Rendering of 105-111 W. 57th St. via SHoP Architects
Some say that 57th Street is becoming New York’s Gold Coast, while others follow Michael Gross in donning it the “Billionaires’ Belt.” Either way, these aren’t merely affectionate nicknames for a specific corridor within the Midtown Special Purpose District. Instead, they’re being realized by an increasing catalogue of ever-taller luxury commercial and residential developments, and being carefully curated by renowned architectural firms and developers working with the City to bring a refreshed image to fruition.
While some full-on demolition has taken place, and will continue to in some cases, in others, only portions of buildings have been removed. In one case, this was intended to make meticulous renovations more accessible to the outside world so that interior landmarks could be easily viewed.
Buildings on 57th Street reside in one of three categories: Demolished (where a completely new building will be or has been constructed) or At Risk (meaning either all or part of a building will be demolished, but proposals haven’t yet been approved), or Landmarked/Stable. The following is a list of what’s happening, and in some cases what may happen on 57th Street.
107 W. 57th Street
Rendering via SHoP Architects
A vacant plot is located adjacent to landmarked Steinway Hall (see photos below of Steinway Hall then and now), the flagship store of Steinway & Sons. Although many of the City Register documents online were not accessible—the last record filed was in August 2013—the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) Property Profile indicated that two lots had been merged, and that no permits have been granted since that of the 2006 demolition.
Nonetheless, JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group have a joint venture to construct an already well-known narrow luxury condominium tower, which will span 105-111 W. 57th Street (top rendering). The proposed project is a slender skyscraper condominium that is expected to be 100 ft taller than the Empire State Building, and will surpass the height of its westerly luxe neighbor ONE57. Plans submitted to and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2013 were for a 1,350-foot residential building designed by SHoP Architects. Part of the plan is to make Steinway Hall an interior landmark, which will include a single-layer glass wall to make the interior visually accessible to passers-by.
Image via NYPL
107 W 57th Street prior to demolition in 2005 as Ritz Fur Shop. Image via Wired New York.
The project seems to be slow going for now, and what’s hindering progress isn’t clear. There’s a lonely construction fence with a vague information placard attached to it sans permit, which states that anticipated completion is June 2017.
What could make the process of converting the landmarked Steinway Building a smidge easier? Since June 2013, Michael Stern of JDS owns it, after additionally acquiring 45,000 sf of air rights, according to archived U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents. After all fees and taxes, Steinway realized just under $44M upon closing.
Heading west on 57th Street, you’ll encounter quite a few other landmarked buildings, which is heartening in these times. West of this proposed project are 130 W. 57th Street and 140 W. 57th Street, which were built between 1907-08 by Pollard & Steinem to provide housing and studio space for artists.