Several mega-luxury buildings are being constructed just South of Central Park and a new study by the Municipal Arts Society shows the shadows that those buildings will cast. In the winter, much of the southern section of the park is likely to be cast in shadows.
Check out the diagram below, which shows shadows that would be cast on Sept. 21. (click the image to enlarge)
Here’s what they’d look like on Dec. 21:
And below is the view of the towers from just North of Wollman Rink in the park.
Among the buildings are 111 West 57th street, which is slated to rise 1,350 feet, and 217/225 West 57th, which could be as high as 1,500 feet. Almost all of these buildings are built “as of right,” meaning that they do not need to go through public review. As the study notes:
“To be able to build these tall luxury towers, savvy developers have spent a great deal of time and money assembling zoning lots in order to take advantage of multiple sources of what are known as ‘air rights.’ Primarily through zoning lot mergers — private agreements between adjacent property owners — developers have accumulated enough additional air rights to build extraordinarily tall towers on relatively small sites as-of-right.”
Some of them still need building permits, however (see page 37 of the study). The Arts Society makes various recommendations in the report, including asking for public reviews of projects whose shadows will have dramatic effects on neighboring parks.
Apartments in the new buildings are already being sold, and they’re expected to appeal to billionaires from other countries looking for an investment or an occasional crash-pad. As the Times reported:
“Foreign buyers, including Brazilians, Chinese and Russians, have been on a buying spree in New York and Miami in recent months, developers and brokers say. Russian and Ukrainian buyers have shown a particular willingness to pay top dollar for so-called trophy properties.”
In fact, New York real estate is becoming a convenient asset with which to launder money.
That said, the buildings will add dramatic new Southern vistas for parkgoers (and the billionaires looking down on them from the 85th floor). Looking South from Sheep Meadow, for instance, the view will become much more dramatic. Take our poll to weigh in on whether you’re excited about the new developments.