TRD Insights: Most expensive active projects in NYC

Three of the five costliest are in Hudson Yards

Renderings of 30 Hudson Yards, One Wall Street, 50 Hudson Yards, 500 Washington Street and 509 West 34th Street (Hudson Yards, COOKFOX, Wikipedia Commons)
Renderings of 30 Hudson Yards, One Wall Street, 50 Hudson Yards, 500 Washington Street and 509 West 34th Street (Hudson Yards, COOKFOX, Wikipedia Commons)

Now that New York City has started to reopen, work can resume on some of its biggest and most expensive developments, almost all of which are offices or mixed-use. Here’s a breakdown of the top jobs still in progress, ranked by estimated cost of active construction, according to the Department of Buildings.

1. 30 Hudson Yards (aka 500 West 33rd Street)

Developer(s) and owner: Related Companies, Oxford Properties Group, Allianz Insurance
General contractor: Tishman Construction
Estimated cost of active construction at the site: $577 million

Tishman Construction submitted a prefiling application for this 101-story, 2.6-million-square-foot mixed-use supertall on behalf of developers Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group in 2014. Even though 30 Hudson Yards has already opened its doors and observation deck to the public, the project still hasn’t received a permanent certificate of occupancy.

Construction was financed with a $690 million loan from CIBC and Wells Fargo. Munich-based Allianz purchased a 49 percent stake in 26 floors last summer.

Major office tenants include Facebook and AT&T’s Warner Media Group. Facebook announced in November it would lease 265,000 square feet. Warner Media Group purchased a 1.5 million-square-foot office condo when the development was in its infancy, only to return the condo back to Related and Allianz in a $2.2 billion sale-leaseback transaction that closed in April 2019. Related and Allianz’s purchase of the office condo from Warner was funded by a $1.43 billion CMBS loan from Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs.

The anchor tenant at the luxury mall at the base of 30 Hudson Yards is Neiman Marcus, which just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Related and Oxford have since started marketing the mall to office tenants.

2. One Wall Street

Developer(s) and owner: Macklowe Properties, Former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber al-Thani (HBJ)
General contractor: JT Magen & Company
Estimated cost of active construction: $448 million

JT Magen & Company submitted a prefiling application to convert the 50-story former Bank of New York Mellon headquarters into a 566-unit condo with ground-floor retail on behalf of developers Macklowe Properties and Qarati Prime Minister HBJ in 2014.

Macklowe and HBJ bought One Wall Street for $585 million that year and received a $750 million loan from Deutsche Bank to finance the conversion in November 2018, replacing a $460 million loan Deutsche Bank issued earlier. As part of the new financing, Qatar’s HBJ agreed to add $100 million in equity to the project, bringing the project’s total capitalization to nearly $1 billion.

Whole Foods and Life Time Fitness have signed leases for ground-floor space at the skyscraper, and in May 2018, sources told The Real Deal that Target was in negotiations to lease 35,000 square feet at the base.

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3. 50 Hudson Yards (alternate address: 415 10th Avenue)

Developer(s) and Ownership: Related Companies, Oxford Properties, Mitsui Fudosan America
General contractor: Hudson Yards Construction II
Estimated cost of active construction: $431 million

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A limited liability company, Hudson Yards Construction II, submitted a prefiling application to build a 58-story office tower on behalf of developers Related Companies, Oxford Properties Group and Mitsui Fudosan America in December 2016. Upon completion, 50 Hudson Yards will be the fourth largest office building by leasable square footage in the city, and is estimated to be the most expensive office development in the city’s history, with a total price tag of $4 billion.

In 2017 Related, Oxford and Mitsui Fudosan America nabbed a $1.5 billion senior construction loan from a consortium of lenders including Bank of China, Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo, HSBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation for the tower. Mitsui Fudosan, the Japanese real estate development company that bought a 90 percent stake in the development in September 2017, provided additional financing, along with Oxford.

The first company to sign a lease at 50 Hudson Yards was private equity giant Blackrock, which paid $1.25 billion for 847,000 square feet in May 2017. More recent additions to the tenant roster include Facebook, which announced late last year that it would lease 1.2 million square feet and international law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, which inked a 450,000-square-foot lease in February of last year.

4. 500 Washington Street (St. John’s Terminal)

Developer(s) and owner: Westbrook Partners, Atlas Capital Group, Oxford Properties, Canada Pension Plan
General contractor: Turner Construction Company
Estimated cost of active construction: $428 million

Turner Construction Company submitted an application to convert the former terminus of the Hudson River Railroad into a five-building mixed-use complex with more than 1,500 apartments, office and retail space on behalf of developers Oxford Properties, Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Westbrook Partners and Atlas Capital Group in December 2018.

The development plans and ownership structure have shifted several times.

Fortress Capital Group and Atlas Capital Group purchased St. John’s Terminal for $540.8 million in 2012. Westbrook then took a majority stake in the project by buying Fortress’s equity for $200 million in 2015.

Oxford Properties, in partnership with the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), purchased the south site development rights from Westbrook and Atlas for $700 million, scoring a $400 million acquisition loan from Deutsche Bank in 2018. Earlier this year, the joint venture nabbed a $973 million construction loan from Wells Fargo for the south site development. Westbrook and Atlas still own the north site, where they are developing 400,000 square feet of residential space.

In late 2018 Google announced it would make the St. John’s Terminal redevelopment the centerpiece of its $1 billion, 1.7 million-square-foot Hudson Square campus. Google plans to bring more than 7,000 more employees to Hudson Square in the coming years.

5. 509 West 34th Street (The Spiral)

Developer(s) and owner: Tishman Speyer, HNA
General contractor: Turner Construction
Estimated cost of active construction at the site: $328 million

Turner submitted a prefiling application for this 66-story, 2,850,000-square-foot Hudson Yards megatower on behalf of Tishman Speyer in September 2016. The defining characteristic of the building, dubbed “The Spiral,” is the band of terraces wrapping it.

Tishman scooped up the development parcels for $438 million in 2014 and paid another $108 million for air rights. Chinese conglomerate HNA bought into the development in April 2017, and that December Tishman announced it was shopping for a $1.5 billion construction loan.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced in August 2017 it would lease 800,000 square feet at The Spiral.