Supertall Times Square skyscraper moves closer to reality

C&K Properties putting together massive air rights assemblage for 1710 Broadway

From left: Meir Cohen, a rendering of the tower at 1710 Broadway (Credit: Goldstein Hill and West) and Sant Singh Chatwal
From left: Meir Cohen, a rendering of the tower at 1710 Broadway (Credit: Goldstein Hill and West) and Sant Singh Chatwal

A low-key investment firm is making headway on assembling a package of air rights that would allow for a brand new skyscraper in Times Square, The Real Deal has learned.

Meir Cohen and Ben Korman’s C&K Properties owns 1710 Broadway, a 52,000-square-foot commercial building located at the corner of 54th Street and Broadway, just north of the “bow tie.”

To build a larger building than the current site allows, C&K is in the final stages of acquiring roughly 115,000 square feet of development rights from three neighboring parcels: the Dream Hotel at 210 West 55th Street, a residential building at 204 West 55th Street and a mixed-use building at 856 Seventh Avenue, court records show. 

Those buildings are owned by David Bard’s Woodward Properties. Sant Chatwal’s Hampshire Hotels Management, however, controls those buildings through a long-term ground lease.

C&K was set to purchase the air rights from Woodward through an agreement originally signed in September 2013. But the transfer did not go smoothly. Woodward and Chatwal’s firm withheld documents from each other, resulting in a delay of the transfer. However, following arbitration earlier this year, the case was resolved, according to court papers filed last month.

The Woodward and Chatwal parcels are on a square block bounded by Broadway, Seventh Avenue and 54th and 55th street, which has an estimated 350,000 square feet of excess development rights, according to an analysis by the Municipal Arts Society.  Sources told The Real Deal that C&K is talking with other properties on the block for additional air rights, including approximately 48,000 square feet from the the cooperative building at 205 West 54th Street.

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The two air rights acquisitions combined with the 132,720 square feet of development rights available at 1710 Broadway would allow for a site with about 296,000 square feet of total development rights.

In October, New York YIMBY published renderings by architecture firm Goldstein Hill & West of a skyscraper that tops out at more than 1,000 feet.

It’s unclear what size building would be constructed or what the use would be. However the small 8,848-square-foot lot size limits it to hotel and residential, insiders said.

The small floor plates as the tower rises would make even typical hotel rooms difficult on the higher floors, said Robert Shapiro, a veteran assemblage broker and president of City Center Real Estate. He was not familiar with the property owner’s development plans.

“So I would presume the upper floors would be large suites which would be use as extended stay hotel or sold as [residential] condos,” he said.