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West Chelsea site home to Jeff Koons studio could sprout 1,200 apartments

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The apartments would be spread out between a 62-story and a 32-story building

601 West 29th Street, one of the two sites primed for development.
By Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

Plans for a massive new residential development just south of Related’s Hudson Yards development are inching forward after developer Douglaston Development approached the Hudson River Park Trust [HRPT] to purchase 150,000 square feet of air rights, Politico reported [h/t The Real Deal].

Douglaston has owned this L-shaped lot, which is located on West 29th and West 30th Streets between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues for a little over two years now, and back in 2014 it was rumored that a large rental project would rise at this site.

Politico has now learned that Douglaston is planning a two-tower project. A 62-story building with 990 apartments will rise at 601 West 29th Street, and a smaller, 32-story building with 206 apartments will rise at 606 West 30th Street (if the transfer of air rights is approved of course). Overall, 20 percent of the units here will be offered as affordable housing. There are also plans for 15,000 square feet of retail at 601 West 29th Street, and the other site has a mixed-use component as well.

The HRPT’s last major transfer of air rights—at Pier 40—generated a lot of controversy and community pushback, but was ultimately approved by the City Council toward the end of last year. The local City Councilman representing the area concerning Douglaston’s project also happens to be Corey Johnson, and he told The Real Deal that he’d keep an open mind about this development. He’s happy about the affordability component, but wants to wait to see the detailed proposal before making a verdict.

Funds from the sale of air rights would go towards building two esplanades in the Hudson River Park. Douglaston’s properties south of Hudson Yards are currently home to a Jeff Koons studio, a Mobil gas station, a sanitation building, and a Port Authority office building, among others.

The transfer of rights for this project, which is being referred to as Block 675 East, will first come up for discussion at a May 17 meeting organized by the City Planning Commission.