more views at risk, as another 315 West 36 Street neighbor sells

“put your hands up, we’ve got you surrounded”
If buildings could talk, that’s what the 2-story garage across 36th Street from the residential Manhattan loft building at 315 West 36 Street might say to its residential neighbor. Word comes today that another Manhattan a development site masquerading as a two-sided parking facility has dropped the pretense, as it has just been sold (Hotel likely for $20M Midtown West site). Of course, that garage could not surround its 17-story 20-residential-unit neighbor by itself, but if a tall hotel goes up here (as apparently planned) that will block at least some of the wonderful south light at 315 West 36 Street, just as the planned hotel at 312-318 West 37 Street that I hit in my August 18, 2011, much diligence due over planned hotel in West 37 Street, will block some of the north light at 315 West 36 Street. Hotel towers both north and south is enough for me to conjure an imaginary conversation between collections of bricks, mortar and steel.

Here’s the deal via The Real Deal:

Raber Enterprises has paid $33.5 million for two adjacent commercial lots in Midtown West, and is likely to develop a hotel on the site, The Real Deal has learned.

The deal for 320 West 36th Street, an 8,145 square-foot lot, and 321 West 35th Street, a 3,521 square-foot-lot, closed on Dec. 18. Both lots are currently occupied by two-story parking garages.

Like the parking lot on West 37th Street that prompted my August 18, 2011 post when it sold, Property Shark shows that this garage with narrow frontage on West 35th Street is zoned for commercial use, with a Floor Area Ratio of 10, yielding a potential development of 116,660 sq ft (81,450 sq ft for the West 36th Street garage and 35,210 sq ft for the West 35th Street frontage). My guess is that the entrance would be on West 35th Street, with the largest and tallest part being on the back, toward West 36 Street, easily 20 stories if the other zoning regulations allow. For those of you who can access The Shark, the building photo for 320 West 35 Street will revive the New Year’s hangover for anyone with a southern exposure at 315 West 36 Street — the building looming over the garage in the photo.

If you can’t access The Shark, you can zoom in on the map from The Google to see the 321 West 35 Street rooftop, then the cars parked on adjoining 320 West 36 Street roof, then the mass of 315 West 36 Street across just to the north, with the green planting terraces, or just pan around from 320 West 36 Street on Google StreetView to see 315 West 36 Street directly across from 320 West 36 Street.

quoting oneself is a higher form of flattery
See that August 18, 2011 post for a discussion and links about view diligence focused on 315 West 36 Street from the other side, with some other specific Manhattan loft neighborhood examples, and with some general observations, and even a practical suggestion. I will quote here only the intro to that post:

Part of the charm of living in loft neighborhoods (in Manhattan and elsewhere), for me and I suspect for many people, is that they may be ‘developing’ neighborhoods, with a certain vitality missing from more staid (mature) residential areas and (often, at least early) a discount from the overall market because the ‘developing’ neighborhood may be a little more gritty than mature residential areas.


Part of the risk of living in loft neighborhoods (in Manhattan and elsewhere) that are ‘developing’ neighborhoods is that they … uhhh … will continue to develop.

price is going up (d’oh!)
That 2011 parking lot sale on West 37th Street yielded 99,730 sq ft of FAR, at a cost of $20.8mm. The recent sale of the paired garages to the south was at $33.5mm for 116,660 sq ft of FAR. Assuming (dangerously, but still) that only that FAR is available in all cases, the price per developable foot on the back of my envelope has gone from $209/ft to $287/ft in 16 months.

Did I mention that ‘developing’ neighborhoods tend to … develop?

© Sandy Mattingly 2013

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