The 10 biggest new real estate projects of 2016

Hudson Yards projects took the two top spots

TRD New York /
Jan.January 03, 2017 07:00 AM

Clockwise from left: 50 Hudson Yards (credit: The Monument), the Spiral, Rob Speyer, Stephen Ross, Joe Sitt and 280 Richards Street

Wherever you go in Hudson Yards, it seems as if the cacophony of construction follows you. It’s no surprise then that the area is home to the year’s biggest upcoming development projects.

The Real Deal compiled a list of the largest buildings planned for New York City, ranking projects filed with the Department of Buildings in 2016. Two massive Hudson Yards towers topped the list. The biggest is 50 Hudson Yards, a 2.9 million-square-foot office tower designed by Norman Foster. The project is the second-tallest tower that Related Companies is planning for the under-construction neighborhood at 62 stories — the tallest being 30 Hudson Yards, which is expected to rise 90 stories.

The second is the Bjarke Ingels-designed “the Spiral,” a 65-story office tower being developed by Tishman Speyer at 66 Hudson Boulevard. In some ways 2016 could be described as the tale of two towers, since these projects were both the biggest proposed and perhaps the fiercest rivals. Financial giant BlackRock negotiated with both Related and Tishman for space in their respective towers, seeking new digs for its Manhattan headquarters.

Beyond these two behemoths, Queens dominated the remainder of the ranking with four projects — the largest being two office towers planned for Long Island City that span nearly 1.1 million square feet.

Here are the top 10 biggest project proposed this year, ranked by square footage:

1. 50 Hudson Yards, Manhattan
This year, the 2.9-million-square-foot tower at 415 Tenth Avenue, known as 50 Hudson Yards, scored an anchor tenant. Earlier this year, asset manager BlackRock was reportedly toggling between 50 Hudson Yards and Tishman Speyer’s “the Spiral” for its new Manhattan headquarters. The financial giant ultimately decided on Related’s property, where it’s expected to take 850,000 square feet across 15 floors. The tower is expected to open in 2022.

2. 509 West 34th Street, Manhattan
Tishman purchased the parcels that make up 509 West 34th Street — also known as 66 Hudson Boulevard — in 2014 for $438 million. The tower is expected to rise 1,005 feet and span 2.2 million square feet (though some marketing materials put the building at 2.85 million square feet). The building is expected to open in late 2019 and cost roughly $3.2 billion.

3. 566 and 586 Gulf Avenue, Staten Island
Texas-based Staten Island Marine Development filed permit applications for two enormous warehouses in Staten Island. Of the developer’s 676-acre site, about 330 acres will be developed into a vast industrial, logistics and warehouse complex surrounding a marine terminal. The developer filed applications to build two buildings, at 450,000 square feet and 970,000 square feet respectively, at 566 and 586 Gulf Avenue. Margulies Hoelzli Architecture is the architect of record.

Renderings, from left, of 28-10 Jackson Avenue and 28-07 Jackson Avenue (via Yimby)

4. 28-07 Jackson Avenue, Queens
Tishman’s certainly kept busy this year. The company filed plans for two office buildings in Long Island City that will together span 1.1 million square feet. The buildings, called One and Three Gotham Center, are expected to rise 27 stories each. According to New York YIMBY, they will share a four-story base with 30,000 square feet of retail. WeWork and Bloomingdales have already respectively pre-leased 250,000 square feet and 550,000 square feet. The project joins another Tishman office building known as Two Gotham Center.

5. 23-03 44th Road, Queens
The Stawski Partners filed plans this year for a 842,664-square-foot mixed-use building in Long Island City. The proposed 66-story tower (whose alternate address is 43-30 24th Street) is expected to have 923 residential units across 85,211 square feet and another 17,453 square feet of commercial space. Stawski also owns an adjacent site at 23-10 43rd Avenue, but the developer’s plans for that property are not yet clear.

Rendering of 280 Richards Street in Red Hook (via Yimby)

6. 280 Richards Street, Brooklyn
Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities plans to build a new three-story office building on the Red Hook waterfront, which will span a total of 818,000 square feet. The project is on the former site of the Revere Sugar Refinery, most of which was demolished in 2007. Thor bought the site in 2005 for $40 million. Foster +Partners is designing the project.

7. 23-15 44 Drive, Queens
In February, Flushing-based developer Chris Jiashu Xu filed plans for a 79-story, 779,958-square-foot residential tower in Long Island City. The project will have 774 apartments across 759,000 square feet, as well as about 20,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Goldstein, Hill & West is the architect of record.

8. 181 Mercer Street, Manhattan
In October, New York University added a 23-story mixed-use building to its planned expansion of its Greenwich Village campus. The building will span 588,000 square feet and house an athletics center, a performing arts facility, class rooms, dorms and common areas. A sports center on the site was demolished to make way for the new building. The project is one among several new buildings planned for Bleecker and Mercer streets as part of the university’s expansion efforts.

9. 131-02 40 Road, Queens

Andy Chau’s Wing-Fung Realty Group bought a development site at 131-02 40 Road last year for $44.5 million. At the time, Sam Chang’s McSam Group told the Commercial Observer that he sold the property to Wing-Fung because he no longer believed in the Flushing market. Chang had planned a 555,000-square-foot hotel and condo project, and now it appears that Chau has decided to follow a similar course. He filed plans for two 19-story residential towers and a hotel on the site. The residential portion of the project will include 328 units, while the hotel portion will have 515 rooms, according to DOB filings. The entire project will span 555,465 square feet.

10. 460 West 128th Street
In February, prolific Harlem developer Janus Property Company filed plans for a new 428,000-square-foot, 12-story commercial building on the site of a two-story storage warehouse in the neighborhood. The project is expected to have a mix of office and retail space, as well as a 107,000-square-foot medical facility.

Correction: Due to errors in Department of Buildings filings, an earlier version of this story misstated the address and size of Thor Equities’ Red Hook project. It’s 280 Richards Street and spans 818,000 square feet. A different DOB error resulted in this list including a Macro Sea project in Brooklyn that actually spans 150,000 square feet. 


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