An Early Look at Karl Fischer’s Design for Building Replacing Third Street Row House

The eight-story, 33-unit building replacing an antebellum row house at 316 East Third Street has been revealed.

The building, designed by the oft-criticized Karl Fischer, features large windows and a linear aesthetic similar to the architect’s design for 427 East 12th Street.

According to the website of the developer, Brody/Amirian, all apartments in the building will be for rent.

“We plan to develop this underutilized asset into its highest use: a rental building. The acquisition price was below market, and with rising rents in the area, it was a great opportunity,” the developer notes.

Eric Brody, the principal of Brody-Amirian, said that a New Building permit was expected in the next six weeks. Mr. Brody recently told Real Estate Weekly, “We are developing a building that speaks to the community, with rents and finishes commensurate with the downtown demographic and that will work for students, artists and local residents.” He added, “We are bringing new life to an underutilized asset and adding value to the area.”

The demolition of the previous three-story row house that occupied 316 East Third for 177 years was reminiscent of the controversy over 35 Cooper Square. In both cases, preservationists fought to save pre-Civil War, Federal-style buildings that they said linked the neighborhood to its working class past.

In both cases, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission declined preserving the structures, saying that too many renovations after the buildings’ exterior had diluted the historic value.

“The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s refusal to recognize the importance of these very few, rare, early-19th century houses in the east village is utterly perplexing and deeply distressing,” said Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, referring to a handful of buildings that have been demolished or are slated for demolition.

The old building on East Third Street between Avenues C and D once housed merchants who worked on the waterfront. “It’s a rare link back to that otherwise virtually nonexistent history, when the East Village was at the center of New York’s working waterfront,” Mr. Berman said. “It will be replaced by something so generic and so mass-produced.”