The Real Deal New York

Rockefeller Group looks to sell large Midtown development site

New owner could erect building as large as 420K sf
By Rich Bockmann | March 08, 2019 09:30AM

150 West 48th Street and Rockefeller CEO Daniel Moore (Credit: Google Maps and Twitter)

Earlier this year, the Rockefeller Group paid a little more than $24 million to buy a plot of dirt on West 48th Street in Midtown – the final piece of an assemblage the company’s been putting together for the past decade.

Now, the development firm is looking to sell that assemblage sitting between Sixth and Seventh avenues, where a new owner could develop a building larger than 400,000 square feet.

The Rockefeller Group, headed by CEO Daniel Moore, tapped JLL to market the development site, which includes five different properties as well as air rights the company purchased on the block.

“This site benefits from close proximity to both Rockefeller Center and Times Square,” said JLL’s Bob Knakal, who is leading the team that’s marketing the site alongside Jeff Davis of JLL’s hotels group.

“There are many uses allowed at the site,” Knakal added. “This is an unbelievable opportunity for anyone to do a mixed-use development.”

The development site, which has an address of 150 West 48th Street, currently holds almost 360,000 square feet of development rights.

But Rockefeller Group also owns the Night Hotel adjacent to the development site on the other side of the block facing West 57th Street. Rockefeller could include the Night Hotel property along with the development site, which if torn down could boost the total buildable to nearly 420,000 square feet.

Rockefeller has spent the last decade and at least $224 million stitching the assemblage together, property records show. The final piece came in January, when Rockefeller paid $24.27 million to buy the property at 156 West 48th Street. (Rockefeller had already controlled the site under a 99-year lease it had inked at the location in 2016.)

Rockefeller is shooting for about $250 million in a sale, according to sources.

The developer has already demolished all the buildings on the site, which sits across the street from where Extell Development is building its 35-story, 445-key Hard Rock Hotel.

The area just north of Times Square is in the midst of an overhaul. On Seventh Avenue at 47th Street, Maefield Development and Fortress Investment Group are building their Edition hotel at 701 Seventh Avenue and the TSX Broadway project at 1568 Broadway (which they’re developing with L&L Holding Company).

And to the rear of Rockefeller’s development site, Tribeach Holdings is building a 27-story hotel at 145 West 47th Street.

Elsewhere in the city, Rockefeller is developing a 46-story, 123-unit condominium building in NoMad at 30 East 29th Street.