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Inside The Supertalls: One Manhattan Square

There are several supertall towers (taller than 984 feet) on the rise in NYC, and we've been researching what it takes to dramatically change NYC's skyline. While below the height limit, Extell Development’s 823-foot, 80-story One Manhattan Square (aka 252 South St) is certainly leaving its mark on the city and has had just as much controversy as our other projects.

The History

One Manhattan Square

Extell bought the land near the Manhattan Bridge and the East River in March 2013 for $103.5M.

The site was originally a Pathmark grocery store, which raised an outcry when demolished in 2014. Residents claimed gentrification was cutting off their access to affordable groceries, especially as other neighborhood markets raised prices when the Pathmark closed. 

Extell development SVP Raizy Haas tells Bisnow Extell plans to feature a "better grocery store" in OMS’s 40k SF retail base, which is also earmarked for a pharmacy, but admitted the retail wouldn’t be open before early 2019.

The development hit snags early as Extell struggled to acquire $890M in financing in a cautious financing market. A $300M deal with RXR Realty was reached, but only after several stress-inducing delays and the condition that Extell get a construction loan. Extell was able to score a $500M (originally $600M) construction loan this September, and finally received the $300M loan from RXR. 

Construction was halted this February after the Department of Buildings found hazardous conditions at the construction site when a neighbor complained construction was causing cracks in her walls. The DoB had issued a partial stop-work order the month before, but found that Extell had violated the order. A community meeting found construction has allegedly damaged 60 to 100 area apartments.

As of May, OMS has a construction rate of one floor every three days.

The Current Digs


Adamson Associates Architects, who also designed the Hearst Tower, 4 World Trade Center and The Shard at London Bridge, is serving as a executive architect. The OMS façade is clad in a custom silver glass with a chevron pattern and bronze glass with muntz paneling. Raizy tells Bisnow that Extell wanted to capturing a “luxurious, relaxed, indulgent and hospitable” feeling.

The 815 residences' interiors were designed by Meyer Davis Studio, and include one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts, all with oak flooring and imported stone. Like 555Ten, apartments come with a “dark” or “light” palette.


The luxury tower has more than 100k SF of amenities, including a spa; a courtyard and relaxation garden; and a multi-level fitness center (above) with three swimming pools, a bowling alley, a full-size basketball court (below), golf simulators, a putting green, a squash court and a yoga studio.

There’s also a 70-seat cinema and performance center, a children’s playroom, an arcade, a culinary lounge, a wine room, a cigar room, a cellar bar and a demonstration kitchen. Landscape designer West 8 is designing a private park that will have a dog run, birch and topiary gardens, and outdoor kitchens. There's more, but you get the idea.


The tower will also have a separate13-story affordable housing building. This also was a point of controversy, with some believing the affordable component separates the two tenancies. The term “poor door” was thrown around, despite the fact that the Dattner Associates-designed building comes with a gym, a communal function space, an outdoor furnished terrace with East River views, a green roof, a bike room, a resident manager and several other amenities.

Regardless, this tower has 205 affordable units, including one for the super. Fifty percent of the units are allocated for locals and eligibility is based on 60% of area AMI (between $36k and $52k).

When completed in 2019, the tower will be one of the tallest in the neighborhood. This has also upset residents, who say it would be too out of context. This may not be true much longer, Raizy says, as many other developers have started building in the surrounding neighborhood


Another concern was the influx of residents putting a strain on transit and increasing traffic, and Extell has called in the Department of Transportation to survey traffic and see what measures need to be taken.

Extell was also asked provide reflector vests for children passing through the covered walkway between 82 Rutgers St (where Con Ed's replacing the steam line) and a daycare. Raizy says Extell remains actively engaged with the community during construction, with quarterly updates and a hotline for reporting any issues.

The tower started sales last week, with prices ranging from $1.15M for a 723 SF one-bed, one-bath to $3.5M for a three-bed, two-bath, 1,400 SF unit. Last year, however, Barnett said he would be offering condos to Asian and overseas buyers first, and Raizy says there’s been an “overwhelming response” from both domestic and international cities. 

“The only hiccup was for a couple of hours during the election, but then there were 10 more inquiries in my inbox the next morning,” she says.

There are also five penthouses, two of which are already sold. Two are duplexes, one worth more than $13M and the other just over $12M. The building’s sellout is set at $1.9B, although it was originally set for a record $2.1B.