Construction is progressing on 685 Fifth Avenue, a 100,000-square-foot office-to-condominium conversion in Midtown, Manhattan. Designed by Marin Architects and developed SHVO in partnership with BLG Holdings and Deutsche Financial, the project involves the addition of ten floors atop the existing existing 20-story structure, bringing it to a total height of 350 feet tall. The $135 million project will yield 69 condominium units designed by March & White and managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, as well as retail space with Fifth Avenue frontage marketed by Brookfield Properties. The property is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 53rd Street.
It has been difficult to gauge the progress on the project over the past year, due to its thick shroud of black netting and scaffolding, but the new reinforced concrete floors are becoming visible at the top of the structure. The walls will start to gradually pull back from the street and culminate in an ornate stepped crown. The retail frontage along Fifth Avenue will be left unchanged during and after the construction process, as shown in the main rendering. Minor portions of the brick masonry walls appeared slightly torn down in order to make way for the modern addition, but should be built back up again in the near future. The exterior hoist on the northern side of the building will continue to climb with every new floor created.
Numerous floodlights will point upward and illuminate various points of the façade, highlighting the architectural details, which appear to blend the old and new sections of 685 Fifth Avenue into a coherent fenestration. The sculptural quality of the massing looks to be inspired by early 20th century buildings of New York. The new condominium portion will contain four duplexes, a rooftop pool, and a lounge on the 25th floor, with units beginning on the sixth floor.
YIMBY predicts that 685 Fifth Avenue’s conversion and expansion could be finished sometime next year.