NYC’s residential skyscrapers go on a diet

Prices for development sites prompt uptick in skinny towers
May 22, 2013 05:30PM

High demand for super-luxury homes has tilted the scales, if you will, in favor of tall, skinny residential developments, the Wall Street Journal reported.

With buyers shelling out $3,000 per square foot for apartments perched in the sky, it makes financial sense for the developers to build needle-like towers. Previously, builders acquired wide sites, since constructing tall properties on small sites was expensive, the Journal said.

But the site needs to be right, especially in terms of zoning. The key is to not have height restrictions for the building, and to nab air rights from neighboring properties.

The most striking example is Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue, which is slated to be the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. This skinny, 84-story building now has a penthouse unit in contract for $95 million, as reported this week. The building as a whole has already generated almost $1 billion in contracts, and sales are slated to break the $3 billion mark.

Another example is 56 Leonard Street — a skinny 60-story tower in Tribeca. The property will house 145 top-end apartments, of which 70 percent have had contracts signed in the past 10 weeks. After just one month of pre-sales, 50 percent of the homes were in contract for a total of $450 million, The Real Deal reported.

Other willowy luxury towers include Extell Development’s One57, Larry Silverstein’s 30 Park Place near the World Trade Center site and JDS Development’s 107 West 57th Street. [WSJ]Zachary Kussin