Gilmartin’s MAG Partners Chosen to Develop Penn South’s Mixed-Use Project in Chelsea

Gilmartin’s MAG Partners Chosen to Develop Penn South’s Mixed-Use Project in Chelsea
A rendering of 335 8th Ave. to be built in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.

NEW YORK—Penn South, an affordable housing cooperative located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, announced on June 3 it had selected MaryAnne Gilmartin’s MAG Partners to redevelop 335 Eighth Ave. into a mixed-income apartment building with ground floor commercial space, including a grocery store.

The new 200-unit building will be developed under the Affordable NY Program with 30% of its units reserved for low-and-middle income New Yorkers. The building will commence construction in 2022.

The redevelopment will replace the aging existing co-op building with a modern, contextual seven-story building totaling approximately 200,000 square feet, designed by renowned local architects COOKFOX. MAG Partners will develop and operate the building under a long-term ground lease. The ground lease payments will support Penn South’s core objective to maintain long-term affordability and quality of life for its nearly 5,000 residents.

“It is an honor to partner with Penn South and join their long legacy of community-building in Chelsea. We are committed to building in a way that enhances this beautiful neighborhood and provides value to the coop’s long-term sustainability,” said Gilmartin, founder and CEO of MAG Partners.

Penn South, also known as Mutual Redevelopment Houses, initiated a process to identify and select a development partner to transform a corner parcel with a commercial building that required significant repairs. The revenue produced by this site is an essential component of the Penn South operating budget, so the co-op sought a partner that would shoulder costs of construction and the risks associated with development and provide the co-op a reliable source of ongoing revenue.

“The top priority for the Board of Directors is to preserve the affordability of Penn South for current residents and future generations. We needed a solution that does not require our shareholders to pay major increases in monthly maintenance fees. The stores are supposed to subsidize the apartments, not the other way around. I am pleased that we found a partner who will help us achieve these key objectives through the development of a new building that is contextual and appropriate to the surroundings,” said Ambur Nicosia, president of the Penn South Coop Board.

Penn South contains 2,820 apartments with close to 5,000 residents in 15 buildings on a site bounded by Ninth Avenue, West 23rd Street, Eighth Avenue and West 29th Street in Manhattan.

MAG Partners chose Rick Cook and COOKFOX to design the building. At the heart of Penn South, the design seeks to bridge the historical character of Chelsea, mid-century visions of urban living and contemporary aspirations for a new building that supports sustainable and healthy living. The MAG Partners team is currently working with COOKFOX at 241 West 28th Street, a 480-unit apartment building slated to finish construction in late 2022, company officials stated.

“We believe it is a special opportunity to reimagine this important corner of Chelsea and design wellness focused, nature connected residences for a diverse new community,” said Rick Cook, founding partner of COOKFOX.

Paul Travis of Washington Square Partners provided real estate advisory services to the coop. Susi Yu, Principal and Head of Development, led the deal for the MAG Partners team.

MAG Partners is a woman-owned, urban real estate company with decades of experience developing impactful, iconic, large-scale projects throughout New York City. Led by Gilmartin,  MAG Partners team has successfully designed, built and operated more than 7 million square feet of office, residential and mixed-use projects, including over 2,000 units of housing, with a total value of over $4.5 billion. MAG Partners’ current multi-million square foot development portfolio includes a sophisticated 480-unit multifamily rental building also built under the Affordable NY Program in Chelsea and a major district-wide entitlement project on six acres of the Long Island City waterfront.

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