CM & Associates – 646 11th Avenue

CM1CM & Associates and CBSK Ironstate collaborate on a condo building.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Publishing

CM & Associates (CMA) has begun laying the foundation for one of the largest residential developments in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, setting the trend in the area for a new wave of residential development. “This whole area is mainly car dealerships and commercial space,” CMA Senior Project Manager Jason Sinclair says. “CMA and CBSK Ironstate have become trendsetters, coming into new areas that haven’t been developed and bringing much needed residential space.”

CBSK Ironstate, a partnership between Charles Blaichman’s CB Developers, Abe and Scott Shnay’s SK Development and Michael and David Barry’s Ironstate Development, is developing more than $500 million in projects in the city, including the Hell’s Kitchen project at 646 11th Avenue. “Business is good and we are very active,” Shnay says. “We have built a reputation of building projects on time and on budget with quality construction and nice finishes. We are a family business, so it’s important people respond well to the projects that we deliver and we take personal gratification in that.”CM1 info box

CBSK Ironstate first partnered with CMA, a full-service construction management/general contractor serving New York City and the surrounding tri-state area, in 2011. The companies are currently developing six different projects together throughout New York. “We were introduced to CMA by an architect who recommended them and The Jefferson, located at 211 East 13th St. in the East Village, was the first project we did with them,” Shnay remembers. “It was one of those perfect storms where it went so well that we came in earlier than scheduled and under budget. CMA has built every project for us since then, which is dozens of projects at this point.”

CMA’s work includes commercial, residential, institutional and educational ground-up or renovation projects. “We cultivate collaborative relationships with ownership and the design teams that see projects from concept through to completion,” founder Christopher Mesbah says. “We’ve built a reputation based on our approach, resulting in enduring relationships with many of the area’s leading developers and institutions.” 

Leveraging his more than 25 years of construction experience, Mesbah founded the New York City-based company in 2005 to deliver construction management and general contracting services at a superior level of quality that goes beyond the industry standard. “Our management team, their experience and commitment to excellence allows CMA to rise above the competition,” he adds.

The relationship between CMA and CBSK Ironstate remains solid. “When you have done these many projects it becomes seamless,” Shnay says. “They know our process and we know theirs and things don’t slip through the cracks because everyone is on the same page. They know how we like to build our buildings and what our priorities are, so it has become a streamlined process.”

An Opportune Investment 

646 11th Avenue was an attractive opportunity for CBSK Ironstate because of its proximity to Hudson Yards, an area on the west side of Manhattan where a large-scale redevelopment program is being planned and constructed in partnership with the state of New York. The western boundary of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood runs up the Hudson River from W. 34th Street to W. 59th Street. 

“Hudson Yards has a lot of residential condo projects being built that are higher-end and higher price point products, so we thought it would be of interest to deliver smaller units at achievable price points for the influx of people living, working and doing things in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood,” Shnay explains. “We are following the rental market because there are so many rental opportunities in Hell’s Kitchen, but not a lot of condo projects in the area. There is an opportunity here to find buyers who are already renting and now looking to buy their first home.”

The site at 646 11th Avenue was home to a Lexus dealership prior to CBSK Ironstate’s acquiring the site. When the firm purchased the property from BRAM Auto Group last year, the deal stipulated the auto group would buy back the ground floor of the 12-story mixed-use development for its showroom. “CMA was brought in about one year ago for preconstruction and we started the abatement and demolition of the old building in June 2018,” Sinclair says. “The official start date for the foundation was mid-November.”  

Hell’s Kitchen Living

CMA is overseeing the construction of the 270,000-square-foot building that will offer 220 condominiums and luxury amenities. The condos will be smaller than normal size units with studios averaging about 400 square feet, one-bedroom units encompassing 650 square feet, two bedrooms ranging from 800 to 1,000 square feet and a handful of three bedrooms that are around 1,100 square feet. “The price point with smaller units is much more reasonable and attainable,” Shnay adds. 

The new development will offer one-of-a-kind amenities including a lobby greenhouse that acts as the living room area of the building. The eighth floor will offer a communal kitchen where residents can take cooking classes, wine tastings or host a party. The floor will also offer a children’s playroom, as well as an outdoor dog run and fitness activities. The third floor will offer a high-end gym and yoga studio, as well as more outdoor space for residents to use. 

646 11th Avenue will also offer a number of rooftop amenities including outdoor soccer fields with natural grass, a large pool overlooking the city with pavers everywhere and stadium seating that offers areas to lay out. The roof will also offer another communal kitchen covered by a pergola that will feature grills, a refrigerator and tables. “In general, we try to provide amenities that residents are actually going to use and not sit vacant,” Shnay notes. “The building is designed for them to live in the whole building and not just their unit.” 

The façade of 646 11th Avenue from the base of the building to the seventh floor will be a brick and masonry design. The brick is being sourced from StoneCycling, an Amsterdam-based sustainable building materials company that uses recycled construction material to create its WasteBasedBricks®. “I’m fairly certain this has never been used before in the United States,” Shnay says. “The design of the building is in two sections – the brick base with large industrial-style copper windows and the eighth floor to the 12th floor is what we are referring to as the cloud. It’s a glass façade with sliding glass doors and balconies, so the building goes from industrial, loft-style to an airier façade.” 

Although CMA has only begun laying the foundation, the company does not anticipate any significant challenges on the 646 11th Avenue project. “This will be the 12th project we have completed for Scott and his team, and we know how to work well with each other, Sinclair says. “A lot of our subcontractors are CMA family companies that perform work on nearly every job we perform. We have a familiar team on this project and work well together.” 

646 11th Avenue is expected to be completed first-quarter 2021. “The Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood is blowing up and we were one of the first to get in here and develop a new condominium building to meet increased housing demand,” Sinclair says. “646 11th Avenue will be one of the first residential projects developed in the area and nothing of this size.” 

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