Turtle Bay comes out from under its shell

March 08, 2013 08:30AM

Midtown East’s Turtle Bay neighborhood is undergoing a development renaissance, with several long-stalled projects recently taking off and a number of new projects in the pipeline, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Development in Turtle Bay – defined as the area between 42nd and 53rd streets from the East River to Lexington Avenue – froze up in the wake of the financial crisis, but now developers say a lack of new buildings has sparked high demand from buyers.

“The neighborhood does not have a lot of supply, especially in new construction,” Yehuda Mor, an executive at investment firm Fishman Holdings–a subsidiary of Tel Aviv–based telecom giant the Fishman Group told the Journal. The company plans to break ground this year on a 28-story, 54-unit condo at 301 East 50th Street.

A block away, at 303 East 51st Street, a development that was the site of a 2008 crane collapse lies incomplete. But HFZ Capital’s Zeil Feldman, who purchased the site in 2009, plans to enlarge the original foundation and create a bigger, 32-story, 112-unit condominium project. “The whole community is excited about getting rid of this eyesore,” Feldman told the Journal.

Last month however, Feldman was forced to temporarily halt work at the site, after a contractor hit a live gas line, as The Real Deal previously reported.

Another major new project in the area is 50 United Nations Plaza being built by the brothers Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf. The 87-unit, 44-story condo building is slated to be complete in 2014 and will be the country’s first residential building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster. [WSJ]  –Hiten Samtani