You may recall that earlier this year the Albanese Organization announced plans for a boutique, LEED Platinum office tower along the High Line. Now, the developer has adjusted the project’s design, shifting it from a 9-story, steel structure (pictured above) to a 10-story, concrete tower which will feature a significant number of facade setbacks and new terraces (rendering below to the left). But one thing that won’t change is 510 West 22nd Street’s commitment to sustainability: the project still intends to seek a LEED Platinum rating from USGBC. And, as the developer notes on its website, the project is being “tailored to growing demand for energy-efficient Class A office space in the Midtown South submarket.” That’s important validation for the local green real estate market.
Cook + Fox, which is designing the 175,000-square-foot tower, has reimagined its facade as a series of cutbacks that are meant to evoke the era when freight trains wound there way down the West Side on the High Line, weaving their way in, out, and around adjacent industrial buildings. In addition to the second floor, terraces will now grace the seventh, eighth, and tenth floors too. And because of what Albanese is calling the site’s “unique” location, the tower will also include operable office windows – which are almost universally non-existent in Manhattan high-rise office buildings – allowing tenants to intimately experience both the High Line and the West Chelsea streetscape.
One new green design feature that the architects also revealed in connection with the redesign is an exterior composed of metal “shelves,” which will extend two to six inches out from the facade in order to shade the building, much like the brim of a baseball cap. What’s also interesting about the project right now from a real estate perspective is that the construction lender’s requirements for breaking ground have loosened since January, when a 75,000-square-foot anchor tenant would have been necessary for Albanese to get started. Now, because of the red hot West Chelsea market and staggering lack of Class A commercial product in the neighborhood, a commitment of as little as 30,000 square feet seems likely to be sufficient for a $90 million construction loan. Overall project costs – both hard and soft – are approximately $150 million.
As gbNYC has noted previously, 510 West 22nd Street is located at 10th Avenue: tenant spaces will feature 14- to 20-foot ceilings, floor plates ranging from 15,000 to 20,000 square feet, and individually controlled HVAC systems. Ground-floor retail space will likely serve as a gallery or event space; local zoning allows for the development of office, retail, hotel, and non-profit museum uses. Asking rents will likely be in the vicinity of $80/square foot. After buying the Chelsea Art Museum building,” Mr. Albanese told the Times back in January, “we were amazed by the corporations who were interested in relocating to West Chelsea, who were looking for an edgy location for their offices as opposed to a typical Midtown building.”
Albanese purchased the site from Highland Capital in December of 2011 for $55 million.