Queens Plaza Park

Queens Plaza Park, also known as Sven, is a residential building under construction at 29-27 Queens Plaza North in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York. At 755 feet (230 m) tall, Queens Plaza Park is the second-tallest building in Queens behind Skyline Tower, as well as one of the tallest buildings in New York City outside of Manhattan.

Queens Plaza Park
Queens Plaza Feb 2020 21.jpg
Seen in February 2020
General information
Location27-29 Queens Plaza North
Long Island City, NY 11101
Coordinates40°45′01″N 73°56′11″W / 40.75028°N 73.93639°W / 40.75028; -73.93639
Construction started2018
Roof755 ft (230 m)
Technical details
Floor count67
Floor area978,000 square feet (90,900 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectHandel Architects
DeveloperDurst Organization

The building was one of several that were planned on Queens Plaza following a 2001 rezoning. Queens Plaza Park was first planned as a hotel, then a condominium, and finally a 930-foot (280 m) supertall skyscraper before the plans were finalized in 2016. The structure topped out in June 2020.

The development will incorporate the Chase Manhattan Bank Building, a 14-story clock tower and office building erected in 1927 as the first skyscraper in the borough of Queens. Designed by Morrell Smith for the Manhattan Company (later Chase Bank), it was the borough's tallest office building until the Citicorp Building was finished in 1990. In 2015, the Chase Manhattan Bank Building was designated an official city landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. It was then incorporated into the design plans for Queens Plaza Park, where it was slated to serve as the building's commercial base.


Queens Plaza Park is located at 29-27 Queens Plaza North.[1][a] It occupies a trapezoidal plot bounded by 41st Avenue to the west, Queens Plaza North (also 41st Avenue) to the south, Northern Boulevard to the east, and 40th Drive to the north.[5][6] The main residential tower is 710 feet (220 m) tall.[5] When completed in 2021, the tower will be the second tallest building in Queens after Skyline Tower.[7][8][9] At Queens Plaza Park's base, there would be shops in the Chase Manhattan Bank Building, a 14-story office building and clock tower[10][5] described as "the first skyscraper in Queens".[11][12] Queens Plaza Park's residential component was originally slated to be the tallest building in Queens, though the Skyline Tower would be taller if completed first.[7][b]

The project is officially called Sven by its developer, The Durst Organization, a name that appears to have been in use since at least late 2019.[15][16][17]

Residential skyscraperEdit

The new development will consist of 958 rental apartments, 300 of which will be affordable.[5][8] Amenities will include an outdoor pool, a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) gym, a private library for residents, co-working space, a children’s playroom and a demonstration kitchen. Adjacent to the tower, a 0.5-acre (2,000 m2) public park will sit at the base of the building.[5][10] The entire facade is made of glass. The concave southern facade, facing Queens Plaza, curves inward.[15][9] The interiors of the residences will be designed by Selldorf Architects. The building's concave exterior design by Handel Architects has drawn comparisons to London's 20 Fenchurch Street.[8]

Chase Manhattan Bank BuildingEdit

Chase Manhattan Bank Building
Prior to addition of residential towers
Alternative namesBank of the Manhattan Company Building, Queens Clock Tower Building
General information
Architectural styleNeo-Gothic
Address29-27 41st Avenue
Town or cityLong Island City, Queens, New York City
Coordinates40°45′00″N 73°56′11″W / 40.75000°N 73.93639°W / 40.75000; -73.93639
Architectural207 ft (63 m)

Chase Manhattan Bank Building, also known as the Queens Clock Tower and the Bank of the Manhattan Company Building, is located at the southern end of the plot containing Queens Plaza Park.[6] It contains 11 stories of offices as well as a 3-story clock tower.[18] The building was designed by Morrell Smith, who had also designed other Manhattan Company branches,[19] and until 1990, it was the tallest commercial building in Queens.[18][20] It was designated as an official city landmark in 2015.[21] As part of Queens Plaza Park's construction, the former Chase Manhattan Bank Building will be converted into the residential development's retail base,[5] with more than 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of commercial space.[5][10]

The building contains a facade of buff brick and Indiana Limestone. It is arranged into "base, shaft and capital" sections, similar to the parts of a column.[22] The base is made of limestone and originally included a banking hall. The southern facade, facing Queens Plaza, included three vertical architectural bays that each contained windows under a relief. The entrance portico, made of masonry, was topped by a Gothic Revival entablature with a depiction of Oceanus, a Greek god that was also used as the Manhattan Company's icon, as well as a glazed transom. A metal sign with the bank's name was located above the first floor.[22] These were later replaced by a utilitarian double-height glass wall.[19] Inside was an elevator lobby, where there was access to the elevators that served the upper floors.[22] There was also a bank vault in the basement.[11]

On the upper stories, the southern facade is divided into three vertical bays, with buff brick standing out against the brown-brick facade.[19] This facade contains a 2-3-2 window arrangement, with three windows in the center bay and two windows in each of the outer bays.[22] The clock tower, described before its construction as a landmark that was easily visible from other boroughs,[23] continues above the center bay.[19][22] It contains clocks on all four faces, each with Roman numerals.[22] This made the Chase Manhattan Bank Building the second building on Queens Plaza to contain a clock tower, the first being the adjacent Brewster Building in 1911. The clocks are non-winding Telechron clocks added by the Brooklyn-based Electime Company. Above the "XII" mark on each face were neo-Gothic-style cast-stone reliefs.[24] Other features on the tower include carvings of gargoyles, as well as a "castellated turret, copper windows and granite shields".[18] Adjacent to the tower, there was formerly a rooftop sign, which faced east and advertised the Manhattan Company.[11]


Bank buildingEdit

Queens Plaza was built to accommodate the connection of the Queensboro Bridge to Queens Boulevard, which opened in 1909.[25][2] The plaza soon experienced an increase in real estate development.[26] The Queensboro Plaza station, a large two-level subway hub, opened in 1916–1917, further bringing development to the area.[27][28] Queens Plaza came to be characterized as a "a new downtown", supplanting the Hunters Point section of Long Island City in that regard.[29]: 138  From the 1920s through World War II, Queens Plaza served as the location for many factories and warehouses, some of which later became office buildings, as well as a financial hub with several banks.[25][30] The Manhattan Company was one of the banks that moved to Queens Plaza.[30] Formed in 1799,[31] it was originally based at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan (later occupied by a skyscraper at the same site).[30] The Manhattan Company's expansion into Queens started in 1910 with its purchase of a minority interest in the Bank of Long Island,[32] followed ten years later by the merger of the two companies.[33] At the time of the merger, the Manhattan Company had 13 Queens locations, including the two-story 5 Skillman Place, which later became the site of the Bank of the Manhattan Company Building.[30]

The company drew up blueprints for a new office and bank building at 29-27 Queens Plaza North, and submitted them to the Queens Bureau of Buildings in 1924.[34] These plans, announced in October 1925, called for a 14-story structure, comprising 11 stories of offices and a 3-story clock tower on top.[35][23] When the plans were announced, The New York Times said that the building would be erected on a 60-by-100-foot (18 by 30 m) lot,[22][35] while the Brooklyn Daily Eagle said the lot was 50 by 75 feet (15 by 23 m).[22][23] According to the Belcher-Hyde atlas of 1928, the lot was later expanded to 50 by 110 feet (15 by 34 m), with a one-story rear annex.[22][36] The building was constructed by Charles T. Wills, Inc.,[22] and finished at a cost of $1 million.[12][11]

When completed in May 1927, the Manhattan Company's building at 29-27 Queens Plaza North was dubbed "the first skyscraper in Queens".[11][12] Until the 1990 completion of One Court Square, 29-27 Queens Plaza North was the tallest commercial building in Queens.[18][20] However, the Realty Construction Corporation Office Building, one block north of the Manhattan Company Building, had more office floors when completed in 1928.[11][37] The Manhattan Company had bank vaults in the basement of 29-27 Queens Plaza North, and also occupied the ground and mezzanine floors within the base. At the time of completion, the Manhattan Company Building had the most office space of any building in Queens, but it was also 85% occupied; many of the tenants had not previously done business in Queens.[11][12] In a 1928 ceremony, the Queensboro Chamber of Commerce recognized the Manhattan Building as the best building in Queens.[11][38]

A rear annex, consisting of between one and two stories, was built in two sections: a 10-foot (3.0 m) portion to the north, completed in 1928, and an extension 20 feet (6.1 m) north by 15 feet (4.6 m) east, finished in either 1931 or 1933. Following the Manhattan Company's rebranding into Chase Manhattan, the original ornament was removed from the base of the structure and a glass facade was added by about the mid-1960s. The branch operated through 1984 and was sold four years later; the rooftop sign was taken down by 2004.[11] It remained abandoned from the bank's closure through 2012, when the vaults and clock tower were temporarily used for site-specific art.[39] For nine months between 2013 and 2014, the Center for Holographic Arts occupied the building.[40]

Queens Plaza Park constructionEdit

Initial plansEdit

Queens Plaza Park site (right), viewed from a subway train

As part of a 2001 rezoning, much of Long Island City was rezoned to allow high-rise residential development.[41] The site of the Chase Manhattan Bank Building was originally planned to contain a 16-story hotel, but economic downturn caused the developers to enter bankruptcy. Steve Cheung then purchased the location for $8.3 million, intending to build a 30-story condominium tower.[42] The new building was slated to be the first supertall skyscraper in New York City outside Manhattan.[43] The building would have been residential, split between rentals and condos. It would have spanned 900,000 square feet (84,000 m2) and contain 800 units.[44]

Amid rumors of development, preservationists lobbied for making the Bank of the Manhattan Company building an official landmark.[45] In 2014, property Markets Group and Hakim Organization purchased the clock tower building from Cheung for $30 million and the surrounding land for $46.3 million, adding to fears that the building might be torn down.[42][46]

In March 2015, PMG and Hakim planned for a 930-foot (280 m), 77-story tower on the block surrounding the bank building.[18][47] This height was made possible by the transfer of unused air rights from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's East Side Access tunneling project, which ran right underneath the proposed development.[18] At the time of the proposal, the land for the development was mostly owned by the city and various government agencies.[48] The MTA sold the land above the East Side Access tunnel to PMG and Hakim in March 2015.[49] Unused air rights were also taken from the Chase Manhattan Bank Building, at the southern portion of the site.[18][50] Without such air rights, the height of the new development would be capped at 38 stories,[18] since the proposed size of the building was four times greater than what was allowed under the area's height and zoning restrictions.[51][52] In May 2015, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously voted to designate the original 11-story bank building and clock tower as city landmarks.[21][53]

Revised plans and constructionEdit

In 2016, the Durst Organization purchased the site for $175 million from PMG with intentions to develop a residential tower.[54][55] Kevin Maloney and Kamran Hakim, who respectively headed PMG and Hakim Organization, stated that they did not "have the horsepower" to finish the project; according to The New York Times, Maloney had an almost-due acquisition loan on the Chase building and could not get a construction loan for the rest of the project without equity.[55] Durst retained the Queens Plaza Park name even after the purchase was completed. A downsized design was announced in April 2018, calling for a 710-foot-tall tower with 63 stories. The new residential tower would curve around the preexisting bank building at its base.[8][10][9][7]

The building's foundations were completed in December 2018. The construction of the foundations was difficult because of the need to work around the Chase Manhattan Bank Building.[5] Later the same month, the development received a $360 million construction loan from M&T Bank.[56][3] Work on the curved facade commenced in October 2019,[15] and two months later the project was reported to be over halfway completed.[14] The developers also planned to restore the four clocks on the Chase Manhattan Bank Building, a project that was expected to be completed in late 2020.[57] The residential tower topped-out during June 2020.[58]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ There are numerous possible addresses for this building.
    • The building is addressed as either 29-27 Queens Plaza North or 29-37 Queens Plaza North.[2][3]
    • This portion of Queens Plaza North is also referred to as 41st Avenue,[2] so the addresses may run from 29-27 to 29-37 41st Avenue.[2][3]
    • Due to the nature of Queens addresses, there is a hyphen between the closest cross-street (the first two numbers) and the actual address (the last two numbers).[4]
  2. ^ The Skyline Tower (previously the Court Square City View Tower[7]) was completed in October 2019.[13] Two months later, Queens Plaza Park was only half completed.[14]


  1. ^ "Queens Plaza Park". The Skyscraper Center. CTBUH. Archived from the original on February 2, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Landmarks Preservation Commission 2015, p. 2.
  3. ^ a b c Diduch, Mary (December 21, 2018). "Durst Organization lands $360M financing for Queens Plaza Park tower". The Real Deal New York. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  4. ^ Bayona, Jose (August 21, 2011). "Balderdash! Queens residents question need for dash in postal addresses". nydailynews.com. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Young, Michael (December 5, 2018). "Second Round Of Long Island City's Skyscraper Boom Gets Underway As Durst's 67-Story Queens Plaza Park Begins Rising At 27-29 Queens Plaza North". New York Yimby.
  6. ^ a b Landmarks Preservation Commission 2015, p. 13.
  7. ^ a b c d Matua, Angela (April 5, 2018). "Rendering released for 70-story tower, Queens Plaza Park, in Long Island City". QNS.com. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d Nelson, Andrew (April 5, 2018). "New Design Revealed For Durst's Queens Plaza Park Tower, Borough's Future Tallest Skyscraper". New York Yimby.
  9. ^ a b c Walker, Ameena (April 5, 2018). "Queens's tallest tower-to-be has a new look: renderings". Curbed NY. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d "New Rendering Revealed of Durst Organization's Massive Queens Plaza Park Development". LIC Post. April 5, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Landmarks Preservation Commission 2015, p. 6.
  12. ^ a b c d "MANHATTAN CO. BANK HAS HOME IN QUEENS; Skyscraper in Long Island City, First in Borough, Dedicated With Luncheon". The New York Times. May 10, 1927. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  13. ^ Ricciulli, Valeria (October 11, 2019). "Tallest skyscraper in Queens tops out at 778 feet". Curbed NY. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Queens Plaza Park, aka Sven, Passes the Halfway Mark in Long Island City". New York YIMBY. December 7, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  15. ^ a b c "Durst's Sven at Queens Plaza Park Passes Halfway Mark as Façade Work Begins, in Long Island City". New York YIMBY. September 1, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  16. ^ Curbed (June 28, 2017). "Long Island City's unstoppable development boom, mapped". Curbed NY. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  17. ^ "Sven". www.durst.org. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Chaban, Matt A. V. (March 30, 2015). "Queens Clock Tower, Once the Tallest, Helps a 77-Story Skyscraper Rise Next Door". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  19. ^ a b c d Department of City Planning 2008, p. 97.
  20. ^ a b "Bank of the Manhattan Company Building". The Skyscraper Center. CTBUH. Archived from the original on July 12, 2019. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Altamirano, Angy (May 12, 2015). "LPC votes unanimously to landmark LIC Clock Tower". QNS.com. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Landmarks Preservation Commission 2015, p. 4.
  23. ^ a b c "Long Island City To Have 14-Story Bank Structure". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 25, 1925. p. 78. Retrieved January 26, 2020 – via Brooklyn Public Library; newspapers.com  .
  24. ^ Landmarks Preservation Commission 2015, p. 5.
  25. ^ a b Vandam, Jeff (July 9, 2006). "For Joey Hot Dog, a World on the Wane". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  26. ^ "QUEENS BUILDING RECORD.; To Occupy Entire Block Front on Queensboro Bridge Plaza". The New York Times. September 10, 1911. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  27. ^ "NEW SUBWAY LINK.; First Train at Noon Today from East 42d St. to Queensboro Plaza". The New York Times. November 5, 1916. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  28. ^ "First Train Runs On Elevated Line to Astoria Section". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 1, 1917. Retrieved June 29, 2015 – via Brooklyn Public Library; newspapers.com  .
  29. ^ Seyfried, V.F. (1984). 300 Years of Long Island City: 1630–1930. Queens community series. Edgian Press. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  30. ^ a b c d Landmarks Preservation Commission 2015, p. 3.
  31. ^ Schulz, Bill (July 29, 2016). "Hamilton, Burr and the Great Waterworks Ruse". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  32. ^ "AN ALLIANCE FORMED WITH QUEENS BANK; The Bank of Manhattan Company Buys Minority Interest in the Bank of Long Island". The New York Times. March 23, 1910. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  33. ^ "LONG ISLAND BANK MERGED; Absorbed by Bank of the Manhattan Company". The New York Times. January 12, 1920. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  34. ^ Landmarks Preservation Commission 2015, p. 7.
  35. ^ a b "BANK FILES PLANS.; To Improve Bridge Plaza (Long Island City) Site". The New York Times. October 8, 1925. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  36. ^ E. Belcher Hyde Map Company (1928). Atlas of the Borough of Queens, City of New York. E. Belcher Hyde. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  37. ^ Department of City Planning 2008, p. 99.
  38. ^ "Chamber Makes Award for Borough's Best Buildings". Queensborough. Queensboro Chamber of Commerce: 20. January 1928.
  39. ^ Dailey, Jessica (November 19, 2012). "Vacant Long Island City Bank Taken Over By Site-Specific Art". Curbed NY. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  40. ^ Stebner, Beth (March 26, 2014). "Out of time: Center for Holographic Arts forced to move from historic Clock Tower of Long Island City". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  41. ^ Konrad, Walecia (July 8, 2015). "Queens Plaza, a Neighborhood Under Construction". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  42. ^ a b "REVEALED: New Renderings of PMG's Queens Plaza Park, the Future Tallest Tower Outside Manhattan". 6sqft. August 17, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  43. ^ Mashayekhi, Rey (August 18, 2015). "A look at Queens Plaza Park, soon to be the tallest NYC building outside Manhattan". The Real Deal. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  44. ^ Keil, Jennifer Gould (August 18, 2015). "Tallest tower in NYC outside of Manhattan to go up in Queens". New York Post. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  45. ^ "Locals Look to Landmark Clock Tower Building in Queens Plaza – Long Island City – New York". DNAinfo. October 27, 2014. Archived from the original on January 26, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  46. ^ Guerre, Liam La (November 24, 2014). "LIC Clock Tower and vacant site sell for $77M". QNS.com. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  47. ^ Dailey, Jessica (March 11, 2015). "New 70-Story Tower Will Bring Hundreds of Apartments to LIC". Curbed NY. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  48. ^ Amato, Rowley (March 22, 2015). "LIC Development Wants Unused MTA Air Rights and Land". Curbed NY. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  49. ^ Clarke, Katherine; Donohue, Pete (March 25, 2015). "MTA will sell $56M Long Island City property to developer eyeing new 77-story residential tower". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  50. ^ "Developers seek $56M worth of MTA air rights and land". Crain's New York Business. March 20, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  51. ^ "Proposed LIC tower 4 times bigger than it should be". Crain's New York Business. March 13, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  52. ^ Alberts, Hana R. (March 13, 2015). "Wait a Minute". Curbed NY. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  53. ^ Landmarks Preservation Commission 2015, p. 1.
  54. ^ "Durst's LIC Clock resi tower gets new look". The Real Deal New York. April 5, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  55. ^ a b Bagli, Charles V. (December 15, 2016). "Sign of a Real Estate Slowdown as Queens Clock Tower Changes Hands". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  56. ^ Grossman, Matt (December 21, 2018). "Durst Lands $360M Construction Financing for Queens Plaza Park". Commercial Observer.
  57. ^ "The Clocks on the LIC Clock Tower Set For Restoration Work Next Year". LIC Post. November 6, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  58. ^ "Sven, Queens' Second-Tallest Skyscraper, Tops Out At 29-37 41st Avenue In Long Island City". New York YIMBY. June 27, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.


External linksEdit