Permits Filed: 611 Madison Avenue

611 Madison Avenue at center, image via Google Maps

The first DOB filings are up for a new building at 611 Madison Avenue, which will replace the existing 7-story townhouse. The architect of record is Fogarty Finger, while the developer appears to be the Zurich Holding Company.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the new permits is the fact that the future 611 Madison Avenue will have fewer floors than the current building; the replacement structure will rise six stories, and 112 feet. The height increase will be notable, and signals a shift towards higher-end retail; the entirety of the development will span 27,853 feet, with offices to be located on the top two floors.

With Fogarty Finger involved as the site’s architect, the outcome is likely to be a significant improvement from the current structure, which is a bland example of a pre-war building that also involves a seemingly forgotten rooftop component.

Fogarty Finger’s plans for the recently revealed 11-51 47th Avenue in Long Island City reveal the firm’s promising take on classic design, and it would appear likely that 611 Madison will house something similarly upscale. The location is prime, especially as the property is in the shadow of 432 Park Avenue; as 57th Street continues to evolve into a super-upscale corridor, the spillover to neighboring cross-streets is inevitable.

No completion date for 611 Madison Avenue has been announced. While permits for the existing structure’s demolition remain elusive, filings for ‘facade repairs’ were approved back in 2012, possibly as a pre-cursor to the wrecking ball.

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Posted in 611 Madison Avenue | Architecture | Fogarty Finger | Midtown | Midtown East | New York | Zurich Holding Company

Revealed: 433 First Avenue

433 First Avenue, image via KPF

Renderings have been posted for NYU’s new facility at 433 First Avenue; the building will soon be home to both the NYU College of Nursing, and a portion of the University’s College of Dentistry. Per DOB filings, the architect of record is EYP, though KPF appears to have led the project’s design.

433 First Avenue

433 First Avenue, image via KPF

NYU’s page on the site indicates the new building will span 170,000 square feet, which permits corroborate; the structure will stand eleven stories and 162 feet tall, allowing generous ceiling heights.

433 First Avenue

433 First Avenue, image via KPF

Aesthetically, 433 First Avenue will be a boon to the surrounding neighborhood, which has long been a warren of architectural neglect. The vicinity is dominated by dated towers and decrepit pre-war buildings, and the contrast presented by KPF’s creation will be a refreshing break from the developments that typify Kips Bay, which is a relative no-man’s-land, wedged between Midtown and Peter Cooper Village.

433 First Avenue

433 First Avenue, image via KPF

433 First Avenue’s facade will be glass and terra cotta, offering another example of the historic material’s recent comeback in New York City, where its usage is gaining significant visibility — perhaps most prominently at SHoP’s future 111 West 57th Street.

433 First Avenue

433 First Avenue, image via KPF

Besides integrating classic materials, the scheme for 433 First Avenue is decidedly contemporary, which is an obvious necessity given NYU’s position as a leading global academic institution. Large windows will allow ample light, and cut-outs will add variety and depth to the facade; the influx of additional students will also benefit the neighborhood’s pedestrian scene.

433 First Avenue

Construction progress

Completion of 433 First Avenue is expected later this year.

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Posted in 433 First Avenue | Architecture | Kips Bay | Kohn Pederson Fox | Midtown | New York | NYU

Revealed: 959 First Avenue

959 First Avenue rendering

The first renderings for 959 First Avenue have been posted on-site, giving a detailed look at Toll Brothers City Living’s latest project to begin construction in Manhattan; Incorporated NY is the design architect, while Goldstein Hill & West is the architectural firm of record, per filings with the Department of Buildings.

Permits indicate the mixed-use structure will have 197,127 square feet in total, and 9,569 square feet will be dedicated to ground floor retail. The remainder of the project will be divided between 114 residences, and the 30-story building’s pinnacle will stand 333 feet above the street.

959 First Avenue

Foundation work

959 First Avenue’s design will benefit the neighborhood, which has long existed in architectural limbo on the periphery of Midtown. With much of the existing pre-war stock run-down, the area’s modernization and continued development is a definite boon, and the plans for Toll Brothers’ building will both respect the site’s surrounds and add to its urban dynamic.

959 First Avenue

959 First Avenue, site overview

While Goldstein Hill & West tend towards the modern end of design, the firm’s scheme for 959 First Avenue definitely has historicist elements, with casement windows featuring prominently; the concept almost looks like a residential take on the McGraw Hill Building in Midtown West, minus the green facade. 959 First Avenue’s aesthetics will add to the neighborhood, and the project will also enhance the street-wall along First Avenue, providing new retail space that will enliven the pedestrian sphere.

959 First Avenue

959 First Avenue

Per on-site signage, completion of 959 First Avenue is expected in the fall of 2016.

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Posted in 959 First Avenue | Architecture | Construction Update | Goldstein Hill West | Midtown | Midtown East | New York | Residential | Toll Brothers

Revealed: 210 East 52nd Street

210 East 52nd Street

On-site renderings have been posted for a new townhouse at 210 East 52nd Street, which will soon stand six stories tall; the architect of record is Gene Kaufman. Construction is already well underway on the structure, and Sam Chang is listed as the developer.

210 East 52nd Street sits next to one of Sam Chang’s Midtown hotels, and the building seems like somewhat of an afterthought compared to its neighbor; the two structures are apparently part of the same site, and permits for the townhouse even list the hotel’s square footage, with details between the two buildings apparently inter-mingled on the DOB’s website.

210 East 52nd Street

210 East 52nd Street

Despite the confusion regarding permits, the size of the townhouse is obviously quite small, and it will only count as one unit; its appearance will be above average compared to typical Kaufman-designed structures, though the scope of the project is certainly limited.

The location of 210 East 52nd Street is somewhat bizarre, as townhouses are rarely built in Midtown Manhattan, and most are legacies of the early twentieth century; nevertheless, the home will fill a small gap between the budget hotel and its next-door neighbor. Ironically, it will meet the block’s street-wall, as well — and besides its Napoleon (cake)-like facade, the structure shows that Kaufman is capable of designing urban-minded buildings.

Completion of 210 East 52nd Street is expected at the end of this year.

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Posted in 210 East 52nd Street | Architecture | Construction Update | Kaufman | Midtown | New York | Residential | Sam Chang

Revealed: 693 Fifth Avenue’s Makeover

693 Fifth Avenue -- video by Neoscape

The former Takashimaya department store at 693 Fifth Avenue is in for a makeover, revealed in a video posted by Thor Equities, which will be renovating the building; the film was created by Neoscape. The original structure was built in 1993, and per Crain’s, has 44,500 square feet of space on the first six floors.

Thor’s video outlines several exterior options for the project, which has one of the best locations of any retail development in the world. Per the graphics, 200,000 pedestrians traverse the sidewalks in front of 693 Fifth Avenue every day. Takashimaya vacated the space in 2010 after declaring bankruptcy, and the building traded to Thor for $140 million.

693 Fifth Avenue

693 Fifth Avenue — video by Neoscape

If the video is accurate, much of the existing structure’s facade will be removed; it seems that older retail buildings are particularly vulnerable to modernization, as enormous glass windows and space for LED-signage is key to visibility, especially on well-trafficked thoroughfares.

Unfortunately, windows and signs leave little room for detailing, and the result is cookie-cutter architecture. Further south, Thor is planning another major retail development, at 520 Fifth Avenue; the end-result at both locations will be apparently be quite similar.

693 Fifth Avenue

Possible configuration for 693 Fifth Avenue — video by Neoscape

Completion of the changes at 693 Fifth Avenue hinges on Thor finding a retail tenant, and the space currently remains vacant; once an occupant is secured, the building’s transformation can begin.

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Posted in 693 Fifth Avenue | Architecture | Midtown | Midtown East | New York | Thor Equities

Approved: 425 Park Avenue

425 Park Avenue -- existing building

All permits for construction at 425 Park Avenue have been approved, and work may begin shortly; the existing building is being partially demolished to make way for 42 stories of offices, designed by Norman Foster. The developer is L&L Holding Company.

The entirety of the redevelopment will encompass approximately 513,000 square feet, and the height to the highest occupied floor will be 905 feet. That figure may not include the ‘fins’ atop Foster’s vision, given that Department of Buildings measurements do not include architectural flourishes; if 425 Park Avenue doesn’t break the 1,000-foot mark, it will certainly come close.

425 Park Avenue

425 Park Avenue — image from Foster

While the future of the Midtown East re-zoning has been temporarily derailed, the cloud of disconcertion should be temporary, as De Blasio has promised to continue the push that failed under the Bloomberg administration. 425 Park Avenue is not dependent on the re-zoning, as it will simply be a re-configuration of the existing square footage into Class A space.

Indeed, moving forward ahead of the general re-zoning will give L&L an edge over other developers, as 425 Park Avenue will rise several years prior to competing projects.

The lower quarter of the existing 425 Park Avenue must be preserved, so demolition may be more difficult than usual, but L&L’s project is expected to be completed in 2017.

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Posted in 425 Park | Architecture | Foster | LL Holdings | Midtown | Midtown East | New York | Office

Excavation Begins: 610 Lexington Avenue

610 Lexington Avenue -- image by Andrew McKeon

Excavation has finally begun at 610 Lexington Avenue, which was stalled by the 2008 recession; permits for construction were approved on December 30th of last year, and indicate the tower will stand 711 feet tall. The architect of record is SLCE, and per Curbed, RFR Realty is developing the  site.

YIMBY had speculated that 610 Lexington Avenue could be in for a size increase — given the proposed conditions surrounding the Midtown East re-zoning — but it appears that the tower will move forward with plans that were re-conceived last year. The building will have a mix of residential and commercial space, and while Shangri-La was involved with the tower’s initial conception, it appears the hotel component has been shelved.

Of the skyscraper’s 273,598 square feet, the bulk will be dedicated to residences, while only 23,267 square feet will be for commercial use. It will have 91 units in total.

610 Lexington Avenue

610 Lexington Avenue — earth-moving has begun.

The Schedule A confines the commercial component to the tower’s base; a restaurant will sit on the second floor, as well as a separate dining and ‘wine testing’ establishment, while the third story will have offices. Residences will span the remainder, with a maximum count of two per floor — indicating ambitions for ‘super-luxury’ status. Levels 47 through 59 will feature full-floor units.

Per on-site signage, completion of 610 Lexington Avenue is expected in the winter of 2017.

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Posted in 610 Lexington Avenue | Architecture | Construction Update | Midtown | Midtown East | New York | Residential | RFR | SLCE

Revealed: 145 East 47th Street

145 East 47th Street -- blue house at center, via Google Maps

Permits have been issued and renderings have been posted for a new hotel coming to 145 East 47th Street; the tower will stand 22 stories, with 93 rooms in total, as Curbed reported last year. C3D is the architect of record, and the developer is 145 East 47th Street LLC.

145 East 47th Street

145 East 47th Street — from C3D Architecture

The renderings reveal a narrow building, and the design appears fairly standard for a new hotel — though the presence of a street-wall is definitely appreciated. Setbacks only begin after the ninth floor, and layouts continue to shrink until the 20th story, which will be occupied by a residential penthouse.

While mixed-use hotel and residential developments are rather common, the inclusion of a single residence atop a hotel is somewhat unusual. The penthouse will measure slightly over 1,500 square feet, while the hotel will hold over 38,000 square feet of space. Per the architect’s website, the “modernist building look is accentuated by metal panels, glass balconies, and a full height glass façade.”

145 East 47th Street

145 East 47th Street — from C3D Architecture

A 2014 completion date is mentioned on C3D’s page, though with permits just recently secured, that seems unlikely. Still, the small scope of the development should guarantee quick progress, and the new building should be topped-out relatively quickly — likely by 2015.

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Posted in 145 East 47th Street | Architecture | C3D Architects | Construction Update | Hotel | Midtown | Midtown East | New York

Revealed: 11 East 31st Street

11 East 31st Street

Construction is finally moving along at 11 East 31st Street, which will soon be a 33-story and 260-room boutique hotel. Simon Development Group and Cube Capital are building the project, while Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman is the architect of record. The plan is a definite departure from the Emerald City-inspired design initially planned several years ago.

11 East 31st Street

11 East 31st Street — image from GSK

Compared to many of Manhattan’s newer hotels, the building’s appearance could be surprisingly nice; the facade is simple enough, while the building’s urban form is also adequate. The structure does break the street-wall after the first few floors, but besides that, nothing is offensive — and indeed, the detailing that will define both the base and the roof will add an element of visual appeal to the project.

11 East 31st Street

11 East 31st Street — image from GSK

In what might be a first for Midtown hotels, 11 East 31st Street is jumping on the cantilever craze; the building will have a minor protrusion over its eastern neighbor. The emphasis is definitely on minor, as it should be barely noticeable.

11 East 31st Street

11 East 31st Street — image from GSK

Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman’s website has additional renderings of the project, which give a comprehensive look at the plans. The attention to the rooftop lattice — and its echoing of the base — is another subtle effect that will enhance 11 East 31st Street’s aesthetics.

11 East 31st Street

11 East 31st Street

Per on-site signage, completion is expected in the spring of 2016, and the project’s working name is Cuisie 31. After a long wait, excavation seems to have begun, so it does appear things are finally moving forward.

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Posted in 11 East 31st Street | Architecture | Construction Update | Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman | Hotel | Midtown | New York | Renderings | Simon Development Group

Revealed: 34 East 51st Street

34 East 51st Street

On-site renderings have been posted for the SOM-designed 34 East 51st Street, which will stand 21 floors and 295 feet. The project’s developer is Sedesco, and the building will add nearly 60,000 square feet of office space to Midtown East.

Size limitations leave little room for creativity, as the lot is only 50 feet wide; given the small scope, the design is more than satisfactory. As the building tapers, part of the street-wall retreats, adding a sense of depth to the facade, and the contrast with the stark angles of neighboring boxy towers will be beneficial to the block’s aesthetics.

34 East 51st Street

34 East 51st Street

Since the last update from two weeks ago  – when the only design documents available were drawings — the tower has progressed above ground level, and already stands two stories tall. A rapid pace of construction seems to be  common amongst SOM’s projects, and the firm’s 250 West 55th Street — another office tower — was completed well ahead of schedule.

34 East 51st Street

34 East 51st Street

Whether construction is similarly quick at 34 East 51st Street remains to be seen, but the tentative completion date is January of 2015.

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