RXR Realty is planning to convert the ground floor of the Starrett-Lehigh Building – a 20-story, 2.3-million square-foot office building at 601 West 26th Street, in West Chelsea – into 50,000 square feet of retail space. The building, built in 1931 and designed by Cory & Cory, is an individual landmark and sits within the West Chelsea Historic District, which means the Landmarks Preservation Commission must approve the plans. According to Crain’s, new retail will span the full length of Eleventh Avenue between West 26th and 27th Streets. Verizon previously occupied the ground and second floors of the property along Eleventh Avenue but agreed to relocate within the building. An architecture firm has not been selected, although construction is tentatively expected to begin next year.
Last summer, News Corp. and 21st Century Fox signed a letter of intent to lease 1.3 million square feet in the Bjarke Ingels Group-designed 2 World Trade Center (a.k.a. 200 Greenwich Street), in the Financial District. It was never a contract that bounded the media companies to the space, and last week they decided not to make the move, Bloomberg Business reported. The two businesses will extend their leases through 2025 at their current headquarters at 1211 Sixth Avenue and 1185 Sixth Avenue, in Midtown. The fate of both Bjarke Ingels’ latest design and Norman Foster’s original design are unknown. The foundation for Foster’s tower, a 2.8-million square-foot, 80-story office building, has already been already built.
Sabey Data Center Properties is in the middle of renovating the former Verizon Building, a 32-story, 1.1-million square-foot building at 375 Pearl Street, in Lower Manhattan’s Civic Center. The building was designed by Rose, Beaton & Rose and completed in 1976. Up to 15 floors, or 500,000 square feet, are being converted into office space, dubbed Intergate.Manhattan, and the remaining area will be exclusively data center space. Three sides of the building on the new office levels will receive a glass façade. According to The Real Deal, the city’s Department of Finance is planning to lease 175,000 square feet of space located on the 26th through 30th floors. Other smaller leases have been signed over the past two years, and the renovation is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
In the first half of 2015, YIMBY reported on filings for a nine-story, mixed-use commercial building at 61 9th Avenue, on the corner of West 15th Street in Chelsea, and now Crain’s has the first rendering of the project. The entire structure will measure 153,754 square feet in total, and there will be 115,000 and 37,000 square feet of boutique office and retail space, respectively. Retail will be located on the cellar through the second floor. Rafael Viñoly is behind the design, and Vornado Realty Trust and Aurora Capital are developing. Demolition permits were filed in December to remove the existing lumber shop and billboard sign. Groundbreaking is expected in mid-2016, with completion scheduled for early 2018.
In the spring of 2015, Heritage Equity Partners was preparing to file for a special permit that would allow it to build a nine-story, 480,000 square-foot office building at 25 Kent Avenue, within northern Williamsburg’s manufacturing zone. Current zoning requires half the building to be community facility space, but the permit would eliminate such mandate so the entire structure can be used for office or light manufacturing space. According to Crain’s, the Department of City Planning certified the application, which means the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) has officially begun. The building would take up an entire city block and include a public plaza. The site’s old warehouses have already been demolished. In related news, Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners is purchasing an undisclosed stake in the project.