New York’s residential towers: An edifice complex?

June 09, 2013 10:00AM

Two residential towers will soon rise above the Empire State Building (not counting the spire), as the modern-day skyscraper war locks in on condos, the New York Times reported.

Like the Depression-era battle between the Empire State and Chrysler buildings for supremacy, today’s developers are so eager to leave their mark on the city that they refused to let the recent economic crash stop them from constructing 1,000-foot towers.

Ego plays a role. The title of New York’s tallest residential tower was held until recently by none other than Donald Trump, whose Trump World Tower, at 861 feet high, held the record from 2001 until 2011. That First Avenue structure was displaced by 8 Spruce Street, the 870-foot tower at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Now, no less than six towers will best that height. And in 2015, a name that recalls the boom and bust of New York’s real estate market will lay claim to the tallest residential tower in the western hemisphere. Harry Macklowe is developing 432 Park Avenue, a 1,396-feet, 96-story condominium. Macklowe famously spent $7 billion on seven towers at the market’s height in 2007, and lost them all.

Macklowe’s record might not stand long. Gary Barnett’s 227 West 57th has the air rights to rise 1,550 feet. Barnett had been poised to claim the western hemisphere title with One57, the 90-story, 1,004-foot-tall tower going up at 157 West 57th Street, before Macklowe’s 432 Park came along. [NYT] TRD