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The Related Companies and Taconic Investment Partners made a presentation last night to the preservation and zoning committee of Community Board 4 of its major development planned at 450 West 17th Street, known as The Caledonia.

The 24-story project, shown in the rendering at the right, will include 190 condominium apartments in its tower and 288 rental apartments in its 8-story-high wing. Gary Handel is the architect for the project.

The developers are seeking permission to increase the number of "accessory" parking spaces in the project.

Jerry Johnson, a lawyer represent the developers, told the committee that 59 of the rental units will be "permanent" affordable housing, noting that while many "affordable housing projects" in the city remain "affordable" only as long as its financing remains in place, provisions of the High Line zoning require that such units in projects in its district cannot be removed from "affordable housing" provisions regardless of the state of financing.

The committee spent considerable time venting its concern that its understanding of the number of "affordable" units had been based on the project's total number of units, including condominium units, not just the rental units. Mr. Johnson maintained that regulations only applied to the number of rental units, adding that the "affordable" units will not be segregated and will be randomly placed within the project's rental section. He said that the condo and rental sections of the building will share a common lobby with a bamboo grove, a waterfall, a library, a fireplace and a garden designed by Clodagh, but will have separate elevators.

The building extends from 16th to 17th Streets on Tenth Avenue and is providing $28 million to the High Line park for public access to the elevated park from its site.

The building will have a fitness center run by Equinox, which Related owns, and a three-level garage.

Prices for the 190 condominium apartments are expected to range from $595,000 for a studio to more than $4 million for a penthouse.

Construction is expected to be completed in March, 2008.

The building is just to the north of the west end of Chelsea Market on 16th Street. Its facade fronting on the High Line will be 11-stories high and angled away from it at the north and south ends.

The High Line elevated rail line was erected between 1929 and 1934 and closed in 1980 and is now beginning to be converted to a park somewhat similar to one in Paris.

The Related/Taconic project is on the former site of the Chelsea Garden Center and close to another large project planned by Edison Properties LLC and designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects that will include 869 condominium apartments in two towers at 501 West 17th Street.
Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.