The Real Deal New York

Metropolitan Tower versus One57

Brokers grapple with NYC’s soon-to-be tallest residential tower obscuring Central Park views

May 01, 2012 01:00PM
By Leigh Kamping-Carder

From left: Howard Morrel, a senior vice president at Brown Harris Stevens, Leslie Hirsch, a salesperson at Brown Harris Stevens, an interior shot of Metropolitan Tower and an exterior one

One57 is shining a spotlight on West 57th Street, and some insiders anticipate Extell Development Company’s glittering tower and its oft-mentioned astronomical asking prices will only boost property values in the neighborhood. But for the Metropolitan Tower, the 25-year-old triangle-shaped condominium building across the street, the emerging 1,000-foot structure of One57 is literally getting in the way — of the building’s unobstructed Central Park views.

That’s why a group of Brown Harris Stevens brokers who handle numerous listings in the 235-unit Met Tower are scrambling to convince the brokerage community that the views at the building at 146 West 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, are still at least partly intact, they told The Real Deal.

Until now, the only building on the block that comes close to the height of the 77-story Met Tower is the 60-story Carnegie Hall Tower office skyscraper at 152 West 57th Street, but that does not block the all-important vista of Central Park.

As One57 has taken shape at No. 157, members of BHS’ Morrel Group have scheduled tours to show off the views, particularly from the relatively unaffected B-line and C-line apartments, explained Morrel Group members Howard Morrel, a senior vice president, and Leslie Hirsch, a salesperson.

Extell’s structure is visible from those apartments — such as No. 46C, a one-bedroom listed at $1.62 million — but only on the periphery, as The Real Deal learned from a visit last week.

However, for some sellers, Hirsch and Morrel have suggested holding off on listing their condos until One57 — currently a construction site with flapping orange tarps — is closer to the wavy glass façade pictured in renderings.

Additionally, for the A-line apartments, which used to have unobstructed park views, the rising concrete structure looms large. For example, the building takes up a prominent part of the landscape glimpsed from the prow-shaped master bedroom of No. 46A, on the market for $2.35 million.

For those units, Morrel and Hirsch are stressing the city views to the east and west, where New Jersey-based buildings are visible on the horizon.

Overall, asking prices for A-line units are off by about 2 percent to 3 percent, said Morrel and Hirsch, who have the only A-line listing currently on the market.

Then again, a changing view is but one of the risks of purchasing a slice of the ever evolving New York City real estate market. Indeed, the 765-foot Met Tower, developed in 1987 by Harry Macklowe, once had the distinction of being the city’s tallest residential tower – “for about two months,” Morrel quipped.

A sales representative for One57 did not return a call seeking comment.

  • Corso

    Guess old Harry Macklowe didn’t consider this when he was busy dynamiting ground for the Met Tower during Russian Tea Room lunchtimes or demolishing Madison Ave homeless hotels in the middle of the night. He was right about one thing though – the value of air space.

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