outside of the Madison Square North Historic District, an adventurous design decision by HFZ will not be subject to the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s veto.

Altogether, that could place three 50+ story towers on an intersection where none currently exist, highlighting the speed at which NoMad is evolving. And while 57th Street’s evolution may be more impressive in terms of sheer height, the street-level changes around NoMad over the past several years have been even more staggering — so it is no surprise to see the neighborhood’s skyline finally catching up to improvements on the ground.

NoMad Tower, image from FR-EE


Demolition chronicles of the Bancroft Building and 8-16 West 30th Street, both of which make up the site at 3-11 west 29th Street.

April 2014, before demolition

January 2015

March 2015

September 2015




Demo permits for the big structure at 8 W 30th were finally filed, and they’re preparing the site for scaffolding. Demo is forthwith, lads.


This is the back of the brown, 30th St monster, viewed from another huge development site that runs from 28th to 29th.





Safdie’s tower will rise behind this great old building.



This is the backside of the 30th St building that’s part of the site.

Soon, this tower will soar over these old buildings.


Dec 14, 2015


I can’t wait to see this 800’ tower soar over these classical structures!


Is tat the permanent design? If it is then I am hecka sad. If something is gonna block downtowns view of the esb i’t better be amazing


It’s pretty much the final design. I like it.

It will Tower over these old gems.


This photo taken on Jan 25, 2016 shows the sites of 281 5th and 3 W 29th St. It was taken from in front of the site of 15 E 30th St! Only in NY, lads!

3 W 29th will soar behind the old office building and church spure.

This photo was taken today from the block-through lot that’s just south of the site of 3 W 29th. One can see the demo that continues on the 30th Street building on this site.


Feb 11th


I can’t wait for this tower to loom over these old gems!


March 30th

This final structure on the 30th Street side should come down before the end of the year.


The sole remainng building is located behind this gem on Fifth. They’re making good progress now in taking it down.

April 20th


May 3rd


May 12th