The Real Deal New York

JDS, PMG partnership mull adding 200 feet to Steinway-adjacent tower

Purchase of West 57th Street site likely allows developers to expand scope of planned project

March 28, 2013 05:30PM
By Katherine Clarke and Mel Gray

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A previous rendering of the tower

A partnership led by Michael Stern’s JDS Development and Property Markets Group is considering increasing the height of its planned hotel and condominium tower on West 57th Street to up to 900 feet, following the acquisition of the adjacent Steinway building, a principal at PMG told The Real Deal.

The partnership paid $46 million for a stake in the 247,000-square foot building at 109 West 57th Street belonging to Steinway Musical Instruments, the manufacturer of the classic pianos, in partnership with Atlantic Investors earlier this month. The purchase likely allows the developers to ramp up their plans for an adjacent site they bought last spring with Starwood Capital, Kevin Maloney of PMG told The Real Deal last month.

The JDS/PMG partnership paid $40 million for a stake in 107 West 57th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, and subsequently filed plans for a skinny, 679-foot, 51-story condominium property on the 43-foot-wide lot, to be designed by architecture firm Cetra Ruddy. It was slated to have just 29 condominium units. However, the addition of the Steinway site likely gives the developers the option to build a larger structure comparable to the likes of Extell Development’s 1,000-foot One57 down the block. The Steinway building has close to 45,000 square feet of air rights attached, according to PropertyShark.

Michael Stern of JDS declined to comment on the deal or the plans for the property. Plans for a larger project have not yet been filed with the Department of Buildings, records show.

While the specific details of the tower have not yet been decided, Maloney told The Real Deal earlier this month that it will likely have a hotel component with condominium units above. All apartments will have unobstructed Central Park views, he said.

Maloney noted that the developers will have to work around limitations linked to the Steinway building’s status as a registered New York landmark. The façade on the first four floors of the building is protected, and the property features a ground-floor, two-story rotunda with a 35-foot domed ceiling. A spokesperson for the Landmarks Preservation Commission was not immediately available for comment.

Steinway operates its flagship retail space from the building, a spokesperson for the piano manufacturer said in a statement, and will stay in the space rent free for 14 months after the deal for the building closes in the second quarter. A spokesperson for Steinway said the company would not comment on plans for the tower.

Maria Manuche of the Corcoran Group represented Steinway in the sale of the building. The JDS partnership was not represented by a broker in the deal.

In addition, the JDS/PMG partnership took control of the land beneath the building, which was subject to a land lease. It was marketed by Darcy Stacom of CBRE. The specifics of the land deal were not immediately clear.

Steinway had wanted to sell its interest in the site since before the financial crisis, Manuche said, but had been pulled from the market as the crisis took hold. Manuche said she was gearing up to launch a new marketing push for the building when the JDS/PMG partnership expressed interest.

Manuche declined to comment on the developers’ plans for the site but said they are currently in “think tank mode.”

Fifty-Seventh Street is has been one of the most active corridors for new residential development in the city, The Real Deal previously reported. In addition to Gary Barnett’s One 57 and another Extell condominium at 225 west 57th Street, new residential towers by the Durst Organization and the World Wide Group are going up at 625 West 57th Street and 250 West 57th Street, respectively.

Additional reporting provided by Cody Calamaio.

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