Dozens of construction sites around New York have been de-zombified over the last few years, and as such, this fine metropolis is experiencing quite the building boom, particularly in the form of luxury condos. To keep up with all the action, the Times checked in on three towers currently rising in Manhattan, all of which have been in the works for a long timeand all of which have been obsessively tracked by Curbed.
1) 50 West Street: Developer Time Equities has owned this property for more than 30 years, and always had the intention of building condos, but they waited until last year to really get things moving. Work actually started at the site nearly a decade ago ("in part to qualify for an expiring tax-credit program"), but then the developer paused to see what would happen with the housing market. Clearly, that decision was a good one. The tower, designed by Helmut Jahn, will rise 64 stories and hold 191 condos. The Times notes that flooding from Hurricane Sandy caused some design changes, like moving the mechanicals out of the basement to the sixth floor and raising the lobby by three feet. There's also a generator on the fourth floor that is connected to the city's gas lines in case of a power failure.
That's all great, but now for the fun stuff: pricing! Units will range from one- to five-bedrooms, and Time Equities founder and chairman Francis J. Greenburger told the Times that prices will range from $1,400 to an average of $2,000 per square foot, with one-bedrooms starting around $1.4 million, though the offering plan has not yet been approved. Thomas Juul-Hansen was tapped to design the interiors, and the kitchens will have walnut cabinets while the bathrooms will have lots of marble. Most units will have corners, and amenities include a sauna, hot tub, and 60-foot swimming pool. Sales will launch in May.
2) 30 Park Place: Silverstein Properties' Robert A.M. Stern-designed downtown condo/hotel also came back to life last year. The developer bought the site in 2006, and subsequently razed the existing building to make way for his new tower. But Larry Silverstein put the project on ice when the market went south in 2008 (given that he, ya know, has bigger things on his plate, he can afford to do things like that). It all worked out for the best, though, because in the years that the site was stalled, Stern made quite a name for himself with the success of the Limestone Jesus and 18 Gramercy Park.
So what new intel does the Times have? Remember when it was reported that the the most expensive condo would ask around $34 million? Well, that number has changed to $60 million (are we looking at a new Downtown record-setter?). Said $60M condo will be a duplex penthouse. There will also be 10 other penthouses, and prices for the 157 homes will average $3,000 per square foot. That means the cheapest unit will be about $2.6 million. A real bargain, ain't it? The condos will be on the 39 to 82 floors of the 82-story building and have their own lobby at the site's given address. A Four Seasons hotel will be on the lower floors and have a lobby on Barclay Street. The 38th floor will hold residents-only amenities, including "a screening room, a yoga studio and a double-height-ceiling conservatory with a baby grand piano." A three-lane pool, fitness center, and spa on the third floor will be available to both hotel guests and tenants. Plus, "residents who pay additional fees can have dinner from the hotel delivered to their apartments, their shoes shined or babysitters arranged for their children." Silverstein wanted these hotel services available because old people like himself enjoy them. The project should be complete by 2016.
3) 252 East 57th Street: The last project that the Times looks into is the World Wide Group's tower on East 57th Street at Second Avenue. The paper of record doesn't actually have that many new details because the developer wouldn't talk to them (glad it's not just us!), but a few things were confirmed. The tower will rise 65 stories and 700 feet, and hold 93 condos and 173 rentals. The total cost of the development, which include retail and a new school (already open), is expected to be $1 billion. While recently filed documents show the building as a plain rectangle in diagrams, the Times says "it's unclear" if the angular tower design unveiled by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill back in 2007 is out of the picture. So maybe there's still hope that another bland box won't plague the skyline.
The history of the site is a bit complicated because it's a public-private venture. WWG has been involved for more than eight years. The condo site and the adjacent parcel are owned by the city, and two schools used to be located there. Before work began on the residential portion, WWG had to build a temporary home for one of the schools, while at the same time, they tore down the old building to build a bigger new one for both of the schools. The schools, as well as the street-level Whole Foods, have been open now for a few years. The apartment tower is the last piece of this mixed-use puzzle.
· In High Gear [NYT]
· 50 West Street coverage [Curbed]
· 30 Park Place coverage [Curbed]
· 252 West 57th Street coverage [Curbed]