Central Park Tower

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Central Park Tower
CentralParkTowerFeb22.jpg
Central Park Tower under construction on February 22, 2019.
General information
StatusUnder construction.
TypeResidential, retail, office, hotel
Location225 West 57th Street
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Coordinates40°45′57″N 73°58′51″W / 40.76590°N 73.98089°W / 40.76590; -73.98089Coordinates: 40°45′57″N 73°58′51″W / 40.76590°N 73.98089°W / 40.76590; -73.98089
Construction started2014
Completed2020 (possibly)[1]
Height
Architectural1,550-foot (472 m)
Technical details
Floor count130[2] (95 habitable)[3]
Floor area1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectAdrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
DeveloperExtell Development Company
Main contractorLendlease Group

Central Park Tower (also known as the Nordstrom Tower) is a supertall mixed-use commercial/residential project being developed by the Extell Development Company and Shanghai Municipal Investment Group[4][5] in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, in the U.S. state of New York. The building will rise 1,550 feet (472 m) to the roof.[6] Upon completion, Central Park Tower will become the second-tallest skyscraper in the United States and the Western Hemisphere and the tallest by roof height of a building outside of Asia, surpassing the Willis Tower by around 95 feet.

History[edit]

Planning[edit]

The site at 225 West 57th Street was originally home to an 8-story building built in 1909 as part of Manhattan's "Automobile Row" on 57th street. Designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission attempted to protect the building and the neighboring B. F. Goodrich Company showroom at 1780 Broadway in 2009. However, after pushback by Extell and Speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn, the Preservation Commission allowed Extell to tear down the structures while protecting only the facade of 1780 Broadway.[7] Extell demolished 225 West 57th Street in 2011 and tore down 1780 Broadway at the end of 2012.[8][9]

In the summer of 2012, Nordstrom committed to opening their first store in New York City, occupying 225,000 square feet (20,900 m2) at the base of the tower. Nordstrom initially paid a $102.5 million down payment to occupy the first five floors of the building along with two basement floors.[10] Around the same time, Extell purchased the neighboring building at 223 West 58th Street for $25 million and took out a new $300 million mortgage from The Blackstone Group on the assemblage. The new mortgage allowed Extell to repay a $250 million loan from HSBC on the properties.[10]

At the end of the year, Extell revealed that Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill would design the tower and that it would rise 1,550 feet (470 m) to become the second-tallest building in New York City.[11] Adrian Smith's firm, which had been recommended by Nordstrom, beat out other notable contenders for the design including Herzog & de Meuron, SHoP Architects, Jean Nouvel, Foster and Partners, and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.[12] At the time, the building was expected to rise 1,250 feet (380 m), open in 2018, and contain a hotel on floors seven through twelve.[11]

In order to maximize views of Central Park, Extell paid $31.8 million for 6,000 square feet (560 m2) of air rights and the ability to build a cantilever roughly 290 feet (88 m) above the Art Students League of New York's building at 215 West 57th Street. The cantilever would extend 23 feet (7.0 m) from the eastern side of Extell's building and cover roughly one third of the space above the Art Students League building. Extell had already purchased 136,000 square feet (12,600 m2) of air rights from the League in 2005 for $23.1 million.[13][14] Without the cantilever, Vornado Realty Trust's under construction 220 Central Park South would have blocked the first 950 feet (290 m) of the tower.[15]

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the air rights sale and cantilever in October 2013 in a 6-1 vote.[16] At the same meeting, Extell revealed a revised design which would rise 1,423 feet (434 m) tall.[17] In February 2014, the Art Students league also approved the deal in a 1,342-227 vote among all members despite opposition from several third parties including the Municipal Art Society.[18][19] Afterwards, over 100 members of the Art Students League filed suit against Extell and the Art Students League organization itself to attempt to stop the air rights sale, but the lawsuit was dismissed in the summer of 2014.[20]

Early construction and financing difficulties[edit]

By November 2013, Extell had demolished all the previous buildings on the site and the company began excavating the building's 80 feet (24 m) deep foundations in May 2014.[21][22] A new design for the tower was leaked in July 2014 that revealed a 1,479 feet (451 m) tall tower with a spire reaching 1,775 feet (541 m), just a foot shy of One World Trade Center's pinnacle.[23] After nearly a year of excavation, the building's concrete foundation was poured in February 2015.[24]

New renderings were revealed on April 20, 2015, showing a roof height of 1,530 feet (470 m) and an architectural height of 1,775 feet (541 m) with the spire.[25] However, new permits filed several months later showed the building without a spire but increased the roof height to 1,550 feet (470 m). At the same time, the building's official name of "Central Park Tower" was unveiled and the completion date was pushed back to 2019.[26] The building's tower crane was installed in July 2015 and the structure reached street level by the end of September.[27][28] The structural steel for Nordstrom's retail base was complete by the middle of 2016.[29]

Central Park Tower under construction in October 2015

In August 2016, Extell faced the maturation of the $285 million land loan from Blackstone.[4] In June 2016, Extell announced they were seeking to raise $190 million in financing for the tower from foreign investors through the EB-5 visa program.[30] The company had previously raised $400 million by selling the retail portion to Nordstrom and an additional $300 million by issuing bonds on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.[31] Around the same time, Extell also brought in the Shanghai Municipal Investment Group as an additional equity investor for roughly $300 million.[32] With the additional cash in hand, Extell repaid $50 million of the Blackstone loan and extended the maturity on the remaining $235 million another six months to December 2016.[4]

The additional capital didn't put an end to Extell's financing struggles as the building still required a roughly $1 billion construction loan. If the loan was not secured by May 2017, SMI could force Extell to repay it's $300 million equity investment with interest. SMI was also entitled to an annual interest of 4.5% in monthly payments, as well as 30% of the development fees, and held final say over all major decisions.[32] Additionally, the interest rate on Extell's bonds on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange soared from 6% to over 16%, effectively turning them into junk bonds. Most pressingly, the refinanced Blackstone land loan was maturing in December 2016 and the interest rate would jump from 8% to 14% if Extell defaulted.[33] By December 2016, Extell still did not have the cash to repay the land loan and secured only a one-week extension from Blackstone.[34] On December 17, the day the land loan was due, Extell closed a new $235 million bridge loan with JPMorgan Chase and hedge funds Fortress Investment Group and Baupost Group in order to repay Blackstone.[35]

By March 2017, Extell disclosed that it had spent $939 million on the development of the tower since 2014 including over $300 million in 2016 alone.[36] The tower's completion date was also pushed back another year to November 2020. At the same time, the company raised another $25 million from Nordstrom, bringing the company's total commitment to $426 million. However, Nordstrom included a put option on its investment which allowed the company to force Extell to repurchase the space if the store was not delivered by December 2018. A further $168 million came from EB-5 investors and Extell hoped to raise that number to a total of $340 million, $150 million above their original goal.[36]

At the end of May, Extell received approval to begin sales at the development. The company was targeting a total $4.02 billion sellout for the project's 179 condominiums, down from a $4.4 billion target two years earlier.[37] However, the average unit price of $22.5 million was twice as much as the average sales price for a top New York City luxury apartment.[38] Additionally, Extell hoped to sell 20 of the units for more than $60 million a piece, including a $95 million penthouse.[39] An additional three duplex penthouses at the top of the tower were unpriced.

In May 2017, SMI could have exercised their put option to require Extell to repay their $300 million equity investment with interest, but instead the company extended the deadline. The new terms required Extell to secure a construction loan by the end of 2017.[40] In June 2017, Israeli bondholders became concerned that Extell would be unable to meet its bond obligations as it held only $120 million in cash and still had not closed a construction loan for Central Park Tower. The yield on the bonds jumped by 7% to 13%, below their 2016 peak of 16% but still well into junk bond territory.[41] A month later, over 40 private and institutional bondholders met to discuss whether to force early repayment on the bonds. Extell was scheduled to repay $180 million in December 2018 but investors were worried that the company could not raise the cash due to unrealistic pricing at Central Park Tower given the state of the luxury market.[42]

Following the bondholder's meeting, Extell signed a term sheet for a $900 million construction loan with JPMorgan Chase in August 2017 after negotiating with lenders for over 18 months.[43] Despite the term sheet, in August all of Extell's bonds' credit rating were downgraded by an Israeli bond rating agency after the company revealed it had just $36 million in cash on hand.[40] In response, Extell revealed that they intended to close on the loan with JPMorgan before the end of the year. However, the company also admitted that while cash on hand was enough to cover construction costs in the "short term", they would not be able to sustain construction through 2018 without a loan.[40] SMI also agreed to push back the deadline on their put option for a third time, from December 2017 to June 2018.[44]

Final financing and construction[edit]

The first glass was installed on the building in September 2017 when the building was roughly a third of the way to it's peak.[45]

At the end of 2018, Extell announced they closed on $900 million in construction financing from JPMorgan Chase and an additional $235 million preferred equity investment from a hedge fund.[46] The preferred equity carried an interest rate of 11% while the senior loan carried the unusually high rate of Libor plus 4.5%. JPMorgan required repayment of the loan by December 2021 and also stipulated that Extell must sell $500 million worth of apartments in three years by December 2020 or face default.

In March 2018, Extell announced they would be selling 17% of the equity in the tower to a group of investors for $107 million.[47] The news sparked another downgrade of Extell's bonds, the second in less than a year. The same month, the tower's sales director left to rejoin Brown Harris Stevens after less than 6 months on the job.[48] The tower reached the 1,000 feet (300 m) mark in the spring of 2018 and approximately 1,300 feet (400 m) by the end of the year.[49][50] In October 2018, Extell officially launched sales at the project.[51]

Design[edit]

The building is designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. The first seven floors of the tower will be anchored by New York City's first Nordstrom department store.[52] Floors eight to twelve will house amenity spaces for residents.[53]

Looking east along 58th Street, Sept 2018.

The building contains 179 condominiums starting on the 32nd floor, spanning on average 5,000 square feet (460 m2), with open layouts and oversized windows overlooking Central Park.[54][55] Interiors of the building's condominiums are designed by Rottet Studio.[56] Interior features include Miele and Sub-Zero appliances, custom cabinetry and white oak floors.[57] A triplex penthouse at the top of the building will span 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2) across floors 129 through 131.

There will be 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of amenities on floors eight to twelve. On the 14th floor, the building will feature the “Central Park Club” with a lounge, theater, conference room, play area and a tween lounge. A landscaped terrace designed by HMWhite will feature a 60-foot outdoor pool with pergolas and trellises, central lawn and two gardens.[58] On the 16th floor, there will be a 63-foot indoor pool, exercise room, spa, gym, basketball court and children’s playroom. There will also be a 126-person ballroom on the 100th floor with a cigar bar and private dining room.[56]

Construction issues and incidents[edit]

A lawsuit was filed by the Art Students League, against their board for selling the rights to build the tower. However, the State Supreme Court judge dismissed the case stating that there was not enough evidence to support the claims of the 200 league members.[59]

A 3,000 pound glass panel standing at the ground floor tipped over on top of a security guard at the building's construction site on May 26, 2018. The security guard was declared dead at the hospital. A construction worker at the scene had tried to rescue the security guard, and ended up fracturing his right foot.[60][61] After the incident, the New York City Department of Buildings announced that it would order a halt on all construction work at the site.[62][63]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Amy Plitt (1 June 2017). "Central Park Tower is now one step closer to launching sales". Curbed. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  2. ^ Andrew Nelson (12 September 2018). "Central Park Tower Climbs Past 1,100 Feet as Cladding and Glass Begin to Show".
  3. ^ "Central Park Tower - The Skyscraper Center". www.skyscrapercenter.com. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  4. ^ a b c Carmiel, Oshrat (15 August 2016). "Chinese Fund NYC's Tallest Residential Skyscraper—at a Price". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Central Park Tower, Tallest Residential Building In The World, Launches Sales" (Press release). Extell Development Company; Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Shanghai Municipal Investment. PR Newswire. Oct 15, 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  6. ^ "Premises: 217 WEST 57 STREET MANHATTAN". bisweb. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  7. ^ Brown, Elliot (November 10, 2009). "After Push by Extell, Landmarks Backs Down Over West 57th Street Building". New York Observer.
  8. ^ Barron, James (May 16, 2011). "Once a Bustling Automobile Row Anchor, Now Empty". New York Times.
  9. ^ Chaban, Matt (December 3, 2012). "Demolition Begins on 1780 Broadway, Final Piece of Barnett's 1,550-Foot 57th Street Tower". New York Observer.
  10. ^ a b Weiss, Lois (August 27, 2013). "Nordstrom buys land for tower in Midtown". New York Post.
  11. ^ a b Brown, Elliot (December 16, 2012). "Extell's Chief Thinking Tall For Midtown". The Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ Chaban, Matt (May 10, 2012). "Gary Barnett on How He Chooses His Designers and the 1,250-Foot Starchitect Tower Planned for Broadway and 57th". New York Observer.
  13. ^ Kaminer, Ariel (September 23, 2014). "A Tower Will Rise Next to, and Over, a Paint-Spattered Landmark". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Horsley, Carter (February 9, 2006). "Extell buys air-rights from Art Students League on West 57th Street". CityRealty.
  15. ^ "Approved: 217 West 57th Street". New York YIMBY. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  16. ^ "Extell cleared to cantilever 1,550-foot Nordstrom tower". The Real Deal. October 22, 2013.
  17. ^ Fedak, Nikolai (October 2, 2013). "Revealed: Extell's 1,423-Foot Nordstrom Tower". New York Yimby.
  18. ^ Velsey, Kim (February 13, 2014). "Art Students League Approves Extell Cantilever". New York Observer.
  19. ^ Fedak, Nikolai (October 22, 2013). "Approved: The Nordstrom Tower". New York Yimby.
  20. ^ Moses, Claire (July 25, 2014). "Judge dismisses Art Students League suit over Extell tower". The Real Deal.
  21. ^ Fedak, Nikolai (May 2, 2014). "Construction Update: 217 West 57th Street & 220 Central Park South". New York Yimby.
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  23. ^ Fedak, Nikolai (July 9, 2014). "Nordstrom Tower To Become World's Tallest Residential Building At 1,775 Feet". New York Yimby.
  24. ^ Fedak, Nikolai (February 13, 2015). "Foundation Work Continues At 217 West 57th Street And 220 Central Park South". New York Yimby.
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  28. ^ Fedak, Nikolai (September 29, 2015). "Nordstrom Tower's Core Rises Above Street Level At 217 West 57th Street". New York Yimby.
  29. ^ Fedak, Nikolai (May 23, 2016). "Construction Update: Supertall 217 West 57th Street, A.K.A. Central Park Tower". New York Yimby.
  30. ^ Clarke, Katherine (June 21, 2016). "Extell looks to raise $190M in EB-5 funds for Central Park Tower". The Real Deal.
  31. ^ Solomon, E.B. (January 6, 2016). "Extell in talks with capital partner for Central Park Tower". The Real Deal.
  32. ^ a b Clarke, Katherine; Parker, Will (August 1, 2016). "Extell looks to have brought in Chinese equity partner at Central Park Tower". The Real Deal.
  33. ^ Clarke, Katherine (October 5, 2016). "Inside Gary Barnett's game of real estate Tetris". The Real Deal.
  34. ^ Clarke, Katherine (December 13, 2016). "Extell secures one-week extension on $235M Blackstone loan". The Real Deal.
  35. ^ Clarke, Katherine (December 16, 2016). "Extell to refi $235M land loan at Central Park Tower". The Real Deal.
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  41. ^ Gourarie, Chava (June 21, 2017). ""Wait. Wait. Extell is a terrible company, but they want our properties?"". The Real Deal.
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  43. ^ Maurer, Mark (June 23, 2017). "The priciest condo project in New York history is finalizing a $900M loan". The Real Deal.
  44. ^ Gourarie, Chava (August 29, 2017). "SMI extends the deadline for financing Central Park Tower". The Real Deal.
  45. ^ Fedak, Nikolai (September 11, 2017). "217 West 57th Street, Aka Central Park Tower, Gets Its First Glass". New York Yimby.
  46. ^ Gourarie, Chava (January 1, 2018). "Barnett closes on $1B-plus financing for Central Park Tower". The Real Deal.
  47. ^ Gourarie, Chava (March 13, 2018). "Extell sells $107M in shares at its $4B Central Park Tower condo project". The Real Deal.
  48. ^ Solomon, E.B. (March 21, 2018). "Wanted: Sales director at Central Park Tower". The Real Deal.
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  50. ^ Young, Michael (December 31, 2018). "Central Park Tower Approaches 1,550-Foot Pinnacle, Nears Tallest Roof Height In New York City & The Western Hemisphere". New York Yimby.
  51. ^ Solomon, E.B. (October 15, 2018). "Sales officially launch at Central Park Tower". The Real Deal.
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  53. ^ "Nordstrom Tower to be World's Tallest Residential Building". Racked. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  54. ^ Gannon, Devin (December 7, 2017). "New renderings revealed for Extell's Central Park Tower as it hits halfway mark". 6sqft.
  55. ^ Mazzarella, Michelle (January 18, 2019). "First Look Inside the World's Highest Apartments at Central Park Tower". CityRealty.
  56. ^ a b Colman, Michelle (July 3, 2018). "Central Park Tower Reaches Supertall Status, See Never-Before-Seen Photos". CityRealty.
  57. ^ Hylton, Ondel (July 11, 2017). "Central Park Tower's Luxurious Details Uncovered; Ballrooms, Observatories, Private Pools & More". CityRealty.
  58. ^ Gannon, Devin (October 5, 2017). "REVEALED: Central Park Tower's 'Village Green' lawn and pool deck". 6sqft.
  59. ^ "Judge tosses lawsuit brought by Art Students League against giant 57th St. skyscraper". New York Daily News. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  60. ^ "Security guard dies after falling glass from Central Park Tower skyscraper strikes him". New York Daily News. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  61. ^ "One man killed, one injured by falling glass panel at midtown construction site, authorities say". am New York. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  62. ^ "City suspends construction on Midtown skyscraper after falling glass killed security guard". New York Daily News. 27 May 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  63. ^ "Stop Work Order Issued at Skyscraper Construction Site After Death". NBC New York. 27 May 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Central Park Tower at Wikimedia Commons