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Bill Clay Feb 10, 2019 8:12 PM

I tried my best with the Skyneedle, kind of complements the Chrysler pretty well.

This is purely just for kicks though, what rises here will probably look alot different.

chris08876 Feb 10, 2019 10:20 PM

The allocation of functionalities will give us an indicator of its size, likewise with set backs. Should this taper in a way, and have a large retail base/lobby, and with a higher % of Class-A office space, it could be a big one @ 2 mil-sq ft. But I'd imagine given the demand, we will see a lot of beds (hotel) being added. I wonder if it will be in the range of 1000-1200 beds?

NYguy Feb 11, 2019 1:57 AM


Originally Posted by JMKeynes (Post 8468308)
That piece of junk does not belong between two of New York's iconic landmarks.

You could actually say two of the most iconic buildings. Even though it's surrounded by landmarks on all sides, the Chrysler Building and Grand Central are two of the icons known largely outside of the city and even the country. Whatever goes up here should live up to that. It can't just be any old building.


Originally Posted by Bill Clay (Post 8468596)
I tried my best with the Skyneedle, kind of complements the Chrysler pretty well.

This is purely just for kicks though, what rises here will probably look alot different.

That's pretty good. Now if you could do it from the other side. It's hard to say exactly which building would be right for the site, but we'll know it when we see it.

Zapatan Feb 11, 2019 3:05 AM

With the amount of square footage, we could possibly see something like the sky needle. Not gonna lie, I would love that.

Some tapering and a spire could easily put this beyond Vanderbilt.

NYguy Feb 11, 2019 3:27 AM


Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 8468972)
With the amount of square footage, we could possibly see something like the sky needle. Not gonna lie, I would love that.

Some tapering and a spire could easily put this beyond Vanderbilt.

It wouldn't surprise me if they just started out wanting something higher than Vanderbilt. If it's within reach why not? That was the spirit of so many of the great tallest in the city
from the early part of last century.

I at least see this tower as an equal to One Vanderbilt, a sibling. Both will be connected to the very heart of the city and it's transit system. So will the Chase tower, but less so.

Those concepts from a few years ago, this on from SOM is almost indicative of what is taking shape. Remove the giant ring, and you've got it.

NYguy Feb 11, 2019 4:08 PM


mrnyc Feb 11, 2019 7:18 PM

i have actually been wondering for a long time when this hyatt would be coming down.

question -- the old commodore hotel is still there under the 80s trump glass, is it not?

JManc Feb 11, 2019 7:22 PM


Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 8465797)
The Chrysler Building still will be visible from most angles anyway, regardless of whatever gets built here. However, we would hope that it's something that lives up to the iconic nature of the Chrysler Buildng, not to mention One Vanderbilt itself will be something of a skyline icon in its own right. Whatever is built here should be something that would bridge the two.

One Vanderbilt will always be a compliment to the Chrysler and the Empire State buildings, never a rival to them. It will be that third 'pointy building' near the other two. And this new building even if taller will always be overshadowed and be that 'building next door to the Chrysler'.

Btw, the bar in this doomed Hyatt made a decent Whisky Sour...

NYguy Feb 11, 2019 7:39 PM


Originally Posted by JManc (Post 8469681)
One Vanderbilt will always be a compliment to the Chrysler and the Empire State buildings, never a rival to them. It will be that third 'pointy building' near the other two. And this new building even if taller will always be overshadowed and be that 'building next door to the Chrysler'.

Vanderbilt isn't a rival right now, but I believe when it's built, and the tower becomes familiar enough due to its unique crown and spire, it will be among the towers that stand out, especially when it's lit at night, and becomes a destination of its own due to the observation deck. Being so close to the Chrysler will only increase that, as it will probably be in virtually every photo of the Chrysler.

The Grand Hyatt tower will be between the two, and has to find some sort of balance among the three. If it's too similar in height to Vanderbilt, the two towers will have some sort of paternal twin relationship. I think it needs to be higher than Vanderbilt, and if it has a crown that is lit up, that crown shouldn't be lit until it's at least above the crown of Vanderbilt. They may come out with something that we may not think would work, but when we see the design may change our minds.

I'm looking forward to it, and this is already one of the new towers I'm most excited about.

NYguy Feb 12, 2019 6:00 AM

A way to go before this thing gets to construction. It was at this time last year that Chase announced a new headquarters, and they are just now going through approvals. The hotel itself won't close until next year. I don't think they would build on spec, but by that time, One Vanderbilt will most likely be full, and that would probably drive this to construction, tenant signing or not.

‘Speculative’ building is creeping back into the market

By Steve Cuozzo
February 11, 2019


A specter is stalking the city’s commercial real estate market — the specter of spec.

Constructing offices without pre-signed tenants, known as “speculative” building, has long been the bane of developers and landlords who weren’t the ones doing the building.

Brookfield Property Group plans to build Two Manhattan West (1.9 million square feet) even before inking any deals. BPG Chairman Ric Clark told us, “With the first four million square feet of office space at Manhattan West already 92 percent leased, combined with enormous demand for Two Manhattan West we’ve seen already, we are eager to bring the building on-line as quickly as possible.”

On Monday, Larry Silverstein said he might launch long-stalled Two World Trade Center’s 2.8 million square feet without pre-signed tenants as well.

“I think we’re in an increasingly good spot, in a good position” to do that, he told Bloomberg.

According to CBRE, of Manhattan’s total 15.3 million square feet of offices under construction right now, some 3.07 million square feet are speculative — a surprising 20 percent. One reason the phenomenon’s been overlooked is that it’s scattered.

Some 1.17 million square feet of the new spec supply are in eight “boutique” buildings — of which Trinity Real Estate’s 68-74 Trinity Place (310,000 square feet) is the largest.

In Brooklyn, meanwhile, Tishman Speyer’s 10-story The Wheeler, going up on Fulton Street, has 622,000 square feet of first-class space up for grabs.

Several large, proposed Manhattan projects also have spec potential, including Harry Macklowe’s supertall Tower Fifth near St. Patrick’s Cathedral and TF Cornerstone and MSD Partners’ redevelopment of the Grand Hyatt Hotel on East 42nd Street, which would mostly be for offices.

Both projects need public approvals. The developers sound like they’d otherwise start digging tomorrow but have said nothing about tenants.
They didn’t get back to us on whether they’d build without them.

Some projects that aren’t fully spec are almost-spec. SL Green’s One Vanderbilt near Grand Central Terminal is now more than 52 percent leased ahead of its August 2020 opening. Yet SLG had pre-leased a mere 200,000 square feet of a total 1.52 million to TD Bank when it started building.

CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe, who reps 550 Madison, noted that even if all of the potentially spec projects go up, their completions would be stretched out over several years, so their market impact would more than likely be negligible.

She added, “New office buildings [with or without tenants] represent a tiny percentage of the [414-million-square-foot] office market and for good reasons,” including lack of “viable” land, political and neighborhood resistance and sky-high construction costs.

She said that “a spec building is a multibillion dollar gamble and few [developers] have the credibility and staying power for risk on that scale.”

Even so, she said that most tenants of more than 50,000 square feet needing to move choose to relocate to all-new buildings or to major makeovers such as 550 Madison Ave. and 1271 Sixth Ave. “Going spec is rare but usually rewarded unless a development hits during a severe financial downturn,” she said.

JLL regional president Peter Riguardi said the notion of a “wave” of spec development “is more smoke than fire.”

He suggested that “some developers say they’re going to do it, to generate interest in projects and get a buzz going” — although he said he wasn’t including Two Manhattan West in that.

The fate of Two World Trade Center, the missing link in the great downtown complex, might be the most intriguing situation. We couldn’t reach Silverstein to expand on his comments.

But, “Larry is a man of his word,” said Durst, who’s the operating partner in One World Trade Center and competes for tenants with Silverstein’s Trade Center towers.

NYguy Feb 12, 2019 8:11 AM

Looking back at it now, we should have known something was afoot when the lawsuit against One Vanderbilt and the City was dropped. So in addition to the Chase tower, we are getting this one as a result.

Owners of Grand Central Drop Lawsuit, Clearing Way for a 1,401-Foot-Tall Skyscraper

By Charles V. Bagli
Aug. 10, 2016


The owners of Grand Central Terminal ended a long-running feud on Wednesday with the developer of a planned 1,401-foot-tall skyscraper across Vanderbilt Avenue on 42nd Street in Manhattan.

Midtown TDR Ventures, the investment group that owns the terminal, withdrew a $1.1 billion federal lawsuit filed last September against the developer, SL Green Realty Corporation, the New York City Council and the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In return, SL Green paid the investment group a sum, which executives who had been briefed on the deal but requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the details described as “de minimis.”

Midtown TDR Ventures, which was originally led by Andrew S. Penson, purchased Grand Central in 2006 for roughly $80 million. The terminal itself was of little value, since it is under a long-term lease to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority at a relatively modest rent that decreases over time.

The investors were hoping to reap a fortune from the 1.2 million square feet of unused development rights, or air rights, above the terminal.

The settlement of the once bitter dispute follows changes in the ownership of Midtown TDR Ventures. Last month, one of Mr. Penson’s partners, Lehman Brothers Holdings, sold its stake to MSD Capital, a firm controlled by Michael Dell, the founder of Dell, for $63 million, according to city records.

MSD Capital then joined with the brothers K. Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan to buy out another partner, Fortress Investment.
The Elghanayans, who own TF Cornerstone, are prominent residential builders and owners in New York City. The new partners promptly abandoned the litigation strategy.

Mr. Weisbrod said the city planned to begin the public review of its rezoning proposal for a wide swath of Midtown surrounding Grand Central, known as East Midtown, soon, and “looked forward to working with the newly constituted partnership.”

“We’re very excited about the new zoning,” Jon McMillan, an executive at TF Cornerstone, said. “It should provide plenty of new opportunities.”

NYguy Feb 12, 2019 3:20 PM

One more thing about this location, I've mentioned that it was surrounded all on sides by landmarked buildings. That will draw some extra scrutiny, but I think approvals for this one should be mostly smooth. A quick run through...

Chrysler Building - 1930

Grand Central Terminal - 1913 (current)

Chanin Building- 1929

Graybar Building - 1927

NYguy Feb 12, 2019 8:52 PM

RXR Realty to join team developing $3 billion Grand Central tower

February 12, 2019


RXR Realty, one of the city's largest commercial landlords, will be part of the team that builds a nearly $3 billion office and hotel tower next to Grand Central Terminal.

The firm is close to reaching a deal to join developer TF Cornerstone and investment firm MSD Capital on the project, which will take advantage of a 2017 rezoning of Midtown East to raise a soaring 2 million-square-foot spire on the site of the Grand Hyatt hotel
at East 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue.

"This is a unique development that fits into our model of focusing on irreplaceable locations closely connected to transportation," said Scott Rechler, RXR Realty's chairman and CEO. "We're one of the largest office owners in Midtown East, so we're big believers in the neighborhood and the area surrounding Grand Central."

In order to take part in the development, Rechler said he would step down from the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority by the end of February. The developers are required under the rezoning plan to invest what will likely be hundreds of millions of dollars in transportation and infrastructure improvements, the scope and details of which will be negotiated with the MTA.

"I plan to remain an advocate for transportation issues," said Rechler, who before serving on the MTA board was vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's board of commissioners. "Because we will be negotiating with the MTA on the transportation improvements, it would have been a conflict of interest to remain on the board."

Rechler, an appointee of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is also the chairman of the Regional Plan Association, an advocacy group active on transportation issues.

Rechler said the new tower could provide several transit upgrades, including a gleaming new entrance to the terminal and subway station. In addition to the transit upgrades and about $30 million of additional funds for public realm improvements that will come as a result of a city toll on air rights transferred to the Grand Hyatt site, Rechler said the tower could generate hundreds of millions of additional dollars for transit and infrastructure. Because the site is a state-owned land parcel, the tower may be assessed payments in lieu of taxes, he said, making it possible to dedicate that revenue stream to MTA needs or other improvement projects.

RXR Realty has amassed an office portfolio of more than 20 million square feet but has yet to build a commercial skyscraper from the ground up. Rechler said the firm has gained development expertise building large-scale residential projects outside of the city, such as in New Rochelle and Yonkers, and redeveloping several prominent office buildings in Manhattan, including 75 Rockefeller Center. It is part of a development team that is overhauling 550 Madison Ave.

Rechler said he also gained experience building office space during his time at the Port Authority, when he helped oversee completion of the nearly 3 million-square-foot, 1,776 foot-tall 1 World Trade Center.

Constructing the tower next to Grand Central, including a 500-room luxury Grand Hyatt to replace the one now at the site, will cost $2.5 billion to $3 billion, Rechler estimated.

The tower is another example of how rezoning has prompted development in Midtown East after other areas of the city such as Hudson Yards and Lower Manhattan began to lure away tenants with gleaming new space. JPMorgan Chase is planning a huge tower at 270 Park Ave., and developer Harry Macklowe wants to raise a more-than-1,500-foot-tall office spire across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral. One Vanderbilt, a 1,400-foot-tall tower that SL Green is erecting on the other side of Grand Central, has already attracted several tenants.

"One Vanderbilt has helped validate the kind of office tower we want to build," Rechler said. "It's over 50% leased right now."

The plan for the Grand Hyatt site also reflects a growing willingness among developers to build without a tenant in hand because of strong demand for new office space.

NYguy Feb 13, 2019 4:17 AM

RXR joining TF Cornerstone, MSD Capital on $3B Grand Hyatt redevelopment
Company CEO Scott Rechler will step down from MTA board to avoid potential conflicts

February 12, 2019


RXR Realty will join TF Cornerstone and Michael Dell’s investment firm on the $3 billion redevelopment of Grand Central’s Grand Hyatt hotel.

Scott Rechler, RXR’s CEO, will step down from his role as a board member at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest, Crain’s reported.

...TF Cornerstone and Dell’s MSD Capital plan to redevelop the hotel at the corner of East 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue into a hotel and office building clocking it at more than 2 million square feet.

I don't know if that 2 msf is zoning area or gross square feet, but either way, it will be more than One Vanderbilt. Because it will include the new Grand Hyatt though, it would probably have about the same amount or even less office space than Vanderbilt.

JMKeynes Feb 13, 2019 4:34 AM

Only in NY! :cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers:

NYguy Feb 13, 2019 5:24 PM


Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 8469671)
question -- the old commodore hotel is still there under the 80s trump glass, is it not?

Yes it is.


Originally Posted by JMKeynes (Post 8472017)
Only in NY! :cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers:

We don't need this in every thread.

BoM Trespasser Feb 13, 2019 9:09 PM

The Graybar and the Chanin, how beautiful, and then 20 years later, shell-shocked Europeans came and slam! out with the Art-Deco, in with the International Boxes.

Busy Bee Feb 13, 2019 9:27 PM

^ That is not the history.

Zerton Feb 14, 2019 12:07 AM

Very Exciting. I didn't know the existing building was a reclad.

Does anyone know why the existing building has that huge smokestack structure? Some kind of ancient steam heating exhaust or something?

NYguy Feb 14, 2019 3:40 AM


Originally Posted by Zerton (Post 8473195)
Very Exciting. I didn't know the existing building was a reclad.

Does anyone know why the existing building has that huge smokestack structure? Some kind of ancient steam heating exhaust or something?

I wondered about that.

Some old photos of the Commodore Hotel.

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