SHoP Architects' Super Tall Tower Approved, Sets Precedent for NYC

UPDATE: SHoP Architects' ultra-thin, 100-unit apartment tower has now won approval from the New York City Landmarks Commission. Once complete in 2016, the 1,350-foot structure will offer luxury apartments that peer down at the Empire State Building and rise just above the One World Trade Center’s roofline.

When Vishaan Chakrabarti, principal at ShoP Architects, spoke recently of building high-density cities, he meant it.

Renderings from the architecture firm show Manhattan's skyline will soon welcome its newest "super tall" building, a strikingly skinny residential tower rising 411 meters (1,350 feet) on a puny 13 meter (43 feet) wide site just two blocks south of Central Park.

SHoP Architects' Super Tall Tower Approved, Sets Precedent for NYC - More Images

© SHoP Architects

Earlier this year, prominent New York City developers, JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group (PMG), orchestrated a series of deals that establishes the 107 West 57th Street tower as a serious contender - alongside One57 and 432 Park Avenue - in "the race to the top" of Midtown Manhattan. The development duo dropped $217 million to buy the neighboring Steinway Building and a set of land leases that grants them an additional 45,000 square feet of air rights, allowing them to build an extra 200 feet higher: a safe investment in a luxury market in which penthouses are selling for $90 million.

© SHoP Architects

By scrapping the initial super tall building proposals by Cetra/Ruddy, the development team secured one of New York's hottest architectural firms, SHoP, to design an even taller proposal, surpassing the Empire State Building. According to Chakrabarti, the bronze and terracotta facade will "sparkle during the day and have a soft glow at night."

© SHoP Architects

The tower will do more than sparkle, of course. The project could easily be the site of "the first $100 million sale in New York city," says one real estate blogger. "The location is even better than [its rival], One57. The highest unit is significantly higher and the view is just as nice, if not better."

© SHoP Architects

In the meantime, those watching from street level are wondering how much longer the luxury boom will continue before completely bankrupting surrounding low- and middle-income families of affordable housing.

References: Curbed, Daily News (2), SHoP Architects, Wall Street Journal

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Cite: Jose Luis Gabriel Cruz. "SHoP Architects' Super Tall Tower Approved, Sets Precedent for NYC" 17 Oct 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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