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chris08876 Oct 23, 2013 7:58 AM

Look at the bright side, we got a 1,424ft tower. When built, it will probably look way better than the renderings and its sheer size will still awe; even if its boxy. :)

NYguy Oct 23, 2013 12:09 PM


Originally Posted by chris08876 (Post 6312596)
Look at the bright side, we got a 1,424ft tower. When built, it will probably look way better than the renderings and its sheer size will still awe; even if its boxy. :)

Or, it could look much worse. Height isn't everything. They've got to produce something that is exciting enough to sell those units.

Super-tall spire OK'd to rise over landmark
The Landmarks Preservation Commission approves Extell Development's plan to cantilever its new residential tower over the neighboring American Fine Arts Society Building.
It will include NYC's first Nordstrom and a hotel.

By Daniel Geiger
October 23, 2013


Extell Development received approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday to cantilever a new super-tall, luxury residential tower that the company plans to build over a neighboring landmark on West 57th Street.

With the city's OK, Extell will now be able to extend the tower, 215 W. 57th St., 28 feet to the east so that it overhangs the American Fine Arts Society Building. The tower, which Extell Development has stated could rise 1,400 feet or taller, will begin cantilevering at 195 feet, which the Landmarks Commission felt was situated sufficiently above the stately, but squat, four-story American Fine Arts Society Building.

"I think it's not only an extremely important project for the city, but also important for what it doesn't do, which is that it ultimately will not have a negative impact on the landmark," said Robert Tierney, the commission's chairman. "Here we have a very narrow exposure to something that I believe will have a very negligible effect."

Gary Barnett, chief executive of Extell and one of the city's most prolific developers in recent years, said the cantilever was essential to the building's construction.

"It allows us to move the core of the building to the east," Mr. Barnett said. Moving the building's elevators, staircases and other infrastructure to the periphery of the development site was essential for Mr. Barnett's plan to have a Nordstrom department store in the new building's base, which will require open, unimpeded floors. Mr. Barnett trumpeted the economic benefits that will come as a result of the new building.

"The Nordstrom and a hotel we also plan to have here will create 1,000 permanent jobs and create more tax revenue for the city," Mr. Barnett said.

Critics, however, have lambasted the proposed tower as the latest in a string of gaudy, super-tall luxury condos that cater to the ultra-wealthy and are emblematic of a growing wealth disparity in the city.

hunser Oct 23, 2013 12:24 PM


Originally Posted by chris08876 (Post 6312596)
Look at the bright side, we got a 1,424ft tower. When built, it will probably look way better than the renderings and its sheer size will still awe; even if its boxy. :)

1,424' ain't that special anymore. We already got a couple of towers in the same height range (1&2WTC, 432 PA, 111W, HY North,...).
Given the location and future prominence of this tower, it's the design we all should be worried about (and we are).

I'll wait for some quality renderings which hopefully then will show all the little details in the design. Then I'll pass my final judgement on this tower. Still, it's really sad how far we've come: everyone hopes for at least a somehow decent design, given those horrible massing models.

ablerock Oct 23, 2013 2:23 PM

I'm not opposed to the cantilever. I often like awkward, unsettling buildings. It might be quite the stimulating and unnerving structure to look up at, what with this huge volume jutting out overhead. I quite like that dizzy feeling one gets standing at the base of supertalls, looking up. But other than that, what we've seen so far looks pretty generic and boring and I'm not feeling optimistic that's going to change once we see the whole thing revealed.

miesian Oct 23, 2013 3:37 PM

I think it's unusual that there is all this talk..not to mention public hearings (including references to cladding)......and there is no rendering. That drawing of the base--?? And those "models" scattered around that room----I made better models when I was 10 years old. Just from a PR perspective, I would say it's odd. A big project that is apparently NOT "design driven". Fascinating! :shrug:

reencharles Oct 23, 2013 4:07 PM

Disappointed. Extell from heaven to hell... I don't understand, these guys had the opportunity to do something amazing, and did the opposite. Now, I'll hope that the materials of the facade are of quality, and that the final design (when released) is not an eyesore as we are expecting. But anyway, for me, this project will stand aside and I will pay more attention to other projects in the city: 111 W 57th St, 432 Park, Hudson Yards, 220 CPS, and others.

NYguy Oct 23, 2013 6:47 PM

Could Extell's Next Megatower Set a Dangerous Precedent?

October 23, 2013
by Jeremiah Budin


Steven Roth of Vornado Realty and Extell Development's Gary Barnett recently ended their seven year feud by agreeing to a deal that ensured that both companies' new superluxury midtown towers (Vornado's 220 Central Park South, and Extell's 217 West 57th Street) would have unimpeded views of Central Park. However, in order to maximize the views, 217 West 57th Street will have to cantilever a section of its tower over the American Fine Arts Society, a four-story individual landmark occupied by the Art Students League, to whom Barnett offered $25 million (in addition to the $23.5 million he already gave them for their air rights) if they would agree to the cantilever. They went for it, as did the Landmarks Preservation Commission at a hearing yesterday afternoon. The only people that weren't happy with the deal, as is so often the case, were the preservationists. They might have had a point, though.

The cantilever would begin at around 290 feet up the tower, almost 200 feet above the roof of the American Fine Arts Society, and stretch out only 28 feet. (It's also worth noting that, as a result, the height of the building will be lowered around 100 feet, from 1,550 to somewhere in the mid 1,400s.) Extell and architect Gordon Gill argued that the effect of the cantilever would be negligible, and that the cantilever was so far above the historic building that the two would be perceived completely separately. Preservationists, however, saw things differently, and, more importantly, they saw the beginning of a disturbing trend. "HDC is troubled by the oncoming trend of cantilevering over historic buildings," said Nadezhda Williams of the Historic Districts Council, referring to another project with a cantilever, COOKFOX's 39-41 West 23rd Street, approved by the Landmarks Commission just last week.

Max Yeston, a graduate student in historic preservation and urban planning, quoted the Landmarks Commission's 1978 statement to the Supreme Court on the landmark (ha) Penn Central case, in which the court overturned a proposal to erect an office tower above Grand Central Station:

[We have] no fixed rule against making additions to designated buildings ... But to balance a 55-story office tower above a flamboyant Beaux-Arts facade seems nothing more than an aesthetic joke. Quite simply, the tower would overwhelm the Terminal by its sheer mass.

"Extell will tell you that you can hardly notice the cantilever when standing half a block away," Yeston continued. "But when you look up at the building from the sidewalk, it will clearly violate the skyplane, and it will appear that the League has been absorbed into a larger structure. There is precedent against this kind of intervention, whether it starts directly above or 194 feet above the landmark." Other preservationists pointed to the 1981 St. Bartholomew's decision, in which Landmarks denied a proposal to put an office or hotel tower on top of historic church, using cantilevers to let light in.

No Sky Zone: Residents of 57th Street Rage Against Extell’s High Rise Row, ‘Gluttonous’ Buildings

By Kim Velsey


At 6:30 a.m., West 58th Street is a hushed world, still more night than day in the predawn blue of an early fall morning. The occasional runner treads by en route to Central Park, but, for the most part, the city that never sleeps is, in fact, asleep, a slumbering population that once included Joel and Sherri Maxman. The Maxmans live at 152 West 58th Street, a nine-story co-op that would be utterly unremarkable were it not for One57, one of the tallest buildings in North America and among the most luxurious condos in the world, rising within spitting distance of its backside.

These days, the Maxmans and the rest of the building are early risers whether they like it or not, awake as soon as the hoist begins its creaking ascent up the exterior of the 1,004-foot skyscraper at 6:30 or 6:40 or 6:45 a.m., its journey punctuated by the clang of counterweights at the top. Elsewhere in the city, construction is restricted to waking hours, but One57’s developer, Extell, has exemptions that allow work to start in the early morning and continue into the evening, seven days per week.

“I’m not against development. I’m not trying to stop people from building what they’re entitled to build, but it’s a quality-of-life issue. Every morning, we get jolted out of our sleep,” Mr. Maxman said. “Why should they get variances to start at 6:30 when everyone else starts at 7?”

But even as the Maxmans are, at this point, grudgingly resigned to One57, they and a growing of number of their neighbors along the 57th Street corridor have become increasingly angry at its developer. They say that Extell has shown little regard for the people who live in the neighborhood that it’s remaking at great profit, fostering deep resentment that has burbled to the surface as the company moves to begin construction on an even taller skyscraper a block west at 217 West 57th Street. (Extell also owns another site at 16-18 West 57th.)

By the time that Community Board 5 (of which Mr. Maxman is a member) took up Extell’s request to cantilever its new skyscraper over the landmarked Art Students League, the developer had very little good will left to exhaust. The board railed against Extell, its hubris and the sudden rash of super-skinny skyscrapers that will soon line 57th Street like so many vacant-eyed models. “Safety deposit boxes in the sky,” as one woman put it. After a heated debate, they rejected the proposal to cantilever, sending a message to Extell, to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (which has the final say; the community board’s role is strictly advisory) and to the many other developers planning to make fortunes on the avenue: You need to be a good neighbor if you want to build here.

.....JDS’s tower, which has since won Landmarks approval, will pay for extensive interior renovations to the Steinway Building; the developer also backed its interior landmarking and will create a music performance space for the community in perpetuity. “It was the kind of project we could really get behind. JDS just presented their project to us with such passion. They really wanted to give back to the community,” said community board member Karen Pedrazzi, who does not say the same about Extell. “I don’t think Extell has been a good neighbor.”

While JDS Managing Partner Michael Stern has unusual facility when it comes to winning allies, the same cannot be said of Extell President and founder Gary Barnett. While he clearly saw some benefit in wooing the community—he took the somewhat unusual step of actually attending the board meeting to speak on the project’s behalf along with a sizeable claque of consultants and lawyers—he did not apologize for the most recent crane incident. Nor did he present a particularly compelling case for the tower.

“I know that there’s a big issue with the height of tall buildings being built around Central Park, but I feel like this is the wrong building to talk about this,” he began, describing the tower, which will be taller than the Empire State Building, as “really great” and “a very important building that will be the home of Nordstrom.”

The Extell and Nordstom representatives who spoke on the tower’s behalf made a point of emphasizing that Extell didn’t need the community’s approval to build the tower at all. Like almost all of the recent development along 57th Street, the project is as-of-right, meaning that it is allowed within the zoning code and does not have to go through the city’s onerous Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which requires environmental impact statements, community board review and borough president, City Planning Commission and City Council approvals.

The only reason Extell had to come before the community at all, they stressed, was because they wanted to cantilever over a landmark. Thus, the community should consider only the cantilever, which they spoke of as a boon that would bring the tower’s height down from the 1,550 feet that they filed to build with the Department of Buildings to the low 1,400s.

“If we take away the cantilever, it’s going right back up,” Mr. Barnett told The Observer in an interview the following week. “That’s why this is counterproductive. It’s not about the actual merits of the cantilever, which I think everyone agrees makes sense. It was really about frustration with tall buildings, more buildings and Extell history.”

But while Mr. Barnett may have come off as cavalier, it was true that he could build his tower, if not the cantilever, without any community approval whatsoever. He selected a site in an area where zoning does not limit height and amassed the necessary air rights to build from neighboring buildings.

A master at assembling air rights, Mr. Barnett builds almost all of his projects as-of-right. While many of the city’s other mega developers, like Related and Forest City Ratner, are known for the city commissions they seek out, trying to reap huge returns by negotiating highly favorable deals to redevelop formerly industrial areas like Hudson Yards and Atlantic Yards, Extell has largely focused on projects that take full advantage of what is already permitted by the zoning code. In other words, Mr. Barnett has sought his competitive advantage not in sweet-talking the public but in assembling sites that allow him to operate with very little community interference.

Meanwhile, on the east side, Extell has pulled back from plans to cantilever a tower over a church...

New Extell Condo Could Cantilever Over Historic UES Church

September 23, 2013
by Jessica Dailey


Extell Development submitted plans to the city that called for a mindboggling 210-foot tower that cantilevered over the historic church, wrapping around its 70-foot spire and blocking stained glass windows on the south side of the church. The LPC was so alarmed by the building that the Wall Street Journal says they are considering plans to turn the area of Park Avenue into a historic district.

Because of the backlash, Extell and the church agreed to hold off on development until at least the end of September. The cantilevered condo plans were withdrawn, and Extell is drafting a new proposal. They hired preservation experts Beyer Blinder Belle to design the new building, and in a statement, the developer said they want to "find a solution that preserves the church and is acceptable to all parties."

King DenCity Oct 23, 2013 7:28 PM

So Confuzzled?!!!

JayPro Oct 24, 2013 11:18 PM

Okay, folks...I'm gonna give this a go and see what sticks to the wall and not.

Based on the most recent approximations and such about Nordstroms overall dimensions and its placement in the skyline, we have this photoshop job:

With thanks to SSC forumer iamtheSTIG and his partial vision for 2018 (read not including Tower Verre, 425 Park and maybe 2 other 700-900 footers practically ready to go):

Hey, at least we know where it's going. If nothing else, the width of the thing is approximate enough.

Carry on.........

nomad11 Oct 24, 2013 11:32 PM

Seeing an image like that puts things into perspective...we can all nit-pick about what we've seen of the design so far, but we should remember that we're pretty lucky to witness this current supertall boom which is taking shape all over the city and will re-define the skyline. P.S. I still think the official renders of this tower will be impressive

Duck From NY Oct 25, 2013 3:22 AM

I'm sure most of you would laugh at this, but 1715 Broadway is one of my favorite 3 buildings in this shot.


Originally Posted by JayPro (Post 6314872)
Okay, folks...I'm gonna give this a go and see what sticks to the wall and not.

Based on the most recent approximations and such about Nordstroms overall dimensions and its placement in the skyline, we have this photoshop job:

With thanks to SSC forumer iamtheSTIG and his partial vision for 2018 (read not including Tower Verre, 425 Park and maybe 2 other 700-900 footers practically ready to go):

Hey, at least we know where it's going. If nothing else, the width of the thing is approximate enough.

Carry on.........

I'm shocked at how tall this and 432 Park will look.

antinimby Oct 25, 2013 10:38 AM

The photoshopped towers do not look like they are correctly scaled.

scalziand Oct 25, 2013 2:57 PM

111 looks about right, but yeah, the other towers are too skinny.

King DenCity Oct 25, 2013 4:49 PM

I think Nordstrom is a bit too tall.

NYguy Oct 25, 2013 5:03 PM

Nice mock-up. You at least get an idea of the changes coming.

Tectonic Oct 25, 2013 6:23 PM


CCs77 Oct 26, 2013 3:38 PM

I did the photoshop job posted above, Anyway, here's a newer version, with 432 thickened and Verre and 220 CPS added.
BTW, Nordstrom Tower is an optimistic version of about the originally planned 1550ft. 220 CPS is around 850-900 ft. Both are relatively free version since we don't have final designs yet.

The original picture.
Sin título por Carolyn Paterson, en Flickr

mrnyc Oct 26, 2013 4:20 PM

^ excellent work & thx for adding the others. this is very interesting to see as it really gives a perspective on what is to come.

King DenCity Oct 26, 2013 5:16 PM

^Imagine all the other possible and approved towers as well: Schvo's Tower, 50 W 57th, some we may not even know about. :)

JayPro Oct 26, 2013 6:11 PM

Much apology due you If I neglected to give you proper credit. I saw the other name on SSC and used that. I usually don't post from other sites, hence my uncertainty with the credit-giving process. TBH I wasn't sure whether to ask the poster there for permission...or is giving credit on this side enough, i.e. Courtesy XYZ?

Anyway, I discovered from RObert Walpole that there's *a lot* more to be added in this section of the skyline than I thought, including some project designations I haven't hear of till just recently (Wanda, Michael Shvo, St, John's).

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