The blocks surrounding the intersection of 50th Street and Lexington Avenue contain some of the densest real estate in all of Manhattan. Nothing makes that more evident than the new skyscraper being developed by Ceruzzi Properties at 138 East 50th Street, which will eventually stand 800 feet to its rooftop. The latest photos from Tectonic show that the tower has now passed its 40th floor, yet it will still take another few months before it begins to become visible on the Midtown skyline.
The immediate blocks contain the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to the west, and 800 Third Avenue to the east, bounding the tower with bulky 625′ and 518′ towers on both adjacencies. A photo of the eclipse via Getty Images relates this nicely, and even at around 550 feet in height, 138 East 50th Street barely peeks into the frame.
There are still twenty or so floors to go before the Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed skyscraper tops out, which means it will eventually make some impact on the skyline, but beyond the rise of a single tower, the development epitomizes the increasing commonality of ultra-tall residential buildings. If completed prior to 2008, 138 East 50th Street would’ve been the third-tallest of the typology in New York City; even as of 2013, it would’ve ranked in the top five. But by the time it is completed sometime in 2019, it will likely stand around #14, and by 2020, it may drop out of the top twenty altogether.
Befitting the growth spurt, 138 East 50th Street’s developers are planning an even taller tower at 520 Fifth Avenue, just a few blocks to the southwest. Work has yet to begin at that site, but the skyscraper is expected to stand 920 feet to its rooftop, as the entire length of Fifth Avenue between the Upper 20s and Central Park South has seemingly become prime supertall (or near-supertall) territory.