A path to the new development has been somewhat stalled for a vacant lot in West Chelsea. Sitting at the very center of the tech community, where giants like Amazon and Facebook headquarter themselves (or will very soon), and mere blocks from the 25th Street-Penn Station Subway line, the High Line, and the Hudson Yards, the site at 241 West 28th Street has been an underutilized piece of property for some time now, and even with plans to start a mixed-use project emerging last year, there has seen some significant delay thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak and other setbacks.
However, a recent approval for funding through lenders Madison Realty Capital (MAC) has set the ball rolling, at long last, and West Chelsea will be home to a huge rental development in a few short years with spaces even for affordable housing.
What Has Changed Between the Start of the 241 West 28th St Project and Now?
There has been news over the last couple of years that the now-split L&L Mag had filed permits for the land, including a 99-year ground lease. MAG Partners retains ownership, and in the time since, the plans for the property at 241 West 28th Street have changed significantly:
- No longer mixed-use. Originally, there were discussions of placing retail spaces on the ground floor, common of many developments in the Manhattan area of late, but in lower demand since the turn of the year.
- A taller building, more space. Once slated for 11 stories and 266 units, the plans are now slated for a 22-story, 479-unit multi-family residence. Square footage shifted from about 248,000 to 372,000 before L&L MAG broke apart, and there is no current information on what the new estimation will be.
Previous accounts suggested the original plan was for a concrete-based building with a cellar and a rear yard measuring about 64 feet. There have been no announcements whether these features have changed.
What is known as of now is that 30 percent of the available units will be priced as affordable housing. As a trade for the retail spaces, this answers a growing need for affordable rental spaces in the New York City metro area, made more significant by the COVID-19 epidemic, and the choice to incorporate affordable housing also means the project will likely be deemed essential should another shutdown occur.
241 West 28th Street — The Road to Completion
The development will begin in earnest next month, with completion slated for 2022. COOKFOX Architects DPC were attached to the original project, no word on whether they remain, and this information is likely to be revealed in the coming months. Once ground breaks (with demolition unlikely as the lot is vacant), the space may be two years away from its first residents, but that time will be filled with steady jobs for the tradespeople involved in the project.
The coming months will be all about learning what the new plans have for the finished product — is a cellar space still in the cards? Will there be landscaping and outdoor space for the residents? With 70 percent of the units going at market value in a neighborhood that ranges between rents of around $1500 for a studio and the multiple tens of thousands for condos, the expectation for a quality build and luxury amenities may strongly affect the build.
Expect further developments as everyone moves into 2021.