Olympic Tower

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Olympic Tower
Olympic Tower NY by David Shankbone.JPG
General information
Location645 5th Avenue
New York City, New York
Coordinates40°45′33″N 73°58′34″W / 40.7592°N 73.9760°W / 40.7592; -73.9760Coordinates: 40°45′33″N 73°58′34″W / 40.7592°N 73.9760°W / 40.7592; -73.9760
Construction started1972
OwnerOxford Properties
ManagementOxford Properties
Roof620 ft (190 m)
Technical details
Floor count51
Floor area92,900 m2 (1,000,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectSkidmore, Owings & Merrill

The Olympic Tower is a 51-story building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, at 641 Fifth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets. Built in 1976, it is just north of St. Patrick's Cathedral on a site that was occupied by a Best & Company store built in 1947.[4] It contains 225 condominium apartments and more than 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) of office space and retail space. Upon its opening, the Olympic Tower became a prime real estate location for the glitterati of the time.


The tower was constructed by shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and his company, Victory Development, in a joint venture partnership with Arlen Realty & Development Corporation.

In May 2012, real estate investment firm Crown Acquisitions took a 49.9 percent stake in the commercial portion of the tower, as well as three neighboring properties, for $420 million.[5] In May 2015, Crown Acquisitions purchased the remaining ownership interests for $652 million. In 2015, Oxford Properties acquired a majority interest. In May 2017, the companies received a $760 million commercial mortgage-backed security interest-only loan from Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley backed by the property.[6] The loan was broken into 11 pari passu senior notes totaling $611 million and 3 junior notes totaling $149 million.[7] The banks also originated a $240 million mezzanine loan which was subsequently sold to TIAA and Mirae Asset Financial Group.[7]

Architecture and design[edit]

Olympic Tower was designed by the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, notable for designing the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center in Chicago, among many other high-rise buildings in the U.S. and elsewhere.[8] Paul Goldberger of the New York Times criticized the building's architecture as "oppressively banal".[9] The planned mixed use of the building was the first use of that zoning on Fifth Avenue: there were 21 floors of offices, 30 of condominiums, and high-end retail on the first floor.


Since 1998, the National Basketball Association has had their headquarters at the property. Currently, the organization occupies 175,000 square feet (16,300 m2) across floors 11 through 20 with a lease extending through 2035.[6][7] Richemont's North America subsidiary has also been headquartered at the property since 2001, with their current space covering 126,000 square feet (11,700 m2) on floors three through nine with a lease running through 2028.[7] Other office tenants include Michael Dell's investment firm MSD Capital which occupies roughly 44,000 square feet (4,100 m2) on floors 10 and 21. The building's valuable Fifth Avenue retail space is occupied by luxury retailers such as Richemont, H.Stern, Armani Exchange, Longchamp, Furla and Jimmy Choo Ltd.[7]

The completed building housed some of the most luxurious condos in the world at that time. Fashion designer Halston occupied the entire 21st floor, which included his showroom, workroom, and design rooms, from 1978 to 1984.[10] 1980s billionaire Adnan Khashoggi had a swimming pool installed in his two story apartment, which encompassed two floors of the tower, after the building was constructed. Other notables who lived there included choreographer, director and dancer Ron Field, who choreographed the Broadway musicals Cabaret and Applause,[11] and actress Anne Hathaway and her then partner Raffaello Follieri, later imprisoned for real-estate fraud.[12] Alessandra and Allegra Gucci, the daughters of Maurizio Gucci, owned a penthouse in the building, which they listed for sale in August 2015.[13] According to court documents, Venezuelan businessman Alejandro Betancourt López, who has been accused of profiting unfairly from deals with the government of that country, also bought a penthouse in the building.[14]


  1. ^ Olympic Tower at Emporis
  2. ^ "Olympic Tower". SkyscraperPage.
  3. ^ Olympic Tower at Structurae
  4. ^ Alpern, Andrew. New York's Fabulous Luxury Apartments: with Original Floor Plans from the Dakota, River House, Olympic Tower, and Other Great Buildings. New York: Dover Publications, 1987. ISBN 9780486253183.
  5. ^ "Crown Acquisitions Buys Stake in NYC's Olympic Tower Complex". Bloomberg. May 14, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Cunningham, Cathy (May 3, 2017). "Goldman, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley Lend $760M on Olympic Tower". Commercial Observer. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e "DBJPM 2017-C6 Prospectus". Securities and Exchange Commission. June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Alpern, Andrew. Apartments for the Affluent: a Historical Survey of Buildings in New York. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975. ISBN 9780070013728.
  9. ^ Goldberger, Paul (April 4, 1983). "Architecture: Atrium of Trump Tower Is A Pleasant Surprise". New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  10. ^ Lewis, Jeremy (2013). "Hall of Mirrors: Halston's Rise and Fall and The Link to New York's Olympic Tower". pinupmagazine.org. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  11. ^ Kelly, Kevin. "A broken 'Hearts': Director looks at what went wrong." The Boston Globe, December 24, 1978.
  12. ^ Rosenberg, Zoe. "Restrained Olympic Tower duplex penthouse returns for $16.95M". Curbed New York. September 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Candace Taylor, Fashion’s Gucci Sisters List Manhattan Penthouse for $45 Million, The Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2015
  14. ^ Weaver, Jay, and Delgado, Antonio Maria. "Giuliani met with feds to discuss Venezuelan client in Miami money-laundering case." Miami Herald. November 26, 2019.

External links[edit]