Demolition Update: 217 West 57th Street

217 West 57th Street217 West 57th Street and Beethoven Pianos, ready for demolition

Signage is finally up at the site of Extell’s Nordstrom Tower, indicating the official address will be 217 West 57th Street. Demolition of the former 225 West 57th Street is almost complete, and remnant first-floor walls are all that’s left of the structure.

One of the last hold-outs was Beethoven Pianos, which Extell’s Barnett just recently acquired for $25 million – apparently a major financial windfall for the building’s owner, who paid a fraction of the sum when he originally bought the place. With all of the properties that make up the Nordstrom Tower’s footprint now secure, it seems activity is about to begin in earnest; indeed, demolition fencing is already rising around the old Beethoven Pianos building, at 232 West 58th Street.

Besides Extell’s latest acquisition, Nordstrom has finally indicated absolute commitment to the tower, spending $102.5 million to purchase its future store. Original reports had stated the flagship would comprise nearly 300,000 square feet of space, but the actual agreement indicates Nordstrom will spread over 175,000 square feet. That’s still a major space, but it’s roughly 1/3 less than what was originally anticipated; nevertheless, the flagship will go a long ways towards transforming the western end of 57th Street into a prime retail destination.

Nordstrom’s payment comes to $586 per square foot, which is well under the average that residences above will ultimately command. With astronomical prices becoming the norm all along 57th Street, it seems likely that condominiums above the Nordstrom store will average over $5,000/SF, especially if 432 Park – which will be shorter than 217 West 57th Street – is any guide.

Nordstrom is expected to open in 2018, with foundation and excavation work expected to be complete within two years.

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