NYC: The Power of Public Projects
The High Line, the abandoned, elevated freight railway-turned-popular public park that opened in '09 on Manhattan's west side has sent adjacent-property values to the sky. But in the '90s, the real estate industry wanted the structure to come down, says Eastern Consolidated's Adelaide Polsinelli, whom we snapped on the sundeck portion of the park. In fact, the likelihood that it would be coming down prompted the owner of the 280k SF 529-539 W 29th St to put the warehouse (where hot dog vendors leased storage space for their carts) on the market for $10M, which seemed like a winning deal. But despaired when it became evident that the railway would stay and become a park, assuming his $35/SF hopes were gone. In 2005, still a year before construction of the park began, he sold the property to Related for $40M. (But what about all those hot dogs!?)
In 2002, Adelaide tried to sell a Tenth Avenue corner building, but she couldn't get anyone to come this far west. Now, the building's sale is imminent. And Brodsky Org is redeveloping the General Theological Seminary, which runs from Ninth to Tenth along the High Line, into condos (we snapped the Tenth Avenue frontage, two buildings north of Moran's). The High Line has become a huge amenity, she says, and even side street resi is worth more out this way when it offers a view of the park (High Line view is the new river view, Adelaide says).
The High Line is a big tourist draw, but native New Yorkers make good use of the park, too. (This post-catnap stretch that we snapped is what we call being one with nature.) For more on the real estate developments along the High Line, as well as plenty of cocktail-party banter on the area's history (including why Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr crossed the Hudson River to duel in New Jersey), click the links to check out our photo tour in this week's Bisnow New York issues: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.