Construction Update: 225 West 57th, 105 West 57th, and One57

A flurry of activity along 57th Street confirms the corridor will soon be New York’s most noteworthy skyscraper canyon. Demolition and excavation permits have been filed on the site of Extell’s future 225 West 57th Street. One block east, JDS Development has acquired Steinway Hall, which should allow their skyscraper at 105 West 57th Street to rise taller than initially planned.

Extell’s permits for 225 West 57th are significant because the project is finally moving forward with excavation. Though the announcement of Nordstrom as the tower’s retail anchor confirms it will definitely be moving forward, it’s nice to see actual evidence of progress on-file with the Department of Buildings.

Included in the permits are the tower’s height1,550 feetwhich remains unchanged from the original filings. Barnett has not given specifics on a final height, which could be higher than 1,550 feet, as DOB permits measure to the highest occupied floor rather than a building’s pinnacle. If 225 West 57th Street does rise 1,550 feet, it will best 432 Park for the title of city’s tallest by over 150 feet.

JDS Development’s acquisition of Steinway Hall means the firm’s plans for an adjacent tower at 105 West 57th could change dramatically. The skyscraper was expected to house a boutique hotel on lower floors and  twenty-nine luxury condominiums above, but with the purchase of Steinwaywhich is a partially protected historic structureit seems likely that JDS will transfer the air rights, resulting in a completely new design.

This would seem to indicate the tower could rise much taller than the 679 feet specified in Cetra Ruddy’s original plans, giving 57th Street another tower that pierces the Midtown plateau. With the constrained area of the lot and an increase in the allowed air rights, the only available direction is even further up.

Last but not least, a quick update on One57. Exterior construction still seems to be paused, as the logistics of replacing a crane 1,000′ in the air are quite complicated. Portzamparc’s pixelated and cascading waterfall-esque tower looks nonetheless stunning.

105 West 57th’s Original Design, Image from Cetra Ruddy

One57; Lot for 105 West 57th visible at the right, between the beige building & scaffolding

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