N E W   D E V E L O P M E N T S

New York City seems to have constantly new high-rise projects underway. Since the construction "depression" of the 1990s, a new construction boom has taken over the city -- several planned or yet unfinished skyscrapers are on the way to completion. Even with the economy in dire straits, and unoccupied space in Manhattan equivalent of more than 20 Empire State Buildings, there are plans for up to 140,000 m² in Downtown and West Side within a decade.


Times Square | West Side/Clinton
East Midtown | Other Midtown areas
Upper West Side | Downtown


The Times Square area, already through notable chances during the last ten years, is the stage for some of the latest New York City skyscraper projects underway.

East of the Port Authority Terminal, the New York Times is planning its third "home" within the four-block area and within a century. The relocation project, initiated in 1999, will be developed by Forest City Ratner Companies. The Eighth Avenue blockfront between 40th and 41st Streets will house a 52-storey, 228 m tall design by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Fox & Fowle. NYT will itself occupy the lower half of the 127,300 m² building (about 40 percent larger than allowed by the zoning), with the upper floors rented for outside office use. The site has been condemned since 1981 as a part of the 42nd Street redevelopment effort that allowed the builders to acquire the large block-end site for lower price than normally in a controversial deal. The construction will be completed in 2006-2007.
27 July 2002: The developer Gary Barnett, originator of the redevelopment, is awaiting a final ruling in a string of courtbattles about the lawfulness of the condemnation. Barnett has argued that he'd be willing to develop the plot with none of the financial aids that the Times/City Forest Ratner development is gaining from the city.
18 August 2002: With the State Supreme Court ruling that the condemnation of the properties on the site is legal, the developers are now allowed to take over the 11 properties on the plot. Only the result of Barnett's appeal is between a final takeover.
14 October 2003: The development is still waiting for the fulfillment of its bid to gain $400 million of federal Liberty Bond financing for the upper portion of the tower, above 27th floor, one not occupied by the NY Times and thus without financing. Forest City Ratner's Alper had turned down an Empire Development Corp. offer for $100 million of bonds, with a provision of reimbursion in case of the completed building's office rents exceeding a certain limit. With the upper floors not yet having a tenant and with a slew of financial incentives already in place, a provision of further public financing is seen as subsidizing a speculative development.
22 May 2004: As it turned out, a conventional construction loan will, after all, finance the whole development, with no Liberty Bond assistance at all. With the construction underway and the top portion of the tower still without a tenant, the success of a marketing effort for the commercial space will be crucial.
10 September 2004: Asking rents for the office space will be in the $70s per sq.ft.
28 November 2004: The sale of the newspaper's current headquarters at 229 W 43rd St. fetched $175 million, four times the amount used in the tax abatement calculations.
18 April 2006: Both the law firm Dechert and ESPN are eyeing 18,600 m² of space within the building, still with 65,800 m² of unleased space. The building will be ready for occupation by the end of 2007.

To the north of the NYT Tower, on 42nd Street, developers Howard and Edward Milstein are proposing an office skyscraper, originally (1999) conceived by Fox & Fowle as a 92,900 m² tower that would have had Ernst & Young as main tenants. As the zoning allows only 69,700 m² to be constructed on the $111 million, modestly-sized -- although very well-located -- site, the project is awaiting progress from the zoning amendment front (as well as a potential tenant). Although any extra allowance from a building rights combination with the Empire State Development Corporation's 42nd Street Development Project has already gone to the NYT project, the very location of the site may nevertheless get Milstein the needed bulk well before the planned 2003 construction start.
28 September 2002: The Empire State Development Corp. is in the process of joining Milstein in finally realizing the project, albeit shrunken to approx. 65,000 m². Milstein is eying to start construction as early as in October.
24 October: The $400 million tower had a ceremonial groundbreaking on Oct. 22; the L-planned tower would have 35 storeys with 67,000 m² of space as agreed with ESDC, the extra coming from a subway station entrance as per development bonuses. The final contract with the ESDC for the details of the allowed development is still unfinished, as is the plan itself -- the actual construction could be years ahead.
12 March 2003: Albeit the design is still unfinished, the excavation continues and a rough division of the total space includes 1,400 m² of retail and as much 42,500 m² for residential or hotel uses.
9 September 2004: The development is still awaiting a go-ahead, although Milstein is looking forward for an end-of-the-year start.
17 February 2005: The 35-storey office tower design has been, for the time being, abandoned in favour of four differing schemes, ranging from 67,000 to 79,000 m² and an all-office one to a commercial-residential-educational hybrid.

C A N C E L L E D :
Using the air-rights of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Vornado Realty Trust is putting forward the plan for a new 39-storey tower atop it (the original extension of the terminal to 42nd St. was built with a framework able to support a high-rise on top). The $500 million, 93,000 m² glass-walled office building will (of course) sport Times Square-like signage. Other sources state the new development's floor area as 120,000 m².
4 March 2006: The project had been cancelled for the foreseeable future in the early 2003, with Vornado writing off the $6.87 million spent on the development.

The profitable selling of the plots from an area twenty years ago deemed almost "unsalvageable", as well as the planned renting out of space to entertainment companies like HBO and Disney is some indication of the change of political and economic (well, in this case being the same thing...) climate on dealing with the Times Square. This tendency may be seen either as laudable or less so. Nevertheless, the area has now changed for good and there seems to be few clouds on the future horizon of Times Square's redevelopment and new-born popularity, both for evening entertainment and working-hour occupation.



With office and development space in Midtown Manhattan being scarce, a number of proposals and rumoured developments have surfaced. There is pressure for rezoning areas of Clinton west of Tenth Avenue now zoned for manufacture uses to allow commercial construction -- and skyscrapers. Although several, even approved, high-rise designs planned into the West 30s remained unrealized due to the recession, a new wave of interest is setting in.
14 Dec 2001/4 June 2002:
The NYC Planning Department has proposed changing the zoning in the area, dubbed as "Far West Midtown". The city would gain financially by either making the developers pay for the increased allowances over those to be zoned or by diverting some of the increased property taxes to a dedicated bond scheme. The proposal also gave the West Side subway extension ($1.5 billion) and the west side yard stadium plan ($1 billion) a ray of hope, both of which could in turn give redevelopment a new impetus. The area would range from 28th to 41st Streets and to the west from Eighth Avenue.

C A N C E L L E D :
(Investor Harvey Schulweis and developer Jerry Speyer are reportedly negotiating with the National Basketball Association for a 33-storey, 93,000 m² office tower at Ninth Avenue and 33rd Street, to the west of the new Penn Station (ex-Post Office). Should the deal come through, the association's film studios would relocate here from New Jersey. A further twist would be the "relocation" of the planned NY Olympics stadium plan from Tenth to Twelfth Aves. to a plot combined from Schulweis's plot and the one south of it -- considered by Cablevision as the location for the new Madison Square Garden -- encompassing the whole block.
26 May 2001: Although the city offered tax breaks for both sales and property taxes, the NBA didn't consider them to be extensive enough and dropped out of the deal. As a result, Cablevision, which still considers the site for its new sports arena, remains Schulweis's hope. The time is, however, running out, as the special permit for a tower on this site is due to expire, with a renewal in doubt.)

Should the Madison Square Garden relocate as a result of the new West Side stadium plans either to the Hudson River waterfront or to the Ninth Avenue site, the site of the old Garden is earmarked for two new skyscraper developments. (A similar plan in 1988 by Paul Reichman, the largest commercial NYC landlord of the day, was to replace the garden with 740,000 m² of office towers.)
4 March 2006: With the stadium long buried, the MSG is nevertheless going to move a block to the west, next to the Moynihan station in the (soon) former James A. Farley Post Office building. The MSG plot would be taken over by a mixed-use tower of yet undefined bulk.

Another location that has been a focus of several developers during the last century is the New York Central rail yard (now owned by the MTA). In 1922 eyed by the NY Yankees as a location for its new stadium (and denied by the War Department -- that's the direction to direct your "blessings" the next time you sit in a crowded (4) train en route to a b-ball match in the Bronx...), the area of the yards was designed by the MTA in the 1980s to be able to support buildings between the tracks. Although so far only the Westyard Distribution Center (1967) and the Javits Convention Center (1986) have been realized on the yard sites, in 1989 MTA nevertheless made a general plan for the area's development, with retail facilities on Tenth Avenue, office towers on Eleventh and apartment towers on Twelfth.

The "corridor" of the low-forties is a hotbed for new tower development that is bound to add to the grievances of the local civic boards: residential and eventually commercial towers slowly expand the high-rise character of Midtown towards the river. Only a few of the upcoming lot, from east to west:

As another extension of Midtown office towers towards Hell's Kitchen/Clinton, the developers Joseph Moinian and Jack Parker are planning a 62-storey tower at Eighth Ave. and 47th St. The multi-use, 44,100 m² tower will house residential, office and retail space.
4 March 2006: The development came out as the Biltmore Tower, a 51-storey mixed-use building with 464 luxury units and 3,300 m² of retail space. With a groundbreaking speed since ground-breaking, the building was topped out a year later in August 2002 and opened in the early 2003. Designed by Schuman Lichtenstein Claman & Efron, the building features a lobby and fourth-floor health club design by MCCARTAN. The retail space occupies the first three floors, with the first floor having 5-meter ceilings. Drawing from the special
Theater District zoning, the developers gained extra development rights from the renovation of the next-door Biltmore Theater (closed since 1987), a deal which allowed the exceeding of the height limit by 20 floors, as well as from the air-rights of a firehouse on 48th Street.

Larry Silverstein's River Place block at Eleventh Avenue and 41st/42nd Street already houses the 1 River Place (40 st., 921 rental apts. and 3,700 m&178; of commercial sp.) and the 2 River Place, a luxury rental of 53 storeys and 882 apartments by Costas Kondylis is in the planning stage for the eastern blockfront.



The site of the Con Edison Waterside Steam Plant along East River, just to the south of the United Nations, has been earmarked for a spanking new urban enclave, developed by the FSM East River Associates, joining Fisher Brothers and Sheldon H. Solow (Fishers were later bought out by Solow). As the Con Ed plant faces wrecking ball, a multi-use development of approx. 460,000 m² and comparable to Zeckendorf's ill-fated X-City in the area to the north (now the home of the United Nations), will occupy the $630 million site. An architectural competition, featuring a number of hot trendy names was carried out and the firms of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill were chosen in a controversial decision that "extracted" the abovementioned firms from competing multi-firm teams. As a result, the original partner teams refused to act as consultants in the final design stage, expected to be concluded by October 2001. The four blocks will house residential towers and also commercial uses along with open-air parks are included. It has been estimated that it can take up to four years before construction can commence.
28 September 2002: If the U.N.'s plans for a new 35-storey tower (below) are realized, the plans for renting space out for its use can suffer considerably, affecting the development's financial basis.
25 December 2002: Pfizer, breaking talks about a space in the 300 Madison Ave., has been in talks with Fisher Bros. about a namesake tower on the site.
10 July 2003: The development is undergoing a public review process by the Public Service Commission while Sheldon Solow took the primary role in driving the project forward.
30 October 2005: The review will be finally going underway for the three blocks: the Waterside Steam Plant site, a block to the south of the Tudor City and a waterside block south of 36th Street. There are to be two major skyscrapers of approx. 68 floors, a residential and commercial, designed by Richard Meier and David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, respectively. The commercial tower (which may include apartments and a rooftop restaurant) and three additional residential towers will occupy the Waterside Steam Plant site. The block south of the Tudor City would house the taller residential tower. In all, the development would include 4,000 apartments. Additionally, the block south of 36th St. may be developed with a school or NYU Medical Center housing.
10 November 2005: The released design sports the four buildings with heights ranging from 167,5 m for the lowest riverside apartment tower to 263,5 m of Childs's wedge-shaped commercial-residential tower, every one of them taller than the UN Secretariat right next door. Not much lower than the Trump World Tower, which rose in 1999 over twice as far from the UN tower as the new development. The park on the riverside plot will feature a skating rink. The "revised" figures are 2,201 apartments and 390,000 m² of total space for the development.
3 February 2006: The collection of sites between 35th and 41st Streets would house a total of 576,000 m² of space, 102,200 m² of which will be office space. That would be allowed once the zoning change from manufacturing to commercial with residential gets approved. The planned six residential towers would house 7,760 residents. 13,800 m² will be reserved for publicly accessible open space.

image (NYT)

Just to the north of the Con Ed site is the non-built, although not entirely vacant, plot that the United Nations eyes to extend its compound across 42nd Street. A 35-storey office tower would house, at least temporarily, the operations of the Secretariat Building (4,500 personnel), as well as those currently located within nearby buildings like the 1, 2 and 3 U.N. Plaza across First Avenue. The new building is estimated to include 88,300 m² and cost $350 million -- the General Assembly has also allocated $1.05 billion for the renovation of the Secretariat in 2004-2009. A loan from the US is hoped to pay for the renovation, while a bond scheme would finance the construction of the new tower. The block currently consists of the ventilation shaft for the Queens-Midway tunnel as well as a ground for outdoor activities, ironically named after the strong-willed master builder Robert Moses after he'd failed to redevelop the block with an apartment tower in 1982. The new building would occupy the western portion of the playground, connected to the original compound by a tunnel, even though the developers of the Con Ed site south of 41st Street tried to attract the development as part of their new multi-use complex. With opposition from the local residents against losing the park, the development might also provide riverside park space, although the community board sees that as an inadequate replacement for the lost space. The developing United Nations Development Corporation would have to seek a special permit from the State Legislature for building on public park space. Preliminary plans for the site will be presented in February 2003.
30 October 2005: Such diverse and uncommon reasons as unpaid parking tickets, General Assembly votes against Israel and the UN's reputation in general continue to stall the $1 billion development in the Republican-led State Senate. Fumihiko Maki was already chosen as the architect in the early 2004, but a recent legislature turndown may have doomed the site for good. Midtown commercial rent space (as well as the new 7 WTC) has been eyed, but the cost is seen as prohibitive, so Brooklyn has emerged as an alternative -- a decision for the site has to be reached by the end of the year. If a suitable plot is found, the construction is expected to begin in the late 2007 and be complete by 2011.
20 November 2005: As the use of the Robert Moses Park site continues to be out of bounds, the UN has presented a plan under which a 9,300 m² temporary conference hall would be constructed on the complex's North Lawn. In addition to that, temporary space in Midtown Manhattan and Long Island City would be leased, although the amount would be reduced from the 65,000 m² needed to relocate all the staff. Instead, 21,000 m² of rented office space would accommodate staff in turns as the Secretariat tower is renovated 10 stories at the time. A new review of the renovation plans also has led to surprises, as the original $1.2 billion budget grew to $1.91 billion, mainly due to the falling through of the south building development plan, cost inflation and more advanced stage of cost estimation. The renovation and space leasing would take $1.59 billion, the rest comprising of equipment and furnishing, new conference spaces and general security and redundancy costs. In July 2005 Senate hearings, developer Donald Trump (of all) had testified that the UN renovation and development project would eventually come to cost $3 billion. The design work is expected to be complete by the early 2006 and the renovation itself by 2013 or 2014.
3 February 2006: New details behind the unsuccessful Senate bid.



A planned development by Max Capital of N. Richard Kalikow is due to rise above the 21-storey Park Avenue Atrium at 237 Park Avenue. The new, 50-storey glass tower by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill will incorporate the stripe-windowed building into its base. Located immediately to the east of the 230 Park Avenue, the slanted, upwards widening slab of the tower will rise over its east wing -- the unused pool of air rights from the two existing buildings, both owned by the developers, enables the large bulk. The development apparently only awaits a prospective tenant.
4 March 2006: With nothing going on for it in years, the development is definitely on ice.


Brookfield Financial Properties and Canada's largest bank, Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), builds a 35-storey building at 300 Madison Avenue at 42nd Street, midway between NY Public Library and Grand Central Terminal. The investment bank CIBC World Markets will occupy 86,000 m² of the total 111,500 m² in the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed tower and gathers the bank's NYC activities from the 1 World Trade Center and 425 Lexington under one roof. The building incorporates a street-level retail floor with lobby and two trading floors above, topped by 28 office floors. The base corner is characterized by a 45-meter-high atrium. Incentives like approx. $16 million worth of tax breaks and state energy credits are collected to woo the company into the deal. The building is expected to be completed in August 2003. (In August 2002, two workers died while extending the tower of the exterior construction elevator.)
25 December 2002: CIBC has been seeking a time-out for its expected occupation of the new namesake tower; it is likely that it will occupy only a portion of the originally planned space at 300 Madison. As well as moving back from the temporary locations to its Downtown pre-9/11 home, the WFC, the bank has eyed the 55 Water Street. Another major potential tenant for the building, Pfizer, has opted for space possibly on Third Avenue instead, as well as an own development in the Con Ed plants site.
10 February 2003: The bank will eventually occupy 35,000 m² of the building, only a portion of the original lease plans. The completion of the building, and the namesake tenant's decision adds 74,000 m² to the office space vacancy in Midtown. The bank had had similar financial incentives as the complicated (indeed) Bear Stearns deal as it made the deal for the construction of the building, worth $16 million in all.
14 October 2003: There are talks of PricewaterhouseCoopers negotiating for 74,000 m² of space within the building.
17 February 2004: The accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has signed a 20-year sublease worth $2 billion for 74,300 m² of space in the building's 11th to 35th floors. The firm will concentrate its operations into this single location, to be called the PricewaterhouseCoopers Center -- moving from three locations in Midtown and TriBeCa -- as such a reverse to the trend of operations dispersion that has taken over since 9/11. The rent is quoted as being in the $60s per sq.ft.

View in 2005

A long-term result of cleaning up Bryant Park, a 50-storey tower, the 1 Bryant Park by Cook + Fox is planned to the so-far "under-developed" site at the north-western corner of Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street. The 185,000 m² building would be developed by the Durst Organization -- that is, if they obtain the plot to themselves. The Dursts now own 86 percent of the planned building site, the rest being held by three developer families. The Maidman family owns the narrow, 22-storey brick high-rise on the site that is currently targeted for renovation into luxury condominiums; if carried out, it will ruin Dursts' plot assembly. They'll be, however, still able to build a 167,000 m² building with the plots they already own. A 2000 effort to get the Nasdaq stock market as a tenant to the site fell through and Durst is seeking state condemnation of the site should he find a suitable client for the office tower. Despite the present uncertainty of the ownership status, the Dursts have declared a 2002 start for the development. A factor that favours the development in the post-9/11 field is the fact that Dursts have the financial assets to start even without a paying main tenant as a bank loan collateral. The lower floors are currently configured for a possible brokerage tenant's trading floor use, to replace space lost in Downtown.
6 Dec. 2001: The Maidmans have agreed to sell their property on the block for $13 million, giving the development, for which $115 million of credit is secured, a step ahead. Although the acquisition, in theory, gives Durst enough ownership to already start construction, the other notable "hold-out" on the block end, owned by the Bernstein family, must be still in Durst's sights and undoubtedly they expect similar financial rewards in handing over the ownership. The developers have to now obtain a permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for moving the nearby Henry Miller's Theater westward on the northern blockside, next to Durst's
Condé Nast Building.
2 Aug. 2002: The last in the "peep show row" of the old 42nd Street, the Peep-O-Rama, was closed in the blockend to clear the building site. With the "clearance" of the Times Square complete, the activities have shifted westward to the Eighth Avenue, with redevelopment undoubtedly following there sooner or later.
7 Nov. 2002: Due to, at the moment, unpromising economical prospects in the real estate market, the groundbreaking of the building has been postponed to 2005.
22 March 2003: The Bank of America has been in talks with Durst about relocating to the new building in 2007; subsequently, the city has been asked to condemn the properties on the block not yet owned by Durst.
21 June 2003: In another turn of the events, the Empire State Development Corp. will hold a hearing about the requested condemnation process -- meant to condemn not only the immediate parcels needed for the new skyscraper, but all the land on the city block between Broadway and Sixth Avenue. The proposed $1 billion tower is being stymified by the two remaining owners in the Sixth Avenue block end; the other, Joseph Bernstein, was, in fact, about to buy Durst's father out in the 1980s until a political real estate scandal (leading, for example, to the delay in the construction of the Americas Tower in Midtown) killed the deal. Just like the Maidmans in 2001, Bernstein is also planning his own development on the block, a 30-storey condo hotel, and ready to pay Durst $40 million for the needed corner plot.
14 October 2003: Durst is still engaged in a bid to get $650 million from the federal Liberty Bond program. If the financing is in place, the demolition of the existing buildings on the plot begins in June 2004, with occupancy of the tower due in early 2008 2009. The Bank of America, occupying 102,000 m² of the space would also be a 50-percent equity partner in the development, making the bank in effect a landlord of its own space, a rather rare arrangement.
29 November 2003: A public hearing last week saw heated debate as the rival landlord, Joseph Bernstein, local civic groups and a slew of politicians protested the proposed property condemnation and public subsidies that the development will receive; Durst countered with support from representatives of the NY city and state, construction, real estate, theater and even environmental branches. Bernstein argues that the $650 million to be provided from the Liberty Bond program, the $56.4 million in tax breaks and the condemnation through eminent domain are used incorrectly to support this private development that will also challenge landmark laws. The promotion of the Bank of America, which is seeking a prominent position in the realm of investment banking through a Midtown landmark tower, as a factor in the development -- bringing jobs into the borough -- is, however, counterbalanced by its past record. After getting $15 million in tax and cash incentives in 1993 for keeping 1,700 jobs in its new WTC offices, the deal was called off five years later after the levels fell to 800.
Bernstein has also a few tricks up his sleeve, including the announcement of a 40-storey office tower, Americas House, to be built on his "holdout" plot, leaving Durst's development much less plot area and thus bulk and, most importantly, prohibiting the inclusion of large enough floorplates for the investment bank's use. It remains open whether this, or the other Trumpesque announcement of a Native American tribal museum being planned on the retail spaces is or is not a way to pump up the value of the plot or a serious economic sliver building effort...
22 December 2003: Well, the last struggles are over and the whole 32-parcel plot for the tower is now in the hands of Doug Durst, 36 years after the collection was started by his father, Seymour. After abovementioned price-gouging tactics, $46 million finally bought the two parcels from Bernstein, a whopping $4130 per square meter, a record in NYC. The third missing piece, a privately-owned parcel in the north-eastern corner of the plot, is to be sold for an undisclosed fee.
17 February 2004: With the deal for the tenantship of the Bank of America and an approval for the $650 million bond package secured, the development is firmly on the track. The bank, currently seeking to acquire Fleet Boston Financial, will be paying approx. $60 per sq.ft for its space.
10 September 2004: In a recent announcement, Durst expects to fetch up to $100 million per sq.ft from all the office space not leased to the Bank of America, apparently also including the abovementioned Fleet space.
17 November 2005: Since Bank of America acquired Fleet in 2004, its space needs have increased drastically. The need for more space as well as the expiration of BoA's current lease at 9 W 57th Street in late 2008, means that the bank is likely to expand its space within 1 Bryant, up to 37,000 m² extra in Durst's -- still vacant -- half of the building. Before the space is completed, the bank has been eyeing both 1095 Sixth Ave. and 1166 Sixth Ave. for a temporary relocation.

Image of the site

The Hearst Corporation will be going ahead in completing the Hearst Magazine Building at 959 Eighth Avenue. Developed by Tishman Speyer Properties and designed by Sir Norman Foster of Foster & Partners, the new 46-storey tower will rise from the six-storey base designed by Joseph Urban in 1926 -- the construction of the skyscraper itself was never begun when work as halted in 1929. The new tower will rise to 182 meters and feature a diagonal grid of stainless steel framing on its facades that creates triangular, or diamond-shaped, glass faces. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has given its blessings to the design and now the builders seek a zoning variation that would yield a total of 66,900 m² for the development, a 20 percent increase to the current allowed maximum. Amenities like improvements to the nearby subway station would be provided in return. Also at least a part of the planned 21 m high light court in the current base (and with views to the tower) might be made accessible to the public. The construction is conditional on the development of state of the economy and isn't planned to start until 2003.
22 December 2003: With the design finalized, the work on the 79,000 m² tower has been started with the excavation for the new foundations. As the exterior of the old base is landmarked, the old facades have been incorporated into the design, albeit all the interiors will be built from the scratch. In the $500 million development, the centerpiece of the new base interiors will be a skylighted three-storey atrium with a combined escalator bank and waterfall. The building will be completed in the summer of 2006 and is expected to be nominated for the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design award for its extensive "green" features like the heat-reflecting glass facades or the liquid-cooled atrium.
19 March 2005: The building's steel frame was topped out in February.
27 February 2006: Among the building's "green credentials", the exoskeleton steel frame will economize by reducing the amount of steel needed by 1,800 metric tons. Use of electricity will be reduced by 22 percent through the use of outside air for controlling interior temperature and motion sensors will control lighting. Collected rainwater is used in AC systems and landscaping.

View in 2005

American Properties, the owner of the next-door Bush Tower, will get the 140 W. 42nd Street by Gruzen Samson underway; demolition work is scheduled to start in spring 2006. The 16,700 m² office building will house 1,100 m² of retail space and connect with the Bush Tower to the east.

To the east, the prominent site at the north-eastern corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, to the east of the 500 Fifth Avenue, is earmarked for the 505 Fifth Avenue, developed by LCOR. A smallish building of 25 to 26 storeys will house 25,500 m² of space. The name of Norman Foster was at least at some point linked with the development.
4 March 2006: As actually completed in 2006, the 28-storey CIT Building by Kohn Pedersen Fox has 27,900 m² of space, six floors of retail space with offices above. The concrete frame features 5-meter cantilevers to create an uninterrupted curtain wall of floor-to-ceiling glass.

RFR Holding and Hines Interests acquired the site at the northeastern corner of Lexington Ave. and 53rd Street, home of the YWCA at 610 Lexington, in early 2005 for $31.5 million. Norman Foster, the architect of the Hearst Building completion, has been hired to design a new residential/hotel tower of around 50 floors. The developer also owns the Seagram Building at the western end of the block and a transfer of air rights to the new development is likely.
29 November 2005: The air rights transfer has been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The transfer deal will be allowed on the condition that the owners of Seagram upkeep the exterior of the building in its original condition, with inspections every five years. The 215-meter building will rise adjacent to the Seagram and have a light-toned curtain wall in contrast with its neighbour. Construction start is planned for 2006.

Continental Properties and Douglaston Development are developing the $200 million luxury residential building at 325 Fifth Avenue, near the Empire State Building. The curtain-walled tower by the Stephen B. Jacobs Group rises to 143.5 m and features 36,000 m² on 42 floors. The 250 apartments feature floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies. The base will have 550 m² of retail space and the Fifth Avenue Club, a 930 m² health club. The 650 m² landscaped plaza is designed by Thomas Balsley. Started in 2005, the building is expected to be complete in late 2006.

RTR Funding Group is developing a 29-storey upwards extension for the through-block Russian Tea Room at 150 West 57th St. The famous restaurant, shuttered in 2002, held out between the Metropolitan Tower and Carnegie Hall Tower, as its then-owner refused to sell, but now a design by Costas Kondylis & Partners will feature 17 apartments above a new restaurant space. As per January 2006, no permits have been yet filed.
4 March 2006: As the restaurant's through-block plot extends to 56th Street, it's well possible that the tower would rise on this side, enabling views at least to the east, past the Metropolitan Tower that is offset to the 57th Street side.



There's also some activity on new, near-future high-rise projects in the West Side.

The Donald Trump Riverside project, or Trump Place, has got underway at the West Side Yards. The area west of West End Avenue between 59th and 72nd Streets will have 16 residential towers incorporating 5,680 apartments and parking facilities for 3,500 cars. The area will also have retail and office spaces. In mid-2000, the first two buildings (200 Riverside Boulevard (46 storeys) and 180 Riverside Boulevard (40 storeys), both by Philip Johnson) were completed, with two other nearing completion.
24 October 2002: The latest, and northernmost building in the complex is facing a challenge from a nearby apartment building over air and light. The rounded, 35-storey tower by Costas Kondylis will contain 180 condos. To the south, two condo buildings (including the tallest in the development, at 50 storeys) and three rental buildings have already been built. The southernmost part of the complex is currently being re-studied into a residential area, as opposed to the original commercial-use master plan; a rezoning and land use review are required.

Official website

The block between Broadway and Central Park West at 61st St., including the plot of the demolished Mayflower Hotel, is under development by Zeckendorf Development for a residential building, the 15 Central Park West. Located between the Trump International Hotel & Tower and Century Apartments, the design by Robert A. M. Stern Architects and S.L.C.E. Architects would incorporate both a 43-storey and a 20-storey tower clad in Indiana limestone. The lower portion on CPW would follow the massing of the Century at 70.5 m, whereas the 167.5-meter midblock tower would be more akin in size to the Trump building to the south. The Broadway side would feature two retail floors with 7,900 m². Incorporating 82,300 m² of space, the development would have 200 apartments. The space between the wings is to be be occupied by a courtyard featuring a 23-meters swimming pool with glass bottom, covering an indoor pool directly below. If the building is built without a garage, it doesn't need an environmental review before granting the permit. Completion is due in 2007.
28 November 2005: With an aggressive marketing drive, about 40 percent of the apartments have been sold. The limestone facing will be from the Empire Quarry in Indiana, reopened to supply the same stone as the Empire State Building. The 990 m² penthouse has been sold for an NYC record sum of $45 million.



Battery Park City will host New York City's first "environmentally conscious" residential tower, The Solaire, the $125 million 20 River Terrace, developed by the Albanese Development Corporation and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. to the designs of Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron, with exterior design by Cesar Pelli. The 26-storey tower will house 293 apartments and be equipped with solar panels able to provide 5 percent of the electricity for the common spaces. Rainwater from the so-called "green" roof will be collected into a 57,000 litre tank, as well as recycling part of the "gray" waters and using both for secondary usage in the building. Part of the heating will be gained from geothermal underground piping. Each apartment will have its own air-conditioning unit with individual control. 60 percent of the construction waste will be recycled Construction will start in early 2001 and be completed by late 2002.
17 November 2002: Not so fast... After massive delays due to numerous reasons, the building got the financial backing it needed: $101 million from a group of lenders led by Fleet, enabled by the use of the Liberty Bonds Program -- offering $8 billion in tax-exempt bonds for Downtown development, requiring 5 percent to be middle-income housing units.
8 December 2002: Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president of the USSR, now the president of the environmental environmental organization, Green Cross International, awarded the building in November 2002 for its pioneering (pun intended) role as the world's first environmental skyscraper.
11 May 2003: The building is expected to receive its first tenants in June.

See also: Green considerations

Edward J. Miskoff will build an office tower to the city-owned plot at 270 Greenwich Street in TriBeCa, across West Street from Battery Park City. The 152.5 m granite and glass tower is designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and will incorporate 158,000 m² of space on its L-shaped plot. Despite local opposition, construction is expected to commence in 2002, with completion in 2005.
10 December 2002: The development is still far from a done deal, although a spring 2003 start date has been publicized, while five floors and 18,600 m² of space has been sliced off the original design. The 32-storey slab will front West Street, while a 2,790 m² plaza, the third largest in Manhattan, is planned on the eastern portion, on top of the parking garage. Based on the early-1960s Washington Street Urban Renewal Area plan for commercial development in TriBeCa, the site was awarded to Minskoff just before the WSURA legislation expired, giving Miskoff the massive development rights of the neighbourhood plan. Local residential groups have insisted on an extensive environmental study of the building's effects on the neighbourhood, like the location of the 100-car garage entrance, loading dock and ventilation openings across the street from the PS 234. Also an idea of dividing the plot by restoring Washington Street through it and building two smaller buildings, one commercial, one residential, has been proposed, as well as a rezoning of the eastern portion of the plot exclusively for low-rise buildings. After 9/11, the Deputy Mayor even pushed for a temporary bubble hall for recreational activities.
31 July 2003: With the uncertainties in the office space market, there have been talks about converting the development into a residential one, featuring also 16,700 m² of retail space, something that the Downtown has been lacking since the destruction of the WTC underground mall in 2001.
12 February 2005: With a go-ahead from the city given in September 2004, the residential (as it will now be) tower will occupy a portion on the northern, Warren St. side of the trapezoidal plot and reach a height of 116.5 m. A height increase of 20 m, as compared to the original residential plan, will be offset by paying part of the community center in the
residential development across Warren Street. The grocery store would be located on the Greenwich St. side.

To the north, across Warren Street from the 270 Greenwich, another residential project will occupy the so-called plot 5C. Developed by the Resnick family, the $40.45 million site incorporates the air rights of a vacant plot to the east, next to the P.S. 234 on Greenwich Street. Originally designed by Norman Foster as a 35-storey design with a wing along Chambers streets; after Foster pulled out, chopped 5 top floors were shifted to form a secons wing. The finalized design by Costas Kondylis follows this massing. The 35,500 m² tower rises to 90 meters and has approx. 400 apartments, while the 25 m tall wings along Chambers and Warren Sts. incorporate a 2,500 m² community center as well as a 1,000 m² pre/kindergarten space.

The Goldman Sachs's plans for a 244 m tower in Battery Park City, to the north of the World Financial Center, continue despite neighbourhood worries about the environmental impact statement and the relative lack of community space, as compared to other Battery Park City buildings. Even as the company is trying to fill its new NJ office tower across the river, it is seeking extensive bond and cash grant incentives for the new $1.8 billion headquarters. The 43-storey, glass-walled design is by Harry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and incorporates 185,000 m² of space. The building will have a curved wall facing the river, flanked by an intertwining rectagular mass on the West St. side. There are six trading floors in the base, a garage and a walkway connecting it with nearby public facilities. With construction starting in 2008, the building will consolidate 9,000 employees from 10 different locations by 2009 when the leases for the 85 Broad Street headquarters and the 1 N.Y. Plaza expire.
23 April 2005: After the GS voiced its concerns over the "disruptions" caused by the planned nearby West Street tunnel entrances as well as Ground Zero development itself(!), Governor Pataki complied by abandoning the sunken West Street configuration altogether. Nevertheless, the firm is looking for other Manhattan site alternatives, although the choice is rather limited. (One of the few being Vornado-owned Hotel Pennsylvania site at Seventh/33rd, although the time may run out before the site is cleared and a new design completed.)
14 August 2005: The deal is back on. But not before GS managed to squeeze more incentives out of the officials with their delaying action. In order to keep the company in Lower Manhattan, in addition to $150 million of tax credits, the original $1 billion worth of Liberty Bonds will be augmented with $600 million more. Also traffic-related changes will be made to improve security around the building (in addition to the aforementioned West Street tunnel).
30 November 2005: The groundbreaking of the building has now occurred (completion date is still in 2009). The $2.4 billion tower will include 195,000 m² of space.

C A N C E L L E D :
(Despite talks about relocating to the future new redevelopment on the site of the WTC, the New York Stock Exchange will continue developing its new office tower opposite the current stock exchange at Broad Street. The city will support the undertaking with the issue of $920 million worth of tax-free bonds, $160 million in tax breaks, $400 in equipment costs and the payment of the annual rent of $10 million, all costs that have been seen essential in retaining the stock exchange in the city. The 50-storey glass-walled tower was to originally exceed with its 300-meter height all the other buildings in the Financial District, but the 9/11 attacks in the nearby WTC changed that aspect of the design -- now the design is likely to be considerably lower and not stand out in the skyline so noticeably. The engine of the world economy jutting out in Downtown Manhattan may well be seen as too apparent a target and that would also affect office space sales. The originally $1.1 billion development at the proposed site will be scaled down, but proceed nevertheless. The city has signed contracts worth of total of approx. $480 million to purchase the buildings on the site, including the 37-storey 15 Broad Street.
30 November: The development has been cancelled by the NYSE, the exchange having stated the fear of terrorism as a reason for the change of plans. A location within the new complex that replaces the WTC is probably a strong choice for relocation, although the WTC replacement isn't expected to even get underway before 2003. Anyone willing to bet on the occurrence of the next threat of cross-river relocation by the exchange...?
3 January 2002: In a preliminary deal, the NYSE has committed itself to building at least a 10-storey trading facility to the earmarked plot across Broad Street (the plot's current buildings have already been emptied of tenants), with a total of at least $865 million worth of financial help available. The NYSE has until March to decide upon further construction, such as an office tower, on top of the lower structure. Should the tower not materialize, at least the city has threatened to withdraw its $225 million grant from the project, its size nevertheless being tied to the size of any additional office construction.
25 May 2002: Given the city's economic troubles, it is proposing the Stock Exchange a new financing deal for the possible office tower; the exchange would have to double its $450 investment and the city would balance its reduced financial commitment by providing other incentive programs, like low-interest loans.
28 July 2002: Given the exchange's willingness to obtain off-Manhattan space not only for its new emergency trading floor but also for its other operations now spaced within the cramped 11 Wall Street premises, the tower proposal seems even more passé. NYSE has itself eyed Westchester as one location, although the city has offered outer NYC boroughs as a better solution.
2 August 2002: As the exchange finally put to rest the idea about an office tower at Broad Street, it has nevertheless agreed to stay within New York City's five boroughs. The city has been left with an unfinished site acquisition for the planned building, with $22 million already paid for the possible purchase of the $220 million 23 Wall Street, as well as a tentative deal of $160 million for an apartment building; also, the city paid a monthly sum of $3 million to keep the proposed site reserved for its development use.
10 February 2003: The cost to taxpayers of the paid advances is estimated at $109 million, with NYSE handing out another $10 million. The case of the 45 Wall St. is another one that will continue to drain the coffer for some time. After having spent $6 million in readying the building for acquisition and condemnation, the city will have to continue to pay up to $1 million a month until the original owner can get the building, converted in 1996 into apartments, fully leased. Also the 15 Broad St. and 23 Wall St., costing the city $22 million in advances, are awaiting buyers willing to make residential conversions.

As part of the overall plan to rebuild the area demolished by the September 11th attacks, the work on the replacement for the 7 World Trade Center is planned to start in late 2002. The tower is designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and will similarly to the original incorporate also the mayor's emergency command center. The Con Edison power substations, over which the 7 WTC was built, will be rebuilt within the tower. The final construction decision will be dependent on the Port Authority's permission and, not insignificantly, the city's plans regarding the routing of transport facilities within and around the WTC block.
2 February 2002: The currently toyed design would feature a pedestrian throughfare where the demapped Greenwich Street crossed the plot of the 7 WTC. The 52-storey building would be cantilevered over the reopened street, having smaller floor plans to reflect the nature of the changed tenant base and their needs. Silverstein expects to be able to start construction as early as in June 2002 and have the building completed in 2005, with Con Edison expecting to have its substations -- now incorporated into the 10 first overground floors -- ready by mid-2003. Although no environmental impact study is required for this Port Authority site, there have been calls for delaying the reconstruction work and waiting for the emergence of a unified master plan for the WTC site that would probably feature also remapping a number of streets within the WTC superblock itself.
22 April 2002: NY State's Empire State Development Corporation has approved the planned remapping of Greenwich Street through the building block, pending public hearing and government approval, also taking an 8-meter portion of the Vesey Street from the city. Occupying only the portion of the late 7 WTC's plot west of the new Greenwich Street, the new building will have smaller floors, housing less space overall, approx. 158,000 m², despite being taller than the destroyed building.
12 May 2002: Preliminary excavation on he site has begun, with groundbreaking proper to occur in June.
18 May 2002: The Port Authority is expected to be the main tenant with the 65,000 m² of space it would rent, giving the redevelopment an amount of security in the uncertain Downtown market. There is, however, a dispute about the amount of rent -- the Authority expects to get the space for a similar price that it paid for its premises in the destroyed Twin Towers, whereas Silverstein wants to nearly double that sq ft. price.
17 November 2002: Silverstein's seeking a $400 million portion of the development costs to be covered by the Liberty Bond program; In addition to the $861 million in insurance payments there is also $383 million worth of mortgage loans. The insurance money is the single factor that lets the construction proceed -- with the Downtown situation precarious and no main tenant, the lenders for the mortgage downgraded their portion.
24 November 2002: The revealed design is a 228,5-meter parallellogram-plan glass shaft rising from the ConEd substation. As a response to the lessons from 9/11, the building will have improved fireproofing, wider escape stairs and a communications system to help augment the rescue services' radio equipment.
23 March 2003: Despite doubts about the economic situation, lack of a major tenant and financing of the construction, the planned construction goes ahead. As an agreement on the amount of mortgage to be repaid is agreed on, a new ground lease deal is being negotiated, with the developer Larry Silverstein trying to remove the obligation to pay the Port Authority 40 percent of the net income from the plot as well as to raise the PA rent higher than in the destroyed 7 WTC.
12 February 2005: With opening date set for January 2006, the tenantless glass tower will have asking rents in the $50s per sq.ft.
5 August 2005: American Express Financial Advisors is poised to sign a deal, the building's first, for tenantship. The firm will occupy 1,860 m² of space, 1 percent of the building's total.
31 January 2006: The Chinese Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co. has signed a lease for 18,600 m² on floors 48 through 52. The China Center will feature office space for Chinese firms conducting business in the US as well as an executive club. The center was transferred to the 7 WTC after the Freedom Tower completion date was moved back. The New York City Investment Fund has provided a $3 million financing package for the center. So far, the Ameriprise Financial (renamed from AEFA above) has taken 1,860 m² and the New York Academy of Sciences 3,720 m², a total equivalent of one and a half floors. The building is due to open in April.
7 March: The lobby of the building, scheduled to open in May, contains a wall artwork of 20 x 4 m LED screen with scrolling literature by Jenny Holzer.
25 March: Five state departments are eyeing new office space, a total of 37,000 m², with the 7 WTC as one possible candidate.

View in 2005

At the WTC site, there will be a Freedom Tower and something else.

An embryonic plan for a new major NYC skyscraper: the developer Trevor Davis and RFR Holding are considering preliminary plans for the 1 New York Place (A few blocks to the north of the 1 New York Plaza). At 320 meters and 90 storeys, the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed building would be slightly taller than Midtown's Chrysler Building, becoming the second-tallest building in post-9/11 NYC. The tower would include 121,000 m² of space, 63,000 m² of it in offices, topped by 68 floors of apartments. The collection of the plot is likely to be problematic as the owners of the existing parcels may await a possible city condemnation in preparation of a transit hub project, yielding more money than selling to a private developer. Securing of the $680 million financing is uncertain for a large-scale Downtown project with no major starting tenant, especially one that would become the tallest in the financial district.

Leonard Litwin's Glenwood Management is planning a 56-storey rental apartment tower at 10 Barclay Street, next to the Woolworth Building. The building will be designed by Costas Kondylis and house 381 residential units as well as a 1,800 m² community facility, a health club and a 75-car garage. The $185 million development will be partly funded by a $138 million Liberty Bond program under which 5 percent of the apartments built have to be affordable.

The bold residential tower concept by Santiago Calatrava (with Peter Claman of Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron acting as a consultant) at 80 South St. has got the nod from the DoB. Developed by Frank Sciame, the 16,000 m² design would feature a central concrete core with 3 elevators rising from an eight-storey, 7,000 m² base for cultural uses and a roof top restaurant garden, with 10 cube-like residential ($29 to $59 million each) and two commercial units attached to it. The cubes are multi-storey -- each side being 15 m long -- and arranged in a zig-zag to form the outdoor terrace for the unit above. "Perimeter" columns and diagonal braces support the cubes on the outside. Using the air rights Sciame bought from the Seaport historic district, the tower will reach the height of 254.5 m, with an antenna tower adding another 50 m. The sales are expected to begin in April 2005 and construction possibly later that year, to be completed in 2007 or 2008.
17 November 2005: The project is on the marketing phase as the needed amount of apartment sales are collected. If the building sells well, the construction can be expected to begin in April 2006 and be completed in late 2008.










lo-go © e t dankwa 18 April 2006