Zeckendorfs’ 50 UN Plaza breaks ground: PHOTOS

87-unit condominium tower scheduled to rise by 2014

November 14, 2012 06:15PM

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Zeckendorf Development and Global Holdings broke ground today on an 87-unit condominium near the United Nations, inviting real estate executives and politicians to celebrate the building’s “move off the stalled construction list,” as City Councilman Dan Garodnick put it.

Known as 50 United Nations Plaza, the 44-story project at 47th Street and First Avenue was stalled for four years during the recession, but today the developers revealed new renderings from architect Foster + Partners – the architecture firm’s first U.S. residential project.

Armstrong Yakubu, a partner with Foster, called the partnership of Zeckendorf Development and Global one of his toughest clients ever — which brought laughter from the audience — but insisted it was a compliment. “They pushed us to create something unique,” he said.

Zeckendorf Development paid $160 million for the site in 2007, according to reports; the project should be completed by 2014.

William Zeckendorf, co-chairman at the company named for his family, noted that the area holds special significance for his family, as his grandfather, Trygve Lie, was the first U.N. Secretary General.

The mixed-use project, which includes 5,000 square feet of commercial space at its base, affords each residence its own parking space.

Residences will include one-bedroom apartments up to 1,100 square feet; two-bedrooms from 1,600 to 2,600 square feet; three-bedrooms from 3,000 square feet; and full-floor homes of approximately 6,000 square feet. An almost 10,000-square-foot two-floor penthouse will sit at the top of the building. Ceiling heights for all residences range from 10 feet up to 16 feet.

Zeckendorf Development and Global also pledged to donate $100,000 to community organization Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, which will assist in the beautification of the surrounding landscape, Zeckendorf told the assembled crowd.

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