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.
Blog Archives →
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
In 1984, a series of grime-covered windows at 714 Fifth Avenue caught the attention of an architectural historian by the name of Andrew Dolkart. Seemingly innocuous, and almost industrial in aesthetic—at least from afar—the glass panes would later become the foundation for a preservation victory.
Fifth Avenue is known around the world as the high-end shopping address, but rising rents are leading to an increase in vacant space along the retail corridor. According to data from Cushman & Wakefield reported by Crain’s, the availability rate spiked to 15.9 percent in the third quarter of this year, up 10 percent from the same time last year. On the stretch that has the world’s highest rents, from 49th to 60th streets, retail space is listed at an average of $3,213 per square foot, up from $2,075 in 2011. To put this in perspective, current rents in Times Square are $2,104 per square foot after tripling over the past four years.