Even the city’s most public places conceal secrets paved over by the years, some more hidden than others. Grand Central Station is no exception despite the 750,000 or so people who make their way through its halls each day. You may already know of the terminal’s secret train track and whispering walls, but did you know that there are tennis courts in Grand Central? Once an exclusive club run by Donald Trump, the courts are now open to the public—and you can reserve a court at midnight.
There are a number of towers on the rise poised to change the New York City skyline, but few are anticipated to have an impact as significant as One Vanderbilt. Developed by SL Green and designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the glassy supertall will extend an incredible 1,401 feet into the clouds to become the city’s third tallest tower (following One World Trade Center and the in-progress Central Park Tower) while also bringing a staggering 1.7 million square feet of office space to Midtown Manhattan. But beyond its height and girth, this massive development is expected to elevate its surroundings a profound way. Indeed, the enshadowed “iconic but aging” district surrounding Grand Central, long-deprived of public space and life beyond weary commuters, will be turned into a verdant block dedicated to all New Yorkers.
SL Green Realty CEO Marc Holliday said Thursday that the midtown office tower One Vanderbilt is expected to pull in as much as $198 million a year in net operating income when complete in 2020 and fully leased, The Real Deal reports. That figure, in 2028 dollars, likely includes $42 million in admission fees for the building’s planned observation deck and is based on the assumption that the tower will be leased out at an average of $155 per square foot. If realized, that figure would put the 1.7-million-square-foot, 1,401-foot-tall tower in a league with some of the the city’s significantly larger trophy properties.
On the ninth floor of Stewart Hall at 10 Mitchell Place, this sunny one-bedroom co-op definitely says “home” more than “investment property.” Maybe it’s pre-war details like an original mantlepiece, beamed ceilings and hardwood floors, or maybe it’s the wood-burning fireplace, many closets and open sky views, or the almost-secret storybook Manhattan enclave near the East River and elegant Beekman Place. Given the apartment’s size, layout and location, the ask is definitely welcoming at $495,000.
Grand Central Station in the early 1900s
Historic photos of the original Penn Station are almost as common as images of the current site, since its demolition in 1963 is often credited with spearheading the modern preservation movement (and because its grandeur is a startling reminder of how loathed the current station is). Conversely, Grand Central is typically celebrated as a preservation victory. In 1978, the courts ruled in favor of the Landmarks Preservation Commission when Penn Central Railroad sued them to build a huge tower atop the terminal and demolish one of its facades. But believe it or not, the 1913 Beaux-Arts building was not the first Grand Central, and photos of these grand earlier structures are rarely shared.
New details for controversial Midtown East rezoning revealed, plan moves forward with land use review, Wed, January 4, 2017
Plans to rezone Midtown East are few steps closer to reality with the start of the new year. The Department of City Planning has certified a rezoning proposal for the area surrounding Grand Central, and the city kicked off its official land-use review process Tuesday. The next step for the rezoning plans will be the seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which includes review by community boards 5 and 6, the Manhattan borough president, the City Planning Commission and the City Council. The zoning proposal could add 6.5 million square feet of commercial space to the 73-block district in the form of 16 larger, more modern buildings that would replace old ones, breathing new life into the office zone that New York Post real estate columnist Steve Cuozzo recently referred to as “iconic but declining.”
SL Green, the city’s largest office landlord, “pulled off one of New York’s biggest office deals of 2016” when they secured $1.5 billion in construction financing for their supertall tower One Vanderbilt, which is expected to ultimately cost a whopping $3.14 billion. The developer is now looking to rake in even more dollars off the deal, reports the Wall Street Journal, as they’ve proposed to J.P. Morgan Chase (one of the Syndication Agents in the financing) a swap out where the bank would trade its two headquarters buildings at 383 Madison Avenue and 277 Park Avenue for the recently-under-construction, 1,401-foot office tower.
Images: Lemessurier and 6sqft
The Midtown building formerly known as Citicorp Center has just been designated a city landmark. The building, now known simply as 601 Lexington Avenue, is one of 12 buildings in Midtown East to be given landmark status by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. This newest batch of landmarks brings the number of official historic buildings in the area to 50, Curbed reports. The 59-story office and retail tower, designed by Hugh A. Stubbins & Associates, was completed in 1978. It was considered quite innovative for its time, with distinctive features that included a 45-degree angular roof and a base of four stilt-like columns. The latter allowed it to cantilever over Saint Peter’s Church, also on the site. There is also a privately owned public space that connects the buildings to the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street subway station.
432 Park Avenue may be the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere and home to the most expensive apartment closing this year, but throughout 2016, the tower’s ultra-luxury condos were selling at an average discount of 10 percent, according to an analysis by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. for Bloomberg. And a recent transaction saw an even greater price cut; Lewis Sanders, founder and CEO of Sanders Capital and former CEO of AllianceBernstein, bought an 88th floor penthouse for $60.9 million, 20 percent less than its $76.5 asking price.
It’s been almost a year since 6sqft first heard inklings that One Vanderbilt–the city’s second tallest tower–would offer a sky-high observation deck, and now that developer SL Green has secured $1.5 billion in construction financing and broken ground on the 1,401-foot supertall, they’e confirmed that the tower will, in fact, have an sky deck. Bloomberg reports that the viewing platform will be located at the 1,020-foot mark, which will make it the third-highest indoor-outdoor observatory in the city after the forthcoming 1,100-foot deck at 30 Hudson Yards and the Empire State Building’s at 1,050 feet (One World Observatory is at 1,250 feet, but it’s not outdoors).
The final checkout for hotel guests at the iconic Waldorf Astoria is March 1st, after which its new owner, Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group, will begin converting the 1,413 hotel rooms into 840 renovated hotel rooms and 321 luxury condos to the tune of $1 billion. Earlier this month, the developer filed these plans with the Department of Buildings, which also call for adding retail space, a restaurant, and a fitness center on the ground floors. They’ll retain the historic ballrooms, exhibition space, dining rooms, and banquet rooms, but will still need approvals from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for any work on these public spaces; the building has long been an exterior landmark, but the LPC recently calendared a request to landmark the Art Deco interiors. Though no designs have been approved or confirmed, CityRealty dug up renderings from architectural visualization firm ArX Solutions that show their vision of space*.
Plans are underway to turn what the New York Times calls “White House North” into an armed bunker as the president-elect’s family defers D.C.. As 6sqft reported last week, Donald Trump has said he’d like his family to remain in Trump Tower, though the gilded Fifth Avenue fortress that Trump, wife Melania and son Barron call home is particularly difficult to secure. The round-the-clock protection the family has been receiving from the NYPD has come at a cost to the city of over $1 million a day. Now, the New York Post reports that the Secret Service is in talks with the Trump Organization over plans to occupy two floors of the 68-story tower. It’s standard policy for the federal agency to provide full protection for every president at their various homes–it cost around $2 million a year for the U.S. Coast Guard to protect George H. W. Bush’s estate in Kennebunkport, Maine during his presidency, for example. But in this instance taxpayers would be paying the incoming president’s own company for the space in a lease deal which could cost more than $3 million a year.
At the end of August, the city released its long-awaited, very controversial Midtown East Rezoning plan. In addition to allowing 16 new towers to spring up in the area bound by Madison and Third Avenues and 39th and 50th Streets, the upzoning will “permit owners of landmarked buildings to sell their air rights across the district, rather than just to adjacent properties like the current law dictates,” as 6sqft previously explained. The following month, the city embarked on a study of these unused development rights, which would amount to an additional 3.6 million square feet over the next 20 years. And part of their conclusion is that they’re considering taking a 20 percent cut of these air rights sales, reports Politico.
The 21st century incarnation of the iconic Four Seasons restaurant set to open at 280 Park Avenue will bear no resemblance to the original, beyond the famous name and the sign that fronted the “Mad Men”-era power lunch spot in the Seagram Building, according to the restaurant’s co-owner, Julian Niccolini. The New York Post reports that the team behind the “new” Four Seasons–Niccolini and partner Alex von Bidder, the Bronfman family, landlord Steve Roth of Vornado and representatives of landlord SL Green Realty–approved the new restaurant’s design, by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, last Friday.
How much you love the location of this surprisingly-spacious-for-six-figures co-op at 155 East 49th Street just north of Turtle Bay in East Midtown might just depend on how much you like skyscrapers. Because though the spot is convenient to everything from MoMA and shopping to Grand Central Station and the subway, there are tall towers in every direction and many more, even taller, on the way. But this 10-story co-op does a pretty good job making the case for classic brick amid towers of glass and steel.
This “yuge” Trump Tower penthouse hit the market back in October 2015, but its $23 million price tag and location just a few floors below Donald Trump‘s personal residence have apparently not been the biggest selling points. As 6sqft previously noted, the sprawling (albeit gaudy) condo was once owned by the Donald himself, back when his parents lived there and when he reportedly rented it out for $110,000 a month to buddy Michael Jackson and then-wife Lisa Marie Presley. But if you’re still itching to be neighbors with the presidential candidate, it’s not too late.
The largest and tallest building in NYC from Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier is rising at 685 First Avenue, just south of the United Nations at 39th Street and First Avenue along the East River. Though developer Sheldon Solow bought the 30,000-square-foot site as part of his Turtle Bay South master plan 16 years ago, construction only kicked off in March. A couple months later, renderings were revealed of the 42-story slab tower’s dark glass facade–a departure from Meier’s typical beige designs and his first ever black building–and now the Times has shared the first interior renderings, along with new details about the residential breakdown (there will be 408 rentals and 148 condominiums) architectural specifics, and amenities.
A six-digit figure that starts with the number one seems like a steal when it comes to anything Manhattan real estate related, but in this case it’ll only get you 28 days a year, which factors out to roughly $5,900 per day. Curbed shares this fractional timeshare listing at the historic St. Regis hotel, an offer to stay in what’s described as a “glamorous studio” and have access to the property’s amenities.
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.
Yesterday 6sqft brought you a time-lapse video showing an entire Midtown block being demolished to make way for the 1,401-foot supertall One Vanderbilt. Now with a cleared site—plus $1.5 billion in construction financing secured—SL Green is ready to build anew, and Tuesday morning the developer held an official groundbreaking ceremony to mark the momentous occasion.