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Architecture, Midtown East, New Developments, Urban Design

Back in February, 6sqft reported that the Union Carbide Building at 270 Park Avenue–currently the JP Morgan Chase headquarters–was set to be the largest intentionally demolished building in history when plans move forward to replace the 700-foot-tall structure with a tower that will likely rise to over 1,200 feet. ArchDaily brings us a study done by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) that looks at the 100 tallest buildings ever to be demolished by their owners. The study, aptly titled, “Tallest Demolished Buildings,” confirms that if the current plans move forward, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s 270 Park Avenue would indeed become the tallest to go down–and the first over 200 meters in height.

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Featured Story

Features, Interiors, Midtown East, My SQFT House Tours, Turtle Bay

6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Turtle Bay studio of Erica Greenblatt, director of development for the Anti-Defamation League. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!

Erica Greenblatt never seems to stay in one place for long. In addition to her love of travel (she has visited 30 countries across 6 continents so far), she has moved 12 times in the last 14 years all over New York City. Most recently, Erica landed on a surprisingly spacious Turtle Bay studio on 54th Street and 2nd Avenue, her first apartment without any roommates. As the director of development for the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights organization tasked with fighting bigotry, Erica raises funds needed for the group’s education and advocacy programs.

And because of her job, she’s on the move again, headed outside of the five boroughs for the first time in over a decade. Erica moved to Atlanta, Georgia at the end of April, pledging to bring her feminine, eclectic style with her to her new southern pad. Before she left NYC to start a new adventure in the ATL, 6sqft visited Erica and learned about how her love of travel influences her worldly aesthetic, what she describes as her “signature style.”

See inside Erica’s studio

affordable housing, housing lotteries, Midtown East

Rendering via Handel Architects

Reduced rent AND the opportunity to walk to work? That’s the dream scenario up for grabs for Midtown East workers at Handel Architects’ 222 East 44th Street, where a mixed-use affordable housing lottery for 109 units just came online. The handsome, 42-story torqued glass tower sits between Second and Third Avenues, fronting both 43rd and 44th Streets, meaning it’s just a hop, skip, and jump away from Grand Central, the Chrysler Building, and the UN. The apartments are available to those earning 40, 60, and 130 percent of the area median income and range from $613/month studios to $2,733/month two-bedrooms. The lucky residents will also be treated to a bevy of amenities.

Find out if you qualify

Midtown, Policy

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Vornado

Google Street View of 666 Fifth Avenue

Update 4/9/18: Vornado announced on Friday that it reached a “handshake” deal to sell its stake at 666 Fifth Avenue back to the Kushner Cos, according to the New York Times. It remains unclear if the Kushners have found a new partner. Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado, in the filing, said the payment would cover the company’s investment: “The existing loan will be repaid including payment to us of the portion of the debt we hold.”

Kushner Cos. said this week it is in talks to buy the remaining 49.5 percent stake in 666 Fifth Avenue from Vornado Realty Trust, furthering the drama at the 41-story Midtown Manhattan office building, according to the Wall Street Journal. The tower has remained one of Kushner Cos. most financially troubled projects. In addition to its debt and high rates of vacancy, the building has been mired in controversy, mostly due to Jared Kushner’s role as a senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump. While Jared divested in the property to avoid conflicts of interest, investors have been reluctant from entering a deal with Kushner Cos.

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Architecture, condos, Midtown East, New Developments, Turtle Bay

Rendering courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners / Solow / BloomImages

Across the street from Richard Meier’s nearly-complete new black glassy-facaded condo/rental tower at 685 First Avenue (known as 685 First), between First Avenue and the East River, a boarded-up construction site has remained quiet for the better part of a decade. Now, Curbed reports, the site’s developer, Solow Building Company, headed by Sheldon H. Solow, 89, and son Stefan Soloviev, confirms the site’s awakening and imminent transformation into three condominium buildings and a fourth building, to be a biotech office, using the 2012 master plan penned by Meier’s architecture firm.

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Midtown East, Policy, real estate trends

St Patrick’s Cathedral via Wikimedia

Editor’s Note: The owners of 405 Park Avenue are set to buy the development rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Real Deal reports. MRP Realty and Deutsche Bank Asset Management will add four floors and 205,000 square feet of office space to their existing building.

JPMorgan Chase and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week plans for the first project under the city’s Midtown East rezoning: a 70-story tower to replace its old offices at the same Park Avenue site. And with the Archdiocese of New York this week reaching a tentative deal to sell 30,000 square feet of development rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the second project under the new rezoning could quickly follow. According to Crain’s, if the sale happens the Archdiocese could pick up at least $7.2 million in air rights.

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Hotels, Midtown East

Photo via Wikimedia; Auction images via Olde Good Things

As 6sqft recently reported, ownership of the iconic Waldorf Astoria was among the properties involved when the Chinese government temporarily took over the debt-ridden Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group, a firm known for snatching up prominent and expensive properties around the world. There has long been speculation about a condominium project in the works, and Bloomberg reports that the project is moving forward. Signs of change: Effects from the building’s guest suites have been carted off by Scranton, Pennsylvania-based architectural salvage purveyor Olde Good Things, who is already is selling pieces of the storied hotel on its website.

See what’s for sale

Architecture, Construction Update, Midtown East, New Developments

Photo courtesy of Max Touhey

After beginning its vertical construction last June, One Vanderbilt’s progress shows no signs of slowing. According to SL Green, the supertall is currently rising two floors per month and after the 13th floor is completed, three floors will be installed every month. The planned 1,401-foot tower, which will become the city’s second tallest skyscraper when completed, will measure over one million square feet. In addition to the above-ground construction, the project includes $220 million in public transit improvements as well as a passageway for direct access to the subway.

See it here

Featured Story

Features, History, Hotels, Midtown East

Photo via Wally Gobetz/Flickr

You know that Old King Cole had a pipe and bowl, but did you know he also had a cloak and dagger? New York’s hyper-illustrious St. Regis Hotel, home to the famous King Cole Bar, has a clandestine pedigree that goes straight to its core. Founded by a family of spies, the Hotel became headquarters for the nation’s wartime spy service, and in the process helped inspire not only the Bloody Mary cocktail but also the Invasion of North Africa.

Read on for the history of Midtown’s preeminent spy den

Hotels, Midtown East

The Chinese government now owns the Waldorf Astoria

By Devin Gannon, Fri, February 23, 2018

Photo via Wikimedia

The Chinese government has taken control over debt-ridden Anbang Insurance Group, a Beijing-based firm known for snatching up prominent properties around the world for billions of dollars. One of those high-profile properties includes New York City’s iconic Waldorf Astoria, which the group purchased for $1.95 billion in 2014. According to the New York Times, the government takeover comes after Abang violated regulations, although the exact violations committed are unclear so far. Anbang will be overseen for one year by a group that includes China’s central bank, the country’s securities and banking regulator, the regular of foreign exchanges and other government agencies.

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