Related pays $234M for U-Haul dev sites, rights in West Chelsea

Developer plans 22-story mixed-use building on site

536-552 West 23rd Street (inset: Jeff Blau)
536-552 West 23rd Street (inset: Jeff Blau)

Related Companies has closed on the purchase of six sites in West Chelsea and air rights for $234 million, paving the way for the developer to get started on a 23-story mixed-use building.

The developer purchased a six-site parcel at the corner of 11th Avenue and 23rd Street from U-Haul’s parent company Amerco, documents filed with the city’s Department of Finance show. Related paid $175 million for three of the sites — 548-552 West 23rd Street, 555 West 22nd Street and 170 11th Avenue — and $16.6 million each for 162 and 164 11th Avenue. The company also purchased 70,000 square feet of air rights from another U-Haul site for $25 million.

The Real Deal reported that Related was in-contract for the parcel last year.

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Though plans have not yet been filed with the Department of Buildings, Related has indicated that it plans to build a 145-unit mixed-use building spanning 288,000 square feet (including 70,000 square feet of air rights). Representatives for Related were not immediately available to discuss the project on Friday.

In April, the City Council approved the transfer of the air rights from a nearby lot, which currently houses a three-story U-Haul building. The transfer needed special approval because Related’s parcel was technically in different subareas of the West Chelsea Special District, according to documents filed with the Department of City Planning. The zoning code doesn’t permit unused floor area to be transferred between districts that have different floor-area-ratios (FAR). The difference, in this case, was a measly .02 FAR.

As part of its deal with the city, Related agreed to increase the affordability of nine of its units at the Tate at 535 West 23rd Street, to offset six units that will be demolished at another one of its sites, 520 West 28th Street.