Midtown

Midtown, Top Stories

FAO Schwarz’s new Rockefeller Center flagship is now open

By Michelle Cohen, Fri, November 16, 2018

Gigi Hadid and toy soldiers; she designed their uniforms. Photo credit: Rony Alwin.

To mark the return of the iconic FAO Schwarz toy emporium to NYC in the form of a new 2.5-story, 20,000-square-foot-plus flagship at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the store hosted a celebrity-studded VIP preview Thursday night ahead of Friday’s opening. Guests included Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Whoopi Goldberg, Bethenny Frankel, Morena Baccarin, Carrie Berk, and Disney’s Mia Sinclair Jenness. Doors opened today at 10:30 a.m., kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. With a nod to the brand’s magical history as part of New York City lore, the new store uses the Art Deco architecture of its new home to amplify memories of FAO experiences from years past; a look toward the future begins with FAO Schwarz toy soldiers flanking the store’s 49th street entrance sporting new uniforms designed by supermodel Gigi Hadid.

Welcome back to our world of toys

Design, Midtown, Starchitecture

Via Bjarke Ingels Group

The first set of renderings of Bjarke Ingels’ restoration of the landmarked Lord & Taylor building was released last month and it appears the starchitect’s firm will not sway too far from the original structure’s design. WeWork hired BIG last year to preserve the 104-year-old store, which will become the co-working company’s new global headquarters. In its presentation on Oct. 30 to Manhattan’s Community Board 5, the firm explained its plan to reconfigure the ground-floor, install canopies, replace signage, and more, as first reported by the Associated Press.

See the design

City Living, holidays, Midtown

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree-to-be in its birthplace in Walkill, New York.

That’s right, it’s not even Halloween yet, but the 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been selected and is now being groomed for duty as the centerpiece of New York City’s treasured holiday tableau. The tree, a 72-foot Norway spruce, born and raised in Walkill, New York, is 45 feet in diameter and weighs about 12 tons. The tree will be lifted by crane onto Rockefeller Plaza on Saturday, November 10. After being wrapped with five miles of LED lights, the enormous evergreen will be crowned with a new Swarovski star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind for the free, public tree-lighting extravaganza happening this year on November 28.

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Manhattan, Midtown

trump tower, nypd, trump tower security

Via Krystal T on Flickr

A one-bedroom on the 57th floor of Trump Tower closed earlier this month for $1.825 million, marking just the second sale of 2018 at the Midtown building, as Mansion Global first reported. Comparatively, there were seven sales in 2017 and eight in 2016 at the building, developed by President Donald Trump. While the sales slump at Trump Tower reflects a broader decline in sales at luxury properties across Manhattan, politics surrounding the building may also be playing a role.

More here

condos, Major Developments, Midtown

Via Extell

Sales have launched for Central Park Tower, the tallest residential tower in the world, Extell Development announced Monday. Located at 225 West 57th Street, the 1,550-foot tower is rising on Billionaires’ Row, a strip of ultra-luxury residences at the southern end of Central Park in Midtown. While Extell hasn’t officially released pricing for its 179 condos, the Real Deal reported last year that 20 of the units have a price tag of $60 million and higher, with a $95 million penthouse being the most expensive. If the building achieves its projected $4 billion sellout, the tower would become the most expensive condo project in New York City.

More here

Midtown, Policy

Image via Wally Gobetz/Flickr CC

The city is looking to partner with a nonprofit to buy a building in the Garment District that would become a new hub for fashion businesses. The New York City Economic Development Corporation on Thursday released a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) seeking realtors who want to work with the city to acquire a Midtown property, the Commercial Observer first reported. While the city is looking to preserve Midtown’s Garment District, primed for a rezoning, at the same time, it is still luring apparel makers and other manufacturers to Sunset Park in Brooklyn.

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Midtown

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

At the beginning of next year, Lord & Taylor will close its Fifth Avenue flagship after a 104-year run. Owner Hudson’s Bay Co. sold the 676,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance building to WeWork for $850 million a year ago in an attempt to keep the department store brand afloat. With just a few months left at their storied location, Lord & Taylor will launch on Thursday a final “store closing” sale that will last through the holidays, according to the Post. And speaking of the holidays, they’ve also decided that instead of their normal six window displays between 38th and 39th Streets, they’ll only decorate two this holiday season.

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Architecture, Midtown, New Developments

TSX Broadway, Times Square, L & L Holding Co.

Photo Credit: Courtesy L&L Holding Company

A year after renderings were released and three years after the project’s approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, L&L Holding Company, Maefield Development, and Fortress Investment Group have revealed plans for TSX Broadway at 1568 Broadway, beginning with the demolition–planned for this winter–of the existing 1,700-seat landmarked Palace Theatre, which will be replaced by a 46-story tower with 550,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space. The theater will be elevated 30 feet and secured within the new building and will be completely renovated, after which an entirely new structure containing a 669-key luxury hotel will be built around it.

More renderings this way

City Living, Midtown

Pay to break stuff for fun at these ‘rage rooms’ in NYC

By Devin Gannon, Tue, September 11, 2018

Some New Yorkers in need of major stress relief are skipping meditation and trying an unusual, but apparently effective, alternative. As a self-described provider of destruction services, the Rage Cage lets visitors smash printers, VCRs, dishes, and other items with a sledgehammer or baseball bat. Sessions range from $45 for 25 minutes of raging to a $120 30-minute session for four people (h/t WSJ).

More breaking news ahead

Midtown

FAO SCHWARZ Rockefeller Center, FAO SCHWARZ NYC, FAO SCHWARZ flagship

It’s been more than three years since FAO Schwarz closed its doors after 150 years, ending its run as the nation’s oldest toy store. At the time, owner Toys “R” Us blamed rising rents at Midtown’s General Motors Building, but assured the public they’d be looking for a new location. And since California-based firm ThreeSixty Group Inc. took over ownership in 2016, that day has finally come. According to the Wall Street Journal, FAO Schwarz will open a new 20,000-square-foot location in Rockefeller Center this November. Part of the company’s new strategy is to bring a “sense of theater” to the store, which will include costumed employees, magicians and dancers, and product demonstrators.

Get a look at the new storefront

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