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U.S. Taxpayers Foot $1.5 Million Bill to Build Luxury Condo Made of Wood

By Gwynne Hogan | September 23, 2015 5:49pm
 A wooden 10-story condo is coming to Chelsea.
Wooden High Rise Chelsea
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CHELSEA — They're going against the grain.

18th Street could see a 10-story building made of mostly of wood, if the Department of Buildings approves construction plans.

The development, slated to stand at 475 W. 18th St. won a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Softwood Lumber Board for research into how to work with engineered wood for construction, according to a department announcement.

The 120-foot building would have massive timber structural columns, beams, walls and floors, and would be the tallest wooden-structured building in the city, according to its architects, though it they would not say what the second tallest wooden structure in the city was.

Technology behind wooden high-rise architecture is more advanced in Europe and Canada, and being spearheaded by Vancouver architect Michael Green, who advocates that wooden high rises are more cost efficient and better for the environment.

The 18th Street building was designed by the SHoP, the architects who worked on the Barclays Center.

Located across the street from the High Line, the building will have commercial space on the ground floor and will have 15 two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, according to the architects.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the project.