The View from Billionaire’s Row

Image courtesy of JDS Development
111 West 57th Street, Image courtesy of JDS Development

In the last few years, a slew of new luxury highrise developments have hit the market or been slated for development, with activity concentrated primarily on West 57th Street and Columbus Circle. While these areas have long been hotbeds of luxury real estate, this new breed of luxury high-rise promises to be taller, more spacious, more luxurious and more expensive than ever before. One of these de-luxe apartments in the sky will run you, on average, about $14.5 million, which translates to $4,375 per square foot. With the recent slowdown in the luxury real estate market, many industry insiders have noted the difficulties that may lie ahead in finding buyers. The development explosion of 2012-2013 has opened wide a market that is rife with choice for the consumer, and with the glut of options in the market, potential buyers may perhaps be a bit choosier. Sure, a Central Park address can go a long way towards wooing a potential buyer, but it will be the devil in the details that will ultimately turn her/him into a new luxury homeowner.

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Photo courtesy of JDS Development Group

111 West 57th Street
Developed by JDS Development Group and constructed atop the historic Steinway Hall, this supertall residential monolith will scrape the sky at 1,438 ft. The building will feature full floor units as well as duplex condominiums with views of Central Park and the city. The building, also known as Steinway Tower, will be the most slender skyscraper in the world when it is completed in early 2018, and will contain a recital hall and stately porte-cochere. “Landmark units” or units that are located inside of Steinway Hall proper are projected to start at $1 million for a studio, while a 3 bedroom unit in the tower will run you about $13 million.

Photo courtesy of One57

This 75 story, 92 condominium supertall rises to just over 1,000 feet and is characterized by a rippling glass facade reminiscent of a waterfall. Nicknamed the “Billionaire Building”, residents will have access to personal services via the Park Hyatt’s 5 star hotel, located on bottom floors, as well as a health club and spa and private library to name just a few of the amenities. The view is also pretty good.

Rendering courtesy of DBOX

432 Park Avenue
This 144 unit skyscraper is the tallest residential tower in the western hemisphere, boasting high ceilings and unparalleled views of the city. Among the building’s offerings are a six bedroom penthouse with seven baths and a library which is in negotiations to the tune of $95 million. Erected on the site of the once historic and now demolished Drake Hotel, the design of this ultra-luxurious high-rise was inspired by a trash can.

Image courtesy of Curbed

Located adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art, this luxury high rise is most notable for its ultra-futuristic, geodesic design. Slated for completion in 2018, residents of the mixed-use complex will have unlimited free access to MOMA, a gym, golf simulator and housekeeping services. Listed prices range from upwards of $3 million for a 1,500 square foot unit facing east, to nearly $60 million for a 6,786 square foot penthouse with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths and a 360 degree view of the city.

Image courtesy of Curbed

220 Central Park South
Currently under construction, 220 Central Park South will contain 150 luxury units and is expected to have a sellout of roughly $2.84 billion. The property is being developed by Vornado and was designed by American architect Robert A.M. Stern.

Photo courtesy of Bloomberg Business

550 Madison Avenue
Formerly known as Sony Tower and originally completed in 1984, this soon-to-be-redeveloped postmodern skyscraper will house the city’s largest and most expensive penthouse at 21,504 square feet and $150 million respectively. If that’s a bit out of your budget, the iconic building will also count a $75 million, 8 bedroom condominium among its 96 units, and a luxury hotel, in case you’d just like to visit. The project is being spearheaded by Chetrit Group.

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Image courtesy of Yimby

The Central Park Tower, a.k.a The Nordstrom Tower, is yet another ultra-tall, mixed use/residential currently in development by Extell Development Company (developers of One57). The tower will stand approximately 1,550 feet and will contain a hotel, condominiums, and a Nordstrom’s department store.

With so many new super-luxurious high-rises arguably gracing the skyline and the market in an apparent rut, the situation begs the question: who will buy?  Investors will undoubtedly buy into these properties as a hedge and some will attempt to flip them when the time is right. Some have noted that luxury developments are likely to find clientele in the international business community and in fact, a good number of the units which have been sold or committed to so far, are reported to have been sold to Russian and Chinese buyers, as well as mid-western moguls.

In the end, regardless of whether these buildings are embraced by New York’s 1%, become ultra lavish crash pads for globetrotting elites and the global business community or merely function as smart investments, one thing is for sure: in a city as cosmopolitan, dense, and moneyed as New York, there will always be a market for castles in the sky. Or at the very least, developers who are willing to build them.


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