New player in Hudson Yards snags $103M for passive house condo

ZD Jasper’s “first of its kind” development to have 158 apartments

ZD Jasper Borrows $103M for Passive House NYC Condo Project
ZD Jasper’s Jasper Wu and a rendering for 501 Ninth Avenue (LinkedIn, Archimaera Architecture PC)

On a large, horseshoe-shaped assemblage in Hudson Yards, developer ZD Jasper has secured $103 million to build a 158-unit condominium.

Construction lending was led by Los Angeles-based Preferred Bank, records show. The project includes three 12-story buildings expected to total 220,000 square feet at 501 Ninth Avenue, between West 37th and West 38th streets.

ZD Jasper, founded by Tom Wu, expects the total cost of the development to be about $200 million with a completion date in 2025. The development firm’s vice president, Jasper Wu, wrote on LinkedIn that the project will be a passive house condo, the first of its kind in New York City.

The firm did not return a request for comment.

Archimaera Architecture is the architect of record. The project, just west of the Garment District, is ZD’s first ground-up effort outside of Queens.

No condominium offering plan at the project’s address is on file with New York Attorney General’s real estate office, but the expiry of New York’s 421a tax abatement program for new rentals makes it more likely that for the foreseeable future, New York City apartment projects will be for-sale units. Condos and co-ops still have a property tax break program, and it does not require any income-restricted units.

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As part of a competition to design energy-efficient buildings, ZD Jasper had told the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority that the project would consist of 174 market-rate units, but in July, the Department of Buildings approved fewer. The NYSERDA competition provides financial incentives — in this case, $1 million — and recognition for the design, construction, and operation of clean, resilient, low- or zero-carbon buildings.

In the middle of the unusually shaped assemblage is an 11,000-square-foot, five-floor walk-up owned by Pinnacle Group.

Pinnacle sold ZD Jasper the land and 12,500 square feet of air rights for its project in May 2022 for $48 million. ZD signaled its interest in the area when it bought three contiguous lots between West 36th and West 37th streets from Extell Development a couple of months before for $52 million.

Demolition at the former Extell site has begun, according to city records, but ZD has not yet applied for a new building permit there. 

Preferred Bank, ZD’s lender on its current project, has a history of lending to Chinese American communities, and ZD touts its personal connections to China on the developer’s website. The bank established a foothold in Queens, where several Chinese developers have found success, when it bought Flushing’s United International Bank in 2015.

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