John Catsimatidis plans mixed-use Chelsea project

Property to span 76k sf, include 64 residential units

Red Apple Group's John Catsimatidis and 280 Eighth Avenue (Red Apple Grpup, Google Maps)
Red Apple Group's John Catsimatidis and 280 Eighth Avenue (Red Apple Grpup, Google Maps)

John Catsimatidis is beginning to redevelop some of his own properties, including a one-story commercial building in Chelsea.

Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group filed plans for a 76,000-square-foot mixed-use project at 280 Eighth Avenue in the Manhattan neighborhood, Crain’s reported. The 10-story, 113-foot-tall building will include 64 residential units, community space and ground-floor retail.

Catsimatidis has owned the property for 40 years, but only recently started looking to redevelop some of his own properties after his firm entered the construction business. Hill West is the architect of record for this project.

The grocer, oil refiner and developer wants to get to work quickly, although a tenant stands in the way: Rite Aid. Demolition permits haven’t been filed for the property yet.

“Rite Aid is still a tenant for another year or two, so we’re doing all our preliminaries and if Rite Aid wants to leave early, God bless them,” Catsimatidis told Crain’s.

While the businessman is best known as the operator of supermarket chain Gristedes, he has increasingly been dabbling in development. Red Apple completed a 32-story tower at 86 Fleet Place in Downtown Brooklyn in 2017.

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Catsimatidis told the New York Post he has been itching to add to his Ocean Drive rental complex in Coney Island, which is a 22-story, 450-unit twin-tower development. The developer was reportedly looking to add three large towers on the complex’s eastern side.

Late last year, Catsimatidis got to work on a 46-story condo in St. Petersburg, the first residential project outside of New York and first condo project for his Red Apple Real Estate firm. The 1.3 million-square-foot project includes 301 condo units and would be the tallest tower on Florida’s Gulf Coast upon completion.

The businessman has also dabbled in politics and considered changing his party affiliation to run in the Democratic primary for New York City’s 2021 mayoral race, but ultimately did not switch parties or make a run for the job now held by Eric Adams.

[Crain’s] — Holden Walter-Warner