SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (
-   Completed Project Threads Archive (
-   -   NEW YORK | 1865 Broadway | 418 FT | 32 FLOORS (

Hypothalamus Jan 27, 2014 8:32 PM

NEW YORK | 1865 Broadway | 418 FT | 32 FLOORS
New York YIMBY:

Proposed: American Bible Society Redevelopment
ABS Redevelopment — image from Danny Forster Design Studio


The American Bible Society is seeking redevelopment options for its building on the corner of 61st Street and Broadway. The structure was originally built in 1965, and contains nearly 140,000 square feet of space — which is only 62% of the allowable FAR. Danny Forster Design Studio is designing the project, which is in the preliminary stages; the new tower will measure nearly 290,000 square feet.

The site’s potential is enormous, given its location; The American Bible Society is across the street from 15 Central Park West, though Broadway is not quite as prime. Nevertheless, the project enjoys proximity to a host of world-class amenities, including Lincoln Center and The Shops at Time Warner.

Forster’s page on the project depicts a 37-story building, with a variety of uses. The ABS will likely remain in the same location, occupying a section of the new tower; additional retail and space for cultural facilities will round out the development’s base, while condominiums will be situated on upper floors.

Given the latest trend in Manhattan — which is to stretch buildings as tall as possible to maximize views — the ABS Tower could see a height increase; it has more than enough square footage to allow for a towering stack of residences above the base.

Besides the project’s height, its form looks to be contextual, and will heal the wound left by the ABS’ existing structure. The current building is an exercise in 1960s-banality, and its offensive aesthetics are compounded by the violation of Broadway’s street-wall. The new development will restore the site to its proper urban context, while enlivening the space with additional amenities — further enhancing the already booming Lincoln Square neighborhood.

With plans currently in the design phase, the ABS redevelopment has no tentative completion date — but assuming the project does move forward, a 2020 estimate would be reasonable.
ABS Redevelopment -- image from Danny Forster Design Studio
ABS Redevelopment -- image from Danny Forster Design Studio
ABS Redevelopment -- image from Danny Forster Design Studio
ABS Redevelopment -- image from Danny Forster Design Studio

Hypothalamus Mar 25, 2014 11:31 PM

Bible publisher to unload Columbus Circle HQ
Buyer could construct 300,000-square-foot residential condo on site
Julie Strickland March 25, 2014 05:15PM
Cushman’s Helen Hwang and 1865 Broadway


The American Bible Society has placed its 180,000-square-foot Columbus Circle headquarters on the market.

The 12-story property at 1865 Broadway at West 61st Street, where the group has based its operations for 48 years, is expected to fetch $300 million or more. ABS then plans to lease a replacement office space or purchase another building. With the nonprofit’s departure, the new owner could scrap the existing building and construct a 300,000-square-foot residential condominium tower in its place, using surplus development rights on the site, according to Crain’s.

“The 1865 Broadway property has served us well for nearly 50 years,” ABS chairman Pieter Dearolf said in a statement to Crain’s. “The decision to sell the property was made to unlock the value of the site to further the mission of the American Bible Society.”

The nonprofit tapped Cushman & Wakefield’s Helen Hwang, Nat Rockett and Steve Kohn to market the property, located one block from Central Park and within a stone’s throw of the Zeckendorfs’ luxurious 15 Central Park West.

A buyer could pay north of $1,000 for the property’s development rights alone, and retail space in the building’s base could tap into the area’s high commercial rental rates, according to Crain’s.

“When you see a high-end development site it has to have the right zoning and scale, the right height and footprint, it has to be on a corner and have a presence, and it has to be near marquee amenities like Central Park and the river,” Hwang told Crain’s. “This site checks all of those boxes.”

Submariner Mar 25, 2014 11:37 PM

Wow...that's a fantastic site.

Crawford Mar 25, 2014 11:39 PM

I don't believe there are any height limits on Broadway south of the Lincoln Square district. So hopefully we get something soaring, along with great architecture.

If you know NYC, you know this location is absolutely incredible for high-end residential. It's across the street from 15 CPW, probably the most successful residential building in NYC history.

scalziand Mar 26, 2014 2:40 AM

I'm surprised that the massing model doesn't preserve the existing plaza for another little FAR bonus.

Crawford Mar 26, 2014 3:05 AM


Originally Posted by scalziand (Post 6512053)
I'm surprised that the massing model doesn't preserve the existing plaza for another little FAR bonus.

I doubt that massing model will resemble the final product, as the model was back when American Bible Society wanted to keep a street-level presence at the location.

Now they're just selling off the location and moving somewhere else cheaper in Manhattan.

Just guessing, but I assume whatever is built will try and take maximum advantage of park views.

NYguy Mar 26, 2014 12:31 PM


Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 6512079)
I doubt that massing model will resemble the final product, as the model was back when American Bible Society wanted to keep a street-level presence at the location.

Now they're just selling off the location and moving somewhere else cheaper in Manhattan.

Just guessing, but I assume whatever is built will try and take maximum advantage of park views.

That, and the $300M asking price...
American Bible Society wants $300M for HQ

Daniel Geiger
March 24, 2014


On the corner of West 61st Street, a residential building on the site would be a block from Central Park and in close proximity to some of the city’s priciest apartment addresses, including 15 Central Park West, the Time Warner Center and the Trump International Hotel & Tower, all buildings where apartments sell for thousands of dollars per square foot.

Given the stratospheric values in the area, a buyer could pay in excess of $1,000 for the development rights alone, what would likely be a near-record sum for land in the city.

Developable sites that can be assembled to build on are in rare supply around the perimeter of southern Central Park (the so called Billionaire's Row), let alone a site that needs no assembly at all. It's a rare opportunity for someone. I don't know exactly what the zoning is in regards to height for that block, but it is bordering the Midtown district that has no height limits. Same as 220 CPS.

And it would be across the street from The World's Most Powerful Address.

NYguy Mar 26, 2014 12:55 PM

Some google earth aerials for perspective...

NYguy Mar 28, 2014 1:58 PM

American Bible Society to sell 12-story NYC building

Sarah Pulliam Bailey
Mar 25, 2014


The American Bible Society will sell its 12-story building on Broadway, vacating prime real estate in the heart of Manhattan that serves other evangelical ministries.

...The 200-year-old ABS first occupied the 1865 Broadway address in 1966 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Billy Graham. The organization has not made any decisions about a new location, but a spokesperson said it remained committed to New York City.

...Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate firm with a mission to “help clients turn fixed assets into dynamic assets,” will help the organization sell the property and select a new site.

...ABS also has about 80 people in its offices outside of Philadelphia, about the same number of employees in its New York headquarters, Morin said. He said that the organization faces updates in code requirements costing tens of millions of dollars within the next 18 months and plans to sell the building in the next 14 to 15 months.

...“We know and we’re honest about how it’s expensive to be in New York City. We have no intention of abandoning it,” said Morin, suggesting that the organization is determining whether to buy, lease or rent property. “Where we put our core operations has not been determined.”

Before Birdsall was fired, he had proposed replacing the existing building with a 30-story structure that could include an Omni Hotel and space for other ministries to rent.

...The building’s greatest asset was its location, close to Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center and Central Park, said Gregory Thornbury, president of The King’s College. “That is one of the most enviable plots of real estate on the island of Manhattan,” he said.

...“Evangelical institutions have abandoned the cities,” Thornbury said. “New York is the seat of power on planet Earth, so it takes a constant vigilance and focus and determination to stay in the game.”

Crawford Mar 28, 2014 2:14 PM

That is a freakin spectacular site for condos, but they will have to go very tall and skinny if they want the drop-dead Central park views.

babybackribs2314 Mar 28, 2014 2:49 PM

Indeed. Forster said that the previous plan maximized condos to the maximum extent possible but I feel like the tower could feasibly be skewed to 60-70 floors. Any any buyer will be motivated by 15 CPW & 520 Park right across the Park... we shall see.

chris08876 Oct 8, 2014 11:23 AM

Vision: 1865 Broadway
1865 Broadway, image by Goldstein Hill & West


YIMBY featured a sneak peek of 1865 Broadway’s potential earlier this year, with renderings by Danny Forster Design Studio depicting the reconfiguration and vertical extension of the building. Since then, the site’s current occupant — the American Bible Society — has elected to leave the location for a new building, opening the possibility for a skyline-altering icon to take its place.

Now, we have the first firm look at a proposal for the site, designed by Goldstein Hill & West, which would involve the total demolition of the old structure. The new building would stand approximately 40 stories tall, but the height would be accentuated by palatial ceilings, like many other new skyscrapers rising across Manhattan. GH & W could not be reached for comment, but the tower appears to rise between 600 and 700 feet, and would stand on the corner of Broadway and West 61st Street.

1865 Broadway’s location is fantastic, which should guarantee an attractive design. The rendered proposal features a relatively simple envelope, rising with several setbacks, and the facade features a mix of glass and masonry, likely limestone. This is especially apt considering the record-setting 15 Central Park West, aka Limestone Jesus, is directly across the street, and is deserving of equally attractive neighbors.

The site’s development potential measures approximately 300,000 square feet, and will likely include retail along Broadway. Even 15 Central Park West, where a penthouse sold for $88.5 million in 2013, has active retail in its frontage on Broadway. While many expensive apartments may sit unused for much of the year, a building’s engagement with the street below is what matters to pedestrians.

What’s ultimately most important, and often overlooked, is human density: the increasing amount of space taken up by the average New Yorker translates into less efficient use of air rights, which results in fewer people per square foot of real estate. This is most certainly a good thing, as average standards of living are increasing and city residents no longer live in slums, but it shows how a building code created in 1961 did not anticipate the world of 2014, where significant new construction is needed to maintain even constant levels of population density.

Zoning is the primary reason New York City city is facing a housing shortage. 1865 Broadway presents an opportunity to enhance a corner that was the victim of post-war anti-urban design, and if the GH & W proposal is built, the new tower will restore the architectural street-wall that characterizes Broadway along most of its path through the Upper West Side. But the location, next to the local and express subways just two blocks from Columbus Circle, warrants square footage beyond the scope that’s currently allowed.

As of May, the American Bible Society had placed its building on the market for $300 million, and property records indicate it has not yet traded hands.

animatedmartian Oct 8, 2014 3:04 PM

Looks pretty nice. Looking forward to seeing more of this building. :cheers:

Crawford Oct 8, 2014 3:08 PM

The rendering above is by the previous property owner, so we'll be getting something different. And I would be surprised if this building is only 700ft.

With 300,000 square feet to work with, small floorplates, no height limit, and 15 CPW blocking park views across the street, one would think they will go very tall and skinny.

The value is in the Central Park views. Need to go taller to take advantage of those killer views.

NYguy Oct 9, 2014 12:31 PM

I guess we'll know more about it when someone buys it. But it's a pretty price for a pretty good property.

sparkling Feb 2, 2015 3:42 PM

Bible Society Sells New York City Building for $300 Million

Feb. 1, 2015


The American Bible Society has sold its New York City headquarters building near Columbus Circle to AvalonBay Communities Inc. for $300 million, a price that will pay for the nonprofit organization’s move to Philadelphia and allow it to reinvest in its services.

The 199-year-old society has been at 1865 Broadway for almost 50 years.

The winning offer from real-estate investment trust AvalonBay was one of about 25 domestic and international bids for the building, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc., which advised the American Bible Society on the sale and its relocation.

“It’s one of those sites that just don’t come along very often,” said Martin Piazzola, AvalonBay senior vice president of development for New York City.

AvalonBay’s plans are still being shaped, but the company intends to raze the existing building and construct a high-end residential development with retail space at its base, Mr. Piazzola said.

The building could measure more than 300,000 square feet, including about 55,000 to 60,000 square feet of retail,
he said.

Located a block from Central Park, the American Bible Society building sits in an area of exclusive, ultraluxury high-rises, a far cry from the neighborhood the nonprofit found when it moved there from Park Avenue in the mid-1960s.

The property drew interest from about 150 investors, said Helen Hwang, executive vice president for the New York capital markets group at Cushman.

“For a site of this size and scale and in this location, typically developers have to assemble it,” Ms. Hwang said. “It’s very rare for a development site of this quality to come to market as one piece.”

Over the last decade, many new hires with the Bible society opted to work in the organization’s Valley Forge, Pa., location because it was more affordable than New York, aid Roy Peterson, president and CEO of the nonprofit organization. Many of its New York staff live in New Jersey, he said.

“I wanted to bring the whole team together in one place in order to be really effective to deal with the changes in the digital world,” Mr. Peterson said. “Philadelphia presented a really dynamic city and [is] much more affordable than New York and a fairly easy relocation.”

The Bible society, which aims to broaden the Bible’s readership by translating it in different languages and making it digitally accessible, will keep a presence in Manhattan and is shopping for office space now

The society plans to lease its new headquarters in a Philadelphia neighborhood filled with historic attractions, which Mr. Peterson said was only fitting. “People come to New York for shopping, for Broadway,” he said. “They don’t come to New York to learn about our nation’s history or the Bible.”

gttx Feb 2, 2015 4:47 PM


Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 6760550)
With 300,000 square feet to work with, small floorplates, no height limit, and 15 CPW blocking park views across the street, one would think they will go very tall and skinny.

The value is in the Central Park views. Need to go taller to take advantage of those killer views.

Although there is technically no “height limit” in the Lincoln Square District (of which this block is a part), there is kind of a de facto downward pressure on height due to two specific features of the district:
1) 60% of the floor area of the building must be below 150’
2) The footprint of a tower must be between 30% and 40% of the site area

Given those parameters, the building will be constrained in terms of its height. If the site can indeed support 300,000 SF of development, that means only 120,000 SF (40%) of that can be above 150’.

My guess from Google Earth is that the site is about 20,000 SF, so the minimum tower footprint would be 6,000 SF (30% of that). That means we are only looking at 20 floors at 6,000 SF each above 150’. Even if they were crazy tall (432 Park-style) 15’ FTF, that would be 300’ in the tower for a total height of 450’.

The Danny Forster renderings are interesting, but they only achieve 600-700’ by including a giant mechanical level in the tower to push the residential portion higher without consuming floor area. Plus the FTF height on the units must be insane…like 20’+.

Not to be a downer about this, but we probably won’t see something very tall here. Super high-end? Yes. But not tall.

chris08876 Feb 2, 2015 8:17 PM

Something to get the views of Central Park would be desirable. I would shoot for 650 to be on the safe side. 600-650 sounds reasonable, with the top units going for record prices. Key word is that it could measure more than 300k sqft. Either way, if they are not building tall, its a wasted opportunity. Views make all the difference.

Submariner Feb 2, 2015 8:30 PM

They're not paying 300M for that building, this close to Central Park, for views blocked by buildings. That's for sure.

yankeesfan1000 Feb 3, 2015 8:33 PM

Per Bloomberg, the American Bible Society will occupy the site through Q3 of this year, and construction will start in late 2016.

All times are GMT. The time now is 5:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.