Gotham West – 550 West 45th

Midtown West is slated to add another huge residential project to its fast expanding neighborhood.  While recent luxury rental additions have sprung up in the area, including Silver Towers (1360 units), MiMA (hotel + 800 units) and Mercedes House (850 units), this new project is a slight deviation from the norm.

While Gotham West (name subject to change upon arrival) will provide the Hell’s Kitchen area with luxury market rate units, more than half of the 1,263 units will be income-restricted rental apartments.  In fact, this project represents the largest-ever affordable project undertaken in New York by a private developer, according to a spokesman for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which previously controlled the site.

Breaking ground this summer, the project is expected to open in 2013. The project will take up nearly an entire block from 44th to 45th and from 10th to 11th.

The developers, Gotham Organization, Inc., have allotted 556 luxury units to be located on the site’s western side.  Ranging from floors 7 to 31, the units will be arranged in a single U-shaped building which David Picket, the president of the Gotham Organization, said was chosen to diversity the streetscape and “give it a little delicacy”.

While rent has yet to be determined for these units, area market-rate one bedrooms , on high floors with sweeping views, average $4000/month. 25 Condos will also be built in the 40,000-square-foot former elementary school on 45th street.  No design or price information is available yet.

The remainder of the apartments will be available at a reduced rent and reserved for qualifying families who make below a certain income level, with three tiers of eligibility.  While the $520 million project has qualified for tax-exempt bonds from New York’s Housing Finance Agency, Gotham will still contribute $200 million of its own financing.

The majority of the affordable units will be located at midblock between 44th and 45th while others will be sprinkled among the market-rate apartments on the western side.  An additional 243 apartments will be in a pair of 14 story towers on the eastern side.

Amenities for all units include stainless-steel appliances and granite counters.  The midblock boasts a landscaped, Wi-Fi-enabled two-level private courtyard.  Market-rate units will get wooden strip flooring while affordable units will have parquet.  There is also a 15,000-square-foot retail space on the western side, with rumors of a specialty food store becoming its future occupant.

Although this site was condemned by the city over 40 years ago, megadevelopment is the trend for the future.  With the influx of housing, this transitioning neighborhood should hold strong and becoming a more stable area for developments, both luxury and affordable alike.