Nordstrom Tower: A great addition to NYC’s Skyline

Also known as Central Park Tower and 217 West 57th Street, which is its address, the Nordstrom Tower will be a residential super luxury condo skyscraper. Currently under construction, it was developed by Extell Development and once it is complete, it will stand 1775 feet high, which is one foot less than the Freedom Tower’s height of 1776 feet ‘out of respect’. This will make the Central Park Tower the second tallest building in the United States and in terms of roof height, the building will surpass the Willis Tower in Chicago to become the tallest in the U.S. Situated between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, the building was designed jointly by Gordon Gill and Adrian Smith Architecture. However, designing the base’s wavy glass which will be the department store was the responsibility of James Carpenter Design Associates.

Central Park Tower is set to have a 131 floors and will be the third New York City building to surpass 100 stories. That is more floors than any building in the Western Hemisphere and Europe. The first seven floors will comprise the Nordstrom Department Store, while the eighth to twelfth floors will have resident amenity spaces.

The overall residential space of the tower and residential units is 86,780 meters. If you divide that figure into the hundred and eighty-three units that have been listed, you’ll get an average condominium size of over 474 meters. However, the sizes of the units will vary i.e. some will bigger and some smaller. According to the building’s floor plan, residents will start on the 12th floor. Six units are what some of the lower floors are expected to have. However, as we go higher, the units will start to reduce. Therefore, the higher floors will feature fewer residential units than the lower floors.

Floors 47 to 66 will have two units each. The 68th and 69th floors will have a duplex. Floors 70 to 88 will have one unit per floor while a quadruplex will feature on the 89th to 92nd floors. The 92nd floor will also have a terrace.

If you want to move to one of the luxury condos, don’t sell your house in the suburbs just yet. Even if your house is worth $5Million, you still won’t come near the expected costs of the condos in the Nordstrom Tower. An average apartment in the building will consist of about $7,000 per square foot, so these apartments could sell for around $50 million each. Oh, you say that your home is worth $10-12Million, well maybe you would be interested in providing that as a downpayment for one of the $100 million penthouses. Believe it or not, the building is expected to be fully occupied upon completion.

The Nordstrom Tower is set to have a whole host of building amenities including a cigar room, a tenant tween lounge, a valet, retail storage for twenty-five bicycles, and residential storage for a hundred bicycles. Also, on the eighth floor of the Central Park Tower, you’ll find banquet rooms, tenant lounges, a sundeck, outdoor swimming pool and an outdoor terrace. Other building amenities will include a wading pool, a swimming pool, treatment room and an exercise room on the 10th floor.  It’s been realized that that many super-wealthy buyers “love a large apartment with full services all on one floor.”, as stated by Leonard Steinberg, president of Compass, a New York apartment-finder startup.

The Tower is expected to be completed by 2019 and once it is topped out, it’ll enhance the western skyline of Midtown Manhattan, and with a height like that, it will have an affect on the eastern skyline as well, taking some of the ‘charm’ away from the boring ‘pencil building’ – 432 Park Ave. The Nordstrom Tower, along with Vanderbilt Tower on East 42nd St. and the 1,050 foot tall residential building at 53 W. 53rd St. will certainly dilute 432’s monopoly on the eastern Manhattan skyline and that is a good thing.

The builders are expected to generate $2 billion profit from the sale of the residences and other units. This clearly indicates the appeal and demand for ultra-luxury housing on Manhattan’s ‘Billionaire’s Row”. Although there have been, a few tweaks have been made to it, the design plan of the Central Park Tower has remained largely consistent.

432 Park Ave

A welcome site to some. An eyesore for others. Regardless of opinion, 432 Park Avenue has changed New York’s Midtown Manhattan skyline for decades to come and is the first of a number of super tall residential buildings to soar to new heights. The skyscraper rises 1,398 feet to currently make it the 3rd tallest building in New York, following the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center. Not including the antenna on the Empire State, 432 Park Avenue would surpass the building’s 102nd floor.

432 Park Ave
432 Park Ave

432 Park Ave Looking Up
432 Park Ave Looking Up

432 Park Ave 'The Pencil' from a distance
432 Park Ave ‘The Pencil’ from a distance

The apartments are exquisite, with over sized plate glass windows that adore the skyline and with lots of interior space. One would definitely appreciate these living quarters, but they come with a price, which can range from $32,000,000 for a three bedroom to $82,500,000 for a six bedroom and $85,000,000 for the penthouse.

Be that as it may, Ben Landa is adamant about how skyscrapers should look. One might ask – Where are the spires, setbacks, angles, curves, exterior decor or other aesthetic attributes?

Simply put, “Any tall building should have some aesthetic value. Some structures are built straight up like a long box, with no decorations to accentuate its existence. Many architects, such as Gentry, strive to make their buildings aesthetically pleasing to the eye, without compromising function. To have such a tall structure, without making an effort to add real design into it is a discredit the architects who work long and hard to give their buildings an aesthetic component, without compromise on function.”

In addition, Ben states that “Tall buildings should be designed from the beginning to incorporate aesthetic features. Some of the methods could be expressionist design, setbacks, unique, such as those designs by Gentry and Safdie, and / or open areas, such as large atriums. One must scratch their head in awe as to how and why the developers decided to build a building of such height in this manner. 432 Park Avenue looks like a plain stick in the ground surrounded by plants and flowers of different varieties, sizes and designs”, referring to the abundance of tall buildings around it and their differences in sizes and architecture.
With that said, Ben does welcome 432 Park Avenue to join the New York skyline, as it it’s squared facade does have some appeal when seeing it up close; however, from afar, it stands like “a pencil in the wind” and this should have been taken into account.