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Port Authority seeks to cash in on West Side real estate frenzy

Access road to Lincoln Tunnel is unexpected spot for new development

Hell’s Kitchen is hot — so hot that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is betting it can find a developer to build real estate on top of an access road to the Lincoln Tunnel.

Last week, the authority released a solicitation seeking “to maximize revenue and provide an additional source of funding” for Port Authority projects.

One of the two lots it seeks to develop sits atop Dyer Ave., a below-ground highway owned and operated by the Port Authority. A builder could elect to erect a deck over the road in order to develop the property.

dyer

The Port Authority project is a neighbor to two major real estate projects, Hudson Yards and Manhattan West, that are both slated to rise on decks top of the rail yards leading from Penn Station.

The authority did not respond to a request for comment before this story was posted.

Matthew Lasner, professor of urban affairs and Planning at Hunter College, said the Port appeared to be part of a long-term strategy.

“Clearly they could have waited, but it made sense considering the way commercial real estate cycles work,” he said. “They are banking on 2018 being an optimal time for premium rents.”

Brookfield Properties, which is developing Manhattan West, is contemplating the Port Authority opportunity.

“It is on our radar,” said Matthew Cherry, VP of investor relations and communications at Brookfield, “the land is directly across from us.” Developers have until May 1 to submit their proposals.

The project would not need to go through New York City’s land use review process unless the developer sought to make changes to the current zoning, which allows both commercial and residential uses.

In a concession to the community, the project would need to include a passageway connecting 33rd and 34th streets.

Robert J. Benfatto Jr., district manager at Community Board 4, said he was pleased about the inclusion of public space as a requirement for prospective developers. The board will discuss the Port Authority plan at its meeting on Wednesday.

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