Moving in: Related buying U-Haul site in Chelsea with plans for 22-story building

Developer to bring 140 resi units to West 23rd Street
By Rich Bockmann | July 05, 2016 05:50PM

Another low-lying block in West Chelsea is about to go high-rise.

The Related Companies is in contract to buy a portion of the U-Haul site on West 23rd Street at the corner of 11th Avenue, where the developer plans to build a 22-story, 140-unit mixed-use building spanning 288,000 square feet.

Amerco, the Las Vegas-based parent company of the self-moving and storage firm, has owned a handful of properties that front 375 feet along the south side of 23rd Street since 1977, property records show.

U-Haul uses the three-story building at the corner, 170 11th Avenue, for self-storage and vehicle repair, while another building down the block at 536 West 23rd Street stores pickup trucks and large moving vans.

The deal includes the storage building at the corner, plus two other lots facing 23rd Street and another fronting the other side of the block on 22nd Street. U-Haul will hold onto its truck storage garage, but sell off 70,000 square feet of air rights above the property.

The price and terms of the deal were not exactly clear. Related, which revealed its intent to purchase the site in an application filed with the Department of City Planning last week, has long been rumored to be in contract for the site, according to a source who is not involved in the deal.

While prime development sites along the 11th Avenue corridor in West Chelsea can trade for $800 per buildable square foot and up, if Related negotiated the terms of the deal several years ago, the price could be significantly lower. Representatives for Related and Amerco were not immediately available for comment.

Related would need approval from the city to transfer a portion of the air rights from the U-Haul storage garage to the development site, which sits in a zoning district with a different floor-to-area ratio.

The development site sits across the street from Hudson River Park and on a block in between 200 11th Avenue and Scott Resnick’s 551 West 21st Street, where StreetEasy shows the building’s three penthouses to be under contract for more than a combined $143.75 million.