I don’t consider myself particularly old. I’m in my mid-forties, and after a couple of decades of a consistently strong career in the field of luxury real estate, I think I’ve reached the point where I’m in top shape professionally (and I’d argue maybe physically as well) and get some of my best work done every day.
Still, one thing that amazes me when I look back through the prism of those two decades of working in my industry is how much the world of Manhattan luxury real estate has changed during that time – and that change actually makes me feel younger, because it rejuvenates our city!
Back when I just started out in real estate, Manhattan seemed astonishing. I saw it as the pinnacle of civilization, the triumph of architecture, technology, business and culture. But today I can say: “that was nothing – compared to what the city’s like today!” – and I get super-excited about Manhattan, like a kid. This great city, guys – over the last few years it truly blossomed. And I think it’s just the beginning of a long process. We all knew – or we though we knew – what New York City was like – but I’m beginning to think only in our time, for the first time it truly begins to reveal its enormous potential. And you thought this city couldn’t surprise you anymore!
A case to the point: Central Park Tower.
This building, currently being erected at 225 West 57th street, actually isn’t quite next to Central Park, strictly speaking. However – if you expect to see the entire Central Park from your apartment window, this 131-story tower will probably be your best bet, at least for the next few decades. From the nineteenth floor up, every apartment will have the unobstructed view of Manhattan’s most famous green rectangle. Needless to say, you’ll also be able to see that tower from any spot in Central Park.
Here’s my prediction, and please remember to give me the due credit when you pass it along: I am absolutely certain that Central Park Tower will become the new architectural symbol of Manhattan, the new icon of America, and the new inspiration for people from all over the world to want to move to the United States. We’ll see that building in a lot of movies, folks.
It took the developers (Extell Development Company in partnership with Shanghai Municipal Investment Group) twelve years for assembly – to make this project a reality these people pretty much bought out an entire city block: approximately three acres, or 120,000 square feet – which translates into over 1 million square feet of developable area, including the air rights for 142,000 square feet (purchased for $59 million) to build the cantilever over the adjacent building that belongs to Art Students League of New York.
Many highly respected real estate experts argued that the project would be impossible to pull off, and predicted utter failure for the Extell Group and its CEO Gary Barnett who spearheaded the project. But the company has succeeded in securing $900 million dollars in funding from J.P. Morgan Chase last summer, and recently added $235 million from an unnamed hedge fund. At this point, nothing will stop this project from reaching completion.
When completed, Central Park Tower will become the tallest residential building in Manhattan (and in the country), and simultaneously the second tallest building in the United States overall. The full height will be 1,550 feet – the equivalent of 150 full stories in height. It will be so tall, in fact, that its top floor will be higher than the top floor of the Freedom Tower (even though the spire rising from the roof will still allow Freedom Tower to maintain its status as the nation’s tallest building).
I should probably mention that the building was designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the team responsible for Burj Khalifa and Jeddah Tower – just a couple of buildings that happen to be the world’s tallest.
Central Park Tower is the most expensive residential building in history, $600 million more expensive than its closest rival, Robert A.M. Stern’s 220 Central Park South skyscraper. Extell has a great track record of building superb and very expensive residential skyscrapers. Their recent notable achievement in that field is, of course the now-iconic 157 West 57th Street building, also known as One57 or “Billionaire Building” (100 apartments here had been sold, and two of them for the record price of approximately $100 million each). That earlier building is “only” 900 feet in height – but it still feels gigantic. Central Park Tower will loom over it like an adult over a small child.
About 50 of the 131 floors of Central Park Tower have already been built – and the tower continues to be built ultra-fast. Go visit the place sometimes to witness with your own eyes this advent of the future architectural greatness. I promise, even today you won’t be disappointed. The construction will be completed near the end of 2019 – beginning of 2020.
By the way, when I referred to the building as “residential” I was slightly simplifying things. Yes – the main “thing” for sale in the building right how are the apartments. But Central Park Tower is also sometimes referred to as “Nordstrom Tower”, for a very good reason: the Nordstrom department store will occupy the first seven floors of the building. The engineering solution applied here was to leave the historic façade of the original building that occupies this place absolutely intact – and that’s great for creating the classical traditional look for a department store. This major department store – Manhattan’s first such store for Nordstrom – will be Nordstorm’s answer to competitors like Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Sacks Fifth Avenue.
There are only 183 apartments planned in this tall building. The apartments will be large, and they’ll be expensive. Some of the world’s most successful people will live here. This makes owning an apartment in One Central Park Tower as much a unique opportunity for highest-level social networking as it for real estate investment.
The 100th floor of the building will be fully given to a grand ballroom – the place to celebrate life.
The 14th floor will have a very roomy terrace with an open swimming pool. A second – indoor 36-feet swimming pool, an exercise room, a children playroom, a cigar lounge – these just a few of a number of amenities that will become available for tenants. It goes without saying that all the equipment within the apartments will be absolute top-of-the-line. In addition to the 183 apartments, the building also offers storage areas for sale.
Of all the 183 apartments, three currently still don’t have a definite price (the developers haven’t yet provided the Attorney General with the pricing information; there are rumors that the prices will be somewhere within $150 to $250 million per-unit ballpark). The three apartments are a unique simplex on 129th floor – 17, 545 square feet plus 1,433 of the open terrace. The other one is the 11,000 square feet duplex on the 127 floor – and a third one is another similar duplex on the 107 floor.
The current total price of all the apartments in the building is somewhat over $4 billion. The market grows – and yet we don’t know when another building of comparable magnitude will be in the works. Today, you can sign the contract, put the 15% downpayment, and own one (or more) of these terrific apartments.
This will make you a resident of the “Billionaire Row” – the nickname earned by West 57th street just over the last couple of years, for being the area of Manhattan hosting several of the new ultra-tall, ultra-luxury residential skyscrapers and the surrounding “support infrastructure” that includes some of the top cultural institutions, best restaurants and most famous landmarks in New York City, including, of course, Central Park.
Interested? Just call my number, and I’ll make it happen for you.