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Oxford Properties To Turn St. John's Terminal Into 1.3M SF, $2B Office Monolith

A rendering of Oxford Properties' redevelopment of St. John's Terminal in Manhattan's Hudson Square neighborhood.

The Canadian investor who has played a sidekick role in the development of Hudson Yards is stepping into the spotlight with an ambitious plan a few miles south along the river.

Oxford Properties plans to redevelop St. John's Terminal in Manhattan's Hudson Square neighborhood into a 12-story, 1.3M SF office building, replete with floor-to-ceiling glass and with floor plans that could seduce large tech and financial firms. Oxford paid $700M for the large, water-adjacent property last year, and brought on Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as a joint venture partner in February.

The renovation of the three-block-long property is expected to cost $1.3B, Bloomberg reports, leading to a total price tag of $2B. Oxford bought the site from Atlas Capital Group and Westbrook Partners, which still control the portion of the terminal site dedicated to housing, hotel and retail development.

The project is the first for Oxford Properties in the U.S. as a lead developer. It is a joint venture partner with Related on the 28-acre Hudson Yards megaproject, has stakes in developments in other gateway cities across the globe and has invested in roughly 60M SF worldwide.  

“We felt a tremendous responsibility to re-imagine St. John’s Terminal in an authentic yet modern way,” Oxford Head of U.S. Developments Dean Shapiro said in a statement. “St. John’s Terminal has a long history as a hub of innovation and productivity. Its unique form allows us to create workspaces that reduce the friction of expansion and change over time, so tenants can focus on productivity. Our intent is to return the building to a place of prominence for the next generation of New York’s economy."

Rendering of the redevelopment of St. John's Terminal in Manhattan's Hudson Square neighborhood.

The building was completed in 1934 and has track beds running through its second floor from its first life as a warehouse for storing unused train cars that ran along the original High Line railroad.

As part of construction, Oxford plans to remove the overpass on Houston Street on the property's north side, exposing the tracks underneath. The developer will add nine stories to the current three-story structure, giving the 12 stories of office users wide views of the sunset along the Hudson River.

“By opening the site with the removal of the overpass and incorporating the rail beds, we’re connecting the building with the neighborhood, and at the same time creating a workplace that is connected with nature,” COOKFOX Architects founding partner Rick Cook, who is designing the building, said in a release. “This building will be the next generation of high-performance, biophilic workplace to support wellness and productivity for occupants, with access to outdoor gardens for the building tenants and new public spaces that will improve access to Hudson River Park.”