Change of Plans: 511 West 35th Street

511 West 35th Street511 West 35th Street, image by Bernheimer/ARO

Plans for 511 West 35th Street may or may not be changing now that Spitzer Enterprises has acquired the site, but YIMBY has new renderings of the most recent iteration that fully illustrate the site’s potential, which could be configured in several different ways.

The renderings come from former owner Alloy, and in their own words, they “completed design and entitlement work to express the development potential and zoning freedom that the site affords, and disposed of [511 West 35th Street] in 2014.”

Interestingly, the images were for a structure of approximately 450,000 square feet; yesterday, The Real Deal reported that Spitzer Enterprises intends to secure additional development rights that would boost the lot’s potential close to that number, which will be made possible by a $17.33 million contribution to the Hudson Yards District Improvement Fund.

511 West 35th Street, image by Bernheimer/ARO

511 West 35th Street, image by Bernheimer/ARO

Bernheimer Architects and the Architecture Resource Office produced the most recent design, which would have seen the site give rise to two towers, of 350 and 615 feet, linked on their lower levels by commercial space and a luxury hotel. The upper floors of the taller tower would have held condominiums.

While the Bernheimer and ARO scheme was innovative — positioning the site’s components in an attractive and interactive format — it is not the first plan; that honor goes to another vision conceived by ARO back in 2007. That iteration was less forward-thinking, though playful massing would have ensured something slightly more attractive than an otherwise boring glass box. Related bought the western half of the site last year, preventing Spitzer’s project from fronting Hudson Boulevard, and forcing the reconfiguration rendered in the most recent plans.

511 West 35th Street

511 West 35th Street, image by Bernheimer/ARO

Although 511 West 35th Street is a mid-block site, it is nearly adjacent to the future Hudson Boulevard, and while surroundings will be dominated by supertalls, it will still be quite visible from the pedestrian perspective, and merits a striking design. Now that the site’s owner can act on its obvious potential,  something sizable is guaranteed — and with recent vertical momentum in Manhattan, something exceeding the last version’s 615-foot pinnacle would seem likely.

Alloy’s most recent plans are unlikely to be used, but with Spitzer moving forward and acquiring the necessary air rights, 511 West 35th Street’s only remaining direction is up — though a larger company, likely Related, could integrate the parcel into a larger assemblage, resulting in something truly iconic.

In the meantime, permits are still lacking.

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