Is the city’s tallest residential tower seeing a slowdown in sales? Crain’s reports that 432 Park developers CIM and Harry Macklowe have begun splitting full-floor apartments at the 1,396-foot-tall tower into two with the hopes of attracting smaller ticket buyers who can’t swing $80 million for a posh pad—but wouldn’t be opposed to shelling out $40 million. The paper adds that the move “may signal a slowdown in sales for $50 million-plus apartments,” particularly as the market gets inundated with ultra-luxe developments. “There is some concern that there aren’t enough buyers who can afford apartments priced in the tens of millions of dollars—an increasingly common figure for the latest crop of ultra-luxury condos.”
432 park avenue
Is the Western Hemisphere’s tallest residential tower already experiencing some construction defects? According to a recent blog post by real estate author Michael Gross (h/t Curbed), 432 Park Avenue is showing signs of wear. Gross writes that “Two unconnected sources confirm that the architectural concrete that covers the poured concrete tower has already developed cracks, and that scaffolds hanging from the pillar in recent weeks were there because Nicholson Galloway, a top masonry restoration company, was hired to coat the structure with some ‘nasty stuff,’ as one of those sources puts it, called Silane that will seal those fissures.”
“Cities can’t win. When they do well, people resent them as citadels of inequality; when they do badly, they are cesspools of hopelessness.” This is the opening line to Adam Gopnik‘s New Yorker review of three forthcoming urban history books: Gerard Koeppel’s “City on a Grid: How New York Became New York,” which tells the history of the city’s famous 1811 street grid plan and explores how that forever shaped life in the city; Evan Friss’ “The Cycling City: Bicycles and Urban America in the 1890s,” which recounts the rise and fall of bicycle culture in the late 19th century; and David Maraniss’ “Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story.” These very specific topics lend themselves to larger themes about the current state of our city, and in exploring these, Gopnik came out with an incredible one liner:
The things that give cities a bad conscience are self-evident: seeing the rise of 432 Park Avenue, the tallest, ugliest, and among the most expensive private residences in the city’s history—the Oligarch’s Erection, as it should be known—as a catchment for the rich from which to look down on everyone else, it is hard not to feel that the civic virtues of commonality have been betrayed.
Get a job as one of their building managers.
As DNA Info reports, if you’re just a regular Joe or Jane looking to take up residence in one of the city’s priciest towers, you don’t need to be a billionaire—or even a millionaire for that matter. The resident managers at four headline-stealing, ultra-luxury towers will live rent-free, in very large apartments, while also earning respectable six-figure salaries for their services.
Most ideas usually end up in the trash but few ideas are inspired by the basket that holds them. A recent discovery by The Real Deal has revealed that the city’s residential tower-of the-moment, 432 Park Avenue, was actually inspired by a Josef Hoffmann-designed wastebasket released in 1905. The revelation came via a talk held last December at the Cornell Center for Real Estate and Finance where Harry Macklowe, the co-developer of the supertall, told the crowd that the repository was an “important touchstone” for the 1,396-foot-high design.
The Real Deal reports that Saudi billionaire and retail magnate Fawaz Al Hokair is the buyer of the $95 million penthouse at 432 Park, the city’s current tallest residential building. The unit went into contract in 2013 for roughly $11,500 per square foot, but sources are just now coming out with his identity. Al Hokair is the founder and chairman of Fawaz Alhokair Group, the most valuable retail and real estate company in Saudi Arabia. Forbes estimates the company is worth $22 billion, and that Al Hokair’s net worth is $1.37 billion.
When the deal closes it will be the second most expensive condo sale ever in the city, stealing the title from Bill Ackman’s $91.5 million buy at One57 and following only behind the $100 million penthouse sale, also at One57.
It’s projected that over the next five years, new development sales in Manhattan condos will total $27.6-$33.6+ billion, but this sky-high figure is heavily skewed by prices in just five buildings. These luxury towers will account for one-third of the total projection. Three of the buildings — 432 Park, 220 Central Park South, and 550 Madison Avenue (the former Sony Building) — are located on billionaires’ row and are expected to bring in a whopping $8 billion. The Greenwich Lane and 10 Madison Square West will also likely bring in close to $1.5 billion each. Along with this boost from the upper end of the market comes a trend where fewer units are selling, but prices are shooting up.
Image © dbox
We’ve all seen more than our fair share of 432 Park Avenue‘s facade around town, but finally here comes an opportunity to get inside the building. The Storefront for Art and Architecture has just announced that the Viñoly supertall will be the site of their 2015 spring benefit, TRANS. The gala, being held Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, will be the first public event hosted at the unopened building, and by the looks of the program, it also promises to be as starchitect-studded and “transcendent” as these things get.
It’s been one of the biggest criticisms of all of New York’s new supertall towers–their shadow-casting, sun-blocking tendencies and the fact that there’s nothing in place to regulate this. But a new skyscraper proposed for London may solve this urban dilemma.
Architects at the London-based firm NBBJ digitally designed a pair of towers that are precisely aligned with curved and angled facades that act like mirrors to reflect down toward the street. According to the National Post, “In theory, one of the towers would reflect sunlight into the shadow of its sister tower, reducing the area of shade caused by the project as a whole.”
The race to build the tallest residential building seems to never end. In NYC, One57 briefly held the title at 1,005 feet before it was outdone by 432 Park at 1,396 feet. But both of these supertall towers are expected to be beat by the Nordstrom Tower, which will come in at 1,775 feet. Across the world, though, towers rise even higher; World One in Mumbai, India is 1,450 feet, the 106 Tower in Dubai is 1,421 feet, and the mixed-use Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia will hit 167 stories and 3,281 feet. In fact, according to The Real Deal, “of the 445 residential towers in the world over 650 feet that are built or under construction, only 12 are located in Manhattan.”
With these dizzying heights becoming the new normal, the elevator becomes perhaps the most important construction element, and a feature in the Wall Street Journal calculates the annual “elevator miles” logged by residents of supertall condo towers around the world.