A Neighborhood Full of History Where So Much is New
BY LAUREN PRICE | Go West | Not so many years ago, it might have been unimaginable for someone to suggest living in Hell’s Kitchen. Today, the gentrification of what was once a rough and tumble swath of tenements, factories, warehouses and parking structures into a white-hot neighborhood –– from Eighth Avenue west to the Hudson River, between 30th and 57th Streets –– is the talk of the town.
Driving forces behind the transformation include the evolution of Hudson River Park, the nation’s second largest waterside urban open space, the development of the High Line and Chelsea Piers and, most dramatically, the sale of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s storage yards to make way for the creation of the mixed-use Hudson Yards community on what is Manhattan’s largest undeveloped parcel of land.
Some Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood favorites, of course, have been around for decades. Officially christened as Restaurant Row in 1973, the block of 46th Street between Eight and Ninth Avenues offers diners the choice of some 35 eateries. Established in 2000, Theater Row, on and around 42nd Street mostly between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, is a beloved complex of renovated historic theaters, including the Acorn, the Beckett, the Clurman and the Lion. The weekend-long Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, since 2003, has turned the block of 39th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues into a value-hunter’s paradise. There, vendors hawk everything from greenmarket goods to vintage clothing, antique jewelry, collectibles, furniture, books and toys.
The Hudson Yards property, however, is an historic, even unprecedented game-changer.
“When there is an opportunity to develop a very large area of land, builders have the freedom to create projects that cannot be accomplished elsewhere in Manhattan,” said Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats. “As our city continuously evolves, Hell’s Kitchen has steadily grown into a booming neighborhood where everyone wants to live.”
Take the no-fee rentals at Gotham West –– a new building at 550 West 45th Street with LEED-certification, a green construction seal of approval –– as an example of how the neighborhood is changing at lightning speed. In-home amenities include floor-to-ceiling windows, wide-plank quarter sawn oak floors, washers and dryers, and kitchens outfitted with KitchenAid appliances and granite worktops. Some have walk-in closets and separate kitchen pantries.
This full-service building boasts complimentary weekday breakfasts, curated art works, a business center, a demo kitchen used by invited professional chefs, a billiards room, a fitness center, three outdoor spaces –– including the Sky Terrace with an outdoor movie screen –– a bike porter for last minute tune-ups, complimentary shuttles to Sixth Avenue for weekday morning and evening commutes and on-site parking. The block-long Gotham West Market features artisan vendors and excellent dining choices. Rents begin at $2,975 per month. (gothamwestnyc.com)
No-fee rentals are also on tap at the brand new LEED Gold-registered Abington House at 500 West 30th Street. Leasing studios to two-bedroom units with open plans, the building offers some units with private outdoor space. All homes feature large windows, oak floors, and washer/ dryers, with some also affording breathtaking views of the High Line, the Hudson River and the skyline. There are three communal terraces, one of them dedicated to barbequing, along with party rooms, indoor/outdoor screening rooms, lounge areas and the exclusive grooming, walking, training and play date services offered by Dog City. Rents start at $3,000 per month. (related.com)
The Ohm at 312 Eleventh Avenue at 30th Street was built with no-fee rental units ranging from about 560 to 1,020 square feet, 20 percent of them in the affordable housing category. They all showcase floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, open kitchens, washer/ dryers and safes. Communal amenities include a lounge, a sky deck, a fitness center, complimentary shuttles to and from Penn Station for weekday morning and evening commutes and on-site parking. Rents start at $2,695 per month. (ohmny.com)
For no-frill renters willing to pay a broker’s fee –– especially those who don’t mind living in a building without an elevator –– the Oxford Property Group has dozens of listings in Hell’s Kitchen from as low as $1,600 per month for a renovated studio with new Thermopane windows, high ceilings, hardwood floors, a walk-in closet and granite worktops in the kitchen. For $2,100 a month, this brokerage also offers a number of one-bedroom homes. (opgny.com)
For buyers who prefer mid-rise dwellings, 540West, on 49th Street, is made up of two seven-story interconnected buildings. With a unit mix that runs from studios to two-bedrooms, including duplexes and penthouses, square footage ranges from 501 to 1,625 square feet. As expected in a newer building, this one offers residences with floor-to-ceiling windows, white oak floors and washer/ dryers. Resident-only amenities include a fitness center, two roof decks, a lounge, a courtyard with reflecting pool, an open-air movie theater and a pet spa. This building is sold exclusively through Halstead Property Development Marketing and priced from $725,000. Owners can expect to move in by the end of the year. (540west.com)
A Rail Yard Awakens
In what was once an isolated area of rail yards, empty factories, warehouses, parking lots and even strip clubs, Related Companies’ 28-acre Hudson Yards, between 30th and 34th Streets west of 10th Avenue, will include 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space — including 100-plus stores (with negotiations reportedly underway with Neiman Marcus), 20 restaurants, a luxury hotel, park areas and a 750-desk public school. An extension of the number 7 subway line from Times Square to 34th Street and 11th Avenue is set to open in late 2014.
The LEED Gold-registered 10 Hudson Yards commercial tower, with a direct link to the High Line, has inked deals to lease commercial space to world-class names including Coach, L’Oreal and German software powerhouse SAP. An enormous Fairway Market will be developed under the High Line.
The first residential tower, LEED Gold-registered 15 Hudson Yards will open in 2017. Made up largely of condominiums, the building will have a 20 percent set-aside for affordable rentals.
Adjacent to that, the Culture Shed, the much talked-about multi-purpose venue offering seven levels of flexible performance and gallery space to host a dizzying range of art, design and special events, including New York City’s Fashion Week, is also slated to open in 2017.
LEED Gold-registered 30 Hudson Yards, a commercial tower with the city’s highest outdoor observation deck, will be ready by 2018. Time Warner has already acquired more than one million square feet of office space in this building for about 5,000 employees from corporate operations, including HBO, Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros.
Condominiums, a hotel and both retail and entertainment spaces at LEED Gold-registered 35 Hudson, with direct access to the High Line, Hudson River Park and Hudson Boulevard & Park (a planned ribbon of parkland that will wind it way between 10th and 11th Avenues) are also expected to open in 2018. (relatated.com/hudson-yards)
View from the Top
In 1925, when the George Fuller Construction Company wanted to develop a new residential building on Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, they had to convince cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post Hutton to give up her townhouse that stood on the site. She agreed, but only if Fuller created a 54-room penthouse for her on the top three floors. Interest in living at the pinnacle hasn’t flagged since. Penthouses with considerably fewer than 54 rooms remain a hot commodity, particularly when they offer the best views and outdoor living space. With new builds and conversions proliferating on the Far West Side, there are a number of available posh aeries facing the Hudson River, for both rental and purchase.
Penthouse seekers might check out the 959-square-foot two-bedroom with river views in the Atelier’s 35th floor at 635 West 42nd Street. The asking price is $1.9 million, and there’s a tax abatement through 2018. Communal amenities include a resident-only lounge with complimentary weekday breakfasts, a basketball court and gym, a swimming pool, two roof decks with grill areas, complimentary shuttles across 42nd Street for weekday morning and evening commutes and on-site parking. (halstead.com)
A sprawling triplex co-op on floors 13 through 15 is on the market at 347 West 39th Street, priced at $2.75 million and marketed through Douglas Elliman. The building has no flip tax. A loft-like, three-bedroom penthouse in a 2010 converted garment factory, it’s outfitted with high ceilings, huge windows, an open chef’s kitchen overlooking the dining/living spaces and a private corner terrace accessed from the 15th floor. Two other standout features are the pair of wood-burning fireplaces and the private wraparound planting terrace on the triplex’s second level. (elliman.com)
No-fee renters willing to pay sky-high prices to live sky-high will find the 2,200-square-foot, convertible four-bedroom penthouse (including two master suites) on the 61st floor of the LEED Gold One MiMA Tower, at 460 West 42nd Street, just the ticket. Building extras include an Equinox and indoor lap pool, full-size basketball and volleyball courts, three landscaped terraces with private dining pods and BBQ areas, party rooms/ catering kitchens, outdoor/ indoor screening rooms, an Internet café and business center, a game room, and on-site training, grooming, walking and scheduled play date services from Dog City. This home will set you back $19,000 a month. (related.com)