After waiting for nearly a decade to develop its property at 220 Central Park South, tussling first with the residents of the existing building on the site, then with Extell, Vornado obviously wasn’t taking any chances when it came to the project’s design. The developer tapped Robert A.M. Stern, the maestro of historicist mega-luxury behind three of the city’s biggest hits—Superior Ink, 15 CPW and 18 Gramercy Park (though not all of his projects have been runaway successes. Ahem, One Museum Mile)—to carry off its rare foray into residential development. And, looking at the renderings, which were first published by Curbed, 220 Central Park South may be his biggest hit yet.
At 6:30 a.m., West 58th Street is a hushed world, still more night than day in the predawn blue of an early fall morning. The occasional runner treads by en route to Central Park, but, for the most part, the city that never sleeps is, in fact, asleep, a slumbering population that once included Joel and Sherri Maxman.
The Maxmans live at 152 West 58th Street, a nine-story co-op that would be utterly unremarkable were it not for One57, one of the tallest buildings in North America and among the most luxurious condos in the world, rising within spitting distance of its backside.
These days, the Maxmans and the rest of the building are early risers whether they like it or not, awake as soon as the hoist begins its creaking ascent up the exterior of the 1,004-foot skyscraper at 6:30 or 6:40 or 6:45 a.m., its journey punctuated by the clang of counterweights at the top. Elsewhere in the city, construction is restricted to waking hours, but One57’s developer, Extell, has exemptions that allow work to start in the early morning and continue into the evening, seven days per week.
Back in 2011, AvalonBay abandoned plans to build a 44-story, 700-unit rental building on the block south of West 57th Street between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues. TF Cornerstone was rumored to be interested in the site, and it turns out the rumors were true: the Manhattan-based developer now wants to build a 45-story, 1,189-unit residential tower on the same site, according to documents filed with the Department of City Planning.
If approved, the project would contain a total of 1.2 million square feet of floorspace, with 42,000 square feet set aside for commercial use and a 550-space underground parking garage. Of the apartments, 20 percent—238 units—would be set aside as affordable housing under the city’s inclusionary zoning program.
Michael Stern was walking to a meeting last summer when he saw the vacant site, barely wider than a townhouse, at 107 West 57th Street. On one side was the Steinway Building, an 87-year-old city landmark with an etched white limestone façade. On the other was a dowdy old SRO about to be gutted and transformed into the Quin Hotel, yet another boutique confection for the tourist masses.
Yet it was not the barren lot’s immediate neighbors that set Mr. Stern’s heart racing, but another edifice further down the block: Gary Barnett’s One57. The 1,005-foot, 90-story tower was only about halfway built at the time, but already it was on its way to taking the crown, on the skyline and in the record books, as the city’s tallest apartment building. Billionaires were already circling the units, which ranged from $5 million to $115 million.
Looking from Mr. Barnett’s site to the one in front of him, Mr. Stern knew he had to have it.
“Right now, there is nowhere else in the city like 57th Street, and it is only going to get better,” Mr. Stern told The Observer.
No sooner did Extell Development file permits for a new 1,550-foot residential tower on the corner of 57th Street and Broadway then scaffolding started to go up around one of the final properties comprising Gary Barnett’s little west side assemblage that will be home to the city’s tallest tower. On Friday morning, The Observer happened to be out for a stroll on the crosstown boulevard when we noticed construction workers assembling a sidewalk shed, the first sign of construction commencement.
A source close to Extell confirms that demolition will soon begin on 1780 Broadway, a 12-story building that was once home to BF Goodrich. At the time, this corner of Gotham was known as Automobile Row during the Gilded Age. Because of an agreement with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the facade of 1780 Broadway must be retained as part of any new building, so this will presumably be a careful deconstruction.
So we are obsessed with the changing skyline along 57th Street, so we are always excited and intrigued by new renderings that pop up for it. The latest may also be the greatest, and while 432 Park Avenue is nothing new, the pic that ran in The Times today gives the clearest indication yet of just how big this spindly behemoth will be. At 1,397 feet, the ritzy condo building surpasses 1 World Trade Center, less its spire, by 29 feet, boasting by some measures the biggest building in New York status.
Forget Park Avenue, forget Central Park West, forget Bond Street. Pretty soon, 57th Street is going to be the place to live in New York.
Already we have the uber-hyped One57, where billionaires buy condos pushing $100 million. The taller-than-1WTC 432 Park is just beginning to rise a few blocks away, with the recent revelations its penthouse will be asking $85 million. And at some point in time, Gary Barnett, the man responsible for One57, will begin work on another luxury tower on the corner of Broadway and 57th Street.
As if that were not enough, here comes a 51-story bolt of luxury to the heart of Manhattan.
So the architecture critics love Bjarke Ingels’ new plan for a hulking Hell’s Kitchen development, but what about the neighbors?
Durst Fetner Residential brought their idea for the pyramid-like 57th Street apartment complex to Community Board 4 last night to a mixture of adoring fans and skeptical residents.
The project, first immortalized in Read More