Mystery Flyover: Video Reveals Possible Supertall South of the Empire State Building

Mystery Tower between 28th, 29th, Broadway, and 5th -- image by AJSNYMystery Tower -- image by AJSNY

It is not often that YIMBY finds something completely mysterious, but we recently stumbled upon a video (or vision?) of a new project that may or may not be coming to Midtown South — and if it’s actually real, the building would become one of the tallest in New York City.

Architectural rendering firm AJSNY produced the short film, which illustrates an approximately 1,100-foot tower rising just to the south of the Empire State Building. The skyscraper’s block appears to be that bound by 28th and 29th Streets, and Broadway and 5th Avenue; conveniently enough, the apparent parcel is currently vacant, and is the site of one of the neighborhood’s largest remaining parking lots.

The Municipal Art Society’s Accidental Skyline map shows hundreds of thousands of square feet of unused air rights on the block, so the area is certainly ripe for a tower if enough development rights can be bought. The zoning on Fifth Avenue allows residential use while the other parts of the block can only support commercial uses; what the makeup of this tower would be depends on which part of the block it sits on and whose air rights the developers got ahold of.

Height is certainly something NoMad is becoming increasingly familiar with, and several notable projects are rising in the vicinity. To the south, along 22nd Street, Bruce Eichner is now building the tallest building between Midtown and Lower Manhattan, at 45 East 22nd Street. That skyscraper will stand 777 feet to its roof, topping the nearby One Madison by over 100 feet.

At 15 East 30th Street, an even larger newcomer is also in the planning stages. In September, permits were filed for an 825-foot skyscraper, to be developed by JD Carlisle. Closer to the suspect in the video, HFZ is planning a major development at 11 West 29th Street, though firm details for that tower are still lacking.

If the rendered tower does not get built, it wouldn’t be the first such neighborhood vision to die on the drawing board. By the time the base of the Metropolitan Life North Building was complete, plans for the full 100-story tower were cancelled by the Great Depression.

If you’ve got any idea about what the project is, drop us a line at the email address below.

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