Gotham West, What Took You So Long?

550 West 45th Street (Photo from Gotham Organization)

Hellsea is now officially “Midtown West.” Or it will be as soon as Gotham Organization’s massive new development is completed. Representatives from Gotham joined Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and Housing Commissioner Matthew Wambua to break ground at the site earlier today. The housing development, which when completed will be the largest affordable housing project in all of Manhattan, is located at West 44th between 10th and 11th Avenues. Spanning nearly an entire city block, the mammoth project will cost nearly $520 million and ultimately include 1,200 residential units.

Best of all? In addition to the parking garage, the complex will include “bicycle storage that will embrace a bike advocacy program.” How very Brooklyn of you, Gotham!  With a combination of luxury, income-restricted and affordable housing planned for the site, the block will be about as economically diverse as the crowds at Zuccotti Park.

But that’s not all. A new “state-of-the art” public elementary school is also being constructed, which in the purview of Hellsea probably means that a couple of computers will be thrown in gratis.

“This is an absolute West Side success story,” said Speaker Quinn, whose district encompasses the project. “In 1975, the City condemned most of this square block, and now, some 30 years later, this land is coming to life.” The area was taken over by the city back then, with plans for its Moses-style transformation, but the project never took and has tried fitfully ever since to become a reality.

The residential buildings are slated to be opened in 2014, while the school has been fast-tracked to open a year before that. Gotham West, What Took You So Long?