50 West 66th Street Remains Stalled on Manhattan’s Upper West Side

Rendering of 50 West 66th Street - SnøhettaRendering of 50 West 66th Street by Snøhetta

Work remains stalled on 50 West 66th Street, a 69-story residential tower that is slated to become the tallest skyscraper on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Last summer, it appeared that progress would resume on the 775-foot-tall Snøhetta-designed project after a joint venture was formed between Extell Development Company and global investment entity Tennor Holding B.V. to complete construction. However, later in the year, Landmark West filed its “Article 78” petition against the developers regarding the height and zoning of the edifice. The case was set to head to the New York State Supreme Court after the Board of Standards voted 2-2 on the appeal, but no further information is available. If realized, the tower would surpass the height of the nearby 200 Amsterdam Avenue, which NIMBYs also sought and failed to curtail.

Recent photos reveal no changes since last summer at the site, which is bound by Central Park West to the east, Amsterdam Avenue to the west, West 65th Street to the south, and West 66th Street to the north. Progress remains at street level with construction machinery neatly organized and awaiting activity. The construction crane hovers over the sidewalks of West 66th Street, while metal fences and construction boards cover the northern and southern perimeter of the property. The supertalls of Billionaires’ Row, including Extell’s One57 and the 1,550-foot-tall Central Park Tower are visible between the temporary void in the streetscape.

50 West 66th Street. Photo by Michael Young

50 West 66th Street. Photo by Michael Young

50 West 66th Street. Photo by Michael Young

The construction crane of 50 West 66th Street. Photo by Michael Young

Behind 50 West 66th Street’s façade of glass, limestone, and bronze cladding is an anticipated collection of 127 condominiums as well as a host of recreational amenities including an indoor swimming pool, a full basketball court, a squash court, and a bowling alley. Additional amenities located on the 20th floor include a manicured lounge, a business center, a landscaped terrace with fire pits, and a spa. From afar, 50 West 66th Street would further extend the skyline to the north beyond the glass and steel skyscrapers that rise around Columbus Circle.  We can see the southern corner of the tower housing terraces facing Central Park.

50 West 66th Street rising north of 15 Central Park West and Columbus Circle. Rendering by Binyan Studios

The most architecturally interesting element of the design is the setback above the multi-story podium, featuring chamfered corners, sloped edges with glass railings, landscaped garden beds and trees at varying elevations, and floor-to-ceiling glass enclosing the indoor amenity spaces.

50 West 66th Street. Rendering by Snohetta.

A March 2022 completion date is still posted on the construction board, though that target date will certainly be pushed back.

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19 Comments on "50 West 66th Street Remains Stalled on Manhattan’s Upper West Side"

  1. When the story of this stalled project was first reported here almost two years ago in 2019, I posted that no one should expect this project…and many others…to be completed anytime soon because of, even at that time, NYC’s declining revenues and quality of life, among other reasons.

    That post of mine was deleted.

    Now that things have gotten extremely worse due to the lack of political leadership and political manipulation malfeasance in NYC and NYS, and the recent push by “mayoral hopefuls” to buy up defunct hotels and empty office buildings (of which there will be a glut) for “affordable housing” and “housing for the homeless,” any developer must now use caution before committing tons of money to stalled, or proposed, projects in NYC.

    Elections matter.

    • Alright Archie. What is your post gonna be in a few months when its announced construction has restarted?

      • They said it would “restart in a few months” in 2019…..nothing’s improved since then.

        • David in Bushwick | March 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm | Reply

          You seem to think the number of people wealthy enough to live in places like this is unlimited. The simple fact is the market is overbuilt and long before the pandemic destroyed our nation’s economy.
          Social Darwinism by so-called conservatives made it all much worse. Just look at how much better other nations handled it. Elections matter.

  2. This building needs to rise. It is a beautiful design. Snøhetta designs are fantastic. Cue the comments about how something smaller and more affordable should rise there instead. Dream on in that neighborhood.

  3. Beautiful design. I hope it happens.

  4. The superficial comparison to 200 Amsterdam’s delays and litigation is beneath the standards of an outlet devoted to the industry.

    200 Amsterdam had a height possibility because of it’s lot size, which was unique (all the odd snips of property on the ‘superblock’ were gerrymandered into it because it was off the tax rolls as a house of worship. That’s what made the lot desirable to an ambitious developer).

    This buildings seeks its height based on the “discovery” of a “loophole” that speaks of height in terms of floors, not feet. So 3 floors will each have 50 foot ceilings? Really?
    How offensive.

    • Cheesemaster200 | March 15, 2021 at 12:03 pm | Reply

      Why do people hate tall buildings in Manhattan? I never quite understood this sentiment. The proposed building in this article is also on 66th Street; six blocks from the Time Warner Center which will still dwarf it. It is not like this thing is on 95th street among walkups.

      • Totally agree. This is a bunch of wealthy elites looking to protect their views, increase the value of the aging apartments they own, and keep the neighborhood exclusive to bluebloods.

        Such a beautiful building, I really hope the elite NIMBY’s lose.

  5. It’s not hate for tall buildings, in the case of this particular building, it’s the loss of sunlight in Central Park. Have you seen the shadow studies of what it will do to the Sheep Meadow? Further this building is in the Lincoln Sq Special District and violates the intent of the zoning code as well as exploits loopholes that are so egregious, the fire dept has expressed concerns.

    • Why are so many people SO upset about shadows? This skyscraper will be quite a few streets away from Central Park. Additionally, I’ve been to Central Park before, and the Billionaire’s Row skyscrapers really don’t make much of a shadow. And even if they do for you, then at least you have shade in the summer! Please, just stop.

      • Chicken Little | March 15, 2021 at 8:21 pm | Reply

        And what about clouds!? They cast shadows too.

      • Thousands of people gather in Sheep’s Meadow to enjoy the park on sunny days, this building will ruin that experience. This building is a half block from the park – not “quite a few”. The sanctity of the park is infinitely more important than this nouveau-Richie eyesore. There are lots beautiful old buildings along the park, tall anonymous buildings like this are garish and out of place. Midtown and downtown? Fine, there are already plenty of boring glass toilets but don’t sully the character of historic neighborhoods uptown and literally block the sun in the park.

  6. Why spend anymore money, luxury condo prices are down
    20% and rentals offer two months free rent . DeBlasio wants more taxes on luxury.

  7. Do you realize this building is 775 ft tall and ONLY 127 apartments??

    Also, per YIMBY, “The most architectecturally interesting element of the design is the setback above the multi-story podium…” Huh? Noone will see it! It’s too far above ground! You’re right YIMBY…the rest of the architectural design doesn’t warrant any mention bc it’s NOT worthy—it’s ho-hum—-just another glass & steel tall building.

  8. Aw man! This building could be so beautiful, yet the NIMBYs still continue to critisize every single skyscraper and think they can just take down all of them! Come on, this is Manhattan. It’s the City That Never Sleeps, and if you don’t like new skyscraper projects here then MOVE OUT. ☺

  9. Given past city approvals and issuance of a valid building permit and initial commencement of work, it would be encouraging to see this building proceed as planned. The unique and bold design of the building will enhance the area, not detract from it. A large abandoned hole in the ground with a few concrete slabs and protruding re-bar will be an eyesore potentially for years to come at this point.

    Where the current article says “The case was set to head to the New York State Supreme Court after the Board of Standards voted 2-2 on the appeal, but no further information is available” What is the meaning of the work “was set”? Is the case on appeal now no longer on the docket?

  10. People hate tall buildings in Manhattan because we are losing all our light.
    If you live here you would understand that. I am all for beauiful designs, but they don’t need to be this tall. The height only provides more money for the developers and great views for the few people on the top floors.

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