Rare Development Site Hits West Chelsea for $19 M.
Al Barbarino March 27, 2013, 7:45 a.m.
A development site that grazes the High Line at 239 Tenth Avenue in West Chelsea is on the market for $19 million, standing like a mirage in a part of town where such opportunities are sparse, if not non-existent.
The great success of the High Line has created an influx of galleries and residential development to keep pace, but the problem today is a lack of space, brokers marketing the site said.
“It’s one of the last sites in West Chelsea that’s available,” said James Nelson, a partner at Massey Knakal who is exclusively handling the sale with Brock Emmetsberger. “There’s virtually no condo product left in the area.”
The corner location is best suited as a mixed-use development and despite the gas station on site can be delivered vacant for future development, he added, noting that the 27,500 buildable square feet can be increased to 41,000 square feet with the purchase of bonus air rights.
Restaurants and an influx of galleries – from art to fashion to furniture – have moved aggressively into the neighborhood, with Mr. Neslon estimating that the number of such galleries has doubled from 200 to 400 over the past five or six years.
“We’re clearly in a different market today,” Mr. Nelson said.
Meanwhile, residential developments have followed suit and were quickly absorbed, creating a lack development opportunities in an area that could desperately use the competition. There are currently just three new ground-up condominiums on the market in the neighborhood, with average asking prices over $5 million per unit, according to StreetEasy.
New developments in the neighborhood include Cary Tamarkin’s 456 West 19th Street; Annabelle Selldorf’s 200 11th Avenue; and Jean Nouvel’s 100 11th Avenue, where prices averaged $4.8 million and some penthouses selling for $22 million, according to Massey Knakal.
The High Line originated from the Meatpacking District and the Whitney Museum and will soon stretch to Hudson Yards and its proposed 24 million square feet of office space and 13,500 new apartments.
So, what about that on-site gas station?
“I’d be very surprised if someone continues to operate it,” Mr. Nelson said. “But we’ve gotten some calls from neighborhood residents who are concerned that all the neighborhood gas stations are disappearing.”