Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fifth Avenue Office Building to be Expanded into Super Tall Skyscraper

Developers Vornado Realty and Kushner Properties are a planning to convert the office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue into a slender, super-tall mixed-use skyscraper with a vertical mall, a hotel and a residential podium.

The spectacular new tower, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, involves a stacking scheme whereby new construction will sit on top of the current building’s square base, eventually topping out 1,400 feet above the sidewalk.

The expansion of the existing 41-story aluminum building will fall just short of the Empire State Building’s stature and offer hotel guests unobstructed views of Central Park.

The project on the East 52nd to 53rd Street block front would create a new 50-yard line for high-end retail along the most expensive corridor in the world. It would become the first new major tower on Fifth Avenue since Kushner’s father-in-law developed Trump Tower in 1983.

Real estate experts believe the move is a no-brainer, since New York is retail rich and going vertical has proven successful in the past.

The 58-year-old building currently standing on the site was designed by New York architects  Carson & Lundin and was purchased by Vornado and Kushner for a record-breaking $1.8 billion in 2006.

Vornado already controls the property's retail condominium, which it bought from from Kushner, Carlyle and Crown Acquisitions for $710M in 2012.

Known as a visionary, Vornado’s Steve Roth is now developing the 950 foot-tall 220 Central Park South, which has sold over $1.6 billion, including a $200 million-plus penthouse. When the developer moves ahead on the plan, they will control the tower with a combined retail and office space.

“It is an extraordinary product and it’s a super location,” Roth recently enthused.

The Zara store—a separately owned condominium—will be unaffected by the plan, but Colliers International and other office tenants would be forced to move.

Iraqi-born, British architect Zaha Hadid, recently made her first foray in New York with a residential block at 520 West 28th Street on the High Line in Chelsea.
The Kushner Cos. owns over 100 buildings in New York and is a major builder in New Jersey.

It turned the top of the Puck Building into luxury penthouses and is redeveloping portions of Dumbo, Gowanus and Williamsburg.

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