It was at a gallery in the East Village in 1985 that the real estate developer Tony Goldman first saw the work of a young Japanese artist whose name would stay with him through the years.
The artist was Kenichi Hiratsuka, then a 26-year-old art school graduate three years into what has become a lifelong project of carving sidewalks and stone around the world. The piece Mr. Goldman saw and bought was a stone floor tile that Mr. Hiratsuka had salvaged from the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Harlem. Using a chisel, he had carved a continuous line that jutted across the stone in an intricate pattern that included the form of a seven-point star.
"This carving has always been with me in my office ever since," the developer said.
While Mr. Goldman was creating the design for his luxury development at 25 Bond St. in 2005, he remembered Mr. Hiratsuka's work. Despite the misgivings of his partners about the scope of his idea, Mr. Goldman decided that he wanted to replace 100 feet of city sidewalk in front of his limestone building with granite slabs that would be carved by Mr. Hiratsuka.
"I remember delivering the tile to his office" in 1985, Mr. Hiratsuka said. "Then, 22 years later, all of a sudden he called me and said he had a job for me."
The relationship quickly blossomed, and Mr. Goldman bought more of Mr. Hiratsuka's work, including a piece for the entryway of his home and a 5-foot carved stone, titled "Nike," for the lobby of 25 Bond St.
Earlier this month, after the proposal made its way through the city's art commission and passed muster with the community board, Mr. Hiratsuka began carving.
Through rain and blustery cold, he has arrived at the site at about 10 a.m. and works until 4:30 p.m. Balancing on his kneepads, he cuts the granite with a hammer and a bullet-shaped chisel. Each blow ignites a small orange spark and sends out puffs of dust. He is about 15% done and expects to finish his work in January.
"People are going to be walking into something," Mr. Hiratsuka said of the carving. "A kind of liquid image, like a river. A fossilized human being moment."
He described his life's work as the carving of a single, continuous line, which he has inscribed so far on various materials in 19 countries.
"The Earth is one huge rock," he said. "If I can carve a spiral, I can carve the entire thing. Up and down mountains, into the Indian Ocean. This is the thought experiment I leave on the sidewalk. Each carving continues into the next." When Mr. Hiratsuka first arrived in New York, the authorities were less open to his form of expression. He has made carvings on more than 20 pieces of concrete around the city over the years — including one well-traveled piece of sidewalk at Prince Street and Broadway — but he was once arrested after a superintendent complained.
"I saw the graffiti on the walls, so I thought I was free to do this kind of thing," Mr. Hiratsuka said with a shrug. "I didn't want to be part of an art salon, try to get to museums. I don't like that system."
The building at 25 Bond St., which is almost finished, is not the only building on the street to take inspiration from Greenwich Village's bohemian era. Ian Schrager's green glass building at 40 Bond St. includes a cast-aluminum fence that resembles the free-form design of graffiti art.
Mr. Goldman's eight-story building presents a less sharp contrast to the cobblestone neighborhood of mostly cast-iron buildings. In giving BKSK Architects guidance for the project, the developer said he told them that the building should have "the portage of the Brooklyn Bridge: the timeless, stone, handcrafted nature that sustains over time."
"I always feel that any building I do has to have a sense of place," he said. "It's about long-lasting presence, not momentary ego."
Seven of the building's nine units have been sold to the original partners in the project, Mr. Goldman said. His company, Goldman Properties, often works with private client lists before building projects. In a sense, the idea with 25 Bond St. was to build ultra-luxury "dream homes" for wealthy clients, he said.
Two remaining apartments, each at about 4,000 square feet, are on sale for $9 million.
But in an interview, Mr. Goldman appeared more interested in the artistry.
He has already created a coffee-table book called "Bonding" about the construction of the building and the transport of the limestone from quarries in Egypt and Jordan. To document Mr. Hiratsuka's work, he has hired a filmmaker, Stephen Kessler, to make a documentary and a photographer, Klaus Lucka von Zelberschwecht, to create two large photograph compositions. He is also documenting the carving with hourly photographs for a future time-lapse photo project.
"Our lives are continuous lines, too," Mr. Goldman said. "Sometimes they cross in different ways. … Ken's work stayed deep in my memory, and fate brought us together again."