Published On: Mon, May 19th, 2014

Atlas Capital Has $100 Million Redevelopment Plan For Manhattan’s Pier 40 Park An St. John’s Terminal

A new proposal would allow for the reconstruction of two new York City landmarks located opposite one another along the Hudson River in lower Manhattan.

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St. John’s Park Terminal is a dilapidated old freight building opposite Pier 40 on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. It is co owned by the Atlas Capital Group which has put forward a $100 million plan to acquire the air rights needed in order to rebuild it.

Located at 550 Washington Street in the Tribeca neighborhood, the four story building was originally constructed for the now defunct Hudson River Railroad. Today it is right alongside the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, which connect Manhattan to new Jersey.

Its owners want to transfer the air rights from the pier which were never used, to the old freight building. In exchange, they will pay the city $100 million which can be used to save the pier. Currently home to a park, Pier 40 is said to be sinking.

Atlas wants to demolish the old freight terminal and replace it with new commercial buildings for retail stores, as well as new residential units. Both are said to be needed in the area.

According to a new law passed last year in New York, the trust that operates Hudson River Park may sell any development rights that it holds for use up to one block east of the park. But both the city and the state of New York would need to approve any deal.

The terminal is currently an office building that stretches out over three city blocks.

The largest of the parks along the Hudson River which are spread out along Manhattan’s West Side Highway, Pier 40 at Hudson River Park holds more than 14 square acres, hosts sports facilities and is home to New York’s rugby team, the New York Knights. The Hudson River Park Trust’s offices are also located there and local residents enjoy using its facilities to play all sorts of sports. Many events are hosted there as well.

 REDEVELOPMENT CONCEPT STUDY

The new plans have met with protest from the local residents, however. Many do not like the idea of a new high rise built between their neighborhood and the river. They also fear the eventual loss of the park and possible harm to the character of their community.

Founded in March 2006 by Jeffrey A. Goldberger and Andrew B. Cohen, Atlas Capital invests in real estate around the world. It has formed strategic partnerships with institutional investors in many countries and has a portfolio of $2.5 billion in residential, commercial and development assets. Operating hotels in cities like New York and Dublin, Atlas is a full service real estate investment, development and management firm which handles property management, construction, leasing, accounting, legal and financial analysis.

A co founder of Atlas, Jeffrey A. Goldberger has over 25 years of experience in real estate. Formerly a principal and president of the Witkoff Group LLC, he helped that firm acquire more than 15 million square feet of commercial real estate. Mr. Goldberg managed the Union Bank Switzerland’s Global Commercial Real Estate Group just prior to forming Atlas. He has an MBA in finance from NYU’s Stern Business School.

Andrew B. Cohen, Atlas’ other founder, was also a managing director with UBS Investment Bank’s Global Commercial Real Estate Group. There he was responsible for developing and structuring large and complex debt instruments. Previously a real estate lawyer, Cohen has a law degree from New York’s Fordham University School of Law.

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