Pity poor Warren Street, a six-block stretch in southern Tribeca that even residents concede has been at best nondescript for decades.
“It was lined with junk shops full of really cheap stuff,” said Sean Murphy Turner, an associate broker with Stribling & Associates who owned a co-op on 17 Warren Street from 1983 to 2001 and still lives and works in the neighborhood. “If I needed garbage bags, I could find them.”
But few places seem to stay rough-edged for long in the current boom. And Warren is no exception. Two condominium projects at Nos. 12 and 30 are attempting to make a fashionable address out of a once ho-hum street.
At 30 Warren, an industrial-style 12-story, 23-unit building being developed by Cape Advisors on the corner of Church Street, the walls will be made of concrete. The concrete will be less than an inch thick, but the developers and designers say the material won’t be fragile, as high-strength fibers will reinforce it. “It’s both very strong and protective, but like a veil, almost,” said François Leininger, a managing partner of Post-Office Architectes, an architect for the project with offices in Paris and New York.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Leininger worked for the prizewinning architect Jean Nouvel for more than a decade, including on New York apartment buildings.
The 30 Warren building will also take a much different approach with windows than can be found in the brick, brownstone and cast-iron structures nearby. Instead of sashes, most of 30 Warren’s windows will feature large single panes of glass, including a hefty 13-foot-long version midway up a wall in every living room.
Hinged and equipped with a motor, the windows will be able to swing open a few inches with the flick of a switch, according to current plans, said Craig Wood, a founder and managing partner of Cape. And because all apartments will face busy Church Street, windows will also be triple-glazed, to better muffle noise, he added.
Eight of the apartments will have private outdoor space. The 23 units, which will range from one-bedrooms with about 1,000 square feet to three-bedrooms with about 2,700 square feet, will feature stone finishes. Gray marble, echoing the hue of the facade, will line kitchens and baths.
“We wanted to do an interesting and compelling architectural building,” Mr. Wood said.
The Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group is handling sales for the doorman building, which is expected to charge about $2,400 a square foot for its units.
In contrast, the average price per square foot for condos, both new and old, in Tribeca last month was $1,890, according to CityRealty, the listings and search service. Brokers put the downtown new-condo average slightly higher.
Expected to open in summer 2017, the project reunites Mr. Leininger and Mr. Wood, who previously worked together on 100 11th Avenue, the Nouvel-designed condo in West Chelsea known for its eye-catching windows.
On the same block as 30 Warren, and diagonally across the street, is 12 Warren, a 12-story condo with 13 units being developed by DDG. For the facade of 12 Warren, the developer turned to a quarry upstate, in Delaware County, to create layer upon layer of bluestones, whose mismatched edges and unpolished surfaces recall a country stone wall.
The apartments range from two-bedrooms with 1,721 square feet to four-bedrooms with 3,758 square feet, according to Joseph A. McMillan Jr., DDG’s CEO and Chairman. Seven of 13 apartments have terraces or balconies.
As for the finishes, it can seem like 12 Warren shipped an entire quarry downstate. Of the staggering 2.4 million pounds of bluestone designated for the project, much of it winds up in the baths. On shower floors, bluestone is arrayed in herringbone patterns. Huge slabs also line shower walls, including pieces with curved and protruding edges that seemed destined to double as soap dishes.
“It’s a beautiful color,” said Mr. McMillan, who previously took advantage of the stone for the facade of 41 Bond.