Midtown East

Midtown East, Policy

Image of Greenacre Park courtesy of Sasaki

As a small oasis in the center of Manhattan, Greenacre Park is home to honey locust trees, azaleas, pansies and a 25-foot-high waterfall, all taking up just 6,360 square feet of space. However, the city’s plan to rezone Midtown East to allow for more commercial buildings worries some advocates who say it may deplete Greenacre Park from any sunlight, as the Times reported. But the Municipal Art Society, New Yorkers for Parks, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilmember Daniel Garodnick, are backing a campaign called “Fight For Light” to protect the park’s right to sunlight.

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History, Midtown East, More Top Stories

Though we’re getting used to bidding farewell to our favorite vestiges of old New York, the May 17 reopening of historic and elegant cocktail establishment Campbell Apartment brings a rare reprieve to that familiar scenario, as The New York Times reports. Shuttered in July, the iconic lounge tucked away deep within Grand Central Terminal will reopen as an expanded version of the original. Both its slightly hidden nature and the establishment’s dress code will not be returning in its newest incarnation. The new, easier-to-find bar will be run by the Gerber Group, who says they want the bar to be less stuffy, hopefully without losing any of the historic and genteel appeal that made it a favorite grown-up rendezvous spot and a great way to impress a date.

Find out the story behind this unique NYC space

Architecture, History, Midtown East

A rescued collection of terra cotta building facade figures–including naked cherubs, smiling porpoises and the head of Neptune–that once adorned an 18-story office building next to Grand Central Station are in need of a new home. The building was demolished to make way for the under-construction One Vanderbilt skyscraper; at the urging of New York Landmarks Conservancy Chair Lloyd Zuckerberg, the new building’s developer, SL Green Realty Corp., saved the three terra cotta panels from the facade of 51 East 42nd Street. Warren and Wetmore, the building’s architects, also designed the station.

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Events, History, Midtown East

Can you locate Tudor City on a map? Did you know it was a development used to clear out undesirable slums along the waterfront? Have you heard it contains more than 2,200 apartments smaller than 400 square feet—”the antique mother load of micro-living”? As far as New York City’s hidden gems go, Tudor City is a neighborhood that is often overlooked. But if you’re one who is interested in history, architecture, urban design, or all of the above, this verdant east side enclave is one that deserves at least an hour or two of exploration. On May 5th, 6th and 7th you’ll get a chance delve deep into the history of this incredible 11-building development, as local historian and activist Brian K. Thompson leads several free public tours through early 20th-century development.

more details here

Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East

One Vanderbilt tower design

One of the city’s most pivotal new office towers is approaching its latest milestone. This afternoon, developer SL Green announced that One Vanderbilt, the supertall currently under construction directly adjacent to Grand Central Terminal, will begin its vertical ascent in early May. According to a press release, the 1,401-foot skyscraper’s construction manager, AECOM Tishman, has secured the procurement of more than 25,000 tons of domestically-fabricated structural steel, in addition to a New Building Permit from the New York City Department of Buildings.

more details here

Midtown East

Boston Properties, who owns the former General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue that has the Apple flagship located on its lower level, was issued a permit by the Department of Buildings to remove the iconic glass cube outside the store’s entrance. The Post reports that it’ll cost a staggering $2 million to take the structure down while Apple expands the Midtown location from 32,000 to 77,000 square feet.

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Cool Listings, Interiors, Midtown East, Turtle Bay

340 East 42nd Street, cool listings, turtle bay, co-ops

On the eastern fringe of bustling Midtown, the (mostly) pre-war Tudor City complex was built as rentals by Fred French in the 1920s to give office workers easy access to their jobs while enjoying efficient and elegant living conditions. The buildings were converted to co-ops in the 1980s, and they’ve retained their elegance and compact efficiency. Woodstock Tower at 320 East 42nd Street is one of the most charming buildings among them, and this cheerful studio with city views, asking a pied-a-terre-friendly $375,000, is a fine example.

Lots of photos, this way

condos, Design, Hotels, Midtown East, New Developments

Waldorf Astoria renovation, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Anbang Insurance Group, Pierre-Yves Rochon

Proposed rendering of the Park Avenue foyer, via Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

On March 1st, the Waldorf Astoria closed its doors to the public so that its new owners, Chinese insurer Anbang (who just today backed out of an even larger project to redevelop the Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue) can undertake a two- to three-year renovation to convert 1,413 hotel rooms into 840 renovated hotel rooms and 321 condos, as well as spiff up the public spaces. This last part was worrisome at first, but earlier this month, these iconic Art Deco interiors were designated an official city landmark, meaning Anbang will need to preserve them and receive approvals for any work from the LPC. Wasting no time, they’ve now released plans for both the interior and exterior renovations and announced that architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and renowned interior designer Pierre Yves Rochon (PYR) will “protect [the] beloved spaces and restore original features of the Waldorf not seen for decades.”

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Midtown East

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue. Credit: Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

“Kushner Companies is no longer in discussions with Anbang about 666 Fifth Ave.’s potential redevelopment, and our firms have mutually agreed to end talks regarding the property,” a spokesman for the developer told the Post. The timing of the Chinese insurance company backing out of the deal–which the Kushners hoped could increase the Midtown’s skyscraper’s value to a whopping $12 billion and include a flashy new Zaha Hadid design–is uncannily timed with investigations into Jared Kushner’s supposed meetings with a scandalous Russian bank. But despite the controversy surrounding ex-CEO and current White House advisor Jared, Kushner Cos. “remains in active, advanced negotiations around 666 Fifth Ave. with a number of potential investors.”

The full story ahead

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Midtown East

601 Lexington Avenue Market Building, Citicorp Center, Gensler, Boston Properties

Earlier this month, 6sqft revealed renderings of 601 Lexington Avenue‘s (the Midtown East skyscraper formerly known as the Citicorp Center) new “Market Building,” comprised of an interior atrium to hold dining/retail space and a new outdoor plaza and terraces. Though the LPC landmarked the building this past December, the Architect’s Newspaper has learned of a loophole in the designation regarding the privately owned public space, which could mean that amid the renovation, the sunken plaza and cascading fountain designed by Hideo Sasaki‘s firm–one of the iconic landscape architect’s few remaining works–may be demolished.

The full story ahead

Midtown East, Starchitecture

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue. Credit: Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

As 6sqft previously reported, 666 Fifth Avenue owners Kushner Companies and Vornado Realty Trust have been seeking financing for a new skyscraper planned for the site of the Midtown office tower that Kushner purchased for $1.8 billion in 2007; Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group is said to have been considering a substantial stake in the tower. Though it was reported that the redevelopment could be valued at $7.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal now cites sources who say the value could be as much as $12 billion, and that a reported deal with Anbang may be far from a sure thing. That huge number represents the projected value of what Kushner envisions as a 1,400-foot-tall mixed-use luxury tower with a design provided by the late Zaha Hadid in 2015, nine floors of retail, a hotel and big-ticket luxury condos on its upper floors.

Find out more about the possibly maybe very big deal

Cool Listings, Interiors, Midtown East

This is a picturesque apartment from a picturesque building, the Art Deco co-op 444 East 52nd Street. The Beekman apartment in question belongs to the fashion photographer Paul Sinclaire, who purchased it in 2014 for $1.35 million. After being listed on the market last year without finding a buyer, it’s once again up for grabs at a price of $2.195 million.

Time for a tour

Midtown East

666 Fifth Avenue, via Vornado

Anbang Insurance Group, the Chinese company who bought the Waldorf Astoria in late 2014 for nearly $2 billion, is now making headlines for another high-profile real estate transaction, this time against a controversial political backdrop. Bloomberg reports that Anbang is considering a stake in Vornado and Kushner Companies’ office tower 666 Fifth Avenue, a deal that Jared Kushner reportedly set into motion before resigning as CEO of his family’s company to serve as a presidential advisor to his father-in-law. If the deal goes through, not only will the Kushners profit some $400 million, but they’ll receive an equity stake in the new partnership, which will refinance $1.5 billion in existing mortgage debt. The deal values the tower at $2.85 billion, and if Anbang’s receives its proposed $4 billion construction loan to turn the top floors into condos, it will be the largest such loan for a single property in NYC history.

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Architecture, Midtown East

601 Lexington Avenue Market Building, Citicorp Center, Gensler, Boston Properties

The Midtown East skyscraper formerly known as the Citicorp Center, now called simply 601 Lexington Avenue, was made an official city landmark this past December, thanks to distinctive features including its 45-degree angular roof and base of four columns that resemble stilts. When designed by Hugh A. Stubbins & Associates in 1978, the site also included a privately owned public space with a connection to the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street subway station, which co-owner Boston Properties is now looking to update. They’ve tapped the designers at Gensler to envision a 200,000-square-foot “Market Building,” which will consist of a new outdoor plaza and terraces, as well as an interior atrium space that will host trendy dining and retail options.

More renderings and details

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Midtown East

Clive Davis, five-time Grammy Award-winning producer and current chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment, has an estimated net worth of $800 million, and when you’ve got that kind of cash, you can apparently buy seven-figure trophy co-ops and never live in them. Which is exactly what LL NYC reports he did at 465 Park Avenue, where in 2015 he bought two units for $3.4 million and combined them into one sprawling duplex. He then enlisted designer Greg Schriefer to create a contemporary and artistic version of a classic New York residence, and now that the renovations have been completed and that “things changed” for the unknown family member for whom he bought the home, it’s hit the market for $7.8 million.

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