A bevy of industry movers and shakers gathered Thursday night to get the low down on West Side development from two experts on the subject: Related Companies’ Michael Samuelian, who is helping oversee the company’s Hudson Yards project, and Cary Tamarkin, an architect and developer with a project underway near the High Line.
Guests at the panel and cocktail party, hosted by The Real Deal publisher Amir Korangy, included Bob Knakal of Massey Knakal Realty Services, real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey, Murray Hill Properties’ David Sturner, MNS’ Andrew Barrocas and David Behin, Bond New York co-founder Bruno Ricciotti, attorney Ed Mermelstein, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Jeff Roseman, Eastern Consolidated’s Alan Miller, the Corcoran Group’s Charlie Attias and Richard Nassimi, and Joe Moinian of the Moinian Group.
Both Samuelian and Tamarkin highlighted the increasing public and private investment in infrastructure along the West Side, such as new public open space and the in-progress extension of the No. 7 subway line, as a boon to their work.
Currently 90 percent complete and due to open one year from now, the line will deliver residents, shoppers and office workers between 33rd and 34th streets between 10th and 11th avenues, the city’s closest subway stop to the High Line and a spot right on Hudson Yards’ doorstep. And the ever-growing Chelsea gallery district, which Samuelian described as the world’s largest, will drive culture and generate value in the neighborhood.
“Leveraging that enables much better returns,” he told the assembled crowd.
Tamarkin gave the crowd an overview of his evolution from architect to architect/developer, a pair of hats that he said “satisfies the artistic part of my brain and the business part.” He also spoke of his personal design philosophy and 456 West 19th Street, “our first project on the High Line before there was a High Line.” Tamarkin’s boutique mixed-use development at 508 West 24th Street, which features 15 units adjacent to the High Line, had a second penthouse hit the market earlier this month with a $12.5 million ask.
True to his Minimalist style, however, the stylish duplexes at West 19th Street with 20-foot ceilings displayed minimal flash and sparkle.
“They’re meticulously done, but they’re not for people that need to grab their identity from their building,” he said of his residential buildings, including 456 West 19th Street. “They’re just confident and very rich.”
Both Samuelian and Tamarkin described a desire to be true to the larger feel of New York City with their developments and designs.
“I’m very proud of the fact that we have a variety of different New York City-based architects working on the project,” Samuelian said of Hudson Yards. “Without that, you run the risk of the Dubai syndrome. I hope that ultimately people don’t perceive Hudson Yards in a generation, that we can erase the fact that Hudson Yards is a development.”
Tamarkin also pointed to examples of his buildings that blended in with the neighborhood, speaking at length about his 47 East 91st Street in Carnegie Hill — a project that spurred years of wrangling with the community and the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
“The stupidest thing is, now it looks right at home,” he said.
“I don’t even know how developers even develop outside of their neighborhoods or outside of their state,” Tamarkin said. “We spend so much time over at the site making sure joints are lined up, I don’t know how to do it any other way. You have to really know the market.”