Architecture firm Snøhetta revealed last month their design for a 775-foot condominium tower at 50 West 66th Street, slated to be the tallest building on the Upper West Side. Developed by Extell, the condo will rise 69 stories and contain 127 units, featuring series of “sculptural excavations” that are “evocative of the chiseled stone of Manhattan’s geologic legacy,” according to the architects. As the New York Times reported, critics of the project from the UWS community say the tower would violate zoning restrictions in the area. Local advocate groups, joined by Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, are pushing back against the construction of Extell’s ultra-luxury tower. In a statement, Rosenthal said, “We will fight this project with every tool at our disposal.”
555Ten, an Extell building that would be affected by the 421-a changes
As 6sqft reported last week, Governor Cuomo, developers, and unions have been engaging in closed-door talks to bring forth his revision of the city’s 421-a program that includes wage subsidies and an extension of the previous 25-year tax break up to 45 years. Glaringly (but not surprisingly) absent from the negotiations is Mayor de Blasio, but he’s now taking matters into his own hands, at least when it comes to those under-construction buildings that got in to the program before it expired in January. According to the Times, the de Blasio administration introduced a new policy that says these projects must include housing for some of the 60,000 New Yorkers currently living in homeless shelters, but developers, particularly Extell’s Gary Barnett, are not happy about the changes.
Gary Barnett’s Extell Development has become synonymous with sky-high towers, especially those along Billionaires’ Row — the 1,005-foot-tall One57 and the 1,550-foot-tall Central Park Tower — where it appeared that they were readying to construct a third behemoth that would rise more than 700 feet. However, Crain’s reports that Extell has filed plans for the site at 134 West 58th Street (the same block as One57), and they call for a stubby, 18-story, 41-unit condo building that’s less than 200 feet tall.
Back in January, 6sqft reported that the busybodies at Extell Development filed permits to demolish a string of six tumble-turned walk-up buildings between 3 and 13 West 46th Street in Midtown. Now, as expected, the Gary Barnett-led firm has filed permits to demolish the Warren & Wetmore-designed corner building at 562 Fifth Avenue and a somewhat incongruous Tudor-style building at 564 Fifth Avenue.
While none of the condemned buildings are extraordinary in design, 562 Fifth Avenue is perhaps a more tasteful affair than much of the schlock going up these days. Designed by the same architects as Grand Central Terminal, the slivery 13-story commercial building was once known as the I. Miller Building and features intricately ornamented spandrel areas, a pedimented roofline, and an unoriginal albeit charming Fifth Avenue storefront.
Still in disbelief that a 68-story building (though it’s being marketed as 80 stories) could rise at the edge of Chinatown? Well behold One Manhattan Square‘s construction site, buzzing with activity and flagged by a stalwart kangaroo crane foreshadowing the 850-foot-tall tower to come. Unlike the Chinese investment market, Extell’s skyscraper is heading in one direction — up. And after more than a year of site preparation and foundation work, the first pieces of re-bar have emerged from their mucky surrounds and are peaking above the lot’s blue construction fences.
A Google street view of the six buildings set to be razed
Yesterday, Gary Barnett’s Extell (the developer behind the Nordstrom Tower, One57, and the controversial 250 South Street, to name just a few) filed a string of demolition permits with the city’s Department of Buildings to raze six buildings along West 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The doomed four- and five-story structures are at 3 West 46th Street, 5 West 46th Street, 7 West 46th Street, 9 West 46th Street, 11 West 46th Street and 13 West 46th Street. And on Monday, The Real Deal reported that Barnett has secured ownership of two neighboring properties at 562 and 564 Fifth Avenue from Thor Equities and SL Green Realty. The prolific developer also owns 2 and 10 West 47th Street on the northern side of the block in the heart of the Diamond District.
Back in 2014, sources said that Extell was planning for a new hotel tower at the site, but given the large amount of land the savvy developer has assembled (more than 30,000 square feet by our count) it will likely yield the largest tower built on Fifth Avenue in more than a generation.
It may not be the penultimate $100 million penthouse, but an investor with enough dough can still make headlines buying into the city’s most expensive condo tower. According to the Journal, Extell is selling a block of 38 rentals in its blockbuster One57 for $250 million. The paper writes that unloading the units will bring the developer $3,800 a square foot, or an average of more than $6.5 million per apartment—more than double the $1,800 average of Manhattan condos sold during the third quarter.
Bloomberg News reported yesterday that the restless developer Gary Barnett will soon begin marketing the 800 condominiums of his upcoming One Manhattan Square development to Asian buyers first. Apparently not satisfied with erecting two of the tallest and priciest residential buildings in the city, One57 and the Central Park Tower, the Extell Development Company founder and CEO is busy laying the groundwork for one of the largest condominium towers in the city at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge.
Going by the address 252 South Street, the bipartite tower is being designed by Adamson Associates Architects (AAI) and will soar 80 stories tall, roughly to the same height as the Comcast Building (former GE/RCA Building) in Midtown. At nearly 850 feet, the tower will be the tallest skyscraper on the island between Midtown and downtown, and by far the tallest building directly along the waterfront. Its staggering 800 units will fall just short of the city’s largest individual condo-tower, the 816-unit Corinthian in Murray Hill.
Back in May it was reported that the official rendering for Extell’s Nordstrom Tower—a.k.a. Central Park Tower, a.k.a. NYC and the country’s future tallest tower (by roof height)—had finally been released by the developer, showing a glassy construction rising 1,523 feet from its 217 West 57th Street address. But now comes news from The Post’s Steve Cuozzo that the tower’s final design is actually “still up in the air.”
The Nordstrom Tower may not become the overall tallest building to ever rise NYC, besting One World Trade Center as previously reported and then rebuffed, but new filings unearthed by NY Yimby show that the supertall will still carry a very worthy, head-craning title. Documents show that the 95-story building will become not only the tallest building by roof height in NYC, but also in the country at 1,522.83 feet.