Disney, which owns several properties in the West 60’s, including the ABC campus, is set to complete a sale of the properties to Silverstein Properties today, according to several reports. Disney is building a new complex downtown in the Hudson Square neighborhood.
The sale involves several buildings on 66th and 67th Street from Central Park West to West End Avenue, according to the Observer.
“The assemblage includes 125 West End Avenue, 320 West 66th Street, 147 and 149 Columbus Avenue, a parking lot on West 64th Street, 77 West 66th Street, 47 West 66th Street, 7 West 66th Street and 30 West 67th Street. The landmarked former First Battery Armory at 56 West 66th Street—which currently serves as offices for ESPN—is not part of the transaction.”
Preservationist group Landmark West has been tracking the sale, which has been in the works for months. The group calls the possibility of redevelopment a “threat to the Upper West Side.” Landmark West notes that some of the buildings owned by Disney are landmarked, making redevelopment tricky but not impossible. To get a sense of how complicated this process may become, see the annotated map and description below from Landmark West.
In the map above, ORANGE denotes an individual landmark (the First Battery Armory at 56 West 66th Street). For context, the GREEN area is a scenic landmark (Central Park), and blocks in GOLD are part of the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District. This Historic District is comprised of hundreds of buildings. Three of them are within ABC’s Campus. These include: 7 West 66th Street, 24 West 67th Street, and 30 West 67th Street, built as ABC’s “Broadcasting, Operations & Engineering Building”. 30 West 67th Street has realized its full FAR potential and cannot develop further with a zoning lot merger or easement.
Silverstein has not made its plans known for the buildings. The company did not have a comment for West Side Rag when the initial reports came out in April. This week, the company sent a statement to the Times about working with the Upper West Side community.
Marty Burger, chief executive of Silverstein Properties, said, “We look forward to working collaboratively with all our stakeholders, as we have always done, as we assume responsibility for Disney’s properties in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper West Side.”
Disney is expected to lease the buildings back from Silverstein for up to five years, so the development debate may bubble for several years.