One57: One of NYC’s Most Expensive Apartment Buildings

One 57 Apartment BuildingNicknamed ‘the billionaire building’ and sits along ‘billionaire’s row, it was formerly known as Carnegie 57. Now is its best known as ‘One57’ and resides within the category of one the most expensive condominium apartment buildings in New York City.

The building stands 1,004 feet high and 75 floors, which also makes it one of the tallest buildings in NYC (Although new construction will soon move this title down the ladder).

One57 can be gauged by the fact that many NYC billionaires consider the penthouse apartments of the building as a trophy. It was built by Extell Development, who also is building the Central Park Tower (aka: Norstrom Tower). Architect Christian de Portzamparc has designed the building which encompasses 92 apartments. Thomas Juul-Hansen has designed the interior of each apartment.

One 57 offers a number of luxury amenities including an indoor pool, a full-catering kitchen, a library and lounge area, concierge service, a performance room, 24-hour doorman service, a private dining room, on-site parking and a private fitness center. Additionally, residents of One57 have access to the amenities of the hotel which includes catering, housekeeping and room services.

In early 2015, one of the One57 penthouses sold for an astounding $100.5 million and in doing so, broke all NYC records. The penthouse that was sold was the first ever condominium in NYC to sell for over $100 million.

Even though One57 is a luxurious apartment building, it does feature apartments meant for people other than billionaires. Compared to the penthouses, the turnkey apartments of One57 are much more affordable. These apartments are located on the 32nd to 39th floors and are fully furnished with linens and appliances. The turnkey apartments include 38 different residences which vary in terms of size. The residences include rooms fit for a family of four as well as rooms meant for a single occupant. However, regardless of size, all turnkey apartments are fully furnished.

Ensuring unobstructed views of NYC, all 92 units of One57 have floor to ceiling windows. The cheapest apartment of One 57, is priced at $5.25 million, which is significantly less than what other apartments in the building cost. Even though it comes cheap, this apartment still features two bedrooms and a huge bathroom.

To the north of the building is the iconic Central Park while the bustling Midtown Manhattan lies on its southern side. For many people, the full-catering kitchen of the One57 apartments is a major attraction as it comes with everything you’d want in a kitchen including sheets, towels, glassware, pots, and pans etc.

If you’re a cinemagoer, then you’ll absolutely love living in the One57. It features a private screening room which can be reserved for any occasion. Furthermore, you can spend time at the library and lounge area which provides books and a pool table. In order to ensure the best gym experience for residents, the private fitness center is equipped with all the latest fitness gear and machines. One 57 is probably the most sought-after building in New York and for this reason alone it’s an important part of NYC’s skyline!

Three World Trade Center: The Reincarnation of the Twin Towers

Architect Richard Rogers is tasked with bringing the twin towers back to life. Gladly obliging to the cause, Rogers has his heart and mind set on reincarnating the twin towers. The name given to this reincarnation project is 3 WTC. 3 WTC is an under construction in Lower Manhattan, NYC. The site of the building is just across the street from where the twin towers stood strong for many years. In a way, 3 WTC is a tribute to the people who lost their lives on September 11th 2001.

Apart from being a reincarnation of the twin towers, 3 WTC seeks to become the perfect NYC abode for visitors and residents. The builders of the the skyscraper are aiming to develop a building which is both attractive and strong. Once complete, 3 WTC will stand 1240 feet high which means that it’ll be the third tallest building in New York City. Fully integrated and fundamentally linked into its surrounding, 3 WTC is set to be a major attraction of NYC’s financial district. The building is designed in a manner which will allow it to seamlessly integrate into the streetscape of the Downtown and will have a direct path to eleven subway lines and the path trains.

With a visible and exposed structure, the design of the 3 WTC will stand tall at the new WTC center. The diamond shaped bracing load sharing system is what defines the 3 WTC. This system helps to articulate the east-west configuration of the building which in turn ensures unobstructed 360-degree panoramic views of NYC. You may call 3 WTC as a model of sustainability and transparency. Garbed in an external structural steel frame, it comprises a reinforced concrete core. In order to ensure an open workspace environment, the four corners of the tower as well as each of its floors have a column free plate. Furthermore, it has floor to ceiling glass. Once completed, an LEED-certified Gold office tower is what the 3 WTC will be.

The building is expected to be completed by early 2018 and will have a total of eighty floors. It is set to have about 175,517 square feet of rental space. Furthermore, it’ll feature a 62 foot high office lobby, five floors of retail and an extremely modern fire safety systems. From the window of the high lobby of the 3 WTC, residents and visitors will be able to get a great view of  Memorial Park. Creating a strong bond with the adjacent WTC memorial gardens, this supertall skyscraper will be an important new addition to the NYC skyline.

The site of the 3 WTC is in a busy place: it is right opposite to the World Trade Memorial and Cultural Center and a cluster of skyscrapers surround it. Regardless of the hustle and bustle, 3 WTC is almost certain to attract a whole host of people. After all, it will be a reincarnation of the mighty twin towers!

One Vanderbilt: A Building That Will Change Midtown Manhattan’s Skyline’s East Side

In the not so distant future, a few buildings will change the skyline of New York City. One of them is One Vanderbilt (AKA One Vanderbilt Place). This superstructure is currently under construction in Midtown Manhattan, just north of Grand Central station. Construction started in early 2016 and is expected to be completed by mid 2020. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, One Vanderbilt will stand 1,514 ft high once it’s complete, making it the second tallest building in New York City and the western hemisphere, after One World Trade Center and the Nordstrom Tower.

The skyscraper will have 65 floors, spanning over 1.6 million square feet. Once complete, the building will have access to Grand Central Terminal: one of the busiest subway stations in the world. SL Green Realty is developing the building and once it’s complete, it’ll be labeled as LEED Gold. One Vanderbilt is expected to revive the real estate market in the midtown East area. Tapering volumes and angled cuts that scroll upward are what the building has been planned with. Schedule to open in 2021, One Vanderbilt will meet Midtown East’s market demands.

The building will have an elegant shape and it’s path to Grand Central Terminal is organized at the base by a series of angled cuts. This reveals the spectacular cornice of the Vanderbilt corner: For nearly a century, this view has been obstructed. The Grand Central Concourse Level B1 is connected to Transit Hall via a grand stair. Also, to reach Dining Level B2, you can use an escalator. Finally, there is a separate elevator to reach the new East Side Access.

As part of One Vanderbilt’s construction, some improvements to the station are being planned. Some of the proposed improvements include a waiting room in the building’s lobby for the commuter, new subway station mezzanines and exits, and an underground connection between One Vanderbilt and Grand Central Terminal. The total cost of these improvements is expected to be more than two hundred million dollars.

Paying homage to the Grand Central Terminal is what One Vanderbilt looks to do. Furthermore, it’s been designed to integrate intermittently into the skyline with the Chrysler Building. The latter is only a block away from One Vanderbilt. A 4500 square feet lobby is expected to be a part of the skyscraper’s base. Once complete, One Vanderbilt is expected to have a public transit hall at the base and class ‘A’ commercial space. Other building facilities include retail, parking garage, a garden, and offices.

Glass and modern materials are being used in the construction of One Vanderbilt. Furthermore, its design model is environmentally friendly and Vanderbilt Avenue would be pedestrian-only. Although no exact dates have been given for its completion, One Vanderbilt is expected to be ready for sale by 2021.

Whether you’re looking for accessibility to transportation, considerable residential or commercial space, or a breathtaking view of New York City, One Vanderbilt can fulfill your ‘living’ needs. This is the reason it’s being touted as a building that will change New York City’s skyline.

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.

The GE Building at Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center. GE Building in Cengter

The fame that is associated with this Midtown Manhattan art deco skyscraper is inspiring. It was completed in 1933, as part of a larger complex called Rockefeller Center, with ‘30 Rock’ as its centerpiece, and one large centerpiece it is.

Originally named the RCA Building, after its main tenant occupied it, the Radio Corporation of America, which was established in 1919 by General Electric Corporation. (The building was later taken over by GE in 1988). Then in 2015, the building again was renamed the Comcast Building.

The office of the Rockefeller family occupied Room 5600 on the 56th floor. This space is now occupied by Rockefeller Family & Associates, spanning between the 54th floor and the 56th floor of the building. John D. Rockefeller had a private vault in the basement of the building, accessible via a private elevator from his office.

The structure is made of steel frame with limestone cladding with 9,382,728 sq feet of office space. It is 850 feet, 70 stories high and contains the Top of the Rock observation deck. Five floors below is the famed Rainbow Room restaurant.

The fame continued beyond that of the observatory and restaurant, as it was and is used by the TV and motion picture industry. Starting with NBC Studios, located in the upper floors and hosts, among other celebrated TV shows, the ‘30 Rock’ sitcom and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. NBC gives daily tours of its studios. If it was not already obvious, 30 Rockefeller Center is the headquarters for the NBC television network and Comcast plans on constructing a 10-foot tall, LED sign with the NBC logo at the top of the building.

29 Sep 1932 --- Construction workers eat their lunches atop a steel beam 800 feet above ground, at the building site of the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
29 Sep 1932 — Construction workers eat their lunches atop a steel beam 800 feet above ground, at the building site of the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Famous also is the popular ‘Lunch atop a Skyscraper’ photo of Irish steel workers sitting on a girder, 840 feet high, having lunch with no support whatsoever, as the building was being constructed in 1932. The Great Depression brought people to take any paying jobs even with the dangers that prevailed; however, these guys seem to be pretty comfortable as they bite into their sandwiches. The photographer is unknown, however, it is generally attributed to Charles C. Ebbets.

In front of the main entrance to 30 Rockefeller Center is the ice skating rink, along with touristy restaurants that are adjacent to it on each side. In the winter, thousands come to see the center lit up and watch the lighting of the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

After 9/11, the two block street that crossed 30 Rock was sectioned off and made into a public promenade.

Not to be undone is Radio City Music Hall, as part of the Rockefeller complex. Home to the Rockettes, the Radio CIty Christmas Show and America’s Got Talent, to name a few.

For anyone visiting NYC or for those who live in NYC, it should definitely be on your bucket list.

The Woolworth Building

The Woolworth BuildingA magnificent representation of Gothic architecture, its height is representative of recent advancements in elevator and steel technology at that time. Retail magnet F. W. Woolworth, along with Edward J. Hogan wanted to make this their corporate headquarters.

They hired architect Cass Gilbert to build what was then to be the tallest building in the world, surpassing the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company building on 23rd Street. 

On April 15, 1910, they purchased the land from businessman Trenor Luther Park for $1.65 million. Additional property purchases were made by Woolworth, culminating to a total of $4.5 million.

Following the Gothic architectural style of design, the building soared to a height or 60 stories (792 feet). It was completed on April 24, 1913, with an an observation deck on the 57th floor. To commemorate the completion of the tower, President Woodrow Wilson turned the building’s lights on from Washington, D.C.

Initially, the Woolworth building was to be 20 stories, but it was decided to add 40 more floors. It held the status as the tallest building in the world until the completion of 40 Wall Street and then the Chrysler Building. It is currently the 20th tallest building in New York City and ranks within the 100 tallest in the United States. 

The Woolworth was designated a historical landmark in 1966  and was called “The Cathedral of Commerce”, due to its symbolic Gothic architecture and its close proximity to Wall Street.

The exterior Gothic facade was cast in limestone colored glazed architectural terra-cotta panels. Strong piers, (columns on a rectangular base) adorn the exterior without inhibiting the horizontal decorative moldings that crowns a building, called cornices, all the way up to the building’s crown.

In 2013, Alchemy Properties bought the top floors of the Woolworth Building to make them into 34 super luxury condos, called the Woolworth Tower Residences. If that wasn’t spectacular enough, planning is under way to construct a $110,000,000 – seven story penthouse “castle in the sky”, at the very top of the building.

Don’t rush to purchase it, as it will not be completed till 2017, but if you put enough down payment, you might be able to convince the developers to built it YOUR way.


The Singer Building – The Most Peacefully Demolished Tallest Building of the World

Singer BuildingCities and localities are often identified by their signature structures and architectural masterpieces. Buildings define the history of cities and stand as the proof of their progression through time. New York today is known for its remarkable architectural accomplishments and beautiful skyscraper landscaping. The buildings are commonly tall and often termed as skyscrapers because of their height. One of the very first of such buildings was the Singer Building that once held the record of tallest building of the world.

47 stories high, the Beaux Art building was considered an architectural giant in 1908 when it was completed and opened to public. Though the record was short lived and held only till 1909, this building made a mark for itself. It was located in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District on 149 Broadway at Liberty Street. At 612 feet tall, it was a class apart due to its unique structure and height.

Being a signature landmark in downtown Manhattan, the Singer building was solely designed on the belief of its architect, Ernest Flagg that buildings that are more than 10 to 15 stories tall, should be set back from the streets (which later became a zoning law in New York City). This idea led him to design the Singer Building in a way that its stories were not evenly distributed vertically. The tower shot upwards from the base of its foundation, which created narrow ravines on the streets below.

This structure was the headquarters of Singer Sewing Machine company until 1961, when they decided to relocate to Midtown Manhattan. The building was bought by Mr. William Zeckendorf, who was the chairman of Webb and Knapp, a real estate development firm. His idea was to shift the New York Stock exchange to this building, but the architectural uniqueness of Singer Tower did not allow for this. The structure had compact office space, while the Stock Exchange required more open space due to the continuous expansion and scope of the businesses. Hence this plan could not be realized. Later on in 1964, this building was acquired for demolition by United States Steel. They also bought the City Investing Building. The demolition of these two buildings and merger of the area led to development of Liberty Plaza, as we know it today, on an area of 37,000 square feet per floor.

The New York Times had written a review on the architectural standing of Singer Tower, a critique of Christopher Gray. He said of the building to have a “celestial radiance”. The marble columns and intricate plasterwork were also a beautiful statement of the building along with trimming of the columns with bronze beading.

In 1968, the Singer Building was demolished, but even so it made another record, a more enduring one, of the most peacefully demolished tallest building of the world. (Ironically and sadly, is sat next to where the original towers of the World Trade Center once stood). The Singer Building is still remembered for its remarkable architecture of the past century.