City Spire

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150 West 56th Street, New York City

City Spire
CitySpireNYC.jpg

City Spire in Midtown Manhattan
Building Information
Developer Ian Bruce Eichner
Architect Helmut Jahn
Management Company Douglas Elliman Property Management
Number of Units 338
Number of Floors 75
Year Built 1988
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof PMR
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150 West 56th Street, New York City
Distance to Public Transit 96 nearby routes
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C6 - 6.5
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

Rising above the famed prewar towers in Midtown Manhattan, City Spire is well known for its height, its rocky road to construction, and the numerous controversies surrounding its development.

Nevertheless, the combination of City Spire’s central location in Midtown Manhattan and the high end luxury condominiums in the building’s top floors have made City Spire one of the most sought after residential buildings in New York City.[1]

Location

City Spire is located in Midtown Manhattan and enjoys an almost unparalleled access to many of New York’s most important and famous points of interest. To the East, residents of City Spire can indulge in the retail paradise that is Fifth Avenue, where many of the world’s most famous and exclusive retailers have shops. Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Prada, Armani, and Versace can be found along this avenue, along with the high end department stores of Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, and Barneys, and one of the most photographed buildings in New York City, the Apple Store.

To the North, residents are mere blocks away from Central Park, New York’s famous urban garden, which is home to hundreds of biking, walking, and jogging trails, the world renowned Tavern on the Green restaurant, the Delacorte Theater, the Central Park Zoo, and the historical Central Park Carousel. To the South, City Spire is just blocks away from the theater district of Broadway and the “Crossroads of the World”, Times Square. In addition, Midtown Manhattan is home to many of New York City’s most famous and historical buildings, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central Station, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Madison Square Garden, and the New York Public Library. [1]

With a walk score of 97 out of 100 and a transit score of 100 out of 100, residents of City Spire do not require a car to complete their daily errands. They are within walking distance of hundreds of shops, restaurants, and home services. An abundance of transit options to help negotiate the notoriously congested Midtown traffic.[2]

Construction

City Spire was developed by Ian Bruce Eichner. Its path from conception to completion was anything but smooth. In order to proceed with his plan for City Spire, Eichner required legislative approval from a dozen different governing bodies, including the city legislature, administrative groups, and private philanthropic groups. Eichner purchased the air rights from the neighboring City Center for the Performing Arts, a first for a theater, as well as the air rights for numerous other surrounding buildings. In order to do so, Eichner had to donate $3 million to both the City Opera and the City Ballet, as well as fund major renovations at the City Center for the Performing Arts. Despite these generous gestures, the final vote from the Board of Estimate to approve the building was won by a 7 - 4 margin.[3]

Designed by architect Helmut Jahn, City Spire marked a departure from Jahn’s standard high-tech designs, and instead it is one of his first forays into the Post-Modernist style of architecture. Construction began in 1987, and once again City Spire courted controversy. Initially approved for a height of 803 feet, city officials soon discovered that once topped out, the building reached 814 feet. Eichner argued that the tower required thicker floors to help brace against volatile weather elements, thus necessitating the extra height, but civic activists demanded retribution for the zoning violations. Eichner was later required to build three floors of dance studio space in the neighboring buildings as punishment for City Spire’s breach in its height regulations.

Construction was completed in 1988, but problems continued to plague Eichner, as the design of the building’s domed roof created a loud whistling in high winds that drew complaints from many residents in neighboring buildings. Eichner was finally forced to declare bankruptcy on the building in 1991, and ultimately lost it altogether on a foreclosure.[4]

Layout and Features

The first 23 floors of City Spire are used as commercial office space, with the apartments located on floors 24 - 75. The building has two separate entrances for residents verses office workers, a public arcade connecting 55th and 56th Streets, and a grand entrance lobby decorated in wooden paneling and featuring a spectacular domed ceiling.

The apartments in City Spire range in size from studios to the 11,000 square foot three floor penthouse at the top of the building. All units feature hardwood flooring, floor to ceiling windows, high ceilings, and outdoor balconies. The kitchens are equipped with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and gloss lacque cabinetry. The bathrooms feature marble finishes, dual sinks, and over sized mirrors.[5]

Floor Plans

With over 150 floor plans available, a selection is presented.

Amenities

City Spire has many of the amenities one would expect to find in a luxury residence. The building is fully staffed with 24 hour doormen, a concierge, maid service, valet parking, and a live-in superintendent. Additional amenities include a fitness center, a sauna, a pool, a spa, a steam room, a children’s playroom, a resident’s lounge and entertainment room, a business room, and a roof deck. Finally, residents have access to a parking garage, private storage facilities, and a wine cellar.[6]

Bylaws

City Spire Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No


  • There are no age restrictions for ownership in this building
  • Rentals, sublets, and pied-a-terre are allowed
  • This building is pet friendly

The property is managed by Douglas Elliman Property Management, phone: (212) 350-2800.

Sustainability

Built before the age of awareness on sustainable living, City Spire is not designated a green building.

However, as residents update and renovate their apartments, they could help with the building’s sustainability by installing energy efficient appliances and window materials. Residents can also partake in New York City’s recycling programs.

Trivia

  • In June of 2012, the three floor penthouse occupying the building’s highest floors was put on the market for $100,000,000, one of the most expensive listings for New York City in history.[7]
  • After City Spire had opened, residents of neighboring buildings complained ferociously about the loud whistling that occurred when the wind blew past City Spire’s tower. The developers were able to fix this problem by widening the gaps in the tower’s design to allow the wind to flow through the building more smoothly.[8]
  • The domed roof of City Spire was built to pay tribute to the red tiled domed roof of City Spire’s neighbor, the City Center for the Performing Arts, located on West 55th Street.[9]
  • At the time of the building’s completion, City Spire was the world’s second tallest concrete building.
  • City Spire is New York City’s tallest mixed use building, soon to be eclipsed by the neighboring One57 building.[10]

References

  1. City Realty
  2. Walk Score
  3. City Realty - Review
  4. Wikipedia - City Spire Center
  5. Manhattan Scout
  6. Manhattan Scout
  7. Curbed NY
  8. New York Times - City Spire
  9. City Realty
  10. Emporis

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