Is it too late for NYC’s “holdout” buildings?

January 23, 2013 03:30PM

Some of New York City’s “holdout” buildings — smaller properties wedged in between high-rise developments — may never succumb to developers, the New York Daily News reported. A total of 50 were recorded in 1984 and nearly 30 years later, 10 of them have been razed and redeveloped.

Indeed, with market and zoning rules becoming increasingly complex, there’s a greater chance of their survival nowadays. Andrew Alpern, who wrote the 1984 book “Holdouts!” that recorded the 50 buildings that fit this category, told the Daily News that “when a holdout remains a holdout it has likely lost its opportunity [to sell]. These newer buildings will eventually go up around them — and they can no longer command a price.”

An example of a holdout is located in the Garment District, specifically 58 West 36th Street — a five-story apartment property wedged in between a 25-story Hyatt Place hotel and an 18-story Holiday Inn Express. A representative for the owner said there’s no plan to sell.

But there’s a more prominent holdout property located on Broadway and 34th Street — the same block as Macy’s. “The owner wouldn’t sell despite repeated offers,” Esther Crain, who runs the blog Ephemeral New York, told the Daily News. “They hide the fact that it’s not actually owned by Macy’s by putting a big Macy’s sign over it!” [NYDN]Zachary Kussin