Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Two More Luxury Towers to Rise on Billionaires Row

The transformation of a once dowdy stretch of 57th Street into Billionaires’ Row reached new heights as two of New York City’s leading developers reached a truce that paves the way for two more ultra-luxury towers at 220 Central Park South and 225 West 57th Street in Midtown. Presently, seven skyscrapers with sky-high prices are planned or under construction north of 56th Street. 

Like five others under development in the neighborhood, the two new towers will feature apartments selling for tens of millions of dollars and promising spectacular Central Park views.

Taken together, the seven high-rise buildings promise to remake the skyline and to redefine what it means to be rich in a city that is a cradle of capitalism and not so long ago was an emblem of urban poverty.

[see ElectricWeb | Blogger, Oct 8, 2013]

For seven years, two developers, Gary Barnett, and Steven Roth of Vornado Realty, blocked each other from moving forward with his respective super-luxury project. But the men decided the time had come to settle, and signed a deal ending the feud.

Mr. Barnett, president of Extell Development, is already building One57, a 1,004-foot tower on 57th Street just east of Seventh Avenue, where two penthouse apartments are under contract for more than $90 million each.

Just to the east, a penthouse at 432 Park Avenue, the 1,396-foot skyscraper under construction by Harry Macklowe, is selling for $95 million, or more than $11,000 a square foot.

Now, Extell plans to erect a tower of at least 1,400 feet at 225 West 57th Street, just east of Broadway. Directly to the north, Vornado will proceed with a 900-foot, 65-story residential tower at 220 Central Park South.

[see ElectricWeb | Blogger, Dec 14, 2012]

Under their accord, Mr. Roth shifted the site of his building slightly to the west, while Mr. Barnett edged his eastward, so that both skyscrapers could capitalize on what may be their most lucrative features: Central Park views.

“That’s the money shot,” Mr. Barnett said.
[see ElectricWeb | Blogger, Apr 2, 2012]

But with the surge in construction of apartments at prices only a billionaire could afford, is there a fear of saturation?

“Price really has no relevance,” says a real estate executive. “High net worth individuals look at real estate today not as a place to live, but as an investment. “It’s more stable than currency, bonds or stocks. And there are only a handful of cities around the globe where they invest: London, Hong Kong and New York.”

There seems to be no shortage of billionaires. The Forbes 2013 list of the world’s billionaires had 1,426 names, up 200 from last year.

As is the custom, all of the new luxury towers in Manhattan have celebrity architects, including Rafael Viñoly, Christian de Portzamparc and Robert A. M. Stern. They incorporate chic amenities, like studios for staff and personal wine cellars.

[see ElectricWeb | Blogger, Feb 15, 2013]

But it is the views that are crucial.

Height is where the profit is. There’s a premium for views and floor levels -- the higher you go, the higher the price you can get.

JDS Development is planning a very thin 1,350-foot-tall tower only a few doors east of Mr. Barnett’s One57.  Not far away, The Witkoff Group is buying the Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South for $650 million, with plans to demolish the building in favor of a sleek tower with apartments averaging $7,000 a square foot.

Over at 43 East 60th Street, the Zeckendorf brothers plan to build a 51-story building with Central Park views. The tower will consist of just 30 units selling for around $8,000 a square foot or $48 million for a 6,000-square-foot condominium.

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