Sedesco Paying for Elevators at West 57th Street Subway Station to Build Larger Development

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A new zoning law to incentivize property owners to help make subway stations accessible to New Yorkers with disabilities has started working its magic.

The 57th Street F subway station will have long-overdue elevator installations with assistance from real estate development firm Sedesco, which per the Zoning for Accessibility law enacted in October will grant the company the right to build 20 percent more space at its 41-47 West 57th Street residential development on Billionaires’ Row, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday.

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With work expected to begin in 2022, Sedesco will be fronting the money for the two elevators as well as reimburse the MTA for the cost of maintaining them. In exchange, the developer will get to add 53,029 square feet to the development.

The MTA did not disclose the cost for the elevators but said the Sedesco would put $9.8 million toward ongoing maintenance and future replacement.

“This agreement is proof that the MTA’s historic capital plan, along with partnering with private developers, will allow the authority to modernize the entire transit system as quickly and efficiently as possible,” MTA Acting Chair Janno Lieber said in a statement. 

The $54.8 billion capital plan Lieber referred to, the biggest in the history of the agency, will modernize subways, buses and railroad infrastructure under the MTA’s purview throughout the state, but across the five boroughs in particular. 

In 2019, the plan to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was to bring elevators to 70 stations so that riders would be no farther than two stations away from an accessible station. This would be a precursor to all 472 subway stations being compliant with the federal law, now over three decades old.

Only about 30 percent of the 493 subway and Staten Island Railway (SIR) stations in New York City are fully ADA-accessible.

Sedesco plans to build a 63-story building at 41-47 West 57th, expected to have 119 residential units throughout 443,100 square feet. A 158-room hotel and a 10,212-square-foot restaurant will be part of 205,100 square feet of commercial space at the development.

“It is a significant step toward enhancing the station while benefiting our development at 41-47 West 57th Street,” Derek Gilchrist, general counsel for Sedesco, said in a statement about the funding.

According to the MTA, the work will include a street-to-mezzanine elevator near the southwest corner of 56th Street and Avenue of the Americas, a mezzanine-to-platform elevator, a machine room servicing the two, communications equipment, Help Point intercoms, and a new automated fare collection access gate to accommodate the mezzanine-to-platform elevator.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.