When Midwood purchased the former 12th Street Gym in 2018, people were understandably fired up about the situation. Not only had the building at 204 S. 12th St. served as a fixture in the community for over three decades, but it also functioned as a canvas for a gorgeous Gloria Casarez mural by Michelle Angela Ortiz. We told you about this in great detail years ago, back when there were merely rumors about demolition for the bath house turned gym.
Fast forward a couple years to 2020, when the mural of the groundbreaking LGBTQ+ activist was painted over suddenly, after the developers initially stated that they planned to work with Mural Arts and the original artist to create a new mural nearby. This move drove a wedge between the developers and the artists, nixing their previous agreement. Since that time, all of the buildings at 204 S. 12th St. have been demolished to make room for a 32-story, mixed-use apartment tower. After seeing an update to the construction permit, we decided to make our way to the site and discovered a tower crane now hovering above the site.
Things are full speed ahead it seems, with the crane indicating that vertical construction is on the horizon. After a slight downsizing, 378 apartments will grace the upper floors of this tower, with parking for 96 cars and 130 bicycles to be included for this project designed by RSHP and BLTa. This tower will feature white and orange panels for the majority of the structure, with glass and paneling making up the majority of the ground level, which will include commercial spaces on both the first and second floors. The interiors and amenity spaces also show off the modern approach.
While we are sad to see such handsome and historic buildings go, these commercial spaces will continue to activate this nook of Washington Square West/Gayborhood/Market East that has seen a surge in large-scale development over the last several years. Large developments keep popping up, with some well underway close by while others wait to commence. And let’s hope that we see a new mural along this stretch in the future, as we would hate to see such a beacon of the neighborhood disappearing without a proper replacement.