A landmarked collection of buildings in the Meatpacking District is about to get a dramatic revamp. RKF and Tavros Capital Partners are marketing the 38,000-square-foot retail space on the prime corner of 14th Street, Ninth Avenue and Hudson Street, and they’ve sent along renderings of what the property could look like for a new commercial tenant.
Tavros snapped up the two 19th century row houses with stores at 44 9th Avenue and 351 West 14th Street for $105 million last year, and now they’re looking for a flagship retailer to replace the corner’s 11-year-old occupant, The Diner. The new owners want to re-clad the facades of both buildings, replacing white stucco with new brick.
However, the property is located in the Gansevoort Market Historic District, which was created in 2003 and encompasses 104 buildings between West 15th, Horatio, Washington and Hudson Streets. Landmarks would have to approve any changes to the facades, and the structures are some of the oldest in the once working class neighborhood.
Henry Josephus Sanford developed both buildings in the 1840s, according to Daytonian in Manhattan, and they look pretty much as they did 100 years ago.
The properties offer 150 feet of wrapround frontage on a heavily trafficked corner, close to Chelsea Market, the Google headquarters, Standard Hotel and the High Line. While RKF couldn’t disclose what kind of rents they’re asking for, ground floor retail rents down the block at 837 Washington Street are reportedly hitting close to $500 per square foot.
Those sky-high prices demonstrate how zoning and historic districts limit new development in the trendiest parts of Downtown and Midtown South. 837 Washington, designed by Morris Adjmi, is an example of a small but innovative commercial expansion. But in general, the lack of new construction in the area makes it prohibitively expensive for smaller tenants—whether retailers or office tenants like tech or creative firms—to stay and preserve the neighborhood’s vibrancy.