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Harry Macklowe plans supertall tower in Midtown East

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The enormous skyscraper would rise across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral—and utilize the building’s air rights

Harry Macklowe is planning to add another supertall skyscraper to the Manhattan skyline, not too far from his tower at 432 Park Avenue. Crain’s reports that the developer will file plans in the near future for a more than 1,500-foot-tall tower across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Macklowe has been acquiring property in the area for several years in anticipation of building a new, enormous office building.

To get the building to that height, Macklowe will acquire unused air rights from the landmarked house of worship, which was made possible under the provisions of the Midtown East rezoning. As we previously reported, St. Pat’s has around 1.1 million square feet of air rights to cash in on.

JP Morgan Chase, which is building its own potential supertall nearby at 270 Park Avenue, used that provision to acquire air rights from Grand Central Terminal to construct a taller tower.

In order to get plans off the ground and transfer the air rights, Macklowe will need to go through the city’s uniform land use review procedure (ULURP), necessitating approval from the local community board, the City Planning Commission, and the City Council.

According to Crain’s, the building could have one of the most bananas designs of any skyscraper in the city:

The tower, which would rise midblock between East 51st and East 52nd streets, features unusual elements, including a tapered, stiltlike midsection that will prop up the height of the floors above. The highest floors will feature a multilevel observatory. According to several people who have seen Macklowe’s proposal, he has envisioned a clear, plastic or glass-enclosed slide that would protrude from the building’s exterior, giving riders the vertiginous sensation of soaring high above the city.

The building’s mass-damper—a large, water-filled mechanism to reduce sway in supertall towers—would be on display with an accompanying seismograph that charts the energy of the movement it muffles.

Over the summer, the Real Deal reported that the building could be called “Saint Stevens New York,” and sit between 51st and 52nd streets on Fifth Avenue. When the ULURP would actually begin is currently unclear; a rep for Macklowe did not respond to a request for comment.