Hell’s Kitchen is rapidly becoming a burgeoning hub for life sciences. Georgetown Co and Beacon Capital Partners are set to demolish the historic former Kenneth Cole global headquarters at 707 11th Ave and W50th Street to make way for a ground-up life sciences center. The seven-story facility is slated to break ground next year.

707 11th Avenue
Rendering of the new 707 11th Avenue life sciences center. Image: Georgetown Co

The development will add 185,000 square feet of research, lab and office space to the area, marking a shift in the traditional car dealership-heavy neighborhood — with a splash of advertising agencies. “It’s so much more than bunsen burners and lab coats,” said the companies promotional video for the new facility. “The historical norm is that these kinds of facilities would have been in the basement of a hospital,” said Jonathan Schmerin, managing principal at Georgetown Co, about the purpose-built center.

Schmerin stressed that the new building would offer amenities like natural light and collaborative spaces for scientists who typically can’t work remotely. “To have light and views, it’s changing the dynamic, partly because institutions recognize that you have to be able to attract and retain employees, whether it’s in bio-science or financial services,” he said.

The current building, which will be demolished, has an interesting Hell’s Kitchen history. Built in 1901, it was originally part of the Vincent Astor estate and was later home to renowned piano manufacturer Kohler & Campbell. In the 1960s, indie music distributor Malverne moved into 707 Eleventh, where they represented lines such as Epic, Blue Note, Buddha Records and Cameo-Parkway. It became the headquarters for fashion brand Kenneth Cole in 2004.

Kenneth Cole HQ
The former Kenneth Cole HQ on 11th Avenue will be demolished next year to make way for the state-of-the-art lab. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The new life sciences center isn’t an isolated development on the Far West Side. In March this year, Mayor Eric Adams attended the opening of an internationally groundbreaking medical research center just four blocks north, part of what he called a growing “biotech corridor” along 11th Avenue. “New York City continues to build on its strengths, investing in spaces, companies, and talent that will spark cutting-edge innovation and catalyzing new opportunities in the Life Sciences industry for all New Yorkers,” said Andrew Kimball, CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The EDC will also support the new project.

One of the building’s unique features will be a café and wine bar, which will be open to the public. This amenity serves as a welcome addition to the neighborhood, promising to seamlessly blend the scientific and residential communities of Hell’s Kitchen.

The new facility will be an all-electric building and aims to be LEED Gold and WELL certified, featuring rooftop solar panels and other sustainability-focused elements.

Georgetown Co also owns 787 11th Ave in partnership with Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital. 787 Eleventh is a mixed-use, life science-anchored development.

707 11th Avenue
Rendering of the new 707 11th Avenue life sciences center. Image: Georgetown Co

“The Far West Side is quickly becoming a hub for life sciences investment and research,” said Georgetown’s Schmerin. The building aims to open in 2025, with the timeline depending on tenant commitments.

Join the Conversation


  1. This is great news! As a resident, I want the far west side of HK to be clean, quiet and residential to make Hudson River Park build amenities like those in WV and Chelsea. I think these bio-science corp buildings and the new Verizon building will help with that.

  2. When will we stop destroying beautiful historic buildings to put up incredibly ugly boxes with no beauty? I am SO SICK OF THIS. STOP!!!!

  3. “The former Kenneth Cole HQ on 10th Avenue will be demolished next year to make way for the state-of-the-art lab. Photo: Phil O’Brien”

    10th? 11th? Um………..

  4. What the hell?!?!! Were they ever going to bother to ask the people who lives in the neighborhood what they thought about this? This is a beautiful old building and I cannot believe they are going to tear this down for some ugly new build. It seems an impossibility that there is not even a consideration to incorporate this building into this new design, does anyone even care about Hells kitchen because it sure doesn’t seem like they do this is so absolutely frustrating. I am just beyond pissed off. Unacceptable Mayor Adams has really proved to be a bust. It’s amazing how these things just seem to slip by without any feedback from the neighborhood the Kenneth Cole building is actually one of the few buildings along the 11th Ave., Corredor that should be worth saving again shows how city government just not care about any of the history of the buildings in Hell’s Kitchen!!! Just like the 10th Ave subway station. I’m so tired of being completely disappointed!!!

  5. This is incredibly depressing that a “science hub” is ignoring a known principle of climate science. New developments create more pollution than retrofitting a piece of HISTORY.

    Chelsea Market was preserved but once again Hell’s Kitchen history gets the shaft. Further any point that this building is going to be LEED Gold IS A NON STARTER as the community seeks LEED Platinum as a base for new development proposals. EDC did not destroy the Domino Sugar building, a building made possible through the exploit of slave and Jim Crow era labor and the destruction of Puerto Rico’s agricultural economy when Domino Sugar operated under US Sugar.

    Not to mention this building is uglier than a dirty mule’s rear.

  6. And they forgot to mention that the building was used for about a decade by the NYC traffic dep.

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