Among New York City supertalls expected to rise as part of the current development boom, 80 South Street has been the only major project of prominence to retain near-complete secrecy when it comes to architectural visualizations. Today, YIMBY has the exclusive reveal for the plan tentatively in the works for the site, for developer China Oceanwide Holdings, which would result in the tallest building by roof height in all of Lower Manhattan, likely approaching 1,500 feet above street level.
Exact details and specifications for the site, including its architect, have not been revealed. However, the company that created the renderings, ATCHAIN, has previously worked with major New York architects on visualizations, including Kohn Pedersen Fox, which YIMBY suspects is the firm behind these plans.
The renderings show two similar but slightly different design iterations for 80 South Street. Both feature a strikingly slender supertall that would add the most prominent punctuation mark yet to Lower Manhattan’s skyline, and while the parapet of the project would place its height substantially below that of One World Trade Center’s spire, the overall roof height looks to be about 1,500 feet above street level, which is a large notch above One WTC’s 1,368-foot rooftop.
Unfortunately, the outlook for 80 South Street has become increasingly bleak following a wave of busts affecting Chinese-backed developments in Manhattan, which occurred due to capital outflow restrictions enacted by the Communist Party of China. YIMBY recently featured a detailed analysis of 80 South Street’s history and its possible future, and while China Oceanwide’s plans have finally been revealed, the company’s financial problems mean that these renderings are unlikely to be realized unless the company that next acquires the assemblage is interested in keeping the current design configuration.
The renderings further illustrate how 80 South Street will eventually completely obstruct the northern side of One Seaport, which has also been in the news recently thanks to allegations that the structure is leaning three inches to its north and that the tilt is increasing amidst construction delays that have been worsening since late 2018.
The total scope for 80 South Street is expected to encompass an eventual 1,067,350 square feet of development, with about half of that being residential. The remainder would be commercial, likely including a substantial hotel component. While the ULURP documents suggest a height of 1,436 feet, YIMBY’s estimate of 1,500 feet for the released renderings may in fact be too low if the floor count actually matches the approximately 120 stories visible in the images.
No completion date for the site has been announced, and with China Oceanwide apparently facing financial difficulties, it seems more likely than not that this site may again switch hands to a new developer. This would be nothing new for 80 South Street, which was first imagined as Santiago Calatrava’s foray into the New York residential market before YIMBY revealed an update courtesy of Morali Architecture, prior to the site’s sale to Howard Hughes, when a design by SHoP Architects was created but only ever barely-glimpsed before the acquisition by China Oceanwide.