Here’s a little trick that developers use to build taller towers

Locating mechanical space on lower floors allows more units higher up

New York /
Jan.January 18, 2016 09:08 AM

Developers have realized that mechanical space – once considered a necessary evil – can significantly raise the value of buildings when placed strategically.

By increasing the height of mechanical floors – which house the building’s heating, cooling, electrical, ventilation and other systems – and placing them at the bottom of the building, developers are able to build more residential units at higher elevations, which command a premium price.

Vornado Realty Trust deployed the tactic at its 950-foot-tall luxury tower at 220 Central Park South. A full six of the building’s lower floors are given over to mechanical uses, with ceiling heights between 18 to 24 feet. In total, the gambit allowed Vornado to add 100 feet to the tower, Crain’s reported.

Bauhouse Group’s Joseph Beninati, which is looking to build an 80-story condominium tower at 3 Sutton Place, told Crain’s he planned to build 24-foot mechanical floors.

“Higher floors are more valuable,” Beninati said. “It’s a bedrock rule of real estate.”

That’s double the height of most of the building’s residential floors. The trick will add 100 feet or more to the tower’s total height, Beninati estimated to Crain’s. The firm is moving ahead with construction on the project, though it’s reportedly yet to secure financing for it.

“In general, a floor premium, controlling for other factors such as view, is 0.5% to 2%,” Corcoran Sunshine’s vice president of research Ryan Schleis told Crain’s.

Back in September, The Real Deal wrote about another trick developers were employing to maximize space: buildings that widen as they rise, creating an inverted pyramid. [Crain’s] – Ariel Stulberg


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Vornado's Steve Roth and 220 Central Park South (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Free and clear: Vornado pays off debt at 220 CPS

Free and clear: Vornado pays off debt at 220 CPS
Vornado chairman and CEO Steven Roth, and 608 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)

“Negative surprises”: Vornado execs talk retail struggles on Q2 earnings call

“Negative surprises”: Vornado execs talk retail struggles on Q2 earnings call
Steven Roth, CEO of Vornado and 640 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Vornado Realty Trust)

Bank of China issues $500M to Vornado in refi of 640 Fifth Avenue

Bank of China issues $500M to Vornado in refi of 640 Fifth Avenue
From left: former Vornado CFO Joseph Macnow; ; Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David O’Reilly, former Cushman & Wakefield CFO Duncan Palmer (Photos via Vornado, Howard Hughes, Cushman & Wakefield)

Leadership shake-ups hit Vornado, Cushman & Wakefield and Howard Hughes

Leadership shake-ups hit Vornado, Cushman & Wakefield and Howard Hughes
11 Penn Plaza and Apple CEO Tim Cook (VNO; Getty)

Apple snags more space at Vornado’s 11 Penn Plaza

Apple snags more space at Vornado’s 11 Penn Plaza
From left: 555 California Street in San Francisco, Vornado CEO Steven Roth and 1290 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan (Photos via Wikipedia Commons; Getty; Trump Org)

Vornado halts sale of office towers co-owned with Trump

Vornado halts sale of office towers co-owned with Trump
Clockwise from left: Ken Griffin, Michael Cantanucci, Albert Behler, Renata de Camargo Nascimento, Daniel Och and Sting and Trudie Styler

The stars and czars who’ve bought at 220 Central Park South

The stars and czars who’ve bought at 220 Central Park South
Steven Roth and 220 Central Park South, which has effectively created its own tier of the luxury market.

The inside story of the world’s most profitable condo

The inside story of the world’s most profitable condo
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...