It is hard to imagine a location more sought after than 57th Street in Manhattan. Everyone knows that the intersection of 5th Avenue & 57th Street has long been the epicenter of luxury. That epicenter has now extended along 57th Street. Billionaires from around the world have taken interest in the prestigious new glass towers peppering the New York skyline and have been anonymously placing bids on the soon-to-be completed condos for upwards of $90 million. Why has this location become so popular? Well, 57th Street in New York has long been home to well-deserved international prestige: the world’s best views of Central Park, unparalleled shopping along 5th Avenue, and the proximity to the most affluent and influential people in the world.
With its 90th floor 10,920 sq. ft penthouse asking a record-breaking $115 million, One57, at Sixth Avenue, has paved the way for new opulent development across what is now known as the Billionaires’ Belt. In quick succession, one behemoth after another followed the 1005-foot leader’s suit. Now, developers intent on fashionably skinny towers have sought out every available lot to build mammoth 50-plus to 90-plus story buildings for those wealthy enough to afford their eight-digit price tags. 57th Street wasn’t always this way. Before being known as the Billionaires’ Belt, it was a busy but unassuming street, one removed from the horse-drawn carriages across from the prestigious park-side addresses. The neighborhood is now changing fast.
On the heels of creating One57, Extell’s Gary Barnett has already planned an 88-story giant for the Broadway intersection at 225 West 57th. Expected to be over 1,550 feet tall and featuring Nordstrom’s NYC flagship in its base, 225 West 57th St. will break all height records and is destined to be one of Manhattan’s icons.
57th Street has also caught the eye of renowned property moguls such as Michael Stern and Barry Sternlicht, who intend to build a 700-foot luxury apartment tower from a mere 43-foot base. Their development at 107 West 57th is but one of the so-called “skinny towers” planned for the neighborhood. Staggering, pencil-thin apartments such as One57, 250 East 57th and One Madison Park have now become the norm. Despite the narrow proportions the avenue allows, views at West 57th demand an average of $20 million dollars. Tenants at the NYC “Shard” will enjoy a whole floor, and sometimes more, to themselves. In fact there are more duplexes than simplexes in the building, with a ratio of 14 to 13.
The East side of 57th Street is also seeing its share of luxury and ultra luxury development. The recent addition of the super-tall 432 Park Avenue (by Macklowe) to one of the areas most exclusive neighborhoods (between Park and Madison, across from the Four Seasons Hotel). You just can’t have a better location for an ultra-luxury tower like 432 Park. . This gorgeous tower will be close to 1,400 feet tall with the top floor slated at $85 million and high full floors in the $60 to $70 million range.
Farther afield, at Second Avenue is a 57-story tower is in the works at 250 East 57th. While not an ultra luxury tower like some of the others, this architecturally interesting building by World Wide Group will be a great addition to Midtown East.
These new premium developments have earned this area the moniker “Manhattan’s Gold Coast.” The popularity of 57th Street is fueled, ironically, by its own popularity. Like a perpetual motion machine, hype builds on hype, until no other street can compare. The desire to own the best real estate in the world drives the world’s elite. The highest priced properties are created by the interest of billionaires. Developers know of this Möbius strip, yet there is only so much space, and so little time, to make a home on the Billionaires’ Belt.
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