270 Park Avenue To Become Largest Purposely-Demolished Building In World History

270 Park Avenue270 Park Avenue, image by Manhattan Models/Paul Vitek

The Park Avenue corridor north of Grand Central is about to sprout yet another major new addition. 432 Park Avenue opened as the tallest residential tower in the country earlier this decade. 425 Park Avenue is currently under construction, and will soon become an 892-foot tall office building. And now, 270 Park is set for demolition and rebirth as a supertall, stretching to an eventual pinnacle 1,200 feet above street level.

270 Park Avenue, via Google Maps

270 Park Avenue, via Google Maps

In a joint announcement with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and JPMorgan Chase, YIMBY learned yesterday that the bank is planning a new building to replace its headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, between East 47th and 48th Street. The project would make history as the largest intentionally demolished building in world history.

Natalie de Blois of SOM designed the existing 707-foot tall structure at 270 Park Avenue in 1957, and it was completed in 1961. Most recently, the structure achieved Platinum-LEED certification in 2012, after the largest renovation of its type. With JPMorgan Chase’s historical penchant for choosing designs by SOM, it isn’t difficult to imagine that the firm could be behind the site’s replacement.

270 Park Avenue, via Google Satellite

270 Park Avenue, via Google Satellite

The site is expected to rise at least five hundred feet higher than the existing 700-foot tower. If it were to rise up to be exactly 1,200 feet, it would be tied with the Bank of America Tower as the eighth tallest building in New York City once complete, at least with the current skyline.

2.5 million square feet of space will be dedicated to the headquarters, expanding the employees on-site from 3,500 to 15,000, roughly six percent of their entire worldwide employment. Its most similar neighbor would be found six blocks southward, at One Vanderbilt, a rising office building set to peak at 1,401 feet.

One Vanderbilt, photo by Andrew Nelson rendering by Jose Hernandez

One Vanderbilt, photo by Andrew Nelson rendering by Jose Hernandez

The bank is the first partner to work on a major project with the City’s Innovative Midtown East Rezoning program, which passed last year. This will allow them to collaborate closely with government officials, including the NYC Council and Governor’s Office, to hasten the process.

“With a new headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, we are recommitting ourselves to New York City while also ensuring that we operate in a highly efficient and world-class environment for the 21st century,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chase. “We look forward to working constructively and collaboratively with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, the New York City Council, and other key City and State officials on this important project.”

“This is our plan for East Midtown in action. Good jobs, modern buildings and concrete improvements that will make East Midtown stronger for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who work here,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Alicia Glen, touched on the key law that allowed for this development to happen in the first place, saying, “It was barely six months ago that we secured the East Midtown rezoning into law, and building owners are already responding in a major way. This is a true win-win-win. The City of New York retains a major company and its employment base, the surrounding community sees improvements in its public spaces, and JPMorgan Chase will have a new headquarters that helps the firm compete for decades to come.”

The zoning rules were passed to allow new office space in the 78-block area around Grand Central. As YIMBY reported in January, the average office building in the neighborhood is 75 years old, and the zoning rules were becoming too restrictive for the natural replacement process to continue.

Chase announced they plan to work with their Supplier Diversity team to seek out Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) for the project.

270 Park Avenue street view, via Google Maps

270 Park Avenue street view, via Google Maps

Demolition is anticipated to begin early next year, with hopes for completion by 2022 or 2023.

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Dahlia Horizon
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17 Comments on "270 Park Avenue To Become Largest Purposely-Demolished Building In World History"

  1. Please pardon me for using your space: Its shape make me excited. (Thank you very much)

  2. Urbane Urbanist | February 22, 2018 at 9:26 am | Reply

    Never gonna happen. This is one of the more significant buildings on Park Avenue. This announcement is just a power play by JPMC to re-ignite a conversation about getting tax breaks from the city to relocate their headquarters to the far west side (where they were denied a billion dollar tax break in 2014). If they want to tear something down, they should tear down that ridiculous former Bear Sterns building. Who thought an octagonal building would make a functional office?

    • Um, maybe because you can’t build a giant box taking up an entire block? 383 Madison Avenue has tapered corners to satisfy sunshine rights, and it looks beautiful compared to the boring glass box with a giant mid-rise butt that is 270 Park Avenue. Why do you think the code was amended to allow public space like the brilliant Seagram Building and Lever House? It needs to be amended again now for TDR.

  3. we have air rights to sell

  4. Seems like a waste of resources to tear down a Platinum-LEED building

    • David in Bushwick | February 22, 2018 at 10:14 pm | Reply

      It’s ridiculous! Just six years ago they spent millions in resources to renovate the building and make it more environmentally friendly. Now they’re tearing it down.
      NYC can’t afford to keep losing more mid-century architecture for the whims of the immorally wasteful superrich.

  5. That red elevator core of 270 Park Ave was the best thing on the avenue..

  6. Bravo! I usually view nsplashy announcements of new development with great skepticism, but I absolutely applaud this news. Redeveloping a midcentury concrete-and-glass boxy highrise for an even taller 21st century steel-and-glass structure is A-OK to me. It is to be hoped that our city planners and real estate developers could train their focus on redeveloping the rest of the mostly banal buildings built after WWII and preserve most of the remaining masonry structures that frankly give midtown a great deal of character. There is no reason to tear down perfectly lovely pre-1945 buildings when there is so much from the 50s/60s/70s that could go. This is also true of NoMad and many other parts of the city. They should also prioritze redeveloping empty lots, open-air parking lots, and the last remaining one-tory “tax-payer” retail structures that dot the landscape.

  7. Not so fast. Headline in Curbed NY: “Archicritics are up in arms over the city’s plans to demolish a midcentury icon”…

  8. I will miss the plaza and public space in front at street level….

  9. Dr. P. B. Markovic | February 23, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Reply

    I worked in the Building Management when was owned and operated by Union Carbide Corporation Headquarters (UCC) in 1976 and 1977. It was the most advanced building. We were the first building in NYC to comply with Local Law 5. UCC should have got Landmark status as it was first steel structure 50 floor’s high.
    J. P. Morgan does not need to demolish tis building to get their new building. They can demolish Madison portion of the 270 Park Avenue and build new Tower on its space with connection to the existing using new code.
    Dr. P. B. Markovic

  10. Hope many people will record the demolition with their HD cameras. Would be very interesting to analyze these videos from an engineering point of view.

    • Buildings in New York City aren’t imploded. 270 Park Avenue will be brought down floor by floor in a process that’ll take several months. You can’t really implode buildings surrounded by other massive structures. 270 Park isn’t some random building in outskirts of Las Vegas and it certainly isn’t a sports stadium surrounded by yards of parking space.

  11. I am enthusiastic about this new proposal!
    The same people who want to keep the current structure would have been fighting to keep it from getting built 60 years ago.The new building will be a marvel and finally overcome the barrier 200 Park (MetLife) presents walling upper and lower Park Avenue from each other,it will see and be seen from both sides.
    The many legacy banks that have combined into what is now Morgan Chase had other buildings,some newer and/or taller than 270 Park.To finally get a skyline icon to compete with Citicorp Center and the out-of-town Bank of America tower is important.

  12. In a perfect world Chase would buy 280 Park Ave and demolish that crap box instead.

  13. Marc Leslie Kagan | March 3, 2018 at 8:58 pm | Reply

    Tear it all down who needs the Empire State Building you can build even higher and demolish the Chrysler Building you can build even taller. This total RUBBISH if the old Union Carbide Building goes no building even landmarks are TOAST. New York City is destroying itself from within like a cancer.

  14. “Chase announced they plan to work with their Supplier Diversity team to seek out Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) for the project.”

    LOL, what?

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