In the first half of 2015, YIMBY reported on filings for a nine-story, mixed-use commercial building at 61 9th Avenue, on the corner of West 15th Street in Chelsea, and now Crain’s has the first rendering of the project. The entire structure will measure 153,754 square feet in total, and there will be 115,000 and 37,000 square feet of boutique office and retail space, respectively. Retail will be located on the cellar through the second floor. Rafael Viñoly is behind the design, and Vornado Realty Trust and Aurora Capital are developing. Demolition permits were filed in December to remove the existing lumber shop and billboard sign. Groundbreaking is expected in mid-2016, with completion scheduled for early 2018.
In the spring of 2015, Heritage Equity Partners was preparing to file for a special permit that would allow it to build a nine-story, 480,000 square-foot office building at 25 Kent Avenue, within northern Williamsburg’s manufacturing zone. Current zoning requires half the building to be community facility space, but the permit would eliminate such mandate so the entire structure can be used for office or light manufacturing space. According to Crain’s, the Department of City Planning certified the application, which means the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) has officially begun. The building would take up an entire city block and include a public plaza. The site’s old warehouses have already been demolished. In related news, Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners is purchasing an undisclosed stake in the project.
The Rabsky Group is purchasing the single-story, 92,221 square-foot warehouse at 101 Varick Avenue, in East Williamsburg, for $48 million, with prospects to redevelop the 141,863 square-foot property into commercial space. A new office building could measure 280,000 square feet, and would include multiple tenants and ground-floor retail space, according to The Real Deal. The existing warehouse is currently being leased as warehouse, storage, and office space. The deal is expected to close in February.
New office buildings are a rarity in SoHo, because a combination of landmarking and incredibly high property values normally push developers to build condos if they want a return on their investment. But one builder has bucked the trend and filed plans for a seven-story office building at 134 Wooster Street, between Houston and Prince Streets.
The New York City landmarks law was signed 50 years ago this year. So, what better time to talk about some of its successes? Plenty of great structures, such as the Empire State Building, completed in 1931 as a multi-tenant office building, are easy to keep relevant and functioning. Others, however, become obsolete and can no longer perform their originally intended purpose. That’s where adaptive reuse comes in. If you haven’t heard the term, it’s when an old structure is adapted for a new use. It’s often how we are saving our great city.