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Old Posted Feb 1, 2013, 9:48 PM
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http://therealdeal.com/issues_articl...n-57th-street/

Battling skyscrapers on 57th Street
In the wake of One57, developers are working on a slew of residential projects in Manhattan’s newest hotbed of development






February 01, 2013
By Yasmeen Qureshi

Quote:
With its birds-eye views of Central Park, Extell Development’s One57 is setting new records for residential sale prices in the city. But Extell isn’t the only developer seeking to cash in on the area’s potential. A number of new skyscrapers are springing up along 57th Street, from Durst Fetner Residential’s pyramid-shaped condo project on the far West Side to 250 East 57th Street, a 59-story residential tower at Second Avenue.

Fifty-Seventh Street is now one of the most active corridors of new residential development in the city, boasting some of the city’s tallest towers and most buzzed-about architecture. Why is the street having such a moment? Brokers and developers attribute that to a unique confluence of factors, including demographic change, zoning that allows very tall buildings and proximity to the park.

Fifty-Seventh Street, in particular, is attractive to developers because of its location in a special Midtown zoning district with no height restrictions. (Height restrictions begin at 58th Street.) That means developers can build high enough to capture the sought-after Central Park views that very wealthy buyers crave, explained Michael Stern of JDS Development Group.

When it comes to netting the highest possible prices for Manhattan condos, “it’s all about park views,” said Stern, who is in the process of developing a new condo tower at 107 West 57th Street.

So many projects are rising at once, he said, because banks are now more willing to finance new condominiums, after a four-year lull following the financial crisis. And developers like him are seizing the moment, while housing supply is low and the real estate market is picking up steam. “There’s an imbalance between supply and demand coming out of the recession,” he said.

And of course, the sky-high prices at nearby buildings like the Time Warner Center, One Beacon Court and One57 — the New York Observer last month dubbed 57th Street “the Billionaires Belt” — have not escaped developers’ notice.

“Developers are looking at the success [in the neighborhood] and saying, ‘The highest return is to build condominiums,’” said Donna Olshan, president of the brokerage Olshan Realty.

107 West 57th Street

This slender new condo tower is being developed by JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group, the team behind well-received condo conversion Walker Tower. Located on a vacant lot on 57th Street just west of Sixth Avenue, the 700-foot-tall, 52-story building will have around 30 units, Stern said, many of them duplexes. Plans call for roughly 10,000 square feet of retail on the first and second floors. Construction is slated to begin this quarter and be completed in 2014.


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