111 West 57th Street to Soar 1,200 Feet

105 West 57th StreetPrevious design for 105 West 57th, before it grew over 500 feet - image from Cetra Ruddy

Speculation regarding what was formerly known as 107 West 57th Street has been rampant following developer JDS’s decision to purchase the neighboring Steinway Hall, in a bid to increase the project’s air rights. Now, permits have been filed with the Department of Buildings, indicating the future tower will join the supertall club, and then some – the Steinway Tower will rise 1,200 feet and be designed by SHoP, making it the firm’s tallest skyscraper to date.

The height reveal is dramatic for several reasons, and is a major change from the original iteration, which would have been just under 700 feet tall. Instead, 111 West 57th Street will be 200 feet taller than neighboring One57, which is only just verging on completion – at the proposed height and given FAR allotment, which is roughly 300,000 square feet, it is safe to say that the Steinway Tower will also be very skinny, even slimmer than the nearby 432 Park Avenue.

Per the permits, the new supertall will rise 74 stories and hold 100 dwelling units, allowing for stunning views from the upper floors. The Schedule A reveals the bottom six floors will be retail, while floors 7-16 will each hold two units, and floors 17-71 will each be full-floor, with levels 72-74 to be used for mechanical equipment, which also opens the possibility to a crown. The tower’s dimensions will require significant measures to counteract swaying.

One element of surprise is the designation of SHoP as the project’s architect, which is odd given JDS Ceo Michael Stern’s statement via The New York Times that the new 111 West 57th Street will employ a design inspired by the 1920’s and 1930’s. SHoP is not known for historically minded designs, and principal Chakrabarti has called contextualism ‘an opiate for the masses,’ so whether the new tower does fit the bill of old Gotham is a bit of a mystery.

Despite the new details, renderings are still lacking – reasonable given that Steinway must still be demolished, and the fact that competition along 57th Street is now verging on insane. Come 2020, the corridor will have four supertall buildings, presenting an unparalleled canyon of height, urbanity, and luxury. Most impressive is the organic nature of the new development, as all towers – One57, 111 West 57th, 225 West 57th, and 432 Park – are privately financed and demand driven, the defining difference between supertall construction in New York as compared to Dubai and other developing cities.

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