Durst wants auto dealers to kick the tires at pyramid building

Developer requests zoning change to allow full-service dealership at Bjarke Ingles project
By Rich Bockmann | October 15, 2015 08:30AM

The Bjarke Ingels-designed pyramid building on the Far West Side is surely a draw to renters looking to lease an apartment, and soon it may draw those in the market to lease a new car.

Developer the Durst Organization is the latest landlord to court a dealership as a retail tenant in its Automobile Row-area apartment building at 625 West 57th Street. The company is looking to lease 35,000 square feet on the western side of the building – officially dubbed Via 57 West – Along Twelfth Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets.

The decision mirrors similar moves made by developers such as Two Trees Management, which put a well-known German brand at the base of its Mercedes House at 54th Street and Eleventh Avenue, and TF Cornerstone, whose site at 660 Twelfth Avenue will be home to a 300,000-square-foot Toyota dealership.

The Moinian Group is also having auto salesman kick the tires at its 60-story Sky rental building at 605 West 42nd Street, where the landlord has 70,000 square feet of retail space available.

Landing a full-service dealership for Durst, however, isn’t as easy as the real estate equivalent of “sign And Drive.” While an auto sales floor is allowed at the tetrahedron-shaped building as-of-right, the developer needs the city to approve a zoning amendment that will allow a tenant to include a service and repair shop to go along with it.

The Department of City Planning is currently reviewing Durst’s application. The landlord recently signed the Livanos Restaurant Group to 7,000 square feet at the base of the starchitect-designed building, which will offer 709 rentals when complete next year.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the total retail square footage available at 605 West 42nd Street.