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Interiors

Coughlin Architecture, hearst building, 56th street apartment

Living in a tiny apartment no longer has a stigma attached to it. If anything, their inhabitants and the architects who outfit them seem to revel in their diminutive stature. One such example is this mere 500-square-foot penthouse apartment located on West 56th street across from the Hearst Tower, recently given a sweeping update by Coughlin Architecture. The home’s owner, an actor splitting time between NYC and LA, requested an open, bright space, with a minimal kitchen and bathroom.

see more inside

Midtown, real estate trends

Ralph Lauren announced Tuesday that it will close its flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, citing falling revenue and rising rents. As reported by the New York Times, the company, which opened this location in 2014, plans to reorganize by investing more in their online stores. Keeping afloat a business on New York City’s most expensive shopping strip is not a problem unique to Ralph Lauren; Kenneth Cole, Juicy Couture, and H&M have also recently closed their doors. Soaring rents, plus a drop in tourism, has lead to an increase in vacant space along Fifth Avenue.

Find out more

Midtown, New Developments

The 103-year-old landmarked Lord & Taylor flagship store at 424 Fifth Avenue may be getting a luxurious makeover. As the New York Post learned, the speculative project includes constructing a steel-and-glass skyscraper and redeveloping the building into an office and residential tower, keeping the 11-story department store as the base. Sources tell the Post that NYC property executive Richard Baker, who acquired Lord & Taylor in 2008, is behind the development talks. And though few details are known, “real estate insiders” point out that nearby towers rise as high as 60 stories.

Find out more here

Midtown, Policy

NYC may have to compete for Trump Tower security funds

By Devin Gannon, Fri, March 31, 2017

While the President has yet to visit Trump Tower since his inauguration, the price of protecting the First Lady and 10-year-old Barron costs the city an average of $136,000 per day, according to the NYPD. Congress offered only $7 million to reimburse the city for the $24 million the police department said they have spent protecting the building between the period of Trump’s election and his inauguration. However, as Crain’s learned, that payment is not guaranteed, and NYC may have to compete with New Jersey and Florida, both places the president frequents, for the money.

Find out more

City Living, Midtown

Jeffrey Beebe, BravinLee gallery, Trumpy the Rat

As a symbol of resistance to the Trump administration, Chelsea-based contemporary art gallery BravinLee created a Kickstarter to raise $10,000 for an inflatable, 15-foot rat sporting a comb-over and an ill-fitting suit (complete with an inflatable piece of scotch tape to ensure his tie won’t blow in the wind) that will be placed outside Trump Tower. As the A.V. Club learned, artist Jeffrey Beebe was inspired by Scabby the Rat, the inflatable rat that attends union strikes to signal unfair and unsafe practices by management. With the deadline to fund “Trumpy the Rat” set for April 19, the project has raked in just over $5,500.

Find out more here

Architecture, Green Design, Urban Design

Metals in Construction magazine has just announced the winner and finalists in the magazine’s 2017 Design Challenge, “Meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge: Reimagine Structure.” The competition invited architects, engineers, students and designers to submit their visions for combatting global warming in their design for a high-rise building. The winning design, “Orbit Tower,” was created by architects and engineers from ODA Architecture and Werner Sobek New York. The building–though purely conceptual for the purposes of the competition–would be located in midtown Manhattan at 1114 Sixth Avenue on the north side of Bryant Park in place of the Grace Building.

Find out more

Construction Update, Midtown West, New Developments

Central Park Tower, Extell Developments, Midtown

West 58th Street elevation of Nordstom’s podium; CityRealty

When it reaches its projected 1,550-foot height, Extell Development’s Central Park Tower will have the highest roof-line of any residential building in the Western Hemisphere, besting the current record holder 432 Park. Though the $2.98 billion project won’t be complete until 2019, construction is moving ahead along Billionaires’ Row, reports CityRealty. The 58th Street side, which will hold a 285,000-square-foot, seven-story Nordstrom store, is currently receiving its fluted-glass skin, a “Waveforms Facade.”

See more views here

Architecture, Design, Midtown, Top Stories

Big Bend Rendering, Oiio

New York City Architecture firm Oiio has proposed a conceptual skyscraper that would curve at the top and then return to the ground, becoming what the firm believes to be the “longest” building to ever be created. As reported by dezeen, their “Big Bend” proposal challenges Manhattan’s obsession with supertall skyscrapers by substituting extreme height with length—stretching 4,000 feet from end to end. If they are able to design this building, Oiio hopes it could potentially provide a solution to the height limitations imposed by city zoning laws.

See the renderings here

Green Design, Midtown, Technology

Image courtesy Murphy Burnham and Buttrick Architects

Nearly two years ago, St. Patrick’s Cathedral removed the scaffolding that had been shrouding its neo-Gothic facade to reveal a restored landmark. The work was part of a larger four-year $177 million restoration and conservation that’s also included an interior overhaul, renovation of the garden, and a new heating and cooling system. This last component is also now complete, as The Architect’s Newspaper reports that the Cathedral has activated their new, state-of-the-art geothermal plant, just in time to warm things up for St. Patrick’s Day. The system will cut the building’s energy consumption by more than 30 percent and reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 94,000 kilograms.

How did they accomplish this?

condos, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown, New Developments

In news that will come as a surprise to no one, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously this morning to designate the interiors of the famed Waldorf Astoria a New York City landmark. According to Curbed, the decision was made within minutes without hesitation from any of the board members. The announcement also comes hot on the heels of the hotel’s closure just one week ago, as its new owners, Anbang Insurance Group, undertake what’s expected to be a three-year renovation and conversion that will bring forth 840 updated hotel rooms and 321 luxury condos.

more details here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History, Midtown

pan am building helipad

Perhaps the most detested Midtown skyscraper by the public, this huge tower has nevertheless always been a popular building with tenants for its prime location over Grand Central Terminal and its many views up and down Park Avenue. It is also one of the world’s finest examples of the Brutalist architecture, commendable for its robust form and excellent public spaces, as well as its excellent integration into the elevated arterial roads around it.

However, there is no argument that it is also immensely bulky with a monstrous height. As shown in the photograph ahead, to its north, the building completely overshadows the Helmsley Building, an iconic product of Warren & Wetmore’s Terminal City complex. The pyramid-topped Helmsley Building once straddled the avenue with remarkable grace, and as one of the city’s very rare, “drive-through” buildings, it was the great centerpiece of Park Avenue. But by shrouding such a masterpiece in its shadows, the Pan Am Building (today the MetLife building) desecrated a major icon that will unfortunately never recover from such a contemptible slight on a prominent site.

Read more about the significance of this building here

Midtown, New Developments, Rentals

The market for ultra-luxury condos may be cooling down, but developers appear to be much more optimistic about posh senior housing. Last year, 6sqft reported that Welltower Inc., the country’s largest senior housing owner by market value, had teamed up with Hines to develop the “One57 of Assisted Living,” an upscale facility at 56th Street and Lexington Avenue boasting $20,000/month rents. Now, it appears that the project is moving forward as Curbed tells us plans have been filed with the DOB to start construction.

additional details this way

Events, Midtown

Bunch at the Waldorf Astoria Peacock Alley

Come March 1st the Waldorf Astoria will close its doors to the public in preparation for what’s likely to be a lengthy conversion, as the New York icon transforms from luxury hotel to a hybrid of opulent condos and hotel rooms. While we can all rest assured that the Waldorf’s stunning interiors will remain intact—from the historic ballrooms to exhibition space, dining rooms and banquet rooms—what will likely disappear for good (at least in their current form) are the lavish brunches held at Peacock Alley. As Metro NY reports, this Sunday, February 26th, will be your last opportunity to indulge in the hotel’s utterly decadent weekend offering.

more details here

Midtown, Recent Sales

Extell buying former Carnegie Deli site

By Dana Schulz, Tue, January 31, 2017

Yesterday, workers removed the iconic neon sign outside Carnegie Deli, but the final nail in the coffin comes from the news that mega-developer Extell is buying the pastrami mecca’s former home on a block where they already own two other sites. The Post got word that Gary Barnett’s firm will close on a deal as soon as today for the six-story building at 854 Seventh Avenue. The 79-year-old deli closed on December 31st, but in 2015, Extell paid $9.1 million to owner Marian Harper Levine for their air rights.

Find out more

Midtown West, New Jersey, Polls, Transportation

Port Authority Bus Terminal

After stalling repeatedly over design disagreements, budget woes, and funding squabbles, NJ.com reports that The Port Authority said it hopes to have a new midtown Manhattan bus terminal built in New York by 2030, shovels in the ground by 2021 and be “well underway” by 2026. Though some lawmakers expressed doubt about the ambitious schedule, Steven P. Plate, Port Authority chief of major projects, said at a Legislative Oversight Committee joint hearing about the agency’s $32 billion revised capital plan, “We will have full environmental approval, permits in place and construction well underway” according to that timeline.

Think it will happen?

Celebrities, Midtown

President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to remain in his Manhattan HQ is causing concern among businesses in the area. Business leaders and local officials spoke out Tuesday at a City Council hearing on the threat that blocked sidewalks and traffic snarls are posing to jobs, tax revenues, tourist appeal and “global reputation,” reports Crain’s. Local merchants claim they’ve taken a significant hit, and that many are considering not renewing their leases or moving elsewhere. Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District president Tom Cusack estimated that local businesses have lost $40 million in revenue since Election Day due to the security maze that the area surrounding Trump Tower has become.

Business leaders call for ‘extraordinary action’

Midtown, Policy, Transportation

trump tower, security nypd

Reserving three of 5th Avenue’s five traffic lanes for pedestrians will ease the traffic paralysis that President-elect Donald Trump‘s continued residence in his 56th Street tower has caused, former NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan argues. In an op-ed for the New York Times yesterday Sadik-Khan, a principal with Bloomberg Associates and a key player in the introduction of the Times Square Pedestrian Plaza, angled 5th Avenue’s traffic problem as a bipartisan issue that requires change to get better. With the President-elect saying he plans on visiting his Manhattan home frequently even once he has moved to the White House, it is clear New York will need to adapt or risk forever needing to budget an extra three hours to get through Midtown.

Without big changes, the chaos isn’t going to improve

Featured Story

Features, holidays, Midtown

times

Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31st, anticipation runs high as the world holds its breath waiting for the sparkling New Year’s Eve Ball to descend from its flagpole atop One Times Square. We all know that the countdown starts at 10, but there are a handful of other fun facts to muse over when it comes to the city’s most lauded tradition. From the wattage of the ball to the weight of trash produced to how long it takes to get it all cleaned up, see what we’ve rounded up, in numbers, ahead!

More on New Year’s Eve in Times Square here

Celebrities, Midtown

trump tower security

Just over a week ago, Mayor de Blasio asked the federal government for $35 million to cover Donald Trump‘s increased security for the 73 days from the November 8th election to the January 20th inauguration. Two days later, congress came back with a low-ball offer of only $7 million, to which the Mayor responded that “NYC taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for 80 percent of the national bill to protect Trump Tower.” Backing him up, the NYPD conducted its own analysis, which, as the Daily News shares, confirms the city’s $500,000 a day security bill and concludes that nearly 200 cops are needed each day to secure the area around Trump Tower.

More ahead

Celebrities, Midtown

Just two days after Mayor de Blasio formally requested $35 million in federal funding to cover security at Trump Tower for the 73 days from the November 8th election to inauguration day on January 20th, republicans in Congress decided to earmark a mere $7 million towards protecting the President Elect while he’s in the Big Apple. Of the pending decision, the Mayor said, “NYC taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for 80 percent of the national bill to protect Trump Tower. DC must step up to pay us back what we’re owed,” reports the Post.

The full scoop

Celebrities, Midtown

trump tower, security nypd

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Dan Garodnick won’t have New York City shafted with the bill for “White House North.” The pair have launched a petition demanding that the federal government pony up whatever cash is needed to keep Trump Tower secure during the president-elect’s term of office. As 6sqft previously reported, Trump hopes to spend weekends and even some weeknights at the Midtown tower over the next four years, particularly as wife Melania will stay put until son Barron finishes school—and more simply because Trump likes waking up in his own bed. It has been estimated that turning Trump Tower into a 24/7 armed fortress will cost New York City taxpayers $1 million a day, and the total bill over the president-elect’s four-year term could swell beyond $1 billion.

more details here

Featured Story

Features, History, holidays, Midtown

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The 1931 tree.

The official website of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree describes the holiday tree as a “world-wide symbol of Christmas,” a statement we really can’t argue with, especially since 125 million people visit the attraction each year. And as you’ve probably heard, Wednesday, November 30th is the 84th Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, an annual celebration that attracts tens of thousands in person, and hundreds of millions more on television. In anticipation of the big event, we decided to take a look back at how this tradition got started and how it has evolved over the years.

More on the history here

Celebrities, Midtown

trump tower, security nypd

Image timothygo_

Between swarms of protestors outside the building and Donald Trump‘s claims that he’ll spend weekends at his penthouse, the NYPD has spent the last week mulling a shutdown of Fifth Avenue in and around Trump Tower. And even though Melania and ten-year-old Barron will remain in the 24-karat gold-covered triplex instead of moving to the White House, Mayor de Blasio announced that the stretch of the Avenue in front of the building will remain open to vehicular traffic, adding that, “We have never had a situation where the president of the United States would be here on such a regular basis. But the N.Y.P.D. is up to the challenge, and the City of New York is up to the challenge.”

And it’s quite the challenge

Celebrities, Midtown, Video

Donald Trump has already made it clear that he hopes to ditch convention and spend weekends in his Trump Tower penthouse during his presidency (despite the unprecedented traffic snarls and security issues it’ll cause). In addition to sleeping in his own bed, this will allow him to work out of his personal office. The 26th floor space is covered in awards, sports memorabilia, family photos, and an unsurprisingly narcissistic collection of magazines with yours truly on the cover. Business Insider uncovered two videos from last year–one from the Washington Post, one from the Wall Street Journal–where Trump provided tours of the office, and it looks like our next president may be working on international politics with one of Shaquille O’Neal’s sneakers sitting next to him.

Watch both videos here

Cool Listings, Interiors, Midtown

35 west 54th street, studio, moma

This 650-square-foot pad is nestled inside a six-story, Beaux Arts brick and limestone townhouse located just across the street from the Museum of Modern Art. Located at 35 West 54th Street, in Midtown West, this is a former one-bedroom apartment renovated into a spacious, open studio by its owner architect. The reno retained some of the classic Beaux Arts details while giving the interior a modern look.

Take a peek

Architecture, Central Park South, Midtown, Urban Design

432 park, 432 park avenue, rafael vinoly, 432 park lighting design

Just in case you had trouble spotting the Western Hemisphere’s tallest residential tower, beginning Monday, 432 Park Avenue will debut a brand new lighting feature that will turn the 1,396-foot supertall into a glowing beacon. As LLNYC reports, 32 LEDs will fill the tower’s five open-air “drum floors” where the building’s mechanicals are situated. 432 Park‘s starchitect, Rafael Viñoly, worked with HDLC Architectural Lighting Design to develop the scheme.

more details here

City Living, Policy, real estate trends

Image by __shih_cc via Instagram

Since Donald Trump announced his run for office, Trump Tower, where the President-elect both lives and keeps his political headquarters, has been a hotspot for protestors. While in the past few months, inconveniences haven’t escalated far beyond anti-Trumpers stopping by to give the building the finger, after the 2016 election results were announced, it’s become veritable zoo outside the 5th Avenue tower as thousands have convened to denounce (and to be sure, support) a Trump presidency. The situation has become a major disruption for residents of the luxury skyscraper who are now annoyed with the crowds. As The Post so fittingly writes, “It’s not so easy being a member of the 1 percent if you live at Trump Tower.”

more on the complaints here

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Midtown East

Producer Martin Bregman–most famous for his work on “Scarface,” but also for “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Serpico,” and “Carlito’s Way,”–first listed his lavish, European-style Midtown East apartment a year ago, asking $8.9 million. The co-op at 417 Park Avenue has since gotten a price chop to $7.9 million in January and back up to an ambitious $9.9 million in August, and the Post now reports that it’s back down to $7.9 million, as well as an $18,000/month rental. The flip-flopping residence is located in a stately, Emory Roth-designed co-op at 55th Street and features posh details like ornately carved fireplace mantles, a wood-paneled library with a built-in wet bar and hidden movie projection screen, and a television that comes down from the master bedroom ceiling.

Check out the whole place

Celebrities, Central Park South, Cool Listings, Midtown

All-American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger bought three separate condos in the Plaza in 2008 for a combined $25 million. He and his wife Dee Ocleppo then embarked on a very internationally influenced, $20 million renovation that combined the units into one opulent, 5,600-square-foot duplex, complete with marble-clad rooms, vintage limestone fireplaces from England, and a domed room inside one of the building’s iconic turrets that features a custom-designed “Eloise” mural by the books’ illustrator Hilary Knight. The couple listed the apartment in 2013 for $80 million, but despite its lavish interiors, it’s been on and off the market since then, its price dropping to $75 million in March 2015 and to $69 million a few months ago. The Wall Street Journal now reports that it’s reappeared with even sharper discount, dropping 26 percent to $58.9 million.

Take a tour of the incredible home

Midtown, photography

Robert A.M. Stern‘s 220 Central Park South will eventually rise 950 feet amongst the supertall and super-luxury towers of Billionaires’ Row. As of August, the 66-story tower had risen 600 feet, and now that it’s nearing the homestretch, urban explorer and photographer Viktor Thomas decided it was time to get past the construction zone and scale the limestone skyscraper. First shared by Untapped, he posted this vertigo-inducing set of photos on his Instagram account @vic.invades that show the truly insane views from the tower.

See all the photos right here

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