Karl Fischer, Unattractive? It’s All Subjective, Says Third Ave. Developer

74-84 Third AvenueKarl Fischer The building bound for 74-84 Third Avenue.
IMG_0018Stephen Rex Brown The site at Third Avenue and East 12th Street.

Karl Fischer may be many armchair architecture critics’ favorite target, but in the eyes of the developer behind the nine-story building bound for Third Avenue, he’s a consummate professional.

“I think he’s a tremendous value-add to our developments,” said Eli Weiss, a partner in YYY Third Avenue, the company behind the new building. “From a developer’s point of view, an architect offers so much more than the façade: making sure that the building is efficient, structurally sound, that it’s livable. The façade is one very small aspect of what an architect does, and in some ways the most subjective.”

The building, which will go up where Nevada Smiths once stood, will have rental units of studios, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments. It will feature a common outdoor space, fitness room, and other “standard amenities associated with a luxury rental,” Mr. Weiss, 34, said. He speculated that the small space on the ground floor zoned for “community use” will likely be leased to a doctor’s office or a university in the area like N.Y.U. The rest will be commercial retail.

The Department of Buildings approved the building earlier this month, and it should be complete by early 2014.

Mr. Weiss was familiar with criticisms of Mr. Fischer, but echoed the praise of the developer of 427 East 12th Street. “In terms of making sure the construction process is efficient and safe and all approvals are in order, that he’s very efficient at,” said Mr. Weiss. “You’re almost never going to find a building you’ll have complete consensus on.”

He added that the new property will be his first in the neighborhood. “We’re going to try and do it right and hopefully add a positive building and positive retail to neighborhood,” he said.