The Midtown South boom continues to echo into ever-taller echelons, and the first permits have been filed for one of the stretch’s more significant high-rises, coming to 131 West 23rd Street. The Chelsea Associates LLC is behind the new building application, which calls for a 35-story tower designed by Stonehill & Taylor.
Perhaps more notable than the floor-count are the height and number of units; the building will stand 445 feet to its pinnacle, making it quite distinctive on both the neighborhood and overall skylines. The residential component will measure 68,195 square feet, split between 21 apartments, translating into averaging units of over 3,000 square feet.
Another 143,808 square feet will be split between a retail component and a hotel, though the Schedule A is surprising, as it actually shows residential on the lower floors, with the hotel above. This would flip what normally occurs in New York City developments, as residential is typically placed as high as possible to maximize pricing.
The surrounding neighborhood is increasingly prime, and any tower stretching nearly 500 feet tall would be able to achieve astronomical price-points for residences on upper floors. Thus, the likely explanation is that the filings are “dummy” placeholders, with 131 West 23rd Street becoming another member of the Great Dummy Permit Frenzy of September 2014.
Regardless of administrative hang-ups, demolition permits have yet to be filed for the existing structure. The project marks another step forward for 23rd Street, which is deserving of iconic architecture — or, at the very least, substantial density. Nearby, the former Pope Hat building should also alter the local skyline in the near-future, though 131 West 23rd Street will still stand taller than anything west of One Madison.
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