Artimus Construction has spurred a large, ground-up residential project in Manhattanville that involved the New York City Housing Authority selling land to private developer Grid Group.
Excavation at 1440 Amsterdam Avenue is underway after Artimus bought a 50 percent stake in the project on Aug. 31 for $17 million, records show. Grid’s plans for a new 470,000-square-foot building there were approved by the Department of Buildings two days earlier.
Grid and Artimus will construct 490 apartments at the site, about 100 more units than initially planned, according to DOB filings. Artimus bought its stake from Lefkas Realty, which had a vision for a 7-story condo on the site that didn’t pan out.
Now, a 28-story building will rise on a parking lot once used by residents of NYCHA’s Manhattan Houses, a series of six buildings between 129th Street and 133rd Street with 1,300 apartments.
The infill project has crept along since 2021, when neighbors said they were caught off guard by NYCHA’s proposal to sell the land without transparent affordability requirements.
Grid Group bought the land and air rights for the project in 2022 for $28 million, receiving a $32 million loan from Valley National Bank at the time of the purchase. The site will be among the last to receive the now-expired 421a tax abatement in exchange for reserving 30 percent of units at or below 130 percent of area median income, according to marketing materials for the property. Gluck+ is the architect of record.
NYCHA had committed to using revenue from the sale to upgrade the Manhattan Houses, alongside $222 million for renovations generated by the PACT program, which will transfer management of the public housing to Apex Building Group and Gilbane Development Company, City Limits reported.
Approval for the new ground-up project arrived after residential construction fell off a cliff in Manhattan, where zero new buildings and zero new units were approved in July. “This should be considered a crisis,” borough president Mark Levine tweeted at the time. “We have to fix this.”
The site at 1440 Amsterdam, which no longer belongs to the city, was not among those Levine pointed to in a report that identified sites in Manhattan where 73,000 new homes could be built. The report does finger a nearby MTA bus depot, at 1381 Amsterdam Avenue, that stores an antique fleet of buses as a possible location for a residential building with 430 new apartments.