Jean Nouvel's long-awaited 53 West 53rd Street, also known as the Tower Verre or the MoMA Tower, may finally be ready to move ahead with construction after the project's developer Hines purchased $85.3 million worth of air rights from its neighbors MoMA and the St Thomas Episcopal Church and arranged the $860 million construction loan required for the project.
Originally proposed in 2007, the design has been plagued by problems, including significant delays due to the financial crisis and a difficult approval process which resulted in the building's height being slashed from 1,250 feet to its current planned height of 1,050 feet. However, according to a statement from Hines groundbreaking on the project is now "imminent."
"More than a decade of planning has gone into setting the stage for this architectural masterpiece," said Hines Senior Managing Director Tommy Craig in a statement. "The building’s singular elegance will be valued by future residents and treasured by New Yorkers and visitors as a new international design landmark."
When complete, the 82-story tower will hold 140 luxury apartments and 29 service apartments, as well as 39,000 square feet of gallery space which will be leased to MoMA, joining with the planned redevelopment of the American Folk Art Museum to complete MoMA's expansion.