America’s tallest residential building heralds “mass-market” towers

One of New York’s biggest real estate developers, Silverstein Properties, has just put forward plans for America’s tallest residential building, at 520 West 41st Street, New York.

The 106-storey, 335m-high (1,099ft) tower would include 1,400 apartments, 280 of which would be low-cost, according to Silverstein’s environmental impact statement submitted on 27 June.

There will also be space for corporate apartments, offices and retail, but a residential building exceeding 1,000 feet heralds a new era of "mass-market" towers, one observer has said, made possible by construction technology.

The scheme is now before the city’s Department of Planning for public review. If it is approved, it will be the fourth-largest building in the city.

We like the fact that it will be developed because now that space is just an empty lot.– Robert Benfatto, district manager for Manhattan’s Community Board 4

Robert Benfatto, the district manager for Manhattan’s Community Board 4, which oversees the area, told radio station AM New York that the neighbourhood was excited by the development. "We like the fact that it will be developed because now that space is just an empty lot," he said.

The building will be within the area of the Special Hudson Yards District, where normal zoning rules have been relaxed to accelerate the development of the area. The 520 West 41st Street tower will be part of a masterplan devised by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

Nikolai Fedak, a contributor to the Yimby architecture website, commented that the tower indicates that construction technology was now able to erect buildings above the 1,000ft mark at a price that allowed space to be taken up by people other than the super-rich.

"Mass-market towers that cater to all demographics are on the near horizon … the tower will have more apartments than any other building in Manhattan," said Fedak.

Construction has been pencilled in for 2017, with a completion date set for 2020.

Meanwhile, Silverstein has received permission to start construction of 3 World Trade Centre, the 352m-high tower designed by UK architect Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The signal to proceed was given by the Port Authority of New York, which voted to release $159m in insurance money that had been held back since the 9/11 attacks. Silverstein has said he will raise another $1.6bn to finish the tower.

Scott Rechler, the vice chairman of the Port Authority, said: "After months of public debate and constructive discourse, we have reached an agreement that strikes the right balance of public sector support with private sector commitment. With today’s action, the Port Authority will receive hundreds of millions of revenue, World Trade Centre will move forward and GroupM will join Conde Naste in calling the World Trade Centre home."

Silverstein said the action to free up the insurance money "permits us to immediately jumpstart vertical construction, employ 3,000 construction workers and stay on target for an early 2018 completionË®.

The Rogers building will replace the Marriott World Trade Centre, a 22-storey hotel designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in Markets