A new 42-story building on the edge of Hell’s Kitchen near the West Side Highway will pack in 1,028 rental units, making it one of the largest apartment buildings in New York City.
The Max, at 606 West 57th Street will be located about as far west as one can go before falling into the Hudson River, which may test whether tenants will live in an unconventional area.
Still industrial — nearby 11th Avenue is an easy place to buy a car but not so much a loaf of bread — the neighborhood is also a long walk from the nearest subway at Eighth Avenue.
But buildings in the area “offer lots of comfort for their tenants, and beautiful views,” said Gabriel Bedoya, an associate broker with the Corcoran Group who has worked in the neighborhood for more than a decade but isn’t affiliated with the project. “The residents who live that far west don’t seem to have a problem with the hike.”
The developer TF Cornerstone, which is run by members of the Elghanayan family, would seem to have a knack for trend-spotting. For instance, the Elghanayans built a cluster of glassy high-rises near a well-known Pepsi-Cola sign in Hunters Point, Queens, over the course of about a decade starting in 2006, turning a remote industrial enclave into a popular address.
But in other ways, the Max marks a departure. Its 42-story facade, designed by Arquitectonica, is the color of charcoal, a hue that’s unusual for TF Cornerstone, which has historically opted for a lighter palette.
Dark tones also turn up in hallways, on apartment doors, and on the oxidized-maple tables in a third-floor lounge, which offers views of a courtyard filled with planters and benches.
Similar colors are being mixed for the courtyard’s mural, a massive 28,000-square-foot creation spanning the back side of a Department of Sanitation facility that abuts the building’s property. A current rendering shows silvery clouds, whose dimples and furrows are crisply detailed, floating above a gray New York skyline.
“It might be one of the largest outside murals in the city,” said Hjalti Karlsson, a founder of Karlssonwilker, its Queens-based designer.
Visible from the sidewalk, courtesy of a cutaway in the facade, the mural is a work in progress whose size and design could change, said Zoe Elghanayan, a vice president of TF Cornerstone, and a daughter of one of its founders, Frederick. But it should be ready this fall, she added.
Zoe’s brother, Max Elghanayan, is the building’s namesake. Mr. Elghanayan died in January at the age of 30 from an accidental drug overdose, according to a spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner. Among the drugs found in his system were opioids, she said.
Mr. Elghanayan, a vice president with TF Cornerstone, had a hand in preserving a neon “garage” sign that used to be part of a parking facility on the property, firm executives said. The sign, now lit with LED lights, is mounted in an amenity area.
The interiors of the building also break with previous TF Cornerstone projects, with ceiling heights clocking in at nine feet, half a foot higher than usual, said Sofia Estevez, an executive vice president of the firm. “That may not seem like a lot, but six inches is a big deal,” Ms. Estevez said.
The apartments, which range from studios to three-bedrooms — though most are one-bedrooms, have white-oak floors, porcelain-tile backsplashes and Caesarstone counters.
Market-rate studios start at $2,775 a month, while one-bedrooms start at $3,435 a month, though concessions are available. Renters are currently entitled to a month of free rent, Ms. Elghanayan said, and two months if a broker brings them in and a broker’s fee is owed. From March, when the Max opened, to mid-April, 40 market-rate apartments had rented, she said.
Rents are on the high side for Hell’s Kitchen. Studios in rental buildings run from $1,500 per month, for an apartment in a walk-up on a side street, to $3,800, for something in a full-service building, Mr. Bedoya said.
Perhaps the most obvious rival is right across the street, Via 57 West, a sloping 709-unit rental from the Durst Organization that opened at 625 West 57th Street in 2016.
Studios there start at about $3,300 a month, according to Streeteasy.com, which showed a handful of units available in late April. Via is offering two months of free rent on a two-year lease, said Jordan Barowitz, a Durst spokesman. Demand has been strong, he added. “There is apprehension in the sales market,” he said, “so you are getting a flight to rentals.”
At the Max, tenants also must pay $50 to use the Max’s 50,000 square feet of amenities, which includes a full-size basketball court, a children’s playroom, and four roof decks. But that fee is being waived for the first year.
Meanwhile, just over a quarter of the units, or 258, are designated affordable and are reserved for people in certain income bands. They will be awarded though a lottery later this month, Ms. Estevez said.