The Real Deal New York

Air rights to likely limit height of 123 West 57th project

Extell considered frontrunner for Calvary Baptist Church site in Midtown

May 19, 2015 03:19PM

123 West 57th Street

From left: Gary Barnett, massing diagram for 123 West 57th Street and 123 West 57th Street in Midtown

Plans have emerged for the redevelopment of the Calvary Baptist Church site at 123 West 57th Street indicating that limited air rights would prevent any building at the site from reaching the stratospheric heights of other skyscrapers on the block.

While Gary Barnett’s Extell Development is considered the frontrunner to acquire the site, massing diagrams produced by another identified developer formerly in contention for the property show a 59-story building standing 761 feet tall.

Extell’s advantage in acquiring the site comes from a of unused air rights left over from the developer’s One57 residential tower on West 57th Street, according to New York YIMBY. The firm reportedly has several tens of thousands of square feet in air rights leftover from the One57 development.

Additional air rights could boost any tower at 123 West 57th Street to the 1,000-foot level, though Extell would likely need to amass over 300,000 square feet of air rights. The site currently holds the Calvary Baptist Church and the 197-key Salisbury Hotel.

One57’s early plans also called for a building of similar size to the massing diagrams for the 123 West 57th Street site, New York YIMBY reports. The 75-story skyscraper stood 1,005 feet tall upon completion last year.

A Community Board 5 task force is calling for a moratorium on the development of supertall towers in the vicinity of 57th Street. [NY YIMBY] Rey Mashayekhi