Back in 2011, AvalonBay abandoned plans to build a 44-story, 700-unit rental building on the block south of West 57th Street between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues. TF Cornerstone was rumored to be interested in the site, and it turns out the rumors were true: the Manhattan-based developer now wants to build a 45-story, 1,189-unit residential tower on the same site, according to documents filed with the Department of City Planning.
If approved, the project would contain a total of 1.2 million square feet of floorspace, with 42,000 square feet set aside for commercial use and a 550-space underground parking garage. Of the apartments, 20 percent—238 units—would be set aside as affordable housing under the city’s inclusionary zoning program.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The Meatpacking District is now as dead as the cattle carcasses that once poured blood onto its cobblestone streets. The last independent meat supplier in a neighborhood that once has more than 200 has moved into a city-controlled co-op in the neighborhood, the last redoubt of steaks and chops in the area. Weischel Beef is being replaced with—yep—more high-end retail, according to The Real Deal.
With three dozen projects underway in Long Island City, the brothers behind Rockrose Development—two of whom split to form TF Cornerstone in 2009—are poised to compete against one another for prize renters and retailers in what is rapidly becoming Queens’s answer to Williamsburg and Dumbo. TF Cornerstone chairman Thomas Elghanayan spoke to The Commercial Observer about the EastCoast, his firm’s waterfront rental complex, the infamous Rockrose Development coin toss, and his tense relationship with brother Henry Elghanayan, chief executive of Rockrose Development.
In 2009, the brothers behind the Rockrose Development Corporation—Henry, Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan—divided their four-decade business partnership in half, with Frederick and Thomas spinning off to form TF Cornerstone, and Henry staying put at Rockrose with his son, Justin Elghanayan, 33. Since that relatively amicable split, in which the company’s $3 billion empire was divided in half, Henry Elghanayan has rebuilt the portfolio and elevated his son, who has taken the reins as the project manager of Linc LIC, a development in Long Island City, Queens, scheduled to include two residential towers and a retail complex that, when finished in 2013, could breathe new life into the long-simmering neighborhood. Last week, Justin Elghanayan spoke to The Commercial Observer about his family’s recent split, the future of Rockrose and his Long Island City project, which includes what could be the tallest building in Queens.
The Power Broker
Steven Baker built a life, and staked his career, on the Far West Side of Manhattan at a time when the High Line still languished as an abandoned freight track and nearly every block west of Ninth Avenue included a warehouse, garage or parking lot.
While other brokers followed dollar signs in Midtown and across Madison Avenue, Mr. Baker, then a young broker living in a Ninth Avenue bachelor pad, saw potential in the dusty warehouses and loading docks he walked past in the summer of 2000.
“I knew I wanted to control the neighborhood,” recalled the 40-year-old Mr. Baker, now a managing partner at Winick Realty, who has played a leading role in transforming the area.
Condo sales might be super sluggish in Long Island City, but maybe the first indoor cycling studio will get things moving.
Crank Cycling Studio will occupy 800 square feet for 10 years at “The View” at 4630 Center Boulevard, which is distinguished from every other new building in the neighborhood only by its Read More