YIMBY Stops By the Site of ODA’s 303 East 44th Street Skyscraper in Midtown East

303 East 44th Street. Rendering by ODA Architects

YIMBY stopped by 303 East 44th Street in Midtown East, the site of a planned 600-foot-tall residential skyscraper from ODA Architects and Triangle Assets. Located along East 44th Street between First and Second Avenues, the 88,000-square-foot development is designed to yield roughly 44 condominiums spanning between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet apiece.

Photos by Tectonic show that demolition preparations have yet to commence on the two buildings occupying the plot. The storefront on the shorter three-story edifice looks as though it has been vacant for a considerable time, while the adjacent four-story building still displays banners advertising apartments for rent.

303 East 44th Street. Photo by Tectonic

303 East 44th Street. Photo by Tectonic

As rendered, 303 East 44th Street would be an exciting addition to the Midtown skyline. A futuristic deconstruction of the contemporary all-glass skyscraper, the massing is composed of a slender stack of reflective glass segments of varying heights separated by narrow funneled columns. These white-colored divisions feature an abstract form reminiscent of naturally eroded rock, and make way for open-air terraces.

The site is a short walk from a number of transit options at Grand Central Terminal, which offers access to the 4, 5, 6, 7, and S trains as well as the Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven commuter rail lines. The address is also less than a block away from the United Nations complex and FDR Drive.

It is unclear as to whether ODA’s vision for 303 East 44th Street will be realized and built in the future, but YIMBY will keep an eye out for any sign of activity.

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10 Comments on "YIMBY Stops By the Site of ODA’s 303 East 44th Street Skyscraper in Midtown East"

  1. The new tower here might very well be exceptional, but the two original buildings now on the site look like a beautiful painting.

  2. I agree with be Monath. I’m sure many sites will become available for what looks like an exciting new tower. But why this one? Shouldn’t there still be room for small, graceful structures in this ever-rising city?

  3. Forgive me for being ignorant of New York planning, I’m from across the pond in London, but how will the tower manage the light/view issues from the onlooking windows from neighbouring buildings? Is it that slim that there’s still clearance between it and the overlooking windows or does the developer have to buy out the residents in those flats, or is there some kind of right to build on these plots and if someone has a window onto the wall afterwards it doesn’t matter?

    In London we don’t seem to follow such a dense street pattern, and towers are often set back from the street and occupy large plots so there’s always decent distance from existing windows. There’s also a law called ancient lights that mean any window over 20 years old has a right for its light levels not to drop below a certain level, meaning that new build towers often have to effectively bribe neighbours when it tight spots, but this more applies to commercial office buildings in the City of London (which refers to the square mile financial district, which hardly has any residents) where towers are built at closer proximity than residential developments.

    • I assume you are referring to the buildings on either side of the two townhouses being torn down? If so, they have lot-line windows and will be bricked up when the building starts to go up, they will lose those views. Most-likely those two buildings sold their air-rights to the developers of this building. Don’t feel bad for them, they made millions 🙂

  4. Why can’t we keep the old building’s facade and build newness on top? Nobody comes to New York to gaze at new, glass and steel generic towers. NY is known for it’s pre-war buildings. When you wipe out these unique buildings, you wipe out the soul of the city and it becomes an “anywhere” city. What don’t people understand??

  5. The building to the west has a window wall overlooking 303-305 East 44th Street. It’s hard to believe that the owners of the former building didn’t purchase the air rights over the two latter ones.

  6. The existing building r models of 1930s nyc buildings with residings. The seller(s) were easily getting 3000 for a 1 bedroom. The buildings likely r very profitable for something bought for 850000 lets say in 1970. Thats some nice change for 1970 when there were far less high rises.

    And yes the buildings will be destroyed and someone will likely lose light out theor window.

  7. The building rendering is nothing to clap about. The building will be a ghost town. 80 percent of the units will be owned by ppl who never live there. The occupants will be college kids, maids and lovers.

    The developer just hopes to play on proximity and shiny glass to sell 4 million dollar units and cover the loan with recurring fees.

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