Rendering via Handel Architects
Reduced rent AND the opportunity to walk to work? That’s the dream scenario up for grabs for Midtown East workers at Handel Architects’ 222 East 44th Street, where a mixed-use affordable housing lottery for 109 units just came online. The handsome, 42-story torqued glass tower sits between Second and Third Avenues, fronting both 43rd and 44th Streets, meaning it’s just a hop, skip, and jump away from Grand Central, the Chrysler Building, and the UN. The apartments are available to those earning 40, 60, and 130 percent of the area median income and range from $613/month studios to $2,733/month two-bedrooms. The lucky residents will also be treated to a bevy of amenities.
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Rendering courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners / Solow / BloomImages
Across the street from Richard Meier’s nearly-complete new black glassy-facaded condo/rental tower at 685 First Avenue (known as 685 First), between First Avenue and the East River, a boarded-up construction site has remained quiet for the better part of a decade. Now, Curbed reports, the site’s developer, Solow Building Company, headed by Sheldon H. Solow, 89, and son Stefan Soloviev, confirms the site’s awakening and imminent transformation into three condominium buildings and a fourth building, to be a biotech office, using the 2012 master plan penned by Meier’s architecture firm.
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Rendering of “Park Park” courtesy of Maison
Last month, Fisher Brothers unveiled the 17 finalists for its “Beyond the Centerline” design competition, a call for creative and ambitious ideas for how to transform Park Avenue’s traffic medians between 46th and 57th Streets. Proposals called for everything from an Alpine mountain to a High Line-esque walkway to a massive aquarium, but in the end, it was the “Park Park” entry that the jury selected as the winner. This proposal, courtesy of Ben Meade, Anthony Stahl, and Alexia Beghi of design firm Maison, transforms the iconic thoroughfare via a series of raised platforms that hold a concert space, art galleries, gardens, a restaurant, and a basketball court, “intended to inject new energy into the currently staid Park Avenue landscape.”
More details and the runner up
St Patrick’s Cathedral via Wikimedia
Editor’s Note: The owners of 405 Park Avenue are set to buy the development rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Real Deal reports. MRP Realty and Deutsche Bank Asset Management will add four floors and 205,000 square feet of office space to their existing building.
JPMorgan Chase and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week plans for the first project under the city’s Midtown East rezoning: a 70-story tower to replace its old offices at the same Park Avenue site. And with the Archdiocese of New York this week reaching a tentative deal to sell 30,000 square feet of development rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the second project under the new rezoning could quickly follow. According to Crain’s, if the sale happens the Archdiocese could pick up at least $7.2 million in air rights.
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Photo via Wikimedia; Auction images via Olde Good Things
As 6sqft recently reported, ownership of the iconic Waldorf Astoria was among the properties involved when the Chinese government temporarily took over the debt-ridden Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group, a firm known for snatching up prominent and expensive properties around the world. There has long been speculation about a condominium project in the works, and Bloomberg reports that the project is moving forward. Signs of change: Effects from the building’s guest suites have been carted off by Scranton, Pennsylvania-based architectural salvage purveyor Olde Good Things, who is already is selling pieces of the storied hotel on its website.
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Photo courtesy of Max Touhey
After beginning its vertical construction last June, One Vanderbilt’s progress shows no signs of slowing. According to SL Green, the supertall is currently rising two floors per month and after the 13th floor is completed, three floors will be installed every month. The planned 1,401-foot tower, which will become the city’s second tallest skyscraper when completed, will measure over one million square feet. In addition to the above-ground construction, the project includes $220 million in public transit improvements as well as a passageway for direct access to the subway.
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Fisher Brothers unveiled on Tuesday the 17 finalists chosen for its “Beyond the Centerline” design competition after receiving more than 150 submissions. Participants were asked to think of creative and ambitious ideas to transform the traffic medians along Park Avenue between 46th and 57th Streets. The finalists did not disappoint. Proposals call for an Alpine mountain, a massive aquarium, floating gardens, mini-golf, an elevated walkway and more. Although a jury will select the grand prize winner, all 17 proposals will be on display for public voting at Park Avenue Plaza, located at 55 East 52nd Street, from March 5 to March 9 for the second-place prize. Below, check out all of the unique projects.
See the ambitious ideas
Photo via Wally Gobetz/Flickr
You know that Old King Cole had a pipe and bowl, but did you know he also had a cloak and dagger? New York’s hyper-illustrious St. Regis Hotel, home to the famous King Cole Bar, has a clandestine pedigree that goes straight to its core. Founded by a family of spies, the Hotel became headquarters for the nation’s wartime spy service, and in the process helped inspire not only the Bloody Mary cocktail but also the Invasion of North Africa.
Read on for the history of Midtown’s preeminent spy den
Photo via Wikimedia
The Chinese government has taken control over debt-ridden Anbang Insurance Group, a Beijing-based firm known for snatching up prominent properties around the world for billions of dollars. One of those high-profile properties includes New York City’s iconic Waldorf Astoria, which the group purchased for $1.95 billion in 2014. According to the New York Times, the government takeover comes after Abang violated regulations, although the exact violations committed are unclear so far. Anbang will be overseen for one year by a group that includes China’s central bank, the country’s securities and banking regulator, the regular of foreign exchanges and other government agencies.
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270 Park Avenue via MikePScott’s Flickr
Plans to replace JPMorgan Chase’s current headquarters at 270 Park Avenue with a much taller tower at the same site is facing opposition from architecture and preservation buffs, shortly after the proposal was announced. Not only will the project become the largest intentionally demolished building in history, as YIMBY reported, the landmark-worthy Union Carbide Building was also designed in 1960 by Natalie de Blois, a pioneer of American architecture and one of the few female senior designers at that time. As the first project under the Midtown East rezoning, JPMorgan Chase’s existing 700-foot tall structure will be bulldozed to make way for a tower that will most likely be over 1,200 feet tall.
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