Waiting For The Subway: Developer Spinola, Midtown West Condo Buyers Optimistic on 7 Train Expansion
We've written at our sister blog at Luxury Rentals Manhattan about the planned expansion of the 7 train into far-west Chelsea and -- if a coalition of developers and a lot of Clinton condo owners with crossed fingers get their way -- into the currently subway-deficient Clinton. As important as the 7 train's expansion into Midtown West is to the Manhattan luxury rental market, though, the extension of subway access is doubly important to those looking for condos in Midtown West and apartments for sale in Chelsea. While mega-developers like Steven Spinola have been the ones agitating the hardest for a new 7 train station at 41st and 10th Avenue -- to go with the planned station at 34th and 11th Avenue -- they're hardly the only ones who stand to benefit from the 7 train's expansion into Midtown West. The developers might be the ones with the advocacy website (and the lobbying dollars), but owners of Chelsea condos and apartments in Midtown West stand to see their lives get much more convenient -- and their condominiums become that much more valuable -- with expanded subway access. Which means that it's not just NYC real estate developers cheering what looks like a possible step forward in the 7 train expansion.
To catch you up: Rumors of 7 train expansion have been around for awhile, but this is no longer a pie-in-the-sky thing. The new terminus to the 7 train at 34th and 11th, in the western reaches of Chelsea, is on track to open in 2013. The MTA announced last year that it was giving up on the prospect of a station at 41st and 10th -- even cutting the shell of the station would be hugely expensive, and a new station itself could cost over to $500 million. Developers didn't give up easily, though, and today's Wall Street Journal brings news that the city government and MTA are reviewing ideas that could bring the Midtown West subway station back from the dead.
"The decision to take a second look comes after months of the administration signaling there was little hope of that happening," the Journal's Michael Howard Saul reports. "City Hall is planning to move forward with the next set of contracts on the project, and officials had said that turning back to build a 10th Avenue station after these contracts are issued, would result in tens of millions of wasted dollars. While details remain sketchy, Mr. Spinola said officials are exploring how it might be possible to build the second station at sometime in the future without having to shut down service."
"Details remaining sketchy" is kind of a big phrase back there: Spinola and his organization, REBNY, are clearly trying to spin this story a bit, and perhaps will it into being. But while the costs may still wind up being prohibitive -- and while REBNY obviously isn't offering to foot the bill for anything -- it's hard not to hope for more subway access for Midtown West and Chelsea in general. That's especially true if you're checking out Chelsea condos for sale like those at Prime Lofts, or Midtown West condo listings like The 505, or if you're planning on developing condos in those neighborhoods. But it's a story worth watching for anyone interested in NYC real estate.