Carter Uncut brings New York City’s latest development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. Ahead, Carter brings us his eighth installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter looks at the “stray” supertalls rising in low slung neighborhoods.
Most of the city’s recent supertall developments have occurred in traditional high-rise commercial districts such as the Financial District, the Plaza District, downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City. Some are also sprouting in new districts such as the Hudson Yards in far West Midtown.
There are, however, some isolated “stray” supertalls that are rising up in relatively virgin tall territories, such as next to the Manhattan Bridge on the Lower East Side and Sutton Place.
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What Manhattan will look like in 2018, via CityRealty
Most landowners, especially those who have been in the development business for a long time, aren’t easily persuaded to sell their holdings, but with sales reaching record sums, that’s all starting to change.
As Crain’s recounts, back in November Jerry Gottesman, who has a property empire worth over $3 billion, sold a parking lot he owned between 17th and 18th Streets near the High Line for $800 million. He bought the site in the early ’80s for $2.4 million. Influenced by the sale, other landowners are also looking to get in on the action; just last week three large residential development sites hit the market asking $1,000 or more per buildable square foot–a 50 percent increase in the price of Manhattan land from last year. And if the parcels fetch these sums, it will be the first time values per buildable square foot reach four figures. With these record sale sums, Manhattan condo builders would have to sell units at sky-high prices to make a profit. For example, a 1,000-square-foot apartment would need to sell for $3 million or more just to break even.
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