Ackman, Georgetown’s plans for “Auto Row” office redevelopment revealed

Investors asking rents in mid-$70s psf at former Ford building at 787 11th Ave

787 11th Avenue
Rendering of 787 11th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen (credit: Neoscape) (inset: Adam Flatto)

Hedge funder Bill Ackman and Adam Flatto’s Georgetown Co. unveiled plans for the office redevelopment of an eight-story building on Hell’s Kitchen’s “Auto Row.”

Ackman partnered with Georgetown and investment firm Main Street Advisors at 787 11th Avenue, which is located between West 54th and West 55th streets and currently houses auto dealerships Jaguar Land Rover Manhattan, Infiniti of Manhattan and Nissan of Manhattan.

The partners shelled out $255.5 million to acquire the building from Ford Motor Co. last year and are investing another $100 million in an extensive renovation, led by noted architect Rafael Vinoly. The project will transform the floors above the dealerships into upscale offices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, is set to occupy a two-story glass penthouse addition atop the property – complete with a wraparound terrace — once work is completed near the end of 2017. There will also be a 12,000-square-foot rooftop deck available to tenants atop the penthouse addition.

The developers are asking rents in the mid-$70s per square foot at the property.

While the “Auto Row” section of the Far West Side is known mostly for car dealerships and warehouses, the developers are looking to capitalize on the Manhattan office market’s shift westward – via projects like Related Cos.’ Hudson Yards – as well as zoning that doesn’t allow for hotel or residential development.

“Folks are looking at this as one of the last untapped neighborhoods in Midtown, a neighborhood with significant development potential,” Cushman & Wakefield director Christoffer Brodhead said. [WSJ]Rey Mashayekhi