Former governor Eliot Spitzer is reuniting with his old pals at Related Companies to develop a 1.4 million-square-foot apartment-and-office project on a pair of adjacent sites in Midtown West, just a block up from Related’s huge Hudson Yards megaproject, The Real Deal reports.
While Spitzer and Related go way back—his gubernatorial administration worked with the firm on the Moynihan Station project a decade ago—their current partnership is more than a walk down memory lane. The hope is that by combining their two sites, they’ll be able to front-load the development’s residential portion. Their reasoning makes sense: Right now, there’s a glut of office space on the Far West Side, and competition for tenants is fierce.
That would be in violation of current zoning, though, which requires developers to prioritize commercial spaces. Accordingly, the partners have asked the city for permission to a) split the project into two phases, and b) to build 341,000 square feet of residential space in the first phase. As the zoning stands now, they’d only be allowed to build 100,000 square feet of residential space in phase one.
TRD breaks down their proposed plan:
Phase one would start with what the developers are calling the “Tenth Avenue Parcel between West 35th and West 36th Streets,” where they wish to build a 415,000-square foot, mixed-use building with 400 apartments set atop nearly 75,000 square feet of office and retail space.
Phase two, which would rise directly next door on the “Hudson Boulevard Parcel,” would see the construction of a roughly 950,000-square-foot office tower overlooking Hudson Boulevard Park.
When the area was rezoned in 2005, urban planners wanted to “encourage” big, mixed-use projects. The city, however, wanted to see more commercial development north of 34th Street, and so, TRD explains, they “included a stipulation that a developer could only build residential units once all of the floor-to-area ratio designated for commercial space on a site was exhausted.”
And while the city did build in a loophole—developers with lot areas of more than 69,000 square feet could construct their residential sections first—the Spitzer/Related project doesn’t qualify. Combined, the two sites have a lot area of 56,793 square feet.
Making the case for the exemption, Related argued that Hudson Yards already has “substantial” commercial development planned (see: all of those towers within Related’s HY parcel), and that they want “flexibility” to meet residential housing needs first, TRD says. Related picked up its site at 517 West 34th in 2013 for an undisclosed price. Spitzer paid a total of $123 million for his.
- Spitzer, Related team up to develop 1.4M sf Hudson Yards sites [The Real Deal]