Midtown

Midtown

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

After The Real Deal first learned of the possible deal in late February, the Post is now reporting that Amazon is doling out $1.15 billion to acquire Midtown’s Lord & Taylor building from WeWork. Rumors that Amazon would potentially lease the building circulated last summer ahead of WeWork’s planned IPO. The sale will have big implications for both companies, giving WeWork much-needed capital and representing Amazon’s largest real estate acquisition to date. According to the Post, the landmark building will become Amazon’s NYC headquarters and home to “several thousand employees in the coming years.”

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Events, holidays, Midtown

Photo courtesy of Grand Central Terminal

One of the most unique Valentine’s Day events in New York City is happening at one of the city’s busiest transit hubs. Grand Central Terminal announced it will provide one couple a romantic, private evening under the stars of its iconic main hall as part of a new contest announced Monday. The winning couple, who will get the space to themselves on February 14 between 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., will enjoy a three-course dinner provided by Michelin-starred restaurant Agern and a live piano performance from a Steinway Artist, all under the terminal’s constellation ceiling.

How to enter

Art, Midtown

Times Square Arts, Valentine's Day heart 2020, eric forman studio, MODU, public art

Photos by Ian Douglas

Times Square Arts debuted the 2020 Times Square Valentine Heart yesterday, a tradition that started in 2009. This year’s installation, Heart Squared, was selected by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and designed by MODU and Eric Forman Studio. The sculpture is composed of a 10-foot-tall cubic steel lattice structure that approximates the form of an anatomical heart and 125 mirrors that are suspended within and tilted at various angles to create a kaleidoscopic collage of the urban environment. The arrangement of the mirrors might seem random at first but they’re precisely calibrated to form an anamorphic projection—meaning that the mirror array creates a surprise image when viewed from a specific vantage point, which is marked on the ground with white paint.

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Midtown, Restaurants

krispy kreme, times square

Renderings courtesy of Krispy Kreme

Iconic doughnut chain Krispy Kreme announced in June that it will bring its “doughnut theater experience” to a 45,000-square-foot retail space at the corner of 48th Street and Broadway in Times Square where visitors will be able to watch the doughnut-making process–complete with glaze waterfall–or just grab one to go at the walk-up window. It won’t open until May, but to hold you over, Krispy Kreme will soon open five new Manhattan locations, in addition to reopening their long-time Penn Station outpost after a renovation (h/t Time Out NY).

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Architecture, Midtown, Urban Design

See the proposed revamp for Rockefeller Center

By Alexandra Alexa, Wed, January 15, 2020

Rockefeller Center, Tishman Speyer, Gabellini Sheppard Associates, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Renderings by Gabellini Sheppard Associates courtesy Tishman Speyer; via NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

Tishman Speyer proposed a plan to revamp certain aspects of Rockefeller Center during a hearing at the Landmark Preservation Commission on Tuesday, as CityRealty reported. With Gabellini Sheppard Associates at the helm, the design proposal makes tweaks to the gardens and outdoor plaza spaces at the 22-acre site. The upgrades—which mostly seek to improve circulation—come as city officials have been discussing the permanent restriction of traffic around Rockefeller Center following the successful pedestrianization of the area during the recent holiday season.

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Midtown

Photos courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Under the watchful eyes of 30 security officers and 300 surveillance cameras, Tiffany & Company moved 114,179 pieces of jewelry from their iconic Fifth Avenue flagship store over the weekend to prepare the building for a renovation. Everything was taken to the adjacent storefront at 6 East 57th Street—a former Nike store—that will host a temporary location of the jewelry store until the renovation wraps up in 2021. Cheekily dubbed The Tiffany Flagship Next Door, the jeweler’s new home centers around a central atrium that will feature a rotating schedule of “periodic installations and exclusive partnerships.”

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Architecture, Midtown

Rockwell Group, 550 Madison Avenue, AT&T Building

Rendering courtesy of Rockwell Group

The Olayan Group released a new batch of renderings giving us a sneak peek inside the amenity floor at 550 Madison Avenue. Designed by Rockwell Group, the seventh floor offers a mix of “hospitality-driven” spaces for tenants, including food and beverage options, lounges, shared workspaces, and fitness and wellness areas. The center of it all will be the iconic Philip Johnson-designed oculus—which greets visitors as soon as they step off the elevator on the club floor—framed by two floor-to-ceiling artworks by Dorothea Rockburne, which were commissioned in 1993 specifically for the building.

Have a look around

Midtown, Transportation

Photo by Javier Guiterrez Acedo on Flickr

After having been closed to car and truck traffic during the busiest times of day since November 29th, West 49th and West 50th streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues–the two streets on either side of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree–may become permanently car-free if some city officials have their way. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he believes the vehicle-free streets were safer for the estimated 750,000 pedestrians who were expected to traverse the plaza each day during the crowded holiday season, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Midtown

Snøhetta, 550 Madison Avenue, AT&T Building, Olayan Group

Renderings courtesy of Snøhetta and MOARE

The privately-owned public space (POPS) on the ground floor of Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s Postmodern skyscraper at 550 Madison Avenue declined over time due to multiple alterations and was often described as being “tall, skinny, and dark.” As part of Snøhetta’s transformation of the landmark, the garden is receiving a lot of attention. In December, developer Olayan Group revealed plans to increase the public space by 50 percent while creating “a welcoming sensory retreat in the heart of East Midtown.” After being approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission last year, the open space has now received its final approval from the Department of City Planning.

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Architecture, Midtown, New Developments

TSX Broadway, Times Square, L&L Holding

Rendering courtesy of TSX Broadway

A mixed-use development project hopes to bring even more bright lights and theatrics to Times Square. A team of developers, led by L&L Holding Company, will provide the ultimate New Year’s Eve experience at its new luxury hotel, part of the plan to transform the historic Palace Theatre into TSX Broadway. New renderings of the $2.5 billion project, which involves raising the theater more than 30 feet and building a 669-room hotel above it, show off suites with perfect views of the Times Square ball drop, the neighborhood’s first outdoor stage, and immersive retail experiences.

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