Vote for 2014’s Building of the Year!

December 17, 2014

There is no shortage of towers on the rise in Manhattan, but amongst these glass and stone beauties are a handful that stand head and shoulders (and several hundred feet) above the rest. A red hot real estate market and cutting edge building technology have paved the way for towers of both unprecedented heights and prices. But worthy of equal credit are the visionary developers and architects who dare to change the NYC skyline.

Here we’ve handpicked 12 of the most newsworthy buildings of 2014; these towers boast groundbreaking designs and record-breaking (or soon to be record-breaking) prices. But we ask you: Out of the dozen, which deserves the title “Building of the Year?” Cast a vote above to help us decide which is 2014’s most important tower!

Extended by popular demand… Voting ends TODAY, December 12th at 11:59 PM WEDNESDAY, December 17th at 11:59 PM and we’ll reveal the winner on Friday, December 19th. And if you’re still torn between two (or all), jump ahead for the low-down on each, from height to 2014 news highlights.


432 park avenue

432 Park

Say hello to the tallest residential building in both NYC and the Western Hemisphere. The Rafael Vinoly-designed tower rings in at an impressive 1,396 feet in height, and also happens to be the second tallest building in Manhattan just behind One World Trade Center—although when measured by roof height, One World Trade is actually about 30 feet shorter. The supertall located at 432 Park Avenue was topped off in mid-October and will officially open next year. The building is already seeing groundbreaking sales, including that of the $95 million penthouse.

One57, 157 West 57th Street, One57 penthouse, Bill Ackman


One57 is credited with setting off the ultra-luxury building boom. The tower’s developer, Extell’s Gary Barnett, built the structure on land he bought at the depth of the recession, enlisting the help of Pritzker-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc to design the supertall. And tall it is. Currently it is the second tallest in the city (right behind 432 Park) at 1,005 feet with 75 stories. According to the CityRealty 100, it’s also the most expensive building in NYC as of this writing, with available units going between $6,000,000 and $37,950,000. A couple of its most notable stories this year included Bill Ackman’s plans to flip the building’s $90M penthouse (while using it as a party pad in the meantime), and the building’s first flip, which netted its owner $3.5 million just five months after purchase.

56 leonard

56 Leonard

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron56 Leonard Street will be a 58-story residential condominium tower when complete. Noted for its seemingly random pattern of cantilevered floors, the building will have eight full-floor and two half-floor penthouse, one of which is priced at $34.5 million. The building is currently under construction, and if these photos by Field Condition tell us anything, it’s that the building will live up to its renderings.

jean nouvel, 53W53, 53 West 53rd Street


Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, plans for Jean Nouvel‘s MoMA tower 53W53 were revived in September after being stalled for nearly ten years. Newly acquired air rights costing $85 million and a new construction loan of $860 million have put developer Hines back on track. Had the tower been completed in 2007 as previously planned, it would have briefly held the title of tallest skyscraper in the city before losing out to One57 and 432 Park. The dramatic Nouvel condo will rise 1,050 feet and contain 140 units.

Zeckendorf Development Co, 520 park avenue

520 Park Avenue

520 Park Avenue is the work of Robert A.M. Stern and has already been dubbed “the next 15 Central Park West.” Like its predecessor, it is a stately tower wrapped in stone. Though 51 stories high, the residence will contain just 31 units. But it’s 520’s penthouse that has been in the limelight. Priced at a staggering $130 million, it is the city’s most expensive apartment. The building’s developer, Zeckendorf, is already calling it “the greatest apartment on the Upper East Side.” 

In addition to an extravagant penthouse, 520 Park will host seven 9,000+-square-foot duplexes, starting at $67 million; while its single floor 4,600-square-foot apartments will be priced at $16.2 million and up. Construction on this behemoth will wrap in 2017.

BKSK Architects

One Madison

What we like to call a “modern marvel“, One Madison has put NoMad on the map. The super sleek, 60-story high-rise tower is home to a media mogul, a supermodel and her star quarterback hubby, and a slew of the city’s richest. Cetra Ruddy designed the tower, which features 360-degree views and 53 residential units. Other than its tall, slender frame, the building is most recognizable for its “pods,” the modular cubes that cantilever from the main shaft, extending the interior footprints from 2,700 to 3,300 square feet. The design of the building won praise from critics, with New York Times architecture reviewer Nicolai Ouroussoff calling it “a dazzling addition to a street that includes two of the city’s most celebrated skyscrapers: Pierre LeBrun’s 1909 Metropolitan Life Tower, across the street, and Daniel Burnham’s 1903 Flatiron building, a half-block west. It jolts the neighborhood into the present.”

50 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA by Norman-Foster

50 United Nations Plaza

50 United Nations Plaza is the work of starchitect Norman Foster, designed as a glittering 42-story glass tower topped off by a 10,000-square-foot, two-story penthouse (now selling at $22.25 million). The building was developed by Zeckendorf and Global Holdings Inc. and completed earlier this year. Former New York Times architecture critic Carter B. Horsely has called it a “stunning, free-standing tower of superb proportions…a glittering scepter for modern pharaohs who demand spectacular sun-rises.” The United Nations Secretariat building is visible from every floor of Foster’s design, making it just that much more prolific.

NYC real estate, NYC architecture, Walker Tower, Walker Tower conversion, former verizon building nyc conversion, nyc renovations, cameron diaz walker tower, nyc luxury condos

Walker Tower

Located at 212 West 18th Street in Chelsea, this stunning 24-story tower is an Art Deco masterpiece built back in 1929 and converted into condos in 2012 by Cetra RuddyThe tower’s historic allure has drawn buyers ranging from Cameron Diaz to Mike Thorne (that guy who discovered the Sex Pistols) to a very interested Jennifer Lopez (who eventually settled on this NoMad penthouse). Needless to say, it’s set a number of new sales records for Downtown Manhattan this year, including an impressive $50.9 million deal for the 6,000-square-foot five-bedroom penthouse. However, record sales haven’t kept buyers from nabbing great deals in the building like this two penthouse purchase for “just” $30.5 million.

woolworth condos

Woolworth Tower Residences

As one of the city’s oldest and most beautiful skyscrapers in Manhattan, the Woolworth Tower has long been in the public eye. However, interest really shot up when it was announced that the top 30 floors would be turned into 34 apartments—one of which will be a nine-story penthouse expected to hit the market at a record $110 million. The interiors are as glamourous and decadent as the exterior with interior designer Thierry W. Despont working meticulously to maintain the historic integrity of the 34 units. Kenneth S. Horn, President of Alchemy Properties, the building’s developer, has been quoted by the New York Times, saying that the apartments “are almost like individual pieces of art. If you get one, you’re buying one in a rare collection.”

The Baccarat Hotel and Residences

The Baccarat Hotel & Residences

From the outside, The Baccarat Hotel & Residences is a 50-story, mixed-use tower at 20 West 53rd Street that looks like a tall, slim, mid-block tower on a low base. Although its form is comparatively simple and a bit routine when looking at the others on this list, one should regard it as a jewel case for some incredibly dazzling interiors. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for Starwood Hotels and contains 61 residential condominiums above 114 hotel rooms. Units range from one- to four-bedrooms, and include three three-bedroom duplexes and a $60 million five-bedroom duplex penthouse, dubbed a “grand chateau in the sky.”

45 East 22nd Street, KPF tower, KPF tower nyc, super skinny flatiron tower

45 East 22nd Street

Supertall? Check. Super big apartments? Check. Super prices? Check. This Continuum Company-developed, KPF-designed tower is poised to trump nearby One Madison by 150 feet when it is complete in 2016. The cantilevering structure will sit on a site of just 75 feet wide, expanding as it rises 777 feet to a floor plate of 125 feet at its 65th floor. The penthouse will claim the 64th and 65th floors with an impressive 7,000 square feet of living space. No floor in this condo tower will have more than two units, and everything from the 55th floor up will be full-floor. Of course, this type of luxury doesn’t come cheap. It will cost you at least $2.5 million to live here. Construction is expected to commence February 2015 with a move-in date slated for December the following year.

Nordstrom Tower

The latest to grab attention from across the globe is yet another supertall brought to us courtesy of Extell. Dubbed the Nordstrom Tower, the building located at 217 West 57th Street will rise 1,479 feet and 10 inches above street level with a spire that pushes its height even further to 1,775 feet. When complete, it will be just one foot shorter than than One World Trade Center—although because the site sits higher above sea level it will technically be taller. Details…The foundation has already been poured. You can see renderings of this building created by NY YIMBY here.

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  1. M

    I’m voting for 30 Park Place, Four Seasons Private Residences

  2. J

    I would vote for 30 Park Place too!

  3. B

    ONE 57 the best design