Architecture & Design

High Line Architect Designs Oasis on West 23rd Street

Rendering of rooftop at 50 West 23rd Street (credit: H5 Property).

Landscape architect James Corner of James Corner Field Operations, whose design turned an abandoned elevated train track on the Far West Side into a popular public park, is now hoping to provide a similar transformation—this time 11 stories above ground.

Two Trees Management Company hired the High Line‘s lead designer to create a new 10,600-square-foot rooftop garden and outdoor work space on the 11th floor of the 14-story building at 50 West 23rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. It will be a place for meetings, parties, presentations and eating lunch, said Jed Walentas, a principal at Two Trees, when it opens in the third quarter of the year. Read More

Under Construction

The New Whitney at 99 Gansevoort Street

The new Whitney building

The Whitney Museum of American Art’s move to a Meatpacking District site at 99 Gansevoort Street between the High Line and the Hudson River will be complete when the new stunner designed by Renzo Piano opens to the public on May 1. The building at Washington and Gansevoort Streets represents a return from the Upper East Side to the Midtown South area for the institution founded in Greenwich Village in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art will have programming at the Whitney’s former uptown home for at least eight years after the new museum opens). With 50,000 square feet of indoor gallery space and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition areas, the new Whitney will boast “the first comprehensive view of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art,” according to the museum’s website. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Deutsche Bank Finances Related High Line Acquisition

131 10th Avenue.

The Related Companies has closed on the acquisition of two sites along the High Line for the firm’s latest Hudson Yards development with a $125 million loan from Deutsche Bank, city records show.

Related acquired the properties at 511-525 West 18th Street, a low-rise garage west of the High Line, and 131 10th Avenue, a parking lot that occupies the full block between West 18th and 19th Streets, for $205 million. Read More


Developers Reveal Meatpacking District Renderings [Updated]

860 Washington Street

Another eye-popper is rising up next to the High Line in the Meatpacking District.

Jeffrey I. Sussman‘s Property Group Partners and Romanoff Equities raised the curtains on 860 Washington Street with the release of new renderings and a marketing website just in time for the beginning of the International Council of Shopping Centers‘ New York City National Deal Making Conference yesterday. The graphics by Williams New York display a 10-story, 113,848-square-foot structure with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that will open on the corner of Washington Street and West 13th Street in the third quarter of 2015, according to the website. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Blackstone Lends $85M On Tavros’ Meatpacking Buy

44 Ninth Avenue

A joint venture between Tavros Capital and Arel Capital bought three Meatpacking District properties—including one with the potential to become a global flagship store—with $85 million from Blackstone Mortgage Trust.

The three properties, on 14th Street, 15th Street and Ninth Avenue, cost a total of $105 million, confirmed Nicholas Silvers, a co-founder of New York-based Tavros, a developer and real estate investment manager. His firm also nabbed development rights along 15th Street, though it is not clear what, if anything, the firm will build with them.  Read More

Mortgage Observer

William Kaufman Organization Upgrades 2 Gansevoort With M&T Loan

2 Gansevoort Street.

The William Kaufman Organization closed a $50 million permanent mortgage to upgrade its landmarked office building at 320 West 13th Street, recently renamed 2 Gansevoort Street, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The five-year loan, provided by M&T Bank and arranged by Andrew Singer of The Singer & Bassuk Organization, will fund tenant and capital improvements at the Meatpacking District office property, according to the borrower. Read More


Experts Pen Book on Rise of Urbanism and Future Challenges

Urban Design for an Urban Century

Urban planning experts Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, David Dixon, FAIA and the late Oliver Gillham, AIA, trace the rise of planned cities from ancient locales like the Greek city of Miletus through the decay of the suburban period and all the way to today’s urban renaissance in an illuminating second edition of their book “Urban Design for an Urban Century” that the Wiley publishing company released earlier this year.

The update to the 2009 text–by Mr. Brown, the founder of an eponymous architecture firm and the current president of the American Institute of Architects‘ New York Chapter, Mr. Dixon, a senior principal at the Stantec company, and Mr. Gillham, an architect and planner who once wrote “The Limitless City: A Primer on the Urban Sprawl Debate”–marshals a series of figures and case studies to make a forceful argument about both the success of today’s burgeoning urban environments and the challenges posed by the current move back to the cities in a way they say should prove instructive to real estate professionals, policy-makers, architects, designers, students and the general public. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Terra Capital and Santander Lend on JDS Luxury Condo Project Near High Line

514 West 24th Street

A joint venture between JDS Development Group and Largo Investments received financing from New York-based mezzanine lender Terra Capital Partners and Santander Bank to fund the predevelopment of a luxury condominium at 514 West 24th Street, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

Terra Capital provided a $12 million preferred equity investment to coincide with an $18 million senior loan from Santander. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Bauhouse Group Obtains Construction Financing for Chelsea Development

Existing Warehouse Building at 515 West 29th Street.

The New York-based real estate development and investment firm The Bauhouse Group received a $35 million construction loan from Doral Bank to fund the development of a luxury condominium and retail building at 515 West 29th Street near Manhattan’s High Line, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

Mark Wolfson of Wolfson Capital arranged the 30-month construction loan, which carries an interest rate of 6 percent, as well as prior acquisition financing from Puerto Rico-based Doral. The construction loan closed last week. Read More

Sales Beat

Marcus & Millichap Arranges $5M Chelsea Sale

353 West 20th Street.

Marcus & Millichap has arranged the $5 million sale of a 3,884-square-foot townhouse at 353 West 20th Street in Chelsea, Commercial Observer has learned.

It’s not every day that a 23-foot-wide property hits today’s hot Chelsea market, brokers handling the sale said, noting that the seller “meticulously managed” the property for two decades before deciding to cash in on their investment. Read More

Developing Situations

High Line Developer Backs Down on Bid to Score More Square Feet for Studio Gang-Designed Tower

The new design will not be as large.

The developer of a commercial tower planned to rise along the western edge of the High Line at 13th Street and Tenth Avenue has dropped its bid to build a significantly larger structure than is allowed by zoning. The proposed tower, to be designed by Chicago-based architecture firm Studio Gang, had sought a variance to build 34 percent larger than is permitted by zoning at 40-56 Tenth Avenue. However, after a number of appearances before the Board of Standards and Appeals, it became clear that approval for the variance would not be forthcoming, according to Howard Goldman, the project’s land use attorney. However, developer William Gottlieb Real Estate is still seeking height and setback variances in its modified application. Read More

ICSC 2013

Without Peer: Greg Carney Talks SuperPier


In 1952, the February issue of Popular Mechanics boasted of a “SuperPier” at Pier57, an engineering marvel designed to be indestructible and built upon three giant concrete boxes instead of the wooden piles characteristic of surrounding piers. Six decades later, and after five grueling years of paperwork and approval processes, Young Woo & Associates intends to bring Read More


High Line Park “Welcomes” Winter-Ready Cockroach

Male (left) and female Periplaneta japonica were found on New York City's High Line (Photo: Lyle Buss, University of Florida).

A new breed of visitor is frequenting the High Line park.   

Last year an exterminator at the popular park found an unfamiliar critter in a trap and sent it off to an insect lab. Researchers from Rutgers and the University of Florida have determined that the roach was an Asian species of cockroach – Periplaneta japonica – never before seen in this country that, unlike other cockroaches, can survive outdoors in freezing temperatures.  Read More