Katz shows off Highline cousins

Rendering of the retail space at 508 W. 20th St.

Sherwood Equities has released a rendering of a new single-story retail space currently under construction off the High Line on 20th Street.

Designed by Mark Zeff, the building will have 30-foot ceilings and a roof garden accessible by elevator that is level with the High Line Park.

It will serve as a dramatic sales center for Sherwood’s neighboring condo project at 500 West 21st Street, where sales scheduled to start at the end of this year. The developer then plans to rent the space, most likely to a restaurant or art gallery.

“A month or two into sales, we’ll be out talking to the leasing community,” said Jeffrey Katz, Sherwood’s president and CEO.

Sherwood bought the lot at 508 W 20th Street — then the site of an unfinished condominium project — for $7.3 million in early 2011.

“No one knew what to do with it,” said Ryan Nelson, Sherwood’s SVP of development.

Rather than trying to work with the stalled project, Sherwood razed the building and took advantage of the special zoning the city put in place along the High Line Transfer Corridor, selling all five stories of development rights to other sites in the neighborhood. The asking price for the air rights was $500 psf.

They sold in two transactions totaling more that $10 million, according to records filed with the city’s department of finance, to Scott Resnick’s project at 551 West 21st Street and Victor Homes’s development on West 29th Street.

Sherwood was then able to take advantage of an element of a special zoning clause that allowed them to buy back one 4,000 s/f floor of development rights from the city at $50 psf.

The city implemented the special zoning corridor around the High Line to encourage developers to build no higher than the park on the immediately adjacent lots.

“It worked out the way they wanted it to,” Nelson said.

The gallery building is across the street and on the other side of the High Line from the Sherwood condos, and the buildings were designed as independent entities.

“They both relate to the neighborhood but they’re cousins, not twins,” Katz said.

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