Friday, May 2, 2014

Pre-Construction Underway on Two Billionaires Row Towers

Excavation has begun for Extell's 1432-foot Nordstrom Tower and Vornado's 950-foot residential tower at 220 Central Park South. The building sites are situated across the street from one another, making for an impressive amount of construction in a very confined area. Besides the equipment on-site, blasting is also underway for 217 West 57th Street, with regular explosions carving out the bedrock underneath the site. The tower’s pit will eventually reach 80 feet below street level.

217 West 57th Street


Seattle-based Nordstrom's Midtown flagship store will anchor one of the tallest buildings in the world.

The new tower planned for 217 West 57th Street will certainly be tall - coming in at 1,423 feet and 10 inches, and will have the tallest rooftop in New York City, topping 432 Park Avenue by just over 25 feet.

It will be the second tallest building in the city, surpassing the Empire State Building (at 1250 feet), and a scant shorter than One World Trade Center - whose rooftop height is 1,368 feet without its 408-foot tall spire.

The upscale store will span 285,000 square feet on the first seven floors of the 88-story residential condominium tower, which will cantilever over the neighboring Art Students League building, with its main entrance on the east side of Broadway at West 57th Street.

The building will also house 233 luxury residential units and just over 82,000 sf of community space.

The Nordstrom Tower was designed by Adrian Smith, architect of the Burj Khalifa, the 2,717-foot Dubai tower that is the world’s tallest.

Construction on the 1,423 foot building is expected wrap up by the end of 2017.

220 Central Park South

Vornado is constructing a 950-foot, 65-story ultra-luxury residential tower at 220 Central Park South.

The slender, limestone-clad tower will rise nearly as high as One57 and will have a grand entrance with a reflecting pool and vehicle courtyard on West 58th Street.

There will also be a smaller building, rising 15-stories, with its entrance on Central Park South.

Inside, the condominium units will have huge floor-to-ceiling windows, coffered ceilings, ornate fireplaces, and herringbone floors.

There will be only one residence on many of the floors due to the building's slenderness—that, and the fact that no self-respecting billionaire would ever buy a condo that shared a floor with someone else.

220 Central Park South will share many characteristics with its neighbor at 15 Central Park West, but its proportions will be more slender, and will likely lend themselves to the most expensive residences in Manhattan.

Vornado has been planning to build luxury condominiums at 220 Central Park South since the developer bought the building in 2005.

Originally, there were plans to tear the building down and construct a glassy, 41-story structure in its place. The rental tenants didn't go easy, but after a few years of legal battles, Vornado finally succeeded in kicking them all out paying them all a few million dollars to leave.

With the building empty, Vornado's next step was to secure demolition permits. But there was a problem: the building was not really empty. Extell still occupied the building's underground parking garage, and the rival developer didn't want to vacate the space until its lease ended in five years.

The developer didn't really care about the parking garage—but rather, the tower that might replace it. One57 is located partially behind 220 Central Park South, and Extell didn't want Vornado blocking its views. So, after a few years of wrangling, the developers both agreed to shift their towers slightly to the east and west.

Completion of 220 Central Park South is expected in 2016.

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