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Old Posted Nov 14, 2014, 1:15 AM
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Major New York City developer wants to build giant rental tower near Hudson Yards
Jeff Levine's Douglaston Development has inked a contract to lease a whole blockfront in the West 30s

November 13, 2014

The Hudson Yards area may be getting yet another high-rise tower, depending on whether the city plays ball.

Major New York City developer Jeffrey Levine has inked a contract to lease a massive site on 29th St. and 11th Ave. from a family that's owned it for more than a century, the Daily News has learned. But his ability to build on the site rests on whether the city will grant an upzoning, permitting him to build taller than current zoning law allows.

Levine, who already owns a 34-story rental tower across the street at 312 11th Ave., wants to bring a new rental tower to the 62,000-square-foot L-shaped lot.

The development site, which comprises an old Mobil gas station, a gallery and several small brick buildings, runs the entire length of 11th Ave. between 29th and 30th Sts. and encompasses nearly 40 % of the entire city block. Under the terms of the deal, Levine's Douglaston Development would head up construction of the tower and lease the site for 99 years, while the family would retain ownership of the land beneath.

Levine's deal for the site is contingent on the upzoning and how much he pays for the lease will ultimately rest on just how high the city allows him to build. The going rate for similar deals in the neighborhood is north of $300 per buildable square foot, experts said.

Levine declined to confirm the details of the deal, but a source close to the transaction said the mogul is "optimistic" about his chances of getting the zoning change.

Developers have been lining up to grab the site, which is in the up-and-coming Hudson Yards area on the west side.

The site is a skip and a jump from the Related Companies' Hudson Yards megaproject, a $20 billion residential and commercial development comprising 16 skyscrapers at the site of the West Side rail yard in the West 30s.

Douglaston is the development company behind the Edge condominiums in Williamsburg and the Zinc Building in Tribeca.

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“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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