One Vanderbilt‘s slog through the Department of City Planning’s review process is now getting underway, and with progress comes refinement. The building has received a height boost, and early documents indicating an approximate pinnacle of 1,450 feet has given way to a slightly taller tower that will rise 1,514 feet.
Plans for the broader Midtown East rezoning were stalled by hatred of Michael Bloomberg, but other skyscrapers are zooming past New Yorkers’ traditional expectations for tall buildings, with 432 Park perhaps the best example. Now at the top of Midtown’s skyline, the 1,397-foot building stands 150 feet above the Empire State Building’s roof, launching a renewed contest for the title of tallest building in Midtown that has not yet been settled.
Both 217 West 57th Street and now One Vanderbilt are set to rise even taller than 432 Park, threatening to make Viñoly’s time at the top of Midtown very short indeed. More surprisingly, all three towers will have roof heights above One World Trade Center, which — for now — seems likely to retain its tenuous grip on the CTBUH-designated title of Manhattan’s tallest building.
At the heart of New York City’s vast transit network, if any neighborhood is deserving of the tallest towers, it is Midtown East. The point of no return for shadows was generations ago, and the building stock has already turned over so many times since the area was first settled that any talk of widespread preservation borders on the ahistorical.
And One Vanderbilt will do more than just enhance the skyline. The developers would spend a record $210 million to improve transit in the immediate vicinity, on top of paying their full $50 million property tax bill, which is not always a given with towers of this sort in New York City.
Kohn Pedersen Fox is the architect, SL Green is the developer, and if all goes to plan, completion is expected in January of 2020.