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Major Developments, Midtown East, Policy, real estate trends, Top Stories

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue, courtesy of Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

In 2007, Kushner Companies purchased a 41-story tower in Midtown for $1.8 billion, which was the most expensive real estate deal ever in the U.S. at the time. The transaction of 666 Fifth Avenue, coordinated by Jared Kushner, now a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, was ill-timed, making the purchase just before the economic recession. As the Washington Post reported, the Fifth Avenue project is one of the most financially troubled for Kushner Cos., with one-fourth of office space empty, and its lease revenue not covering monthly interest payments. While Kushner has divested his stake in the property to avoid conflicts of interest, the property’s value has dropped and foreign entities have withdrawn financial support. Currently, Kushner’s dealings are under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, as part of the broader investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

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Celebrities, Midtown East, Recent Sales

Skidmore Owings & Merrill, 252 East 57th Street, Billionaires Row towers, Midtown East condos

Shoe brand honcho Steve Madden put his best foot forward and stepped into an impressive spread at 252 East 57th Street. The Journal reports that the company’s founder and former CEO dropped $12.2 million on a five-bedroom condo at the 65-story Billionaires’ Row tower designed by designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Not only does his new home have a 38-foot-long living/dining area, balcony, and all the swanky fixtures and finishing one could hope for, but its 61st-floor location affords it incredible north, east, and west exposures with skyline, Central Park, and East River views.

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Midtown East, Policy

east midtown, rezoning, midtown manhttan

Conceptual image depicting all of the proposed sites of the East Midtown rezoning fully built out, via CityRealty

After five years, the City Council approved a rezoning for Manhattan’s Midtown East on Wednesday, by a 42-0 vote. The proposal will rezone roughly 78 blocks, running from East 39th Street to East 57th Street and from Third Avenue to Madison Avenue, clearing the way for 6.5 million square feet of office space in the area. A new updated zoning code is expected to incentivize new, dense development, allowing Midtown to compete with other booming business districts in the borough like Hudson Yards and the Financial District. As the New York Times reported, this change which lets developers build to a higher floor area ratio could result in new supertall towers.

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Celebrities, Cool Listings, Midtown East

Back in 2015, five-time Grammy Award-winning producer and Sony Music Entertainment’s chief creative officer Clive Davis bought two units at 465 Park Avenue for $3.4 million, combining them to create a contemporary, art-filled duplex for an unknown family member. However, just a year later, “things changed” for this relative, and he listed the pad for $7.8 million. Despite the super-swanky design and ritzy decor, he’s had a hard time unloading the home, and Mansion Global now reports that he’s chopped the price by 10 percent to $6,995,000.

Take the tour

Celebrities, Midtown East, Recent Sales

Nearly two years after selling her chic Greenwich Village penthouse, Rosie O’Donnell finally has a new NYC home (she spends the majority of her time at her other house in Nyack). According to city records, Rosie dropped $8 million on a triplex penthouse at Midtown East‘s 255 East 49th Street. The uber-modern residence is a sprawling 3,563 square feet and has swanky features like a black granite fireplace in the living room, a huge glass walled television in the master bathroom, a sculptural Guggenheim-inspired staircase, an indoor two-person Swedish sauna, and a giant rooftop terrace with views of the Empire and Chrysler Buildings and the East River.

Take a look around

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Historic Homes, History, Midtown East

211 East 48th Street, William Lescaze House, first modern house in NYC, International Style

The William Lescaze House in 1934 via MCNY

These days, it’s pretty common for historic townhouses to receive glassy additions, but this contemporary touch wasn’t always so common. In fact, it wasn’t until 1936 that New York City got its first modern residence—the William Lescaze House. William Lescaze was a Swiss-born, American architect who’s credited with pioneering modernism in America. Along with his partner, George Howe, he completed the first International Style skyscraper in the country in 1930, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) Building. Unfortunately, his high-profile career didn’t go much further than this, but he did design several uptown townhouses, one of which was his personal home and office and was the first of its kind in NYC.

Learn about NYC’s First Modern House

History, Midtown East

Airlines Terminal, art-deco buildings, nyc history

A vintage postcard of the Airlines Terminal Building, via drivingfordeco.com

For more than 30 years, the Art Deco-style Airlines Terminal Building served millions of travelers as a spot where flight tickets servicing New York could be purchased and where passengers could board shuttle buses to take them to the various airports. The building, located on the southwest corner of Park Avenue and 42nd Street, sat on the former site of the Hotel Belmont, which was built in 1906 and later demolished in 1930. Construction of the Airlines Terminal began in 1939 to create the chic, futuristic design, which included a steel frame and a crown flanked by two eagles.

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Architecture, Construction Update, Major Developments, Midtown East

With the installation of its first steel column, One Vanderbilt, soon to be New York City’s second-tallest skyscraper, officially began vertical construction on Friday. Banker Steel Company provided the 26,000 tons of domestically milled and fabricated structural steel for development, which included the first 20-ton column installed. According to the team, the construction of One Vanderbilt is three weeks ahead of schedule. SL Green Realty and AECOM Tishman say the supertall skyscraper will add to the modernization of East Midtown’s business district, as the office building will boast column-free floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and 360-degree views.

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Celebrities, Cool Listings, Midtown East, Sutton Place 

322 East 57th Street, cool listings, joseph urban, jacob javits, co-ops, interiors, historic homes, upper east side

New York City’s classic pre-war co-ops are in an elegant class by themselves, with beamed high ceilings, big casement windows, entry halls and galleries, maid’s rooms and gracious spaces in general. The more interesting among them tend to be those in which the customized luxury of their longtime residents has been preserved. Such is case with this spacious duplex at 322 East 57th Street in Sutton Place (where you’ll find a lot of preserved customized luxury). The listing describes the three-bedroom deco-era co-op, listed for $5.195 million, as “exquisite, dramatic and unique.” Designed in 1933 by renowned architect Joseph Urban, the 3,300 square-foot apartment was for 40 years the home of the late Senator Jacob Javits and his wife, Marian, who died earlier this year. And while it’s likely that there are many updates to be made, there are also many surprising details that have returned with today’s trends.

Check out the glass cube

Midtown East, Policy

One Vanderbilt, KPF Midtown East, SL Greene, Rezoning, Supertall Skyscrapers (14)

Conceptual image depicting all of the proposed sites of the East Midtown rezoning fully built out, via CityRealty

The City Planning Commission unanimously approved the long-awaited rezoning plan for Midtown East on Wednesday, which will rezone 78 blocks in hopes of modernizing the neighborhood. The plan, which was released last August, follows Mayor Bloomberg’s failed attempt to rezone the area in 2013. According to the Real Deal, the proposal would create 6.5 million square feet of new office space over the next twenty years. This would potentially encourage taller and more modern office towers, attracting more commercial and corporate tenants.

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