Thursday, December 3, 2015

Work Set to Start on 900-foot Sutton Place Super-Tower

Work is set to begin on New York City’s newest super-tower – a 900 foot building with 115 units to be developed on Sutton Place by The Bauhouse Group. The real estate development firm is preparing to raze the existing six-story buildings at 426-432 East 58th Street to construct an opulent 80-story tower designed by Norman Foster who, for nine consecutive years, has been voted the world’s "Most Admired Architect."

“Once the existing buildings on our site have been demolished, we will begin constructing one of the most highly-anticipated residential buildings in New York City,” said Joseph Beninati, managing member of the Bauhouse Group.

“These permits signal exciting progress for the project, and we believe that our world class team and union contractors will develop a building that mirrors the elegance and storied past of the Sutton Place neighborhood,” said Mr. Beninati

The Bauhouse Group bought up the properties at 426-432 East 58th Street in June of 2015 for $32 million. Additionally, the developer shelled out $37.9 million to purchase 270,000 square feet of unused air rights from other buildings that will remain on the same block, enabling the construction of the residential tower.

Slim, super-tall towers are fueling an extraordinary building boom, particularly along a stretch of 57th Street known as Billionaire’s Row, where at least eight skyscrapers are underway with apartments selling for tens of millions of dollars, primarily to foreign investors.

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The lure of oversize profits is unmistakable. Builders are now planning residential skyscrapers as tall as the Empire State Building in areas once unthinkable: Downtown Brooklyn; Long Island City, Queens; and on a parcel next to the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan.

Some New Yorkers are exhausted by the relentless pace of construction that has transformed one neighborhood after another. Residents of Sutton Place have fought the project fiercely, organizing protests against the tower and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund a rezoning of the area that would impose a height limit on new buildings in the neighborhood.

One resident, Mr. Herndon Werth, 81, was offered $1 million, a rent-free apartment for life and moving expenses if he would vacate his rent-regulated studio on the top floor of a six-story brownstone at 434 East 58th Street to make way for the skyscraper. He declined.

“There is no precedent for a 900-foot mega-tower to be built on a narrow, one-lane, residential side-street like the one planned on East 58th,” Lisa Mercurio, a spokeswoman for the East River 50s Alliance.

However, the 900-foot building can be constructed “as-of-right”, meaning no more public review from the city or state is necessary, leaving foes with few options aside from trying to rezone the neighborhood before the tower has substantially begun to rise.

Bauhouse has an extraordinary opportunity due to deploying $150 million over the last two years before the run up in Manhattan land prices on all the pieces needed to complete this assemblage.

As a result, and together with the extraordinary 360-degree views and its historic location, they expect to attract a robust demand for the completed project.

In addition to the Sutton Place assemblage, The Bauhouse Group is developing 515 Highline, a luxury condominium at 515 West 29th Street – the only location in Manhattan framed on two sides by the famed High Line Park.

The $125 million development has been designed by architect Soo K. Chan, and will feature residences ranging in price from $5 million to $9.5 million. 515 Highline is slated to be completed in late 2016.

Bauhouse’s Sutton Place development is expected to cost about $650 million and is slated for completion in spring of 2019.

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