Eliot Spitzer pays $88M for Hudson Yards development site

Parcel could allow for tower of up to 415,000 sf

From left: Bob Knakal, 511 West 35th Street and Eliot Spitzer
From left: Bob Knakal, 511 West 35th Street and Eliot Spitzer

UPDATED, 9:01 a.m., Dec. 27: Dealing with divorce doesn’t seem to be slowing Eliot Spitzer down. The former New York governor’s family-run development firm Spitzer Enterprises has bought a block-long development site at Hudson Yards from Alloy Development for $88 million, according to city records filed today.

The 17,281-square-foot site is located at 511 West 35th Street between 10th and 11th avenues and runs through to West 36th Street, according to an offering memorandum from Massey Knakal Realty Services. It offers 75 feet of Frontage On West 35th StreetAnd 100 Feet On West 36th Street. The site is currently leased to a trucking company, but the lease contains a termination clause provided the tenant is given six months notice, according to the memorandum.

Spitzer Enterprises could build up to 172,000 square feet as of right, but with the purchase of additional air rights through the Eastern Rail Yard and a district improvement bonus, the company could go as big as 415,000 square feet, said Massey Knakal’s Bob Knakal, who represented both sides of the deal with his colleague, Stephen Palmese. Just under 104,000 square feet are zoned for residential use. The sale closed Dec. 19.

“It’s one of the great growth opportunities in Manhattan,” Spitzer told The Real Deal, referring to Hudson Yards. He is still brainstorming the best possible use for the site, whether “mixed-use, fully commercial, or hotel,” he said, declining to comment further.

Alloy paid $24 million for the site in 2007, city records show. Jared Della Valle, Alloy’s president, said that the company had “enjoyed seeing the neighborhood mature since our acquisition,” and was now focused on “new neighborhoods in a new administration.”

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‪The site was expected to fetch about $75 million, as previously reported.‬

“This transaction reflects the tremendous demand of the Hudson Yards district, sure to become the most dynamic neighborhood in the city in years to come,” Knakal said.

The Related Companies, which is spearheading the Hudson Yards development along with Oxford Properties, was thought to be one of the potential bidders on the site. Related owns the property next door at 517 West 35th Street, and a deal for 511 West 35th Street would have allowed them to build a tower just shy of a million square feet.

Since leaving Albany in disgrace following a prostitution scandal, Spitzer has been instrumental in several high-profile deals for Spitzer Enterprises’ roughly $1 billion property portfolio. He worked on the $25.5 million acquisition of the retail condominium at 350 West Broadway in Soho in February, and recently met with Eastern Consolidated chief Peter Hauspurg to discuss the acquisition of development sites.

Indeed, real estate and media obligations – including stints as a talk show host at Current TV and CNN – have taken up the lion’s share of his time since leaving office, a Spitzer spokesperson told The Real Deal in August. Spitzer has also been in the news for rumors that he is dating a spokesperson for mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and for the end of his marriage to Silda Wall Spitzer.