Grand Central skyscraper would bring new LIRR connection — and poetry readings

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Modern dance, film screenings and perhaps knitting classes will bring the outdoor scene to life at 175 Park Avenue, proposed to replace the widely disused Grand Hyatt Hotel on East 42.Ra Street.

Fun festivities are planned for public-accessible terraces on three sides of the tower. But first, there has to be a tower. Although completion is not set for 2030, the fate of the more than $3 billion project will be decided next month.

That’s when developers RXR Realty and TF Cornerstone expect to go to the full city council for approval of their plans for the sprawling project, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill. The city planning commission has already blessed the project, which is 1,646 feet and 83 storeys. It will have 2.1 million square feet of offices, 453,000 square feet of Hyatt operated hotel and 10,000 square feet of retail area.

The plan is currently being studied by the council’s zoning committee, which is expected to flag it off before going to the full body for a vote. Public review is required under East Midtown zoning rules, which allow towers much larger than previously permitted, but require developers to contribute significant public and transit facilities.

exterior shot of Grand Central Hyatt
Goodbye to you: This project will replace the existing Grand Hyatt in Grand Central Terminal.
Corbis via Getty Images

SL Green, the first developer to take advantage of enhanced zoning, paid $220 million in transit upgrades to develop One Vanderbilt slightly west of the RXR/TF cornerstone site.

It was unclear when demolition would begin at the Grand Hyatt, a 1970s glass curtain wall structure with a rigid overhang that Donald Trump had installed on the East 42nd Street sidewalk.

Nor is it yet known how much developers will pay for pedestrian/transit upgrades and what all they will be. But one feature would be the conversion of a “short loop” of abandoned subway track below Grand Central Terminal into a direct underground connection between the new LIRR platform and the subway.

Exterior terraces have a total area of ​​25,000 square feet—more than the 10,000 square feet required for zoning. Located along the western, Lexington Avenue and northern sides of the tower. They will be landscaped by James Corner Field Operations of High Line fame.

Keith Powers attends the Met Gala with an undisclosed guest
City council member Keith Powers, pictured here at the Met Gala in 2021, is advocating for potential cultural events.
Getty Images

Public art fund and global consulting firm Lord Cultural Resources have been tapped to advise on the terrace programming. Project reps told RealtyCheck that the ideas in question include modern dance, experimental theatre, poetry readings, comedy, film screenings and musical performances. Interactive events will include dance lessons, knitting classes and fashion shows.

To reduce roofing incidents, developers along with council member Keith Powers will create an event-advisory board consisting of council representatives, the Manhattan borough president, and community board 5.

John McMillan, senior vice president and planning director at TF Cornerstone, said the developer “worked closely with Powers to develop inclusive arts and cultural programming.”

Skyline Developers of the Wilf family occupies 82,427 square feet in 13 new leases at 1040 Sixth Avenue.

Several new leases are on the tower’s third, 12th and 20th floors, which Skyline converted into pre-fabricated office suites and custom build-to-suite spaces.

Orin Wilf speaking on the podium
Skyline Development President Orin Wilf has seen his family company rack up 13 new leases at 1040 Sixth Ave.
Paul Bruinoz/Patrick McMullan

Among the new tenants are accounting firm Bonadio & Company, law firm Meirowitz & Wasserberg and software developer Britidia.

Skyline also worked with brokerage Newmark to restructure and/or expand existing leases of 36,074 sq ft. Those tenants included legal services firm Update, insurer services company FJA US and media company Outdoor Sportsman Group.

“We worked closely with our existing and potential tenants to understand the needs, concerns and develop unique solutions that support the flexibility they need to be successful,” said Orrin Wilf, founder and president of Skyline.

Sarashina Hori, the first location outside Japan to house a 232 year old Tokyo soba restaurant, is open at 45 E. St. The Handsome Restaurant, which specializes in sarshina-style soba noodles made from the innermost part of the buckwheat seed, might just be among Manhattan’s most diverse array of fine restaurants to be found on a single block.

East 20 between Broadway and Park Avenue Southth Stand Danny Meyers Fabled Gramercy Tavern, rustic-Italian hit Rezadora, celeb-studded Indian spot gold, modern-Israeli Café Noir, French-inspired La Rotisserie, popular Italian steakhouse Il Mulino, romantic Russian Mari Vana, long-lived Mediterranean brasserie Specializing in barbounia, affordable sushi spot Sugarfish, and LOT Singapore, Singapore’s street food.

For good measure, on Broadway Corner is the cheese-heaven Beecher, a retail store that also houses a sit-down cafe.


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