one vanderbilt

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Interviews, Midtown East, Urban Design

one vanderbilt architects

There are a number of towers on the rise poised to change the New York City skyline, but few are anticipated to have an impact as significant as One Vanderbilt. Developed by SL Green and designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the glassy supertall will extend an incredible 1,401 feet into the clouds to become the city’s third tallest tower (following One World Trade Center and the in-progress Central Park Tower) while also bringing a staggering 1.7 million square feet of office space to Midtown Manhattan. But beyond its height and girth, this massive development is expected to elevate its surroundings a profound way. Indeed, the enshadowed “iconic but aging” district surrounding Grand Central, long-deprived of public space and life beyond weary commuters, will be turned into a verdant block dedicated to all New Yorkers.

6sqft’s interview with the architects this way

Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East, New Developments

SL Green says One Vanderbilt will bring in $200M a year

By Michelle Cohen, Fri, January 27, 2017

SL Green Realty CEO Marc Holliday said Thursday that the midtown office tower One Vanderbilt is expected to pull in as much as $198 million a year in net operating income when complete in 2020 and fully leased, The Real Deal reports. That figure, in 2028 dollars, likely includes $42 million in admission fees for the building’s planned observation deck and is based on the assumption that the tower will be leased out at an average of $155 per square foot. If realized, that figure would put the 1.7-million-square-foot, 1,401-foot-tall tower in a league with some of the the city’s significantly larger trophy properties.

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Midtown East, Policy

One Vanderbilt, KPF Midtown East, SL Greene, Rezoning, Supertall Skyscrapers (14)

Plans to rezone Midtown East are few steps closer to reality with the start of the new year. The Department of City Planning has certified a rezoning proposal for the area surrounding Grand Central, and the city kicked off its official land-use review process Tuesday. The next step for the rezoning plans will be the seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which includes review by community boards 5 and 6, the Manhattan borough president, the City Planning Commission and the City Council. The zoning proposal could add 6.5 million square feet of commercial space to the 73-block district in the form of 16 larger, more modern buildings that would replace old ones, breathing new life into the office zone that New York Post real estate columnist Steve Cuozzo recently referred to as “iconic but declining.”

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Major Developments, Midtown East

One Vanderbilt tower design

SL Green, the city’s largest office landlord, “pulled off one of New York’s biggest office deals of 2016” when they secured $1.5 billion in construction financing for their supertall tower One Vanderbilt, which is expected to ultimately cost a whopping $3.14 billion. The developer is now looking to rake in even more dollars off the deal, reports the Wall Street Journal, as they’ve proposed to J.P. Morgan Chase (one of the Syndication Agents in the financing) a swap out where the bank would trade its two headquarters buildings at 383 Madison Avenue and 277 Park Avenue for the recently-under-construction, 1,401-foot office tower.

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Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East, New Developments

One Vanderbilt confirms 1,020-foot observation deck

By Dana Schulz, Mon, December 5, 2016

It’s been almost a year since 6sqft first heard inklings that One Vanderbilt–the city’s second tallest tower–would offer a sky-high observation deck, and now that developer SL Green has secured $1.5 billion in construction financing and broken ground on the 1,401-foot supertall, they’e confirmed that the tower will, in fact, have an sky deck. Bloomberg reports that the viewing platform will be located at the 1,020-foot mark, which will make it the third-highest indoor-outdoor observatory in the city after the forthcoming 1,100-foot deck at 30 Hudson Yards and the Empire State Building’s at 1,050 feet (One World Observatory is at 1,250 feet, but it’s not outdoors).

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Architecture, Construction Update, Major Developments, Midtown East, Urban Design

Yesterday 6sqft brought you a time-lapse video showing an entire Midtown block being demolished to make way for the 1,401-foot supertall One Vanderbilt. Now with a cleared site—plus $1.5 billion in construction financing secured—SL Green is ready to build anew, and Tuesday morning the developer held an official groundbreaking ceremony to mark the momentous occasion.

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Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East, New Developments

6sqft recently reported that One Vanderbilt, developer SL Green‘s new Midtown supertall, has secured $1.5 billion in financing, giving the green light to the 1,401-foot-tall, full-block office tower slated to rise at One Vanderbilt Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets directly adjacent to Grand Central Terminal. Demolition of a full block of commercial buildings next to Grand Central began a year ago to make way for the tower. Now, YIMBY brings us a time lapse video of the lengthy demolition courtesy of  One Vanderbilt’s PR team.

Watch an entire block of pre-war buildings disappear

Major Developments, Midtown East, New Developments, Starchitecture, Urban Design

It’s full steam ahead for SL Green‘s new Midtown supertall, One Vanderbilt. Early this morning the developer announced it had closed on $1.5 billion in financing for its 1,401-foot, full-block office tower slated to rise directly adjacent to Grand Central Terminal. As SL Green Managing Director, Robert Schiffer expressed in a statement: “Closing on the construction financing means that nothing stands in the way of One Vanderbilt becoming an iconic addition to the Manhattan skyline.”

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Major Developments, Midtown East, Urban Design

One Vanderbilt, KPF Midtown East, SL Greene, Rezoning, Supertall Skyscrapers (14)

Conceptual image depicting all the proposed sites of the East Midtown rezoning fully built out. Courtesy CityRealty

After Mayor Bloomberg’s failed 2013 attempt, the city has released its long-awaited Midtown East Rezoning plan, a controversial upzoning of the area bound by Madison and Third Avenues and 39th and 50th Streets, which would encourage taller, more modern office towers in an area that many feel is no longer attracting commercial tenants.

According to Crain’s, their proposal, the first step in the formal rezoning process, would allow the tallest buildings around Grand Central, increasing the maximum density by 30 percent. Along Park Avenue and near subway stations north of the Terminal, density would be increased, too. The proposal also will permit owners of landmarked buildings to sell their air rights across the district, rather than just to adjacent properties like the current law dictates.

More details ahead

Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East, New Developments

Last week, a $1.1 billion lawsuit against One Vanderbilt was settled, giving the green light to the 1,401-foot project. Investors at Grand Central Terminal led the suit, claiming that the tower would divest them of the value of their air rights if developer SL Green was was allowed to proceed with construction as it was cleared to do under the controversial Midtown East Rezoning.

Now that it’s been dismissed, NY Yimby reports that excavation work is underway at the site of Midtown’s future tallest tower, at the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. And Curbed points out that architecture buffs can stay apprised of construction progress through the building’s new Instagram page.

Check out some construction shots

Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East, New Developments

One Vanderbilt Will Cost a Whopping $3.14 Billion

By Dana Schulz, Tue, June 7, 2016

Midtown East skyline, KPF, rezoning, NYC skyscrapers, SL Green

Another supertall tower will join the $3 billion+ club. The Real Deal reports that SL Green Realty has pegged the cost of One Vanderbilt, Midtown’s future tallest tower, at $3.14 billion. The city’s largest office landlord also said it hopes to close on a $1.5 billion construction loan by the end of the summer, leaving $1.64 in equity needed to complete the 1,401-foot tower designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

As TRD notes, One World Trade Center became the world’s most expensive office tower in 2014 when it opened with a final cost of around $3.8 billion. Bjarke Ingels’ planned High Line tower known as the Spiral is also expected to run over $3 billion.

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Featured Story

Architecture, Carter Uncut, Features, Urban Design

Skyline Wars: Accounting for New York’s Stray Supertalls

By Carter B. Horsley, Wed, May 11, 2016

skyline strays

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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Featured Story

Carter Uncut, Features, Major Developments, Midtown East, Starchitecture, Urban Design

carters view

Carter Uncut brings New York City’s breaking development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. This week Carter brings us the second installment of nine-part series, “Skyline Wars,” which examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter zooms in on Midtown East and the design of One Vanderbilt, the controversial tower that is being pinned as the catalyst for change in an area that has fallen behind in recent decades.

Despite some objections from community boards and local politicians, New York City is moving ahead with the rezoning of East Midtown between Fifth and Third avenues, and 39th and 59th Streets; and earlier this year, the de Blasio administration enacted an important part of the plan, a rezoning of the Vanderbilt Avenue corridor just to the west of Grand Central Terminal. The Vanderbilt Avenue rezoning included approval of a 1,501-foot-high tower at 1 Vanderbilt Avenue on the block bounded by Madison Avenue, 42nd and 43rd Streets. The tapered, glass-clad tower, topped by a spire, is being designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox for SL Green. Mayors Bloomberg and de Blasio have championed the 1 Vanderbilt proposal despite serious concerns voiced by numerous civic organizations over the rezoning scheme that some see as “spot zoning” and the fact that the city has still not finalized nor published its complete rezoning package.

Using air-rights transfers from the Grand Central Terminal area and zoning bonuses for providing $210 million for infrastructure improvements in the area, the tower will significantly alter the midtown skyline, rising several hundred feet above the nearby Chrysler Building and the huge and bulky but lower MetLife Tower straddling Park Avenue just north of Grand Central Terminal. Its 63 stories are several less than the Chrysler Building and just a few more than the MetLife Tower, which might be interpreted by some observers as indicated that it was in “context” with such prominent neighbors, but they are wrong.

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Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East

Midtown East skyline, KPF, rezoning, NYC skyscrapers, SL Green

The digital production studio Visualhouse has posted on their website our first motion video look at SL Green’s 63-story office tower known as One Vanderbilt. Hailed to forever change the face of Midtown East and reinvigorate the business district, the $1 billion-plus, 1.6-million-square-foot tower was unanimously approved by the City Council this past summer, thus granting SL Green the green light to begin construction of the supertower immediately.

Visualhouse’s newly released renderings provide us with a clearer picture of how the building’s full-block base will meet the street, and also remind us just how gargantuan the tower will be. According to the tower’s architects Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the tower will rise 1,401 feet to its spire, making it the second tallest building in the city upon completion. However, unlike the pencil-thin supertalls underway around Central Park, the project will throw up a substantial amount of bulk into the air.

See all the renderings

Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East

One vanderbilt tower

Outside of a $1.1 billion lawsuit, news on the One Vanderbilt front has been relatively quiet. The supertall tower received unanimous approval back in May by the City Council and since then demo at the site has been underway. But now, NY Yimby has gotten ahold of some new renderings that offer additional views of the KPF-designed tower—in particular, how the 1,500-foot behemoth will fit in with the existing NYC skyline. Once the building is constructed, it will be one of the tallest skycrapers in the city with a roof height exceeding that of One World Trade‘s. And as noted by YIMBY, One Vanderbilt will also be the first building in Midtown east to surpass the Chrysler Building in height (which, if you look closely at the above rendering, you can see demurely reflected in the building’s glass).

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Major Developments, Midtown, Midtown East

SL Green, KPF, Kohn Pedersen & Fox, 1 Vanderbilt, Grand Central, GCT, Midtown Rezoning

Grand Central owner Andrew Penson is back in the news again, this time suing the city and One Vanderbilt developer SL Green for a princely sum of $1.1 billion. As the NY Times reports, Penson is claiming that the 65-story behemoth slated to rise next door to the historic structure has led to the devaluation of his air rights atop the terminal.

Penson claims that the de Blasio administration, the City Council and SL Green “deprived him of his property rights when the city gave SL Green permission to build a 1,501-foot tall office tower, without having to buy any air rights from him.” By allowing for a tower twice the size of what was zoned for the block “for free” (but really, in exchange for a $220M investment into the subway infrastructure beneath Grand Central), his air rights have been rendered “worthless.”

More on the lawsuit here

Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East

SL Green, KPF, Kohn Pedersen & Fox, 1 Vanderbilt, Grand Central, GCT, Midtown Rezoning

This afternoon, SL Green’s One Vanderbilt tower received the ultimate green light from the New York City Council, as members voted unanimously in favor of both the construction of the new 1,501-foot tall office building and the rezoning of a five-block stretch of Vanderbilt Avenue (the Vanderbilt Corridor) that would bring with it significant infrastructural upgrades to the area’s public transportation. The vote was the last hurdle for the development and is a critical step in the rezoning of a greater area of Midtown East.

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Real Estate Wire

220 central park south
  • After just six weeks, one-third ($1.1B) of 220 Central Park West has been sold. “Acceptance by brokers and buyers has been extraordinary and unprecedented.” [TRD]
  • One Vanderbilt is well on its way to becoming a reality. This morning SL Green cleared its final major hurdle, receiving approval, with some amendments, by a key City Council subcommittee. [Crain’s]
  • Philip Johnson’s iconic New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park will get a free $3 million facelift. Bridge and steel painters are donating their time to restore the structure. [NYDN]
  • Queens tallest tower has hit the market. [TRD]
  • Tiengarden, a 20-year-old vegan eatery in the LES, is shuttering because of a rent hike. [DNA Info]
  • The historic Helmsley Building has sold for $1.2B. [NYDN]

Images: 220 Central Park South (L); NY State Pavilion (R)

Midtown, Midtown East, New Developments

One Vanderbilt Avenue by kpf and sl green

Image: One Vanderbilt via SL Green/KPF

Foes of One Vanderbilt could soon find themselves with choice words for a new supertall enemy on the rise in the Midtown corridor. The Post reports that developer Howard Milstein is now looking to design and develop a brand new tower at 335 Madison Avenue. Millstein’s move takes advantage of the new Vanderbilt corridor zoning that would allow a building of 30 FAR with various bonuses.

Currently in its place, however, is a 1.1 million square-foot tower from 1984. The new project would require knocking down the existing building and constructing anew. Although that sounds like an impossible task, The Post notes that the tower was actually a redevelopment of the 1913-era Biltmore Hotel that the Milstein family started razing before preservationists could react—meaning there’s far less architectural significance here than there once was. While the current building does host tenants, roughly 500,000 square feet is already vacant. A new tower would also take several years to plan and develop. Milstein’s new plan could include a high-end hotel which would harken back to the site’s hotel past.

[Via NY Post]

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Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East

One Vanderbilt May Offer Sky-High Observation Deck

By Dana Schulz, Fri, February 20, 2015

One Vanderbilt Avenue by kpf and sl green

When we talk about One Vanderbilt we typically focus on the base of the building–how it relates to its neighbor Grand Central and how it interacts with the planned public plaza in Vanderbilt Corridor. But at a presentation last night about the project, hosted by Open House New York and put on by Jamie van Klemperer, president of Kohn Pedersen Fox (the project’s architect), we learned some exciting new details about the top of the 68-story, 1,501-foot zigzag building.

The four-part contrapuntal structure will feature a transparent topper, which is currently envisioned as a public event space and observatory. And since One Vanderbilt will clock in as the third tallest office tower in the city, this look-out spot could possibly sit higher than the one at One World Trade Center, which offers views at 1,250 feet above ground. Specific renderings of the top of the tower haven’t yet been released, and the architects note that the use is subject to change, but for now more information and renderings for the project are available here:

Rendering via KPF / SL Green

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