The Real Deal New York

12 years later, Artimus files plans for 160-unit mixed-income rental in Chelsea

A deal with the Bloomberg administration is finally chugging ahead

June 17, 2016 05:01PM
By E.B. Solomont

From left: The Robert Fulton Houses and Shola Olatoye

From left: The Robert Fulton Houses and Shola Olatoye

More than a decade after the Bloomberg administration greenlit a mixed-income apartment building in Chelsea, the long-stalled project is finally moving forward.

On behalf of developer Artimus Construction, the New York City Housing Authority filed building plans for a 160-unit building at 401 West 18th Street, an 18-story apartment building within the Robert Fulton public housing complex, as The Real Deal reported earlier today.

A spokesperson for NYCHA said the new building is 12 years in the making, dating back to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s commitment to providing affordable housing as part of the Hudson Yards and West Chelsea rezoning.

Artimus has been involved since 2006, the spokesperson said, when the builder won a request for proposals (RFP) to build 383 units of affordable housing at the Elliott-Chelsea Houses and Fulton Houses. Construction stalled on both projects during the financial crisis.

Led by Ken Haron, Eytan Benyamin and Barry Gurvitch, Artimus has built more than 3 million square feet of commercial and residential projects in New York, according to its website. Recent projects include the ground-up construction of One Morningside Park, a 69-unit condo at 240 Manhattan Avenue, as well as the redevelopment of the Corn Exchange building at 81 East 125th Street, a 32,000-square-foot retail and commercial building.

In 2012, Artimus completed the first of the two mixed-income buildings conceived by the Bloomberg-era RFP: a 168-unit mixed-income building at the Elliott-Chelsea Houses.

Two years ago, it kickstarted plans for the 160-unit building at the Fulton Houses, an 11-building complex with 945 apartments that sits on 6.27 acres between West 16th and 19th streets.

The new building will be located between Ninth and 10th avenues, and it will measure nearly 123,000 square feet including a 4,500-square-foot community facility, according to filings with the city’s Department of Buildings.

In addition, Artimus will install a basketball court and making playground and parking improvements.

In a statement, a NYCHA spokesperson told TRD, “The Fulton Houses project will provide affordable housing for New Yorkers at a time when affordable housing is increasingly difficult to come by… NYCHA residents [will be] given a rental preference for 25 percent of the units.”

The building will have 51 studios, 70 one-bedrooms and 38 two-bedroom apartments. There are several affordability “tiers” for residents, with 64 units set aside for those earning 165 percent of the area median income (AMI), 32 units for those earning 135 percent AMI, 31 units for those earning 80 percent AMI and 32 units for those earning 50 percent AMI.

The plans predate NYCHA’s push for “infill development,” a plan for the city to engage with private developers to build on land within public housing complexes. NYCHA CEO Shola Olatoye has said the “NextGen” plan could bring up to $600 million in revenue to the beleaguered agency.

While that’s not the case at the Robert Fulton Houses, a decade ago Taconic and the Related Companies building the Caledonia, a 24-story apartment building at 450 West 17th Street, across the street from the complex.

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