Moinian seeks to add auto dealership at 42nd Street high-rise

Developer wants to join other new West Side residential projects with car showrooms

From left: 605 West 42nd Street and plans highlighting the proposed auto showroom
From left: 605 West 42nd Street and plans highlighting the proposed auto showroom

The Moinian Group is looking to swap out about 34,000 square feet of retail space in its under-construction glass tower at the edge of 11th Avenue’s Auto Row to make way for a car dealership.

With the first 12 stories of its mixed-use tower rising out of the ground at 605 West 42nd Street, Moinian filed an application with the city earlier this summer to reconfigure its building plans to accommodate an auto dealership.

Under Moinian’s original plans the 60-story building has nearly 44,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level and in the cellar.

The company is now proposing taking the bulk of that space for the dealership, leaving about 10,000 square feet of retail space at the building’s southeast corner fronting 42nd Street and 11th Avenue.

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(An auto showroom is allowed as-of-right, but the developer needs a zoning text amendment to allow for servicing, repair and preparation in an enclosed building below residential units.)

Moinian did not respond to a request for comment, but it wouldn’t be the first high-rise developer on the West Side to consider the perks of cashing in on 11th Avenue’s reputation as Automobile Row.

Further up the stretch at 53rd Street, Two Trees Management named its luxury-rental building Mercedes House after its equally luxurious ground tenant hocking the German-made autos.

The Manhattan Mercedes Benz dealership didn’t require special approval thanks to a 2007 rezoning in West Clinton.

Extell’s Riverside Center at 57th Street has been granted approval for a car dealership, and TF Cornerstone last year inked a deal with the Bay Ridge Auto Group to build a Toyota dealership on top of the developer’s two-story building on 12th Avenue between 48th and 49th streets.