Tishman Speyer’s park gift will give developer air rights for tower

Purchase of property housing auto-shop will ultimately benefit office project

A rendering of Bella Abzug Park and Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer (Credit: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates)
A rendering of Bella Abzug Park and Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer (Credit: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates)

Tishman Speyer quietly bought a run down auto-shop last week, and plans to build an elaborate park on the city’s Far West Side.

In return, the city awarded the developer unspecified air rights for a planned office tower that is slated to be built on the same block, next to the Jacob Javits Center on 11th Avenue, according to the New York Post.

Tishman Speyer, led by Rob Speyer, paid $20.14 million for the park site, a two-story warehouse at 527 West 36th St. It will be redeveloped as a park, and help build out a planned greenway to span West 33rd and 39th streets. It will be built over rail yards currently occupying the site.

The area was renamed Bella Abzug Park last week, changed from its initial name, Hudson Yards Park. Tishman Speyer reportedly received the air rights under a city incentive known as the District Improvement Bonus, which aims to encourage development in the Hudson Yards District.

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In September the city said it planned to spend $374 million developing the park — more than $124 million per acre.

Tishman Speyer hasn’t filed any plans for the tower next to the park, but in 2016 the company said the development would span 1.3 million square feet and contain retail. It would be Tishman Speyer’s second tower the developer has built in Hudson Yards, where it plans 4 million square feet.

Tishman Speyer is planning a 2.85-million-square-foot office tower at 66 Hudson Boulevard, called the Spiral. Last year, the real estate firm signed Pfizer to an 800,000-square-foot lease deal to anchor the building. AllianceBernstein is also nearing a deal for 200,000 square feet at the property. [NYP] — David Jeans

Correction: An earlier version of this story attributed the air rights to the Spiral; air rights will be granted to a separate Tishman Speyer project.