72 Story Manhattan Skyscrapper Gets Greenlight After Big Investment


This article first appeared on Floating Path.

After years stuck in planning, clearing city hurdles and seeking financing, the 1,050-foot-tall building known simply as 53 W. 53rd, will soon be a reality thanks to a $1 billion financing package from Asian banks and billionaires.

Of the projected $1.3 billion price tag, $860 million will be lent from Asian banks, and an equity slice of $300 million has been sold to Singapore’s billionaire Kwee family via their company, Pontiac Land Group. In addition, equity investments are said to have been made by Houston-based developer Hines as well as Goldman Sachs. Hines and Goldman bought the 18,000 square foot lot from the Museum of Modern Art in 2007.

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The structure will include 36,000 square feet of additional space for its soon-to-be-neighbor, the Museum of Modern Art as well 145 luxury condominiums. Original plans in 2007 called for a hotel as well, but it’s unclear if those intentions remain.

The tower will include an extensive package of amenities including breathtaking New York City and Central Park views, spectacular common areas, a high-performance fitness facility including a 75-foot lap pool and full-time concierge service.

While this project, along with a slew of similar luxury residential buildings, is being heralded as another sign of New York’s (and maybe America’s) economic stability, the plan is not without its opponents.

A local community group claimed 53 W. 53rd would be “one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan on a lot barely the size of a McDonald’s franchise.” Developers seemed to have fended off most complaints with a recent plan to reduce the height to 1,050 feet from a previous 1,250.

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