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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


601 West 29th Street and 606 West 30th Street 601 West 29th Street and 606 West 30th Street
It’s easy to forget that Manhattan was once a natural place. You could casually assume that when Henry Hudson sailed passed the island on that September afternoon he too saw jutting piers and a grid-iron of streets crisscrossing a flat island. Of course, we know this is far from the truth, and when digging through bits of historic documents we remember how much the island has changed in a relatively short period of time. Case in point is “Block 675” at Eleventh Avenue between 29th and 30th street. Here, at the doorstep of Hudson Yards, Lalezarian Properties and Douglaston Development are planning to build separately a pair of mixed-use skyscrapers on land once far out in the Hudson River.
NYC Skyscraper Current maps showing Block 675 and transfer area via DEIS
To move forward with the development, the developers are requesting to transfer unused development rights from Chelsea Piers, via the Special Hudson River Park District and to rezone the site to permit residential uses. A draft environmental impact study, seemingly longer than the Talmud, was submitted to City Planning department in November. The documents determine all the possible impacts the transfer and rezoning will have on the surrounding area — looking at aspects ranging from traffic to sanitation to how the towers will affect the High Line’s plants. In one of the appendices, a fascinating compilation of historical maps illustrates how much project area has evolved over the last two centuries and that prior to man-made interventions, the site was roughly 800’ offshore in the Hudson River.
601 West 29th Street Viele Map of 1865. Project site shown in red to the left
In the Viele Map (above), which depicts Manhattan’s original shoreline and natural features overlaid with the 1811 street grid and the waterfront 1865, shows the site was near the mouth of a small stream that began near where Penn Station is now and ended by Tenth Avenue at Chelsea Park.
Colton 1836
As the city steadily expanded northward and cemented itself as the entrepot connecting the Great Lakes, the Caribbean, and Europe; maps from the mid-1800s show how the shoreline crept westward through landfilling. While the Chelsea-Far West Side waterfront remained industrial with lumber yards, smelting and refining facilities, and iron works; new residential districts such as the London Terrace rowhouses (demolished), began infilling once vacant blocks further inland.
Dripps 1852
A closer look at the project area shows that for much of the last century the immediate area has maintained its light-industrial uses geared towards vehicle repair and freight business. The recently-closed gas station at the project site has been operating as one since 1927 and the sanitation facility next door has been used for equipment storage/maintenance since the 1970s.
Bromley 1879
Now of course, the neighborhood is being turned on its head by Related/Oxford’s Hudson Yards project directly to the north/northeast. Additionally, the conversion of the former freight line, the High Line, and a Bloomberg rezoning brought a tidal wave of residential development to the area. Across Eleventh Avenue, Tamarkin has wrapped up construction on 550 West 29th Street where 3-bedrooms start from $4.6 million.
NYC Tower renderings 601 West 29th Street and 606 West 30th Street
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Douglaston Development, a pioneer in the area when they finished the Ohm rental tower in 2010, is behind the larger of the two towers at 601 West 29th Street (Project Site A). The tower is proposed to span the full blockfront Eleventh Avenue and will replace the gas station and the expansive Koons studio which will relocate to another property in Manhattan currently under construction. FXCollaborative (formerly FXFowle Architects) are designing the tower and schematics show an L-shaped, 62-floor building that would rise roughly 700 feet tall to its rooftop bulkhead. Planned inside are 990 apartments, 198 parking spaces and up to 15,000 square feet of retail.
606 West 30th Street 606 West 30th Street and 601 West 29th Street
Within the “L” of the Douglaston building would be Lalezarian’s project at 606 West 30th Street (Project Site B). The 37-floor building would be designed by Ismael Leyva Architects and have an estimated 219 apartments, 47 parking spaces and 22,458 square feet of commercial space inside.
Supposedly, the massing of the two towers is to be responsive to the High Line and serve as a transitional area between the supertalls of Hudson Yards and the loft buildings of West Chelsea. Retail is to be provided on the ground floor across from the High Line and there would be a terrace above matching the height of the elevated park. Both buildings will abide by the recently-instituted Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) where up to 30% of all units will be earmarked for low and/or moderate-income households. If the project is approved, construction is set to begin by year-end.
606-west-30th-Street Gas station at the corner of Eleventh Avenue and 30th Street being demolished
601 West 29th Street From the High Line (CityRealty)
601 West 29th Street-03 The two towers will fill the sky in the distance
New Developments Editor Ondel Hylton Ondel is a lifelong New Yorker and comprehensive assessor of the city's dynamic urban landscape.
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