World’s skinniest skyscraper at 111 West 57th Street stalled at 20 stories by soaring costs
The construction of Property Markets Group and JDS Development’s 1,421-foot-tall tower at 111 West 57th Street has been the subject of much anticipation and excitement, as it’s slated to be among the tallest residential skyscrapers anywhere and the world’s most slender with a height-to-width ratio of 24:1. But after rising only 20 stories, the SHoP Architects-designed Billionaires’ Row addition has stalled, plagued with budget overruns and headed for foreclosure, the New York Post reports.
6sqft has reported on the tower’s progress, offering a close-up view of a facade mock-up and a head-spinning interactive panorama of the building’s out-of-this-world views from 1,438 feet and 80 stories in the air. It would have a near-perfect axis spot on Central Park–unlike taller neighbors Central Park Tower and 432 Park Avenue. But after four years and $50 million over budget, the property is only one-quarter complete and its sponsors, Kevin Maloney and Michael Stern, and lender Spruce Capital Partners are being sued in Manhattan Supreme Court by a major investor.
Real estate investment corporation AmBase is suing to save what may be left of a $70 million investment in the project, claiming that Maloney and Stern “omitted some very significant items in their budget including cranes, which are very expensive in New York and can run into the millions of dollars,” according to AmBase’s attorney Stephen Meister. A lawyer representing Michael Stern called the suit “baseless.” Spruce could still put the project up for a foreclosure auction–one way for AmBase to salvage some of its investment, said Meister.
Maloney, Stern and AmBase defaulted on a payment on a $25 million mezzanine loan from Spruce Capital Partners in June; on Wednesday a judge enforced strict foreclosure procedure, blocking Spruce from taking ownership of the project until a scheduled mid-August hearing.
It’s not the first hint of red ink in the rarified parkside air; the second of two luxury condos at nearby One57 at 157 West 57th Street was set to be sold in a foreclosure auction in June. Are hard times coming to the Row? Manhattan real estate attorney Stephen Sladkus–he’s not connected to the project–thinks not. “In all likelihood this dispute will resolve and the skinniest skyscraper, as contemplated, will eventually rise.”