Drake Tower Will Not Top Empire State Building, Still Tallest Apartment Tower Ever

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's 432 Park Avenue! (WSJ)

In July, renderings of the most watched development site in the city leaked out. They were unofficial, the work of some avid architecture geeks, but it turns out the designs of the condo-tower planned for the Drake Hotel site were not that far off. The Journal gets the first official look at CIM, Harry Macklowe and Rafael Viñoly’s new project, and while it will not rise to 1,420 feet, as first expected, the 1,300-foot tower would surpass every apartment building in the city by a few hundred feet.

The plans for the project, named 432 Park Ave., call for 128 condos with more than 12-foot high ceilings; a 5,000 square foot, partially covered, driveway to ensure privacy; and amenities like golf training facilities and private dining and screening rooms. The total price tag: more than $1 billion.

There is no scheduled completion date, and the project still faces challenges amid an uncertain economic and market environment. Crucially, CIM needs a construction loan of as much as $700 million. That isn’t an easy type of financing to obtain these days, with European banks cutting back because of their debt problems and only a small handful of U.S. banks willing to lend.

Avi Shemesh, a CIM founding principal, said the firm is confident it will get a loan. “We have longstanding relationships with lenders,” Mr. Shemesh said. “We anticipate our construction financing to be in place well in advance of any sort of deadline.”

The Journal casts a great deal of doubt on the project, given the continued difficulties for builders to find lending. Competing towers are already in the works, though, like Extell’s One57 and Hine’s MoMA Tower, both of which surpass 1,000 feet, so anything is possible these days. At the very least, we have this first, official rendering to keep us warm at night.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC Drake Tower Will Not Top Empire State Building, Still Tallest Apartment Tower Ever