The Port Authority Files Plans for Apartments at 431 West 33rd Street, Midtown West

431 West 33rd Street, image via Google Maps431 West 33rd Street, image via Google Maps

After the Port Authority tried and failed to find a developer to build over the Lincoln Tunnel approach on West 33rd Street, they’ve decided to develop part of the site themselves. The agency has filed plans to erect a nine-story residential building on a parking lot at 431 West 33rd Street, overlooking a depressed stretch of roadway that runs between 10th and 11th Avenues.

The 90-foot-tall building would hold just 24 apartments, divided across 40,017 square feet of residential space. Units would average 1,667 square feet, meaning that condos are almost certainly in the works.

A 5,400-square-foot retail space would fill the first floor, followed by two to three apartments on each story. A few units would get private terraces.

This project benefits from the 2005 Hudson Yards rezoning, which gave the 7,400-square-foot lot a FAR of 10. But for some reason, the Port Authority has decided to build up to only 45,000 square feet and leave about 30,000 square feet of development rights on the table. Officials might be holding out hope that they can sell the extra air rights to a developer willing to build on the challenging property across the street.

SLCE Architects applied for the permit.

Last year, the Dermot Company struck a deal to pay the agency $115 million for two lots on either side of the Lincoln Tunnel approach. Equipped with 540,000 square feet of development rights, they announced plans to build a high rise designed by FXFOWLE.

But the deal ultimately fell through, and the Port Authority put the problematic site back on the market. The request for proposals required that any new buildings extend at least 17 feet over the highway-like road, which involved cantilevering over Dyer Avenue or decking across it. Also, any future development had to include a landscaped through-block passageway between 33rd and 34th Streets.

Update: The Port Authority tells us they are not developing the site themselves, but are working with a private real estate developer. A Port Authority spokesman sent along the following statement: 

As part of its effort to monetize non-core assets and refocus the Agency on its core transportation mission, the Port Authority in 2015 publicly procured unused development rights at this location on the Dyer Avenue Corridor.  Subject to final Board approval, the Port Authority is working to finalize a project with a private real estate developer who will invest private capital to develop the site.  The Port Authority will not be developing the site itself and any revenues it received will help it further its core transportation mission and needs.

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