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8 Major Projects Set To Redefine NYC's Skyline This Year

The past decade saw enormous development in New York City, with a flood of new buildings hitting the city’s supply.

A slew of new luxury condominiums have been built, slick new offices have come online and developers have pushed deeper into previously uncharted neighborhoods in search of yield. This next decade of construction in the city could look very different, with a potential downturn, rising costs and ongoing affordability issues all dominating the market.

Still, the 2020s are kicking off with a remarkable set of projects, with the world’s tallest residential building, new affordable housing developments and new lab spaces among them. Here is a look at eight developments opening up in NYC this year:

One Vanderbilt

Rendering of the One Vanderbilt skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan.

Type: Office
Location: Midtown East
SL Green, Hines

Under budget and three months ahead of schedule, SL Green’s $3.3B Midtown East office tower is expected to officially open its doors this August.

The supertall topped out at 1,400 feet last year, and is so far 65% leased. Greenberg Traurig took 133K SF in 2018 and The Carlyle Group has signed up for a total 128K SF. Meanwhile, TD Bank has 200K SF and law firm McDermott Will & Emery is leasing 106K SF in the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed tower.

The building will also feature a 11K SF restaurant from Daniel Boulud, opening this year, and an observation deck higher than 1,000 feet called “The Summit” — though that piece isn't due to open until 2021. Office asking rents in the building are reportedly between $125 and $300 per SF, with nine to 12 months of free rent. The building signed the highest per-SF lease in the city last year, according to JLL, at $185 per SF.

It has taken six years to get to this point — and the 1.7M SF building ushers in a whole new era for the area, which has notoriously elderly office stock. Vanderbilt Avenue between East 42nd and 43rd streets will now become a pedestrian plaza, which SL Green was required to bankroll as part of a 2014 deal with the city that gave the developer increased density for the building.

Hines and the National Pension Fund of South Korea both have equity stakes in the project, and as of last spring, SL Green was shopping a 15% stake to joint venture partners.

The Artisan at Essex Crossing

The Artisan

Type: Mixed-use
Location: Lower East Side
Developer: Delancey Street Associates

Essex Crossing, a massive, mixed-use development that will ultimately feature more than 1,000 new residences and 350K SF office space, is continuing to take shape this year.

Last month, the 92-unit affordable senior housing building 140 Essex opened. Next up is the Artisan at 180 Broome St., slated for June. The Handel Architects-designed building has 263 apartments, some of which are set aside for affordable housing. The lottery for those apartments, which include $562-per-month studios and $3,770 three-bedrooms, started this week. Leasing for the market-rate units will kick off in May.

As well as the rentals, the 25-story building has 175K SF of Class-A office space and ground-floor retail. It also features Market Line, the largest food hall in the city, at its base.

Delancey Street Associates, which is a joint venture of L+M Development Partners, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Taconic Investment Partners, BFC Partner and the Prusik Group, scored $200M of construction financing in 2018 for the building.

Essex Crossing is set to be totally complete by 2024 and will feature about 1.9M SF of development, including nine buildings, a public park, a Trader Joe's and the International Center of Photography.

The Edge

The Edge will be the highest outdoor deck in the Western Hemisphere

Type: Observation Deck
Location: Hudson Yards
Developer: Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group

2019 was a year of major milestones for the Hudson Yards megaproject. The brand-new neighborhood officially opened to the public with great fanfare, and Facebook’s massive lease there brought the office portion to 91% leased.

Now, anticipation is building around the Edge, the observatory atop 30 Hudson Yards that opens next month.

At 1,100 feet high, it will be the highest outdoor deck in the Western Hemisphere. The Edge extends 80 feet from the 100th floor of the building and is surrounded by glass walls for maximum Instagramability. It is said to weigh 765,000 pounds and is anchored to the sides of the building. Also set to open alongside the Edge is Peak, an eatery on the 101st floor. That space will feature a 110-seat dining room and a 45-seat bar.

Two Blue Slip at Greenpoint Landing

The pool deck at Two Blue Slip

Type: Rental apartments
Location: Greenpoint
Developer: Brookfield and Park Tower Group

Next month, the first residents of Two Blue Slip, the 421-unit rental at Greenpoint Landing in Brooklyn, will be moving into the building. Next door to One Blue Slip, which opened in 2018,  the 30-story rental building has a private pool, a two-story fitness center and a landscaped outdoor deck.

Park Tower Group, the master developer of the 22-acre Greenpoint Landing site, and Brookfield scored $217M in financing for the building last year from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Scotiabank, TD Bank and Intesa Sanpaolo. 

Once finished, Greenpoint Landing will have retail space, a public park, a school and 5,000 apartments across 11 residential buildings.

Taystee Lab Building

Rendering of the Taystee Lab Building

Type: Lab and office
Location: West Harlem
Developer: The Janus Property Co.

The city will get an injection to its life sciences space supply when the Taystee Lab Building at 450 West 126th St. opens, which is expected to be in December. The 11-story, 350K SF Class-A lab and office building on the site of the former Taystee bakery is part of Janus’ Manhattanville Factory District in West Harlem.

Floor plates in the building — which is targeting life science, technology, academia, nonprofit, retail and arts tenants — are between 15K and 36K SF.

“As New York City’s life science industry grows, leveraging the abundance of highly educated STEM talent here, Janus is eager to continue to provide innovators with a place to thrive,” said Janus principal Jerry Salama in statement about the project last month.

The Manhattanville Factory District, where Janus Property Group is developing a string of sites along Amsterdam Avenue between West 126th and West 127th streets, will ultimately become a 1M SF commercial complex.

Central Park Tower

A rendering of Central Park Tower overlooking its namesake

Type: Condominium
Location: 57th Street 
Developer: Extell Development

The first residents are expected to move into Central Park Tower, the world's tallest residential building, toward the end of 2020. Reaching 1,550 feet, the building has 179 units that come to a total value of $4B. Right now, a two-bedroom is asking $6.7M and a five-bedroom is on the market for $63.8M, per StreetEasy.

The building, home to the new Nordstrom flagship department store, also features Central Park Club, a private club with the world’s highest private ballroom, a dining room, and wine and cigar lounges.

There is no doubt the developer is trying to sell pricey apartments at a time of great competition for luxury offerings, of which Extell Chairman Gary Barnett is very aware.

"It’s not booming, they are not flying out the shelves like One57 did,” Barnett told Bloomberg last year. “Six or seven years ago, we were the only game in town. There is certainly much more competition, there is more supply.”

Brooklyn Point

Brooklyn Point

Type: Condominium
Location: Downtown Brooklyn
Extell Development

As well as bringing the world’s tallest residential tower to fruition this year, Extell is also setting new records in the outer boroughs. Closings at Brooklyn Point, a 458-unit luxury building that is currently the borough’s tallest tower, are starting in 2020. The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed building at 138 Willoughby St. is part of the City Point megaproject.

It features the highest residential infinity pool in the Western Hemisphere, Extell says, as well as a 35-foot rock climbing wall, a yoga studio, a squash/basketball court and an infrared sauna. Extell locked down a $530M construction loan for the property in July 2018, which reportedly required the developer to sell at least $175M worth of condos within two years. Right now, a studio there is asking $906,780 and a three-bedroom is priced at $3.3M, according to StreetEasy.

The Fountains

911 Erskine

Type: Affordable Housing
Location: East New York
Developer: The Arker Cos.

This year, six buildings at The Fountains, a massive affordable housing development project in East New York, will be up and running.

Developed by Arker Cos., the final project will feature 1,163 units, retail offerings, commercial space, off-street parking and community facilities, all across 1.2M SF and eight buildings.

All of the apartments will be reserved for tenants earning less than 80% of area median income, meaning a family of three would need to make less than $58K a year to be eligible for one of the most common units at the development, according to a representative for the developer. There will also be units set aside for senior and supportive housing.

An official ribbon-cutting will be held in the spring, and the first two buildings — the 65-unit building at 11629 Seaview Ave. and the 267-unit 911 Erskine St. — will be opening in the first half of the year.

CORRECTION Feb. 7, 3 P.M. ET: A previous version of this story misstated the height of Brooklyn Point's rock climbing wall and didn't include the Prusik Group as a partner of Delancey Street Associates. It also incorrectly named Brookfield as a master planner at Greenpoint Landing. This story has been updated.