Preservation group seeks to severely limit Extell towers near Central Park West

Preservation group's massing suggestion for site Extell Development bought for $931 million

Preservation group's massing suggestion for site Extell Development bought for $931 million

The preservation group Landmark West! in conjunction with the local Community Board 7 filed an application with the city to expand a special district to include the footprint of Extell Development’s parcel — the Disney/ABC Studios complex — which would limit the potential height of new towers to about 400 feet, down from 1,000 feet or more. This is only an application and would have to pass through many procedural and legal hurdles to become law.
Developers have chosen the southern end of Central Park for some of the tallest residential buildings in the city, including 111 West 57th Street at 1,428 feet, 432 Park Avenue at 1,396 feet, One57 at 157 West 57th Street at 1,005 feet, Central Park Tower at 225 West 57th Street at 1,550 feet and 220 Central Park South at 950 feet.

Extell bought the development site, which is nearly an entire city block, for $931 million from Silverstein Properties in March 2022. Extell has not filed Department of Buildings plans for the site and there is no public disclosure announcing how tall the buildings would be.

Extell is also developing a condominium building a block south, the 775-foot tall tower at 50 West 66th Street.

According to the Landmark West! filing 2020M0266, “The existing C4-7 zoning designation has been in place since 1961 and does not impose a maximum building height and could lead to the development of very tall towers (over 1,500 feet) in the midblock that would be out of scale with the overall neighborhood.” The application seeks to add the development site to the Special Lincoln Square District which would then impose a height restriction on the site.

The filing makes an assumption that Extell would seek to build two very tall towers, imagined in this illustration.

In this illustration, the applicants offer Extell a design option composed of a complex that has the same massing, but has much shorter buildings.

This illustration purports to show how the buildings would be viewed from Central Park. The grey building on the left is a schematic of 50 West 66th Street, which is under construction.

The neighborhood

In Lincoln Square, The majority, or 61 percent of the 19.1 million square feet of commercial built space are elevator buildings, with specialty buildings next occupying 24 percent of the space. In sales, Lincoln Square has the 8th highest sale turnover among other neighborhoods in the city with $2 billion in sales volume in the last two years. For development, Lincoln Square has near average amount of major developments among other neighborhoods and is the 22nd highest in Manhattan. It had 1.2 million square feet of commercial and multi-family construction under development in the last two years, which represents 6 percent of the neighborhood’s built space.

The block

On this tax block, PincusCo has identified the owners of five of the five commercial properties representing 998,364 square feet of the 998,364 square feet. The identified owner is Extell Development. There are no active new building construction projects on this tax block.

The owner

The PincusCo database currently indicates that Extell Development owned at least 54 commercial properties with 671 residential units in New York City with 3,251,436 square feet. The portfolio has $5.4 billion in debt, with top three lenders as Guggenheim Partners, Blackstone Group, and Prudential Credit Opportunities respectively. Within the portfolio, the bulk, or 34 percent of the 3,251,436 square feet of built space are elevator properties, with specialty properties next occupying 33 percent of the space. The bulk, or 96 percent of the built space, is in Manhattan, with Brooklyn next at 3 percent of the space.

The surrounding

Within a 400-foot radius of 147 Columbus Avenue, PincusCo identified one commercial real estate item of interests occurred over the past 24 months. It was a loan which Brodsky Organization borrowed $12 million from Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society secured by two condo units in the 54,365-square-foot, 173-unit mixed-use building (RM) on 45 West 67th Street on July 27, 2022.

Direct link to the property’s ACRIS page and link to DOB NOW portal.

Share this article