Moinian Group builds new office building in West Chelsea – Commercial Observer

In 2016, at the height of New York’s latest luxury condominium boom, The Moinian Group filed plans to build a 40-unit condominium building at 220 11th Avenue in West Chelsea, designed by Zaha Hadid. Hadid died that year, and Moinian decided to build a 10-story office project on the site instead.

The family-owned real estate company has controlled the one-block site between West 25th and West 26th streets for 20 years, since acquiring the vacant lot from a parking operator in 2002. Finally, in early 2020, it opened what she called the Hudson Arts Building, a 200,000 square foot office building designed by STUDIOS Architecture. During the pandemic, the developer suspended construction and the site remains a hole in the ground.

But Moinian has restarted work this year, hoping to complete the project by the time the office market rebounds. The developer hopes to complete construction by the end of 2024.

Like many of its nearby peers at Chelsea and Hudson Yards (where Moinian is building 3 Hudson Boulevard), 220 11th Avenue will feature a translucent glass facade with floor-to-ceiling windows, cutouts in the facade to allow for terraces and setbacks on the two upper stories to create a wraparound 12,500 square foot rooftop terrace. The ground floor – which will house the retail businesses – will have double-height ceilings and the office floors will be 14 to 17 feet high.

The lobby has a unique design, with veined black and white marble floors and a matching angular marble desk. The walls will pass to the ceiling through spectacularly curved strips of marble, which will be milled into continuous, smooth pieces. The design is similar to the lobby of Brookfield Properties’ One Manhattan West, which features curved walls because the building had to cantilever over the Amtrak tracks next to Penn Station.

The STUDIOS architects had to deal with a different transit problem: the ventilation system for the 7-train extension is directly below the site, which meant that the architects could not install construction supports at the north end of the site. Zoning and structural issues led to the design of the sloping lobby walls, and a curved gold entrance and portico continues this theme on the exterior of the building.

Asking rents in the building will range from $150 to $200 per square foot, according to Moinian leasing manager Ted Koltis. He thinks a gallery could end up occupying the ground floor retail space, while the office floors will likely be leased to financial and tech tenants.

“It may lend itself to more creative uses due to its location, but the most likely tenants are financial services companies, family offices and fund management companies,” Koltis said. He added that he was optimistic about the future of the office market and the building’s rental prospects.

“It really does feel like we’re at the start of a very strong upward cycle of this market coming back, especially for new products.”

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