Midtown East

Architecture, Design, Midtown East

550 Madison Avenue, Snohetta, Sony Building

Rendering of 550 Madison Avenue, via DBOX/ Snøhetta

Over the last few years, plans to refurbish the former headquarters of AT&T and Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue have come and gone, including a proposal to convert the upper floors into luxury condos designed by Robert A.M. Stern. Now, with those plans long abandoned, Olayan America and Chelsfield revealed plans on Monday for a $300 million renovation of the tower, modernizing the lower levels of the building with high-quality amenities and a sprawling 21,000-square-foot public garden. With Snøhetta as lead architect, the renovation will be the first major project in East Midtown since its revitalization plan was approved earlier this year.

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Midtown East, New Developments, real estate trends, Transportation

grand central terminal, grand central, midtown east

Grand Central Terminal, photo via NYC & Company

At Grand Central Terminal, it’s in with the new, out with the old. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it will replace stores that have served the busy terminal’s commuters for over two decades–Junior’s, Two Boots Pizza, Grand Harvest Wines–with more upscale shops. As the New York Post reported, new stores include Art Bird & Whiskey Bar, run by Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef, Art Smith, and Tartinery, an open-face sandwich vendor. The restaurant refashioning process is expected to run through 2018.

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Celebrities, Midtown East, Recent Sales

Beyoncé sells swanky Midtown apartment for $10M

By Annie Doge, Thu, September 28, 2017

beyonce, 151 East 58th Street, one beacon court

Photo of Beyoncé via Wikimedia

It’s been a busy summer for superstar couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z. The twosome recently purchased an LA estate for $88 million in August and shortly after they bought a home on East Hampton’s Georgica Pond for nearly $26 million. Adding to their real estate hustle, Beyoncé just sold her apartment at 151 East 58th in Midtown East for $9.95 million, as the New York Post reported. The 44th-floor pad is located at One Beacon Court, the exclusive Manhattan skyscraper with a Pantheon-inspired elliptical court. Beyoncé’s former pad features three bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views of Central Park.

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Major Developments, Midtown East, Policy, real estate trends

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue, courtesy of Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

In 2007, Kushner Companies purchased a 41-story tower in Midtown for $1.8 billion, which was the most expensive real estate deal ever in the U.S. at the time. The transaction of 666 Fifth Avenue, coordinated by Jared Kushner, now a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, was ill-timed, making the purchase just before the economic recession. As the Washington Post reported, the Fifth Avenue project is one of the most financially troubled for Kushner Cos., with one-fourth of office space empty, and its lease revenue not covering monthly interest payments. While Kushner has divested his stake in the property to avoid conflicts of interest, the property’s value has dropped and foreign entities have withdrawn financial support. Currently, Kushner’s dealings are under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, as part of the broader investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

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Celebrities, Midtown East, Recent Sales

Skidmore Owings & Merrill, 252 East 57th Street, Billionaires Row towers, Midtown East condos

Shoe brand honcho Steve Madden put his best foot forward and stepped into an impressive spread at 252 East 57th Street. The Journal reports that the company’s founder and former CEO dropped $12.2 million on a five-bedroom condo at the 65-story Billionaires’ Row tower designed by designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Not only does his new home have a 38-foot-long living/dining area, balcony, and all the swanky fixtures and finishing one could hope for, but its 61st-floor location affords it incredible north, east, and west exposures with skyline, Central Park, and East River views.

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Midtown East, Policy

east midtown, rezoning, midtown manhttan

Conceptual image depicting all of the proposed sites of the East Midtown rezoning fully built out, via CityRealty

After five years, the City Council approved a rezoning for Manhattan’s Midtown East on Wednesday, by a 42-0 vote. The proposal will rezone roughly 78 blocks, running from East 39th Street to East 57th Street and from Third Avenue to Madison Avenue, clearing the way for 6.5 million square feet of office space in the area. A new updated zoning code is expected to incentivize new, dense development, allowing Midtown to compete with other booming business districts in the borough like Hudson Yards and the Financial District. As the New York Times reported, this change which lets developers build to a higher floor area ratio could result in new supertall towers.

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Celebrities, Cool Listings, Midtown East

Back in 2015, five-time Grammy Award-winning producer and Sony Music Entertainment’s chief creative officer Clive Davis bought two units at 465 Park Avenue for $3.4 million, combining them to create a contemporary, art-filled duplex for an unknown family member. However, just a year later, “things changed” for this relative, and he listed the pad for $7.8 million. Despite the super-swanky design and ritzy decor, he’s had a hard time unloading the home, and Mansion Global now reports that he’s chopped the price by 10 percent to $6,995,000.

Take the tour

Celebrities, Midtown East, Recent Sales

Nearly two years after selling her chic Greenwich Village penthouse, Rosie O’Donnell finally has a new NYC home (she spends the majority of her time at her other house in Nyack). According to city records, Rosie dropped $8 million on a triplex penthouse at Midtown East‘s 255 East 49th Street. The uber-modern residence is a sprawling 3,563 square feet and has swanky features like a black granite fireplace in the living room, a huge glass walled television in the master bathroom, a sculptural Guggenheim-inspired staircase, an indoor two-person Swedish sauna, and a giant rooftop terrace with views of the Empire and Chrysler Buildings and the East River.

Take a look around

Midtown East, Transportation

grand central terminal, amtrak, intercity rail service

Ahead of repair work set to begin at Penn Station next week, Amtrak said it will reroute some trains each weekday to Grand Central Terminal. For the first time since 1991, passengers will use the iconic Beaux-Arts terminal to reach destinations along the Hudson River Valley, like Rhinecliff, Hudson and Albany. As the New York Times reported, Amtrak will reroute six of their Empire Service trains to Grand Central instead of Penn Station from July 10 to Sept. 1.

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Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Historic Homes, History, Midtown East

211 East 48th Street, William Lescaze House, first modern house in NYC, International Style

The William Lescaze House in 1934 via MCNY

These days, it’s pretty common for historic townhouses to receive glassy additions, but this contemporary touch wasn’t always so common. In fact, it wasn’t until 1936 that New York City got its first modern residence—the William Lescaze House. William Lescaze was a Swiss-born, American architect who’s credited with pioneering modernism in America. Along with his partner, George Howe, he completed the first International Style skyscraper in the country in 1930, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) Building. Unfortunately, his high-profile career didn’t go much further than this, but he did design several uptown townhouses, one of which was his personal home and office and was the first of its kind in NYC.

Learn about NYC’s First Modern House

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