Construction Update: 855 Sixth Avenue

855 Sixth Avenue855 Sixth Avenue

After years of waiting, construction has resumed at 855 Sixth Avenue, which will soon give rise to a 43-story tower developed by Durst. The architect of record is SLCE, and plans for the building have undergone several major changes since it was initially proposed, prior to the recession.

855 Sixth Avenue will be thoroughly mixed-use; the podium will hold retail and offices, while the tower component will be residential, with a total of 382 units. The office portion will come in at 120,000 square feet, and the retail will total 30,000 square feet; the actual skyscraper will stand 479′ tall.

Renderings of the project are lacking, though glimpses of the building have been posted online; while no full shots exist, it does seem that 855 Sixth Avenue will be a boxy skyscraper with a glass facade. New on-site signage has another angle of the development, depicting the office and retail podium, but a view of the tower component remains elusive.

855 Sixth Avenue

855 Sixth Avenue

The development is located between 30th and 31st Streets; the location is central, but it is not viable for a super-luxury building, which partially explains the lack of a cutting-edge design.

855 Sixth Avenue

855 Sixth Avenue at center – view from the Empire State Building

Despite the relatively mundane aesthetics, the project’s urban form should be just fine, and the podium’s retail will be beneficial to the block, which has been empty for years. The lot’s destitution is particularly remarkable because of how central 855 Sixth Avenue is; PATH entrances are literally adjacent, and the area’s foot traffic definitely merits a major retail component.

The US Immigrant Fund has a brochure on the project, though it seems plans have been altered since the information was prepared; DOB permits indicate different numbers for the space devoted to office and retail – and also show an increase in the number of residential units – but the deviations are slight.

Permits for the new building were approved in October, and equipment is active on-site; per signage, 855 Sixth Avenue should be finished by the spring of 2016.

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