Midtown sees a rental boom
- Last Updated: 5:25 AM, May 17, 2012
- Posted: 10:37 PM, May 16, 2012
Brookfield Office Properties is known for developing office space. This makes the recent announcement that Brookfield is considering devoting a portion of an upcoming, four-tower project to residences something of a surprise. The huge site will span from 31st to 33rd streets and from Ninth to Dyer avenues.
“Everyone was thinking that it was going to be office space, and now they’re thinking about 900 units of residential,” says Jeff Katz, CEO of Sherwood Equities, which develops both commercial and residential properties.
Katz points to the Brookfield announcement as a bellwether, while implying that, to anyone who has followed the trajectory of the surrounding neighborhood — specifically, the blocks on the far west side sandwiched between Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen — it’s really no surprise at all. This area has historically been a no-man’s land quilted with parking lots and laden with exhaust fumes, but within the past five or so years, it’s become known more for rental apartments than rental cars.
“[Our land is] across from what will be Moynihan Station,” says Phil Wharton, senior vice president of development at Brookfield. “So, one of the rationales for residential development is that you’re across from the biggest transport hub in the US, for convenience to the subway, Amtrak, NJ Transit, all of that. There’s also the proximity to Chelsea. It’s a block north of the High Line.”
Add to those the upcoming 7-train extension, as well as access to the Hudson River Greenway and eventually Related Companies’ redevelopment of Hudson Yards.
The sheer number of residential — mostly rental — units that have come or are coming to the area from so many of the city’s biggest developers in recent years is staggering. We’re talking in the thousands: TF Cornerstone constructed 394 rental units at 455W37 and 835 units in 505W37’s two towers; Emerald Green, two towers developed by Glenwood on 38th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues, has 569 rentals; the first tower at Related’s MiMa on 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th avenues had 500 rental units; and the 98-unit Mantena on 37th Street between Ninth and 10th avenues just started leasing.
Add to those in existence the thousands of apartments yet to come.
At 509 W. 38th St., Iliad Development is working on 200 rental units. The Gotham Organization is building 1,238 rentals (both market-rate and affordable) in four buildings on nearly a full city block from 44th to 45th streets and 10th to 11th avenues. Glenwood’s latest building is Crystal Green, which will have 200 rental units on 39th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues, to begin leasing later this year. Sherwood owns two swaths of land — including one at 10th Avenue and 35th Street, where 200 residential units are planned.