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Thread: 206 West 18th Street - Walker Tower, Condo Conversion

  1. #1
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Default 206 West 18th Street - Walker Tower, Condo Conversion

    Is Verizon's Chelsea Building Going Condo?

    January 12, 2010, by Joey



    Verizon's 19-story 206 West 18th Street, built in the early '30s with a dash of Art Deco flair, is pretty darn nice as far as soulless phone company buildings go. That, combined with its plum Chelsea location, makes it a fairly obvious candidate for condo conversion, and that's precisely the theory a Curbed tipster is floating. He writes: "I heard that the Verizon Chelsea Building on 17th street and 7th avenue was sold to a developer this week. The rumor is that it's going mostly condo and some Verizon space will remain." We've left a message with Verizon's real estate office, and poor Intern Greg got nowhere with the person seated at the lobby desk yesterday, but here's what we know: According to online permits, Verizon has filed plans to subdivide the building into commercial condominiums. Gensler & Associates is the architecture firm listed. But there's more to this mysterious plot, junior detectives!

    In December, an entity called 210 West 18th LLC (address: 445 Central Avenue, Cedarhurst, NY) paid Verizon just over $25 million for space in the building (which has an alternate address of 215 West 17th Street). Doesn't seem like the whole building traded hands, because that price tag sounds awfully cheap for an entire 19-story Chelsea building, and Verizon still needs plenty of space around town from which to continuously crush the spirit of its customers. Could a portion of the building be taken residential? We've seen such commercial/residential condo hybrids before, like at posh 15 Madison Square North. But while we await word on the building's fate, let's file under big fat rumor for now.

    Application Details: 206 West 18th Street [DOB]
    Sold: 210 West 18th Street [StreetEasy]
    photo via PropertyShark

    UPDATE
    : The 163-page declaration document filed with the Department of Finance is littered with references to residential units, and it looks like Verizon will be holding on to some of the bottom floors of the building. You can download this doorstop of information right here, but here's an excerpt describing possible building renovations:




    http://curbed.com/archives/2010/01/1...condo.php#more

  2. #2

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    unfortuatley the millionaire developer STERN, has decided to use NON-UNION labor for his project. quite a kick in the face to CWA Verizon and the tousands of union tradesmen that have worked in this building and the ones that are currentley working in the building for verizons network seperation from the condo. it amazes me how rich the developer has to get on the backs of others. lets try to change this project around.

  3. #3

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    Well, if the labor is non-union, I guess the project will be delivered on-time, on-budget, and with few defects.

    Kudos to the developer for standing up to threats and intimidation.

  4. #4

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    your an idiot, go move down south with the rest of the bush loving rednecks. get out of my city!!!

  5. #5

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    Um, what does dislike of organized crime have to do with "redneck" and "Bush-lover"?

    Please check your meds before making any more nonsensical outbursts. If you have anything to contribute to the actual thread topic, please do so.

  6. #6

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    After reading heatly1's post, it is quite clear that he was educated by union teachers! I presume his city is Staten Island.

  7. #7
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Gorgeous. Thank goodness it's not getting knocked down.


    Chelsea's Sleeping Giant Remade as Luxury Condos With 14-Foot Ceilings

    by Kelsey Keith





    Back in the post-crash days of '09, a rumor hit the 'wire that the Art Deco Ralph Walker-designed Verizon building on West 18th Street near 7th Avenue was bought by a developer for a future condo conversion. (Background check: Walker is the old-school New York architect behind 1 Wall Street and the Barclay-Vesey Building; Frank Lloyd Wright was a fan.) DOF records illuminated a few juicy details, including a sale price of $25 million and the fact that Verizon would stay on as a tenant, but no confirmation was forthcoming via concerning parties. Two years have passed and now, not to say we told you so, but: we told you so!

    The salient facts: developers Michael Stern and Elliott Joseph bought space in the 1929 skyscraper for a song in 2009, in the interest of carving out 55 luxury condos on the 9th floor and up. Verizon will maintain use of the first eight floors as office space with a separate entrance on West 17th Street. Despite its age and architectural pedigree, the building is not landmarked, so while the development team and project architects Cetra/Ruddy (not Gensler, as initially reported) are taking meticulous care to restore the aesthetics of the Walker original, they are also at liberty to make changes.

    Since we're talking luxury apartments, that translates to new, ten-foot windows punched in the facade, a four-story penthouse extension on the roof, and reconfigured egress with the stairwells moved from the four corners to the center of the structure, allowing floorplans that capitalize on double-exposure views. One of the more remarkable features is its lofty ceiling heights—since each floor is nearly 15' tall, the whole building looms over its neighbors, affording gobsmacking panoramic views to the south, west and north. Take our word for it: we got a very early sneak preview of the gutted upper floors last week and the overall effect is one of dizzying dissonance, from the exterior (a beautifully-detailed but relatively-under-the-radar setback tower) to the interior, a behemoth smack dab in the middle of Chelsea.



    Bonus round: Over the weekend, a tipster happened to send in this shot of the under-construction penthouse floors and asked about renderings. We hear those will be circulated in the spring, when sales launch for the 55 units, marketed by CORE.

    Official site: Walker Tower [walker-tower.com]
    Introducing Walker Tower [CORE]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/1...lings.php#more

  8. #8

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    I'm confused in where the addition is being added. Any other construction pictures?
    The building should have been landmarked. It's use and and Verizon probably had something to do with why it was not.

  9. #9
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    The addition is on top. I don't think this building is strictly in a landmark area.

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    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    It wasn't going to get knocked down because it is obviously overbuilt to the current FAR allowances.

    The only thing you would have to worry about is misguided stripping or "updates" to the facade.

  11. #11
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Plus it looks like very sturdy construction.

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    If the building is overbuilt, how could there be an addition?
    I'm confused about this because the building permits don't seem to indicate an addition.



    nycismymuse

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    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    I'm just guessing but it's close to the #1 18th. St. stop so it may get an allowance because it's near a subway station. Plus they could have bought some air rights.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The Zoning Info for 210 W 18th is found HERE at the DOB page.

    Seems they were able to "relocate" some of the allowable FAR by adjusting parapet heights: originally those parapets were built high enough so that the open space they surrounded was considered as part of the FAR area, but if lowered then that area is no longer counted within existing FAR (this is where the high paid zoning consultants prove their worth). So what is going up isn't technically an addition.

    The paperwork includes some helpful images, like this one:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	210W18_Zoning1.jpg 
Views:	257 
Size:	42.5 KB 
ID:	14449

  15. #15

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    Thanks for that explanation Lofter. Wish they'd show us a rendering.
    I expect glass, hopefully it'll be. well done.

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