At number one on our year-end countdown is Skidmore Owings & Merrill‘s mixed-use supertall at 175 Park Avenue in Midtown East, which earlier this month gained approval from the New York City Council. Developed by RXR Realty and TF Cornerstone, the 85-story tower has been reduced in height from 1,642 to 1,575 feet, still enough to surpass Central Park Tower for the title of tallest building in New York by roof height. 175 Park Avenue will eventually rise from the site of the Grand Hyatt hotel between the 108-year-old Beaux Arts Grand Central Terminal and the 91-year-old Art Deco Chrysler Building. The structure will yield 2.1 million square feet of Class A office space; 500 Hyatt hotel rooms on the upper floors spanning 453,000 square feet; 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground, cellar, and second levels; and an elevated, 25,000-square-foot publicly accessible plaza space populated with artwork and views overlooking the surrounding Midtown streets.
Demolition work has yet to begin on the Hyatt Grand Central New York. Its dark all-glass façade and monolithic massing will eventually make way for this new 21st century icon for the city, which will eclipse the pinnacle of Kohn Pedersen Fox’s One Vanderbilt on the opposite side of Grand Central Terminal, and the beloved Chrysler Building across Lexington Avenue.
Plans were initially approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the project quickly entered the Uniform Land Use Review (ULURP) process this past May. 175 Park Avenue’s construction will be done alongside a partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new infrastructure and transportation upgrades to the adjacent Grand Central Terminal. These include a new 5,328-square-foot transit hall, upgrades along Lexington Avenue, and a new subway entrance at East 42nd Street. An additional $38 million will be used for the East Midtown Public Realm Improvement Fund for public space improvements. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill intends to incorporate the office aspect with arts and cultural programming spread across 12 large-scale events per year with a partnering organization, as well as 25 additional events. All of these will be coordinated by a Cultural Advisory Committee.
The Hyatt Grand Central New York is expected to be demolished over an 18-month period, followed by the construction of 175 Park Avenue. Given the scale of the undertaking, it’s likely the project won’t reach full completion until sometime near the end of the decade.