Billionaire’s Row developer Sedesco to build elevators for MTA subway stop in Midtown

Luxury developer Sedesco will build two elevators for the F train’s 57th Street station on Billionaire’s Row in Midtown in exchange for more than an acre of extra floor space for its planned supertall tower. 

The Turkish real estate firm is the first private company to capitalize on a recently-approved city zoning law change known as Zoning for Accessibility that aims to incentivize builders to make transit stations more accessible in exchange for up to 20% more square footage. 

“This agreement is proof that the MTA’s historic Capital Plan, along with partnering with private developers, will allow the Authority to modernize the entire transit system as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said acting MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber in a statement Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Under the proposal, the pair of fresh elevators would come to the station that is currently not accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act, including one going from the southwest corner of West 56th Street and Sixth Avenue to a mezzanine, and another from the mezzanine to the platform.

A rendering of the proposed street-to-mezzanine elevator at W. 56th Street and Sixth Avenue.Sedesco

Sedesco will also build an elevator machine room, communications equipment and reconfigure the fare gates to make room for the lower elevator. 

The developer will foot the bill for installing the elevators and provide an additional $9.83 million to the MTA to cover the cost of their maintenance and replacement after an 18-year lifespan. 

Under the recently-passed change in city zoning regulations, the developer can add 53,029 square feet more floor space to its 63-story, 1,100-foot tall skyscraper planned at 41-47 W. 57th Street.

A rendering of the proposed tower by developer Sedesco at 41 W. 57th Street on Billionaires’ Row.OMA

The city expanded the incentive in October for developers to build bigger if they made transit upgrades, allowing development sites within 500 feet of a transit station to avail of the added square footage.

This development can get the bonus because it will rise about 250 feet away from the subway stop. The transit incentive won’t allow it to go taller, but add more bulk.

The MTA’s current $51.5 billion 2020-2024 capital plan has $5.2 billion set aside to make the transit system more accessible. 

More than 70% of city’s 472 subway stations are currently not wheelchair accessible and the agency aims to make 50% of its transit stops accessible by 2029. 

The proposed tower’s sloping design is by Dumbo-based architects OMA and will join the array of slender high-end skyscrapers dotting W. 57th Street.

The development has a total area of 318,172 square feet, which includes a ground-floor restaurant, a hotel with 158 rooms between the second and 20th floors, and 119 apartments above that, according to public filings.

Local Community Board 5 gave an advisory vote against the application during its public review on Nov. 10, but the City Planning Commission approved it on Dec. 1.

The developer plans to break ground on the tower in 2022 and wrap up construction about four years later in 2026.

“Sedesco is pleased to partner with the MTA to help upgrade the 57th Street subway station and ensure it is accessible to all New Yorkers,” said company spokesperson Derek Gilchrist in an emailed statement. “It is a significant step toward enhancing the station while benefitting our development at 41-47 West 57th Street.”

The rep declined to say how much the infrastructure upgrade will cost the firm or when the elevators will be in service, but the city regulations require the developer to open them to straphangers before the real estate company can legally use the extra floor space.