Construction Update: 1717 Broadway

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Glass is just about complete at 1717 Broadway, which is now the tallest all-hotel building in the Western Hemisphere, at 753 feet. Designed by Nobutaka Ashihara, the building will contain two Marriott-brand hotels; a Courtyard, and a Residence Inn. With a total of 639 rooms, the hotels will add to the neighborhood’s vibrancy, further contributing to Times Square’s spillover into Midtown West.

Visually, the tower is absorbed by the Midtown skyline from most angles, with prominence limited to nearby perspectives. Even at 753 feet in height, the tower is hardly noticeable – the newly-built 250 West 55th Street obscures most of 1717 Broadway from the west, and Manhattan’s concrete jungle surrounds the building from the other sides. 1717 Broadway’s slender profile is partially to blame, though its small floor-plates are the reason the tower can rise so tall to begin with, as they maximize views and height given the allowable FAR.

One notable aspect of 1717 Broadway is the fact that it will be home to two budget-oriented hotels, despite the fact that it’s the tallest all-hotel building in the city. Normally, views come at great cost – if 1717 Broadway proves that building tall can be economically feasible for uses that aren’t prohibitively luxurious, the project could herald a wave of new mass-market hotels that soar to similar heights, especially given the scarcity of new development opportunities in the Times Square vicinity.

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