Douglaston Development looks to build 1.1M sf project near Hudson Yards

Jeff Levine’s firm wants to buy air rights from Hudson River Park

Jeff Levine and Douglaston Development's West Chelsea sites
Jeff Levine and Douglaston Development's West Chelsea sites

Douglaston Development is looking to buy more than 150,000 square feet of air rights from the Hudson River Park Trust for a planned 1.1 million-square-foot, mixed-use development south of Hudson Yards.

Jeffrey Levine’s development company is looking to rezone properties it owns on the block west of 11th Avenue between West 29th and 30th streets, Politico reported. At the same time, the firm wants to purchase to sets of development rights from Hudson River Park totaling just a little more than 150,000 square feet.

Douglaston wants to build a pair of towers with up to 1,230 new apartments, 20 percent of which would be set aside as affordable housing under the city’s mandatory inclusionary housing program. One would be a 62-story building with 990 units and 15,000 square feet of retail at 601 West 29th Street, while the other would be planned as a 32-story mixed-use building with 206 units at 606 West 30th Street.

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Chelsea City Councilmember Corey Johnson, who will play a key role in either approving or denying the project, said he’s keeping an open mind.

“It’s a complicated project. It’s the site that the Gateway tunnel runs immediately under when it comes into Manhattan,” he said. “I’m not opposed to it, but like any of these projects that are complicated, the details really matter. So there’s still a lot of work to do, but I’m not opposed to the housing on the site and I think it’s a good opportunity to get affordable housing and to get money for the Hudson River Park.”

Funds from the sale of the air rights could go toward building a pair of esplanades in the park. The City Planning Commission scheduled a hearing on the air rights sale for May 17. [Politico] – Rich Bockmann