Rockrose Acquires Air Rights to Build Resi Tower in Hudson Yards - The Jewish Voice
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Friday, March 31, 2023

Rockrose Acquires Air Rights to Build Resi Tower in Hudson Yards

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What goes up… is often worth a fortune, which is why Rockrose Development recently completed its acquisition of air rights that enable it to construct a 598-unit residential tower in Hudson Yards at a cost of $20.5 million.

That prices garners for the firm a reported 139,093 square feet of air rights from the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority), in a deal that closed in January, according to a report by PincusCo.

The project, according to Crain’s New York Business, is one segment of a 1.6 million-square-foot development in Hudson Yards. “The company filed plans in the fall for the rental unit at 551 W. 38th St. The developer is planning a 51-story tower with 16,000 square feet of amenities, including a game room, a fitness center, a roof deck, a golf simulator and a squash court.”

As Crain’s reports, the building in question is set to feature 150 affordable-units. It will designed by Pelli Clark Pelli Architects, along with SLC Architects, as the architect of record.

“Rockrose first began building its project in 2002, with the $10.5 million purchase of the midblock parcels 545 W. 38th St. and 536 W. 39th St.,” Crain’s reported. “The firm paid $83.4 million for 476 11th Ave. in 2007, and then made its final purchase for 528-534 W. 29th St. for an undisclosed sum in 2012.”

According to PincusCo.’s Adam Pincus, the residential rental building is the first of two towers planned on land Rockrose began assembling in 2002, that together total 1.39 million square feet of development potential, city records show. The other is an approximately 1-million-square-foot office building that does not yet have plans filed.

“Projects in Hudson Yards illustrate the powerful influence the city’s land use decisions have to promote development,” Pincus writes. “This project and many others like it have doubled in size thanks to the fuel of transferable development rights.”

Founded in 1970, Rockrose is one of New York’s most pre-eminent and prolific developers. As an all-encompassing property owner, developer and manager, the company’s web site makes clear, its “visionary stance and commitment to excellence” have established it as a leading force in New York real estate. “With a hands-on management team who recognize the importance of exacting quality for demanding residential and commercial clients, the company continues to exceed expectations and create new standards. Henry Elghanayan carries on the family tradition with his son Justin.”

According to Forbes magazine, the Elghanayan family, which was worth more than $2 billion in 2015 when Forbes last estimated their fortune, “traces their wealth back to Nourollah Elghanayan, an Iranian-native who started buying land in Manhattan in the 1950s and 1960s. His three sons, Tom, Fred and Henry, expanded the family business throughout Manhattan and Queens, acquiring and developing iconic buildings such as FBI’s former New York City headquarters and the Carnegie Hall Tower.”

In 2009, Forbes continued, the family split up their holdings amid disagreements over succession plans. “Henry reportedly won a coin toss and chose the Rockrose name and a portfolio of development sites and residential buildings; Tom and Fred took the rest, including more than 5,000 apartment units and properties in Long Island City, and rolled them into an entity called TF Cornerstone.”

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