Grand Central Terminal may soon get another supertall neighbor, this one a 1,646-foot, office-and-hotel tower slated to replace the glassy, and somewhat ominous, Grand Hyatt Hotel (trivia: this was Donald Trump's first major Manhattan development). The Commercial Observer (CO) offers us our first look at the massive project designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and developed by RXR Realty and TF Cornerstone. Like Midtown’s most recent addition, One Vanderbilt, the mega-development dubbed 175 Park Avenue is the product of air rights purchased from its neighbors, including Grand Central, and bonus floor area granted by the city in exchange for area infrastructure improvements. If built, it will be the second-tallest building in New York City after the One World Trade Center.
As the CO reports, the existing 60,000-square-foot lot is zoned for 860,000 square feet of development. The new tower planned to rise on the site will ring in at 2.2 million square feet; 2.1 million of which will be dedicated to office space, 453,000 square feet used for a 500-key hotel, and 10,000 square feet designated retail and located in both the tower and in the 42nd Street Passage, which will connect to a new 5,400-square-foot public train hall on the ground floor of 175 Park. This new sky-lit hall will also provide additional entrances and turnstiles at the street level, relieving much of the congestion that occurs on the subway mezzanine during rush hour.
Other major updates benefitting Midtown commuters will include removing large structural columns currently blocking stairway access in the subway station (these will be reconstructed outside the station), and a 2,000-square-foot underground passageway linking the LIRR tracks in the East Side Access Terminal (currently in construction below One Vanderbilt) to the lower-level Metro North platforms and the subway mezzanine.
The 83-story tower will rise above the new hall, set back to allow for 22,000 square feet of landscaped public space around the building and a clear path to the Park Avenue viaduct.
The form itself takes a cue from its much shorter, slimmer neighbor, the Chrysler Building (1,046 feet), located just across the street, following similar setbacks and a streamlined but elegant interpretation of the icon's metalwork with steel columns encased in smooth and striated metal running up and down the tower.
In describing the design gesture, principal architect T.J. Gottesdiener of SOM defined the tower's gathered columns and truncated lattice crown as the “heroic expression that the building will be known for.”
175 Park Avenue will require the approval of both the city and the state and is expected to begin the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) this spring. RXR and TF Cornerstone hope to commence demolition of the Hyatt in 2022, a process estimated to take 18 months. Construction on the new tower would wrap by 2030.
- Midtown (Urbanize NYC)