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, in New York City on Fifth Avenue. It is between East 51st Street and East 52nd Street. The exact address is 641 Fifth Avenue. Built in 1975, it was constructed on a site that was occupied by a Best & Company Store that was 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. Situated next to St. Patrick's Cathedral, it offers views of the cathedral's buttresses and Fifth Avenue. Upon construction, it became a prime real estate location for the glitterati of that time.


The tower was constructed by shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and his company, Victory Development, in 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 for $420 million, valuing the building at around $1 billion.[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]

On August 23, 2012, the penthouse that belonged to Aristotle Onassis was purchased by Alejandro Betancourt López, a Venezuelan businessman accused of stealing more than $ 1 billion (1USD MM) in dirty contracts with the Venezuelan government.[citation needed]

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 use of the building was a groundbreaking concept at that time because it was the first mixed use zoned for Fifth Avenue, which had 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. 80s billionaire Adnan Khashoggi had a swimming pool installed in his 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.[10] Alessandra and Allegra Gucci, the daughters of Maurizio Gucci, own a penthouse in the building; in August 2015, they listed it for sale.[11]


  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. Print.
  5. ^ "Crown Acquisitions Buys Stake in NYC's Olympic Tower Complex". Bloomberg. 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. Print.
  9. ^ Goldberger, Paul (April 4, 1983). "ARCHITECTURE: ATRIUM OF TRUMP TOWER IS A PLEASANT SURPRISE". New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  10. ^ Kelly, Kevin. "A broken 'Hearts': Director looks at what went wrong." The Boston Globe, December 24, 1978.
  11. ^ Candace Taylor, Fashion’s Gucci Sisters List Manhattan Penthouse for $45 Million, The Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2015

External links[edit]