Posted by Leonard Steinberg on December 8th, 2011

Is 57th Street becoming the new PARK AVENUE? With ONE 57, the EXTELL developed tower located between 6th and 7th avenues on 57th street commanding prices upwards of $ 5,000/sf comes confirmation that Macklowe’s site (now CIM)of the former Drake Hotel on Park Avenue and 57th Street will become….THE DRAKE HOTEL, located at 432 Park Ave, and designed by Rafael Vinoly. The plans show that a 1,300 foot tall tower will occupy this site, making it one of the tallest structures in Manhattan, taller than the Empire State building that measures about 1,250sf….the Freedom Tower will be over 1,700sf tall, still shorter than the Burj Dubai at over 2,000sf (See it in the latest Mission Impossible).  Supposedly it will feature 128 condominiums with 12 foot tall ceilings with a driveway to ensure access privacy. The total cost of this  mega-building is approximately $1 billion. Completion is expected somewhere around 2015/2016.

So will 57th Street elevate in status to attract this price-point of buyer? There were many naysayers when Trump developed 1 Central Park West, followed by the TIME WARNER CENTER…..all said Columbus Circle was a dump and no-one would live there. They were wrong. many said no-one would want to live next to Bloomingdale’s, and the BLOOMBERG building, 1 Beacon Court proved them wrong. 57th Street does boast some very prestigious retail, from Chanel to Louis Vuitton, Phillip’s, Burberry, Dior, etc…..and it is home to the Four Season’s hotel, a favourite amongst the super-rich visiting Manhattan. The Drake does have the Park Avenue address to fall back on, so chances are it will succeed. The key will be quality and supply-and-demand: these are hefty price expectations, and only time will tell if the market is deep enough in the $ 5,000+/sf category. Inflation may help.