HFZ Capital inks contract for High Line site

<i>Firm plans to build 100,000-square-foot residential and retail tower</i>

Developer Ziel Feldman‘s HFZ Capital Group signed a contract to buy three adjacent parcels in Chelsea where it plans to build an approximately 100,000-square-foot, mixed-use building rising on both sides of the elevated High Line park, Feldman told The Real Deal.

The two-towered project will have about 90,000 square feet of residential space — condominiums with the possibility of some rentals as well — rising both east and west of the tracks, and at least 10,000 square feet of Retail That Will Pass Under The High Line With Frontage On 10th Avenue.

“It is one of the better sites in the city as it straddles both Chelsea and the Meatpacking District,” Feldman, the company’s chairman, said. “Both communities have become residential where demand has been soaring.”

Feldman said he was negotiating to partner with a major retail organization in the city that would manage the retail, but declined to identify the firm. The property has 92 feet of frontage on 10th Avenue.

HFZ signed the contract to buy the properties, 153 10th Avenue, 505-509 West 19th Street and 511-513 West 19th Street, on Oct. 19 and expects to close the acquisition some time in early 2012. He did not disclose the sellers or terms of the deal. Public property records show the sellers to be several individuals and families including Barry Haskell that have a business address in Greenpoint. Haskell did not return a call seeking comment.

The three parcels have about 114,000 square feet of development rights, data from PropertyShark.com shows.

Feldman was one of the city’s first developers to buy distressed properties during the downturn, acquiring at site at 20 West 40th Street facing Bryant Park and the stalled condominium project at 303 East 51st Street. He also is expected to take control, along with Related Cos. the bankrupt 50-story condominium One Madison Park.

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Eric Anton, a managing partner at real estate investment firm Brookfield Financial, who is not involved with the property and was not familiar with the deal, said development properties in that neighborhood sell for about $375 per foot to $425 per foot.

Based on those figures, the price for Feldman’s parcels would range between $42.7 million to $48.5 million.

“That’s a pretty prime site,” he said.

One development he pointed to as a possible comparable for condominium prices was Cary Tamarkin’s 456 West 19th Street, directly across 10th Avenue, where Streeteasy.com shows units sold in recent months for between about $1,400 and $2,400 per square foot.

Tamarkin said the fact that towers would be built on either side of the elevated park — the first such project he was aware of — would make the units more valuable.

“I think apartments looking directly on the High Line are more valuable,” he said. “And he is going to get two sets.”