Permits Filed: 18 Magaw Place, Washington Heights

18 Magaw Place18 Magaw Place, vacant lot at center, via Google Maps

Washington Heights was densely built out during the pre-war period, and didn’t experience anywhere near the abandonment of the urbanistically similar South Bronx, so there aren’t many holes in the urban fabric for 21st century development.

But here and there you can still find small pieces of land available for new construction, as developer Levy Ryba did in Hudson Heights. There, at 18 Magaw Place, he intends to build a seven-story apartment building, per a new building permit application filed yesterday by architect Panos Vikatos.

The parcel of land that would hold the structure is a mere 19 feet wide, narrower than some townhouses, which explains why it was passed over by early 20th century developers, only to be deemed feasible for development in a hyper-constrained housing market like the one we live in today. Between the new law tenements on either side, the developer will add 13,500 square feet of housing, divided among 18 apartments (surely rentals, given the size and location) and lacking parking.

The lot was acquired last year for just under half a million dollars – a relatively small sum, likely owing to the difficulties in development.

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