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It’s not a mirage on the West Side Highway — shiny new skyscrapers are popping up along the Hudson River, as half of the 13,000 new Manhattan condos planned will be built on the West Side. 

The race is on for west side development along the Hudson River. Photo by Gary Hershorn

In an analysis of plans submitted to the NY State Attorney General’s office from 2016-2021, The Real Deal found that 7 out of 10 of the fastest growing city neighborhoods are on Manhattan’s West Side, with the top 5 neighborhoods all concentrated West of 5th Avenue. Hell’s Kitchen is the fifth-fastest growing neighborhood — with 7 new projects, 537 units, and a $1.1 billion total sellout planned. HK follows #1 FiDi (1,434 units planned across 8 projects), #2 Chelsea (1,142 units planned across 29 projects), #3 the Upper West Side (921 units planned across 19 projects), and #4 Lincoln Square (565 units planned across 7 projects). 

Back in 2016, W42ST conducted its own roundup of proposed West Side developments, several of which made TRD’s list of noteworthy new buildings. Billionaire’s Row and its extension through West 57th Street had a strong showing, featuring the striking pyramid design of VIA 57 WEST (625 W57th St bw 11th/12th Ave), Steinway Tower at 111 W57th St bw 6/7th Ave (expected to garner more than $23 million for each of its 60 condo units), 220 Central Park South (bw 7th Ave and Broadway), and the tallest residential building in the world —  Central Park Tower at 217 W57th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue. 

The astonishingly tall towers at 220 Central Park South and 217 W57th Street (made possible by a loophole in NYC zoning laws where floors used for maintenance don’t count against a building’s height limit) have an expected average sellout of $28 million per unit, though TRD did note that Central Park Tower is currently selling units at 25% less than their initially planned list prices. 

Over on W42nd Street, the glossy Sky building (605 W42nd St bw 11/12th Ave) features 71 stories of studio, 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units with Hudson River views while the MiMa at 450 W42nd and Dyer Ave boasts a central location by Theatre Row and 44,000-square feet of condos and amenities. Up on W43rd are the Oskar Luxury Apartments (572 11th Ave –  corner of W43rd St), a residential building that even comes with its own credit card

Hudson Yards has been a significant part of west side development. Photo by Gary Hershorn

Not every new development in Hell’s Kitchen is an ultramodern glass house — a few blocks uptown at the Inkwell (520 W45th St bw 10/11th Ave), a 1905-era building previously used as a public school was internally renovated to reveal 18 units with modern fixtures and nostalgic charm (giant, school-sized windows!). Another municipal-turned-residential development is The Sorting House (318 W52nd St bw 8/9th Ave), a 1926-era post office renovated into lush, terraced units. 

Some of 2016’s proposed developments were still under construction, like a mixed-use building at 555 W34th Street in Hudson Yards.

Others were outfitted as affordable and supportive housing, like 540 W53rd Street (corner of 11th Ave), a collaboration between Taconic Properties and the Clinton Housing Development company.

Other notable highlights among the TRD findings include the city’s 6th-largest development (15 Hudson Yards) and the 8th-largest development, 547 W47th Street — also known as The Westmade with 208,000 kilograms (229.28 tons) of recycled construction debris, The West’s unique design has established the building as a distinctive blend of old Hell’s Kitchen character and glitzy-luxury-condo-feel on 11th Avenue. 

The West on W4th Street and 11th Avenue. Photo: Phil O’Brien

While the West Side’s recently completed projects are a lucrative win for developers, the consumer may lose out — because Manhattan rents and sale prices are higher than ever. Median rents surged to $3,467 a month while sale prices increased 16.6% in 2021 to $1,165,000 per unit, as two proposed Hell’s Kitchen developments come under community board fire for reneging on a promise to include middle-income units in addition to supportive housing and market-rate units. In a neighborhood where the median sale price for an apartment still sits at $1 million, it remains to be seen whether the West Side’s many new developments will be accessible to the average Hell’s Kitchen resident. 

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