Billionaires' Row (Manhattan)

Billionaires' Row is the name given to a group of ultra-luxury residential skyscrapers and the area surrounding them[1] around the southern end of Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. Several of these buildings are in the supertall category, taller than 1,000 feet (300 m), and are among the tallest buildings in the world. Since most of these pencil towers are on 57th Street, the term can refer to this street, too.

Billionaires' Row
Part of Billionaire's Row and Central Park (background)
Part of Billionaire's Row and Central Park (background)
Coordinates: 40°45′52″N 73°58′38″W / 40.7644°N 73.9772°W / 40.7644; -73.9772
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CityNew York City

Context edit

The area is notable for containing some of the most expensive residences in the world. The top two floors of One57 sold to Michael Dell for $100.47 million in 2015, setting a record for the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York.[2][3] Another bi-level apartment in the building was bought by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman for $91.5 million.[4] The top penthouse at 432 Park Avenue went to Saudi retail magnate Fawaz Al Hokair for $87.7 million, and hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin is said to have bought four floors at 220 Central Park South for $238 million, breaking One57's record for the most expensive home sold in New York City and setting a new record for the most expensive home sold in the United States.[5][6] Also at 220 CPS, several units were combined into a four-story mansion costing $250 million.[7] These projects have generated controversy concerning the economic conditions[8][9] and zoning policies[10] that have encouraged these buildings, as well as the impact these towers will have on the surrounding neighborhoods and the shadows they will cast on Central Park.[11] As of August 2021, an estimated 44% of units in seven buildings considered to be part of Billionaires' Row still hadn't been sold.[12]

One of the factors underlying the boom is foreign investment, often in the form of capital flight. Some of these buyers have poured money into high-end New York real estate for the purpose of tax avoidance, money laundering or wealth transfer to jurisdictions where it is less easily forfeited.[13] Many of the apartments are only sporadically occupied, functioning as pied-à-terres or real-estate based safe deposit boxes for valuables.[13]

The ultra-luxury building boom in the area predates the term "Billionaire's Row". Deutsche Bank Center, built in 2003, is at the southwest corner of Central Park. A majority of its tenants bought their condos anonymously (through shell companies and trusts); at least 17 of these have been identified as billionaires.[13] 15 Central Park West (CPW), two blocks north, contains units that have been purchased by billionaires Sara Blakely, Lloyd Blankfein, Omid Kordestani, Daniel Loeb, Daniel Och, Eyal Ofer, Pan Shiyi, Sandy Weill, Jerry Yang and Zhang Xin.[14][15][16][17] Prior to the sale of the $100 million penthouse at One57, the record for an apartment in New York was $88 million paid by Dmitry Rybolovlev for a penthouse at 15 CPW.[18]

In 2016, the United States Treasury Department announced it would start identifying and tracking the purchase of multi-million-dollar units, especially those paid for in cash or via shell companies, to cut down on the practice of money laundering.[19] New laws in China restricting capital outflow have also been implemented, and lower oil prices have affected potential Middle Eastern buyers. Uncertainty over Brexit has also played a role.[20][21] This has weakened the market for the highest-end units, with some declaring that the "Eight Digit Boom" on Billionaire's Row has ended.[22] In the face of this soft market, at least one project in the area (1 Park Lane) has been put on hold.[23]

Buildings edit

The first supertall building to be built in the area was One57, a 1,004-foot (306 m) apartment building between Sixth and Seventh Avenues that was completed in 2014.[24] By then, several other even-taller skyscrapers were proposed or under construction along the stretch of 57th Street roughly corresponding to the southern edge of Central Park.[25] Due to the often record-breaking prices[26][27] that have been set for the apartments in these buildings, the press dubbed this section of 57th Street "Billionaires' Row".[28][29][30] The term has since been extended to other supertall luxury buildings facing southern Central Park not strictly on 57th Street.[31]

Projects (planned, underway or complete) that have been listed as part of Billionaires' Row include:[32][33][34]

Building name (street address) Developer Architect Construction started Completed date Architectural height Image
One57 (157 West 57th Street) Extell Development Company Christian de Portzamparc April 2009 2014 1,005 feet (306 m)
432 Park Avenue CIM Group and Harry B. Macklowe Rafael Viñoly September 2011 December 23, 2015 1,397 feet (426 m)
252 East 57th Street World Wide Group and Rose Associates, Inc. Roger Duffy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 2013 2016 712 feet (217 m)
111 West 57th Street JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group SHoP Architects 2014/15 2021 1,438 feet (438 m)
Central Park Tower (225 West 57th Street) Extell Development Company and Shanghai Municipal Investment Group Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture 2014 2021 1,550 feet (470 m)
220 Central Park South Vornado Realty Trust Robert A.M. Stern Architects 2015 2019 952 feet (290 m)
53W53 (53 West 53rd Street) Pontiac Land Group and Hines Jean Nouvel 2014 2019 1,050 feet (320 m)
520 Park Avenue Zeckendorf Development Robert A.M. Stern Architects 2015 2018 781 feet (238 m)

Bibliography edit

  • Katherine Clarke (June 13, 2023). Billionaires’ Row: Tycoons, High Rollers, and the Epic Race to Build the World's Most Exclusive Skyscrapers. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-593-24006-9. OL 40128264M. Wikidata Q119945545.

References edit

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  2. ^ Singh-Kurtz, Sangeeta. "We finally know who overpaid for the $100-million apartment in NYC". Quartz. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  3. ^ Clarke, Katherine. "$100M condo sale breaks city record". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  4. ^ Solomont, E. B. (December 23, 2015). "The 10 biggest residential sales of 2015". The Real Deal. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  5. ^ Brenzel, Kathryn (September 15, 2016). "Saudi billionaire closes on NYC's highest pad for $88M". The Real Deal. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
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  7. ^ Solomont, E. B. (May 5, 2016). "220 CPS officially has a $250M mansion in the sky: Photos". The Real Deal. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  8. ^ Rosenberg, Zoe (March 18, 2015). "New York's Megatower Boom Reduced To Mere 'Vertical Money'". Curbed. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
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  11. ^ Adler, Margot (April 23, 2014). "New Yorkers Protest Long Shadows Cast By New Skyscrapers". NPR. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  12. ^ "Nearly half of Billionaires' Row remains unsold". Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  13. ^ a b c Story, Louise; Saul, Stephanie (February 8, 2015). "Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to Elite New York Real Estate". The New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  14. ^ Carlyle, Erin (September 24, 2014). "Manhattan's New Most Expensive Listing: A $130 Million Park Avenue Penthouse". Forbes. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
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  27. ^ Samtani, Hiten; Hofmann, Tess (May 28, 2015). "Saudi billionaire said to be buyer of $95M penthouse at 432 Park". The Real Deal. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
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