The High End: Lenny Kravitz, Interior Designer

The High End: Lenny Kravitz, Interior Designer

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A rendering of a seven-story, 38-unit building at 75 Kenmare Street in NoLIta. The condos will combine a sense of the area’s scruffy art-fueled past with the lavish finishes of luxury Manhattan apartments.

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When Dan Hollander began planning a condominium to replace a parking garage at the northeast corner of Mulberry and Kenmare Streets in NoLIta in 2015, he wanted a designer who intimately knew the area and exuded an aura of downtown cool.

He didn’t have to look far. Just blocks away, on Crosby Street, was Kravitz Design, an interior and product design firm helmed by the Grammy Award-winning rocker Lenny Kravitz.

“They’re kind of choosy about what they take on, but they loved the site,” said Mr. Hollander, the managing principal of DHA Capital, which is developing 75 Kenmare with AMS Acquisitions and First Atlantic Real Estate, pointing out that it sits directly beside DeSalvio Playground. “They got the project right away. We shared a vision.”

Lenny Kravitz, whose interior and product design firm, Kravitz Design, was selected to work on the seven-story, 38-unit building at 75 Kenmare Street in NoLIta. “I wanted it to be moody, sexy, warm,” he said of the condos.

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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret

That vision, according to Mr. Kravitz, was to somehow blend a sense of the area’s scruffy art-fueled past with the lavish finishes that have become de rigueur for luxury Manhattan apartments.

“It’s really about trying to capture some of that original downtown feel that I experienced in the ’80s,” Mr. Kravitz said. “I remember when it was all my friends squatting in lofts that now cost $10 million. People were just painting and sculpting.”

Of course, buyers who spend millions of dollars on an apartment typically desire a level of polish absent from abandoned lofts. So, Mr. Kravitz’s strategy was to juxtapose rough and refined surfaces, and install materials in creative ways.

In the lobby, for instance, a shimmering wall of mirror and iridescent mosaic tile will play off an exposed concrete ceiling, while the floor will consist of four different types of natural stone set in a geometric pattern.

Prices start at $1.695 million for a one-bedroom and run up to $15.5 million for a four-bedroom penthouse.

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Redundant Pixel

In individual units, kitchens will have a mix of matte white lacquer and elm millwork, and white marble islands will be paired with wood breakfast bars. Master bathrooms will be bisected by dark titanium travertine walls and flooring on one side, and creamy French-vanilla marble on the other.

“We definitely wanted to mix several different things together to get a more sensual feel,” Mr. Kravitz said. “Things you can touch and feel. I wanted it to be moody, sexy, warm.”

Since founding Kravitz Design in 2003, Mr. Kravitz’s many projects have included wallpaper for Flavor Paper, furniture for CB2 and Kartell, door levers for Rocky Mountain Hardware, a chandelier for Swarovski, a watch for Rolex, public spaces for Miami’s Paramount Bay condo building and penthouse hotel suites for SLS South Beach. This is his first multiunit residential project in New York.

On the outside, the seven-story, 38-unit building, designed by Andre Kikoski Architect, will be clad in sandblasted precast concrete panels with deep vertical grooves. Mr. Kikoski said the treatment was inspired by the area’s traditional masonry construction as well as newer neighbors, such as Tadao Ando’s concrete and glass condo building at 152 Elizabeth Street.

Kitchens will have a mix of matte white lacquer and elm millwork, and white marble islands will be paired with wood breakfast bars.

Credit
Redundant Pixel

“We asked ourselves: What can we do to create a facade that relates to the history and fabric of NoLIta, but at the same time might set the tone for what will follow,” said Mr. Kikoski, who traveled to Montreal last month to personally oversee the sandblasting of samples for a suitably eroded appearance.

The rear of the L-shaped building will include an outdoor courtyard designed by Future Green Studio. Below grade, four levels of automated mechanical parking will offer space for about 165 vehicles, open to the public. Construction is underway, and Mr. Hollander expects the project to be completed in the second half of 2018.

Prices start at $1.695 million for a 601-square-foot one-bedroom and run up to $15.5 million for a 3,017-square-foot four-bedroom penthouse. To keep prices at least somewhat tethered to reality, “A lot of the units are smaller than what developers have been building,” Mr. Hollander said. “Our average unit size is only 1,100 square feet.”

For that reason, they should move quickly, said Fredrik Eklund, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate who is overseeing sales with John Gomes.

“Brokers in New York, friends of mine who want to buy for themselves, have been hounding us to get in,” Mr. Eklund said, shortly before beginning sales recently. “That’s a good sign.”

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