Via Krystal T’s Flickr
Following back-to-back fatal fires in 1998 at two New York City buildings that lacked working sprinklers, public officials advocated for new regulations requiring sprinklers in all buildings. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration that year pushed for legislation to address the lack of sprinklers in high-rise towers. But real estate developers, including President Donald Trump, fought against the proposals, citing the high expense of retrofitting existing buildings with them, as the Washington Post reported.
After fierce lobbying from developers, including Trump who personally called a dozen council members, the city enacted a law in 1999 that would require sprinklers in new construction but not existing buildings, exempting the president’s Trump Tower. On Saturday, a fire ripped through a 50th-floor apartment at Trump Tower, killing a 67-year-old art dealer. Sprinklers were never installed at the Fifth Avenue property.
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Google Street View of 666 Fifth Avenue
Update 4/9/18: Vornado announced on Friday that it reached a “handshake” deal to sell its stake at 666 Fifth Avenue back to the Kushner Cos, according to the New York Times. It remains unclear if the Kushners have found a new partner. Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado, in the filing, said the payment would cover the company’s investment: “The existing loan will be repaid including payment to us of the portion of the debt we hold.”
Kushner Cos. said this week it is in talks to buy the remaining 49.5 percent stake in 666 Fifth Avenue from Vornado Realty Trust, furthering the drama at the 41-story Midtown Manhattan office building, according to the Wall Street Journal. The tower has remained one of Kushner Cos. most financially troubled projects. In addition to its debt and high rates of vacancy, the building has been mired in controversy, mostly due to Jared Kushner’s role as a senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump. While Jared divested in the property to avoid conflicts of interest, investors have been reluctant from entering a deal with Kushner Cos.
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Rendering via Sam Biroscak/ Design Pavilion 2018
New York City has 280 miles of scaffolding, totaling more than 7,700 sidewalk sheds in front of 7,752 buildings. Described as pervasive eyesores and sunlight-blockers, scaffolding has an unflattering reputation in the city. Artist Sam Biroscak is looking to change the public perception of these sidewalk sheds, by highlighting it as an “under-appreciated” urban element in his conceptual design. Dubbed Mossgrove, Biroscak’s project would create an architectural pavilion in Times Square made of two materials seen as nuisances: moss and scaffolding. The proposal calls for the installation be built during NYCxDESIGN, a nine-day event featuring interactive installations and talks. The theme of this year’s Design Pavilion will be “From This Day Forward” (h/t Untapped Cities).
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432 via DBOX; Alex Rodriguez via Wiki Commons; Jennifer Lopez via Wiki Commons
Update 4/2/18: The pair picked up a three-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom that takes up half of the 36th floor of 432 Park, according to Observer. The apartment measures just over 4,000 square feet and features its own elevator, oak floorings, a library and custom-designed eat-in kitchen.
Power-couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, affectionately known as J-Rod, have purchased an apartment for $15.316 million at 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in the Western Hempishere. As Mansion Global reported, the duo picked up a 4,000-square-foot unit with three bedrooms and four and a half baths. The deal, which closed in February, turned out to be less expensive than expected, as the couple in October reportedly checked out a $40.5 million three-bedroom and an $82 million penthouse.
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Via Empire State Realty Trust
If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with Empire State Building sightlines, your views will, as of this week, include a five-minute sparkling light show every hour, on the hour, between sunset and 2 AM nightly. As Time Out New York reports, this latest addition to the iconic spire’s light show repertoire joins a lighting tradition that began in 1932 and includes holiday flair–red, white, and blue lights on the Fourth of July, the green and orange of the Irish flag on St. Patrick’s Day–music-enhanced light shows, and color changes to salute occasions and organizations every night of the year.
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6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring the Midtown offices of architecture firm COOKFOX. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
When COOKFOX Architects started looking for a new office space three years ago, it was a no-brainer that they’d incorporate their signature biophilic tools, but their one non-negotiable requirement was outdoor space to connect employees directly with nature. And though the firm has come to be associated with so many contemporary projects, they found their ideal space on the 17th floor of the 1921, Carèrre and Hastings-designed Fisk Tire Building on 57th Street. Not only did it offer three terraces (that the team has since landscaped with everything from beehives to kale), but the large, open floorplan allowed the firm to create their dream wellness office.
6sqft recently took a tour of the space to see how employees utilize the space day-to-day and learn more about how COOKFOX achieved LEED Platinum and WELL Gold status by incorporating natural materials for finishings and furniture, temperature control systems, lighting that supports healthy circadian rhythms, and, of course, plenty of connections to nature despite being in the middle of Midtown Manhattan.
Zimbabwe-based artist Zayd Menk spent three months working on this 165 by 80 centimeter model of Midtown Manhattan. The 17-year-old student, who built the piece of art for a school project, used a plethora of electronic bits and pieces to build the reduced model: 263 hot glue sticks, 11 CPUs, 27 motherboards, 10 CRT motherboards, 15 batteries, 2 clocks, 4 watches, 3 hard drives, 3 graphics cards, 4 audio cards, 7 power supplies and 13 floppy disk readers (h/t designboom). The used electronics, plus lots of math and scouring of the internet, come together in Menk’s project in an art form he refers to as “recyclism.”
Rendering courtesy of Eric Spencer
In November, Fisher Brothers first launched a design competition to bring life to the boring traffic medians along Park Avenue, between East 46th and East 57th Streets. The privately-funded contest, dubbed “Beyond the Centerline,” aims to spur creative thinking and unique ideas never before considered for the traffic medians. After the developer received more than 150 submissions from landscape architects and urban planners, the list has been narrowed to 17 finalists (h/t New York Times). Stand out proposals from the finalists include a mini-golf course, a glass aquarium and a curvy, elevated park.
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432 Park Avenue via CIM Group/Macklowe Properties
The buyer of One57’s $100 million penthouse was unveiled as Michael Dell last week, finally solving the mystery of which billionaire set New York City’s record for the most expensive home ever sold. The reveal sparked CityRealty’s interest in finding out where other costly buildings fall in comparison. Unsurprisingly, Midtown’s One57 and 432 Park make up 12 out of the city’s 20 priciest homes ever sold with single units going for $100.47 million and $91.5 million, respectively. While those two buildings on Billionaires’ Row easily take the top three spots, 15 Central Park West ranks fourth, with its $88 million penthouse sold in 2012.
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Image courtesy of Extell/One57
Founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, Michael Dell, was revealed as the buyer of the sprawling penthouse at One57 for $100.47 million, the most expensive home ever sold in New York City. According to the Wall Street Journal, Dell first entered a contract to buy the unit in 2012 when the Billionaires’ Row building, located at 157 West 57th Street, was still under construction. He closed the transaction through a limited liability company in 2014.
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