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Fairway gets in on ground floor at Hudson Yards

August 08, 2013

By Daniel Geiger  Pieces are beginning to come together for the vast residential and commercial project west of Penn Station. Other developers' projects and the third and final leg of the High Line add sizzle to area.

Fairway, the supermarket chain that grew from its long-time outpost on the Upper West Side to a chain with stores as far afield as Brooklyn's Red Hook and Stamford, Conn., is moving to the fast-emerging far West Side.

The company announced Thursday it has reached a deal to fill the retail space in the first office tower being constructed at the Hudson Rail Yards, a 52-story, 895-foot tall spire on the corner of West 30th Street and 10th Avenue. Fairway, which is a publicly traded company, will take nearly 46,000 square feet in the property and will open in 2015.

The lease will make Fairway an anchor food retailer at the heart of a neighborhood west of Penn Station that in coming years will see the city's greatest explosion of new development. A partnership between the Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group plans to build $15 billion of office, residential, retail and public space on a platform over the roughly 30-acre train yards. Meanwhile, a host of other developers are at work on or are planning to put up millions of square feet of residential and commercial space in the vicinity.

"This is a visionary deal for Fairway," said Patrick Smith, a retail broker at SRS Real Estate Partners. "There isn't enough there today to support a big store like that but it's one of those markets that has all the components and you can see where it's going."

Fairway will take space in what is referred to as the South Tower by the building's developers, Related and Oxford. It will have a fast-swelling population of office workers to cater to. Coach, the luxury goods maker, will anchor the office portion of that tower, bringing thousands of employees to the neighborhood and tenants L'Oreal and SAP have committed to take over 500,000 square feet of space between them. Nearby in the complex-to-be, Time Warner is close to a deal to take over a million square feet in another building at the rail yards just two blocks north at West 33rd Street and 10th Avenue, a tower that will also be constructed by Related and Oxford.

The far West Side has also seen a surge in residents as apartment towers have risen in the area. Related is in the process of constructing a large new residential rental building at 500 W. 30th St., just next door to the South Tower. Fairway will also be able to benefit from droves of tourists and visitors to the neighborhood. The South Tower sits at what is now the northern terminus of the hyper-popular High Line. Work on the third and final leg of the elevated park will extend it to wrap around the western edge of the rail yards.

The Hudson Yards location will be the eighth Fairway in the city and the 15th in the tri-state area. The grocer is vetting other spaces in the city as it continues its aggressive expansion tear. The nearly century-old grocer went public in April, raising $177. 5 million. It hopes to open as many as 300 stores nationwide.