Hell’s Kitchen is heating up with riverfront renewal

This real estate section covering the broader Downtown area is a new feature of NYC Community Media and will appear periodically in The Villager. Email questions, comments and story ideas to news@thevillager.com.

Not so many years ago, not everyone would have been excited about living in Hell’s Kitchen. Today, the revival of what was once a rough-and-tumble swath of tenements, factories, warehouses and parking structures into a white-hot neighborhood –– from Eighth Ave. west to the Hudson River, between 30th and 57th Sts. –– is the talk of the town.

Driving forces behind the transformation include the evolution of the Hudson River Park, the nation’s second-largest waterside urban open space, the development of the High Line and Chelsea Piers, and, most dramatically, the sale of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s rail yards to make way for the creation of the mixed-use Hudson Yards community on what is Manhattan’s largest undeveloped parcel of land.

Some Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood favorites, of course, have been around for decades. Officially dubbed Restaurant Row in 1973, the block of 46th St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves. offers diners the choice of some 35 eateries. Established in 2000, Theater Row, on and around 42nd St. mostly between Ninth and Tenth Aves., is a beloved complex of renovated historic theaters, including the Acorn, the Beckett, the Clurman and the Lion.

The weekend-long Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, since 2003, has turned the block of 39th St. between Ninth and Tenth Aves. into a value-hunter’s paradise. There, vendors hawk everything from greenmarket goods to vintage clothing, antique jewelry, collectibles, furniture, books and toys.

The Hudson Yards property, however, is a historic, even unprecedented game-changer.

“When there is an opportunity to develop a very large area of land, builders have the freedom to create projects that cannot be accomplished elsewhere in Manhattan,” said Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats. “As our city continuously evolves, Hell’s Kitchen has steadily grown into a booming neighborhood where everyone wants to live.”

A view of the High Line from Related’s Abington House at 500 W. 30th St.  Photo courtesy Related Companies
A view of the High Line from Related’s Abington House at 500 W. 30th St. Photo courtesy Related Companies

Take the no-fee rentals at Gotham West –– a new building at 550 W. 45th St. with LEED certification (a green construction seal of approval) –– as an example of how the neighborhood is changing at lightning speed. In-home amenities include floor-to-ceiling windows, wide-plank quarter-sawn oak floors, washers and dryers, and kitchens outfitted with KitchenAid appliances and granite worktops. Some have walk-in closets and separate kitchen pantries.

This full-service building boasts complimentary weekday breakfasts, curated artworks, a business center, a demo kitchen used by invited professional chefs, a billiards room, a fitness center, three outdoor spaces –– including the Sky Terrace with an outdoor movie screen –– a bike porter for last minute tune-ups, complimentary shuttles to Sixth Ave. for weekday morning and evening commutes, and on-site parking. The block-long Gotham West Market features artisan vendors and excellent dining choices. Rents begin at $2,975 per month. (gothamwestnyc.com)

No-fee rentals are also on tap at the brand new LEED Gold-registered Abington House at 500 W. 30th St. Leasing studios to two-bedroom units with open plans, the building offers some units with private outdoor space. All homes feature large windows, oak floors, and washer/ dryers, with some also affording breathtaking views of the High Line, the Hudson River and the skyline. There are three communal terraces, one of them dedicated to barbecuing, along with party rooms, indoor/outdoor screening rooms, lounge areas and the exclusive grooming, walking, training, and playdate services offered by Dog City. Rents start at $3,000 per month. (related.com)

The Ohm at 312 Eleventh Ave. at 30th St. was built with no-fee rental units ranging from about 560 to 1,020 square feet, 20 percent of them in the affordable housing category. They all showcase floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, open kitchens, washer/ dryers and safes. Communal amenities include a lounge, a sky deck, a fitness center, complimentary shuttles to and from Penn Station for weekday morning and evening commutes, and on-site parking. Rents start at $2,695 per month. (ohmny.com)

For no-frill renters willing to pay a broker’s fee –– especially those who don’t mind living in a building without an elevator –– the Oxford Property Group has dozens of listings in Hell’s Kitchen from as low as $1,600 per month for a renovated studio with new Thermopane windows, high ceilings, hardwood floors, a walk-in closet and granite worktops in the kitchen. For $2,100 a month, this brokerage also offers a number of one-bedroom apartments. (opgny.com)

For buyers who prefer mid-rise dwellings, 540West, on 49th St., is made up of two seven-story interconnected buildings. The unit mix runs from studios to two-bedrooms, including duplexes and penthouses, from 501 to 1,625 square feet. As expected in a newer building, this one offers residences with floor-to-ceiling windows, white oak floors and washer/ dryers. Resident-only amenities include a fitness center, two roof decks, a lounge, a courtyard with reflecting pool, an open-air movie theater and a pet spa. This building is sold exclusively through Halstead Property Development Marketing and priced from $725,000. Owners can expect to move in by year’s end. (540west.com)

Meanwhile, Related Companies’ massive, 28-acre Hudson Yards development project, between 30th and 34th Sts. west of 10th Ave., will include 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space, including 100-plus stores (negotiations are reportedly underway with Neiman Marcus), 20 restaurants, a luxury hotel, park areas and a 750-seat public school. An extension of the number 7 subway line from Times Square to 34th St. and 11th Ave. is set to open toward the later part of this year.

The LEED Gold-registered 10 Hudson Yards commercial tower, with a direct link to the High Line, has inked deals to lease commercial space to world-class names including Coach, L’Oreal and German software powerhouse SAP. An enormous Fairway Market will be developed under the High Line.

The first residential tower, LEED Gold-registered 15 Hudson Yards will open in 2017. Comprised largely of condominiums, the building will have a 20 percent set-aside for affordable rentals.

Adjacent to that, the Culture Shed, the much talked-about multipurpose venue offering seven levels of flexible performance and gallery space — to host a dizzying range of art, design and special events, including New York City’s Fashion Week — is also slated to open in 2017.

Also LEED Gold-registered, 30 Hudson Yards, a commercial tower with the city’s highest outdoor observation deck, will be ready by 2018. Time Warner has already acquired more than 1 million square feet of office space in this building for about 5,000 employees from corporate operations, including HBO, Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros.

Condos, a hotel and both retail and entertainment spaces at LEED Gold-registered 35 Hudson, with direct access to the High Line, Hudson River Park and Hudson Boulevard & Park — a planned ribbon of parkland that will wend its way between 10th and 11th Aves. — is also expected to open in 2018. (relatated.com/hudson-yards)

With new builds and conversions proliferating on the Far West Side, there are a number of available posh penthouses facing the Hudson River, for both rental and purchase.

Penthouse seekers might check out the 959-square-foot two-bedroom with river views in the Atelier’s 35th floor at 635 W. 42nd St. The asking price is $1.9 million, and there’s a tax abatement through 2018. Communal amenities include a resident-only lounge with complimentary weekday breakfasts, a basketball court and gym, a swimming pool, two roof decks with grill areas, complimentary shuttles across 42nd St. for weekday morning and evening commutes, and on-site parking. (halstead.com)

No-fee renters willing to pay sky-high to live sky-high will find the 2,200-square-foot, convertible four-bedroom penthouse (including two master suites) on the 61st floor of the LEED Gold One MiMA Tower, at 460 W. 42nd St., just the ticket. Building extras include an Equinox and indoor lap pool, full-size basketball and volleyball courts, three landscaped terraces with private dining pods and barbecue areas, party rooms/catering kitchens, outdoor/indoor screening rooms, an Internet cafe and business center, a game room, and on-site training, grooming, walking and scheduled playdate services from Dog City. This home will set you back $19,000 a month. (related.com)