By CityRealty Staff Today, June 19, 2020
Recognizing that the great headwinds facing the city and its real estate market are most likely temporary, some developers are mobilizing to develop Manhattan’s next wave of residential towers. One of the few projects to not make it out the ground in the last boom was planned in Midtown East at 131-145 East 47th Street. The previous owner, Bentley Zhao’s New Empire Real Estate Group, drew up a 49-story, 122-unit condominium tower designed by SLCE Architects. Despite snagging a construction loan in 2017, the development never took off and the cleared assemblage was sold to Silverback Development in December for $115 million. Silverback, led by Josh Schuster, is developing the site in partnership with an undisclosed Hong Kong-based investment entity.
Revised building permits are not yet on file but construction is planned to begin mid-summer 2020 with completion estimated in 2022. Ismael Leyva Architects is the project designer. The firm was behind Place 57, the residential interiors at Time Warner Center and the Park Imperial.
View from high-floor apartment at The Centrale. 131 East 47th will rise just a few blocks south. (Douglas Elliman)
Vacant development sites in Midtown are few and far between, and the ground-up prospects that have gone residential aim for the top of the market due to high land costs and limited inventory. Three blocks north is the recently-completed The Centrale whereremaining listings are priced at an average of $2,832 per square foot. To the northwest, the condo conversion of several hundred rooms in the Waldorf Astoria is nearly complete. Hotel-to-condo or to-office conversions may be a coming trend as many hotels face financial hardships due to COVID-19 precautions and travel restrictions.
The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria.