425 Park Avenue in Midtown East has been the focus of much interest, with good reason. Unlike the full demolition and larger replacement impending for the Union Carbide Building, the old pre re-zoning regulations forced 425 Park’s developers to maintain 25% of the extant structure in order to build to its exact original square footage. Now, steel and concrete for the Foster + Partners creation are finally rising above the old shell, and the project is slowly moving upwards and into the neighborhood skyline.
The site has not made much visible progress since our last update, from December of 2017. Construction has added two full floors, while the concrete core of the building has risen three to four stories further. The structure has likely reached its eleventh floor, out of a future 41.
This pace is typical for the first few floors of a building, however, demolition and renovation of the existing edifice were particularly slow since preservation was required to retain its permitted height.
The tower will eventually soar 893 feet to its rooftop. Foster + Partners was victorious in a major competition against three other major architecture firms. It’s perhaps most infamous for having been chosen over a design by Zaha Hadid. While some may say that the selected design isn’t as striking as Hadid’s sloped sculpture, its three dramatic concrete fins will create a unique profile for the city’s skyline.
Once complete, the glass-clad structure will be divided into three distinct sections, with sky gardens occupying the setbacks. A massive 45-foot-tall lobby will anchor the tower, and set a standard for tall ceilings through the building, letting in an abundance of sunlight. This connects with Foster + Partners’ larger emphasis on environmental consciousness, which influenced choices of material, energy-conscious design, and the inclusion of multiple bicycle storage and changing rooms.
The tower has already found one major tenant thanks to Chicago-based Citadel, which has committed to leasing 200,000 square feet of its 670,000 square feet. L&L Holding Company is responsible for development, and completion is estimated by 2019.