Thursday, December 8, 2011

Welcome to the stratosphere! New buildings head for the moon.

I'm not exaggerating as much as you might think.

The condo building being constructed at 157 West 57th Street (to be known, cleverly, as One57) will rise 90 stories, or 1000 feet above ground level.  For a while, at least, it will be the tallest residential building in New York.

The second tallest is the Richard Gehry rental building at 8 Spruce Street.  At a piddling-by-comparison 870 feet, its website ( claims, for the moment, to be the tallest residential building "in the Americas."

The Empire State Building is 1250 feet high.  But the Empire State Building doesn't have floor to ceiling windows that, if you press your nose to the glass so you can't see your feet, make you feel like you're floating in space.

A thousand years ago, when I was flying my little two-seater rented Piper Colt (108 horsepower), cruising altitude was 1000 feet above ground.   I’ll have to go to the 90th story of One57 to see if I feel nostalgic.  Or maybe airsick.

157 West 57th Street apartment (Artist's conception--they're not built yet)
Prices will range from nearly $7,000,000 to nearly $100,000,000 for the 95 condos which will sit above a Park Hyatt hotel. 

Here's a link:

But One57 is not the only building on its way to outer space.  

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that, “Four blocks to the east, on Park Avenue, Los Angeles-based real-estate investors CIM Group with developer Harry Macklowe are building a tower that they have said privately has the rights to top off at more than 1000 feet…..Meantime, [a] Houston-based developer…is trying to revived the stalled MoMA tower project on West 53rd Street that has been approved to build up to 1,050 feet.”

The Journal goes on to say, “But Donald Trump, whose east side residential tower could slip to fifth tallest in New York in a few years, wasn’t about to concede ground.  ‘I still have a lot of the tallest buildings in the city,’ he puffed…”

Yes, Donald, we know you have.  I have long wondered why The Donald has been allowed to work out his Freudian problems on the Manhattan skyline. 

What do you want to bet he starts building one 1100 feet high in the next year?

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