|432 Park Avenue|
|Location||432 Park Avenue|
Manhattan, New York City
|Topped-out||October 10, 2014|
|Completed||December 23, 2015|
|Architectural||1,396 ft (425.5 m)|
|Tip||1,396 ft (425.5 m)|
|Top floor||1,286 ft (392.1 m) (occupied)|
|Floor area||412,637 square feet (38,335 m2)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Rafael Viñoly and SLCE Architects, LLP|
|Developer||CIM Group / Macklowe Properties|
|Structural engineer||WSP Cantor Seinuk|
|Main contractor||Lend Lease Group|
432 Park Avenue is a residential skyscraper at 57th Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, overlooking Central Park. The 1,396 ft (425.5 m) tall tower was developed by CIM Group and Harry B. Macklowe, constructed between 2011 and 2015, and features 125 condominiums.
At the time of its completion, 432 Park Avenue was the third-tallest building in the United States and the tallest residential building in the world. As of November 2019, it is the sixth-tallest building in the United States, fifth-tallest building in New York City, and the third-tallest residential building in the world.
The site was previously home to the historic 495-room Drake Hotel, a 21-story hotel built in 1926 by Bing & Bing. Owner Host Hotels & Resorts sold the Drake in 2006 for $418 million (equivalent to $540 million in 2018) to developer Harry Macklowe. The company had been marketing the building for over $400 million due to the prospect of replacing the aging hotel with a 70-story condominium tower.
In early 2006, Macklowe paid French delicatessen company Fauchon $4 million to shorten the terms of their lease on the ground floor of the Drake hotel and vacate in April 2007 instead of 2016. Shortly after the agreement was reached, Fauchon sued Macklowe in New York Supreme Court claiming that the developer was harassing the store to leave by blocking their entrance with scaffolding and threatening to cut off air conditioning and access to the hotel's bathrooms.
In April 2007, Macklowe purchased the Buccellati store at 46 East 57th Street for $47.5 million. This followed their purchase of the Audemars Piguet store at 40 East 57th Street for $19.2 million, the Franck Muller store at 38 East 57th Street for $60 million, as well as 44 and 50 East 57th Street for $41 million. The total cost of additional nearby parcels and air rights brought the acquisition cost to over $724 million and yielded a large L-shaped site between 56th and 57th Streets. In early 2007, Macklowe Properties secured a $543 million mortgage from Deutsche Bank on the site. Macklowe was said to be planning a 65-story Armani-branded tower that would consist of three stories of retail, offices until the 20th floor, topped by a 10-story hotel and 33 floors of residential space.
Additionally, Nordstrom had signed a letter of intent to open their first New York store, a 253,500 square feet (23,550 m2) flagship, at the building's base. Macklowe had been in contract to purchase the Turnbull & Asser storefront at 42 East 57th Street for $33 million but the company's owner executed a call option in the store's lease to allow him to buy the building for $31.5 million instead. Jacob & Co's founder Jacob Arabo also demanded $100 million for the store's building at 50 East 57th Street, a price Macklowe was unable to pay. These holdouts meant Macklowe was unable to connect the other buildings he owned on East 57th Street, depriving Nordstrom of the space needed for the store's ground floor entrance. This caused Nordstrom to back out of the deal and instead open their flagship in Central Park Tower several blocks west on 57th Street.
During the financial crisis of 2007-2008, Macklowe defaulted on the Deutsche Bank loan which was due in November 2007. In October 2007, Harry Macklowe personally repaid $156.3 million of Macklowe Property's debt on the site, bringing his personal investment in the project to over $250 million. However, in August 2008, the bank sued to begin foreclosure on the loan (which had amortized down to $482 million at the time) and take control of the development site. Deutsche Bank had divided the loan into 21 tranches and sold much of the debt to ten different investors, earning tens of millions of dollars in fees. The bank retained just $12 million of the loan on its own balance sheet. During the height of the recession, one of the investors, iStar Financial, was unable to find any buyers for its $224 million tranche of the debt at a price point of $160 million, representing just over 71 cents on the dollar. Instead, a half dozen bidders offered between $100 million and roughly $130 million, or 45 and 58 cents on the dollar respectively.
In late 2007, Joseph Sitt, founder of Thor Equities, introduced Macklowe to an investment firm named CMZ Ventures. The letters "CMZ" represented Arthur G. Cohen, a New York real estate developer; Paul Manafort, a former lobbyist, political consultant, and lawyer currently serving a prison sentence for federal financial crimes; and Brad Zackson, a convicted felon and frequent partner of Manafort and Fred Trump.
In 2008, an investment firm named CMZ Ventures agreed to pay $850 million for the development site which would fully pay off the Deutsche Bank loan and represent a small profit on top of Macklowe's total acquisition price. In fact, the purchase price was higher even than the appraised value of $780 million, a premium of over 10% which was unheard of for development site purchases. The partners planned to develop the site into a 65-story Bulgari-branded luxury hotel-condo skyscraper with a private club and vertical mall. In the fall of 2008, Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian natural gas oligarch and alleged associate of Russian organized crime, agreed to fund $112 million in equity and paid Manafort a deposit of $25 million. Manafort had met Firtash while consulting for Ukraine's ruling party, the pro-Russia Party of Regions. French fund Inovalis also agreed to arrange another $500 million of equity for the project from various backers. Ultimately, the bid fell apart when CMZ couldn't arrange the necessary financing.
In 2011, the former pro-European Union prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, alleged in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that Firtash violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and used CMZ as a front organization in order to hide income illegally skimmed from the natural gas company RosUkrEnergo that he jointly controlled with Russian state-owned enterprise Gazprom. Tymoshenko also claimed that Firtash never planned to close on any real estate deals and instead filtered the money back to Europe in order to fund Tymoshenko's pro-Russia political adversary, Victor Yanukovych, who became president of Ukraine in 2010.
Another CMZ Ventures investor was Oleg Deripaska, a sanctioned Russian oligarch and leader of the world's second-largest aluminum company Rusal. Deripaska agreed to invest $56 million into 432 Park Avenue through an investment fund named Pericles which was managed by Rick Gates, a Manafort partner who has since pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.
In January 2010, developer CIM Group agreed to pay $305 million for the complete development site including 434 Park Avenue and 38, 40, 44 and 50 East 57th Street while keeping Macklowe involved as a partner. The investment by CIM allowed Macklowe to repay the senior-most tranche 90 cents on the dollar while the junior-most tranches were completely wiped out. At the time, the site was considered one of New York's most valuable due to its location between East 56th and 57th Streets on the west side of Park Avenue. CIM continued to expand the development site, purchasing 46 East 57th Street for $42.5 million in January 2011.
CIM and Macklowe were sued by Franck Muller in September 2010 after the company tried to evict the watch retailer from their space at 38 East 57th Street that Macklowe had purchased several years earlier for over $60 million. The building was master leased to a real estate investment company, Sovereign Partners, who in turn had subleased the ground floor and mezzanine space to Franck Muller until 2018. CIM and Macklowe had purchased that master lease for $5.35 million in November 2008, making a CIM-owned company Franck Muller's new landlord. Subsequently, CIM and Macklowe had the building reappraised by Cushman & Wakefield who determined that the fair market rent for the space was $1.4 million per year, higher than the rent initially agreed to by Sovereign Partners. However, the CIM-owned company that had purchased Sovereign Partner's lease failed to pay this increased rent, leading to an event of default under the lease and allowing CIM and Macklowe to begin the eviction process. Franck Muller objected, claiming that CIM was essentially choosing not to pay itself the increased rent and manufacturing an excuse to evict the CIM-owned master lessee and in turn Frank Muller, the sublessee. In October, a New York Supreme Court ordered the case be determined through arbitration instead.
In April 2011, CIM filed permits to begin excavation work on the site and by the following month had hired Rafael Vinoly to design the new tower. In October, plans were revealed for a 1,300 feet (400 m) tall condominium tower on the site using the address 432 Park Avenue. The next month, CIM purchased Turnbull & Asser's storefront at 42 East 57th Street for $32.4 million and concurrently sold the nearby 50 East 57th Street to the clothier for $31.5 million, allowing CIM to expand their development site and Turnbull & Asser to remain on the same block. In December 2011, LVMH reportedly considered investing in the site for an expansion of the company's "Cheval Blanc" luxury hotel chain.
Excavation for the building's foundations began in early 2012. In March, CIM filed plans for the full building, revealing its 82-story, 1,397 feet (426 m) height. The New York City Department of Buildings issued the construction permit two months later. By September 2012, he building's concrete foundation had been completed and the tower crane had been installed. The building passed street level by the end of the year.
The project's second crane was installed in early 2012, but construction was temporarily halted after crews damaged a neighboring building and the Department of Buildings gave the project several safety violations in February 2013. In March 2013, sales officially launched from an office at the nearby General Motors Building with units available from $20 million to $82.5 million a piece. At the time, the developers claimed more than a third of the building's units were already under contract. The building passed the 1,000-foot (300 m) mark in June 2014 before topping-out in October.
The design of the structure was conceived by architect Rafael Viñoly who was inspired by a trash can designed in 1905 by Austrian designer Josef Hoffmann. The tower has eighty-four 8,255-square-foot (766.9 m2) stories, each with six 100-square-foot (9.3 m2) windows per face, with the top story numbered as the 96th story. Interiors are designed by Deborah Berke and the firm Bentel & Bentel, which also designed Eleven Madison Park and the Gramercy Tavern. Berke's design brief was simply "no set budget, make it look fantastic". To support its thin orthogonal frame, the structure features larger columns at its base than on the upper floors.
432 Park Avenue officially topped out on October 10, 2014, at 1,398 feet (426 m) making it the second-tallest building in New York City after One World Trade Center and the fifteenth-tallest building in the world. By roof height, 432 Park is the tallest building in the city as of 2019 , as it surpasses the 1,368-foot (417 m) rooftop of One World Trade Center. It surpassed 311 South Wacker as the tallest building in the world known only by its street address.
The tower sits in the middle of the block bounded by East 56th Street, Madison Avenue, East 57th Street, and Park Avenue. The building's 100-foot (30 m) base covers most of the 41,000-square-foot (3,800 m2) lot. The tower is a 93-foot (28 m) square in plan, giving each floorplate an occupiable area of 8,255 square feet (766.9 m2). At 15:1, 432 Park has one of the greatest height-to-width ratios of any skyscraper in the world.
The finalized plans called for 147 apartments in total: 122 luxury condominium units of one to six bedrooms between the 34th and 96th floors, and 25 studio units on the 28th and 29th floors. The tower's condominium units feature high ceilings, and range from a 351-square-foot (32.6 m2) studio to a 8,255-square-foot (766.9 m2), six-bedroom, seven-bath penthouse with a library on the 96th floor.
The building's amenities include 12-foot (3.7 m) ceilings, golf training facilities and private dining and screening rooms. On the 12th floor is a private restaurant with a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) private terrace; as of 2016 , the restaurant is led by Shaun Hergatt, a Michelin-starred chef. The 12th through 16th floors were to include a "club unit" with a fitness center; a swimming complex with a pool, whirlpool, sauna, and steam room; private meeting rooms; and a library.
The structure of the tower is composed of a 30-foot (9.1 m) square, reinforced concrete core with 30-inch-thick (76 cm) walls, which the engineer, Silvian Marcus, describes as "like the backbone of a body." This core houses the elevator shafts and all the building mechanical services. The outer structural skin is composed of a grid of 3 ft 8 in (1.12 m) wide columns and equal width spandrel (horizontal, exterior) beams of reinforced concrete that encloses the symmetric "basket grid" of window openings. The columns begin with a depth of 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) at the bottom of the tower, to as little as 20 in (51 cm) at the top. This layout permits all of the interior space on each floor to remain fully open for the complete 27 feet (8.2 m) span between the core and shell.
The facade, with the formed surface left as the final finish without any added fascia, was poured in place from concrete using 14,000 psi white Portland cement, and cast around preassembled full-floor cages of #20 rebars with articulated steel forms. The floor-to-floor height of each of the 85 stories is 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m), with 10 in (25 cm) thick floor slabs, although to damp the acceleration from wind loads, upper floors have slabs up to 18 in (46 cm) thick to add more mass. Also aimed at reducing the potentially uncomfortable effects of swaying due to wind vortex loading on such a flexible tower, the window grid and interior space of 2 floors between every 12 occupied floors are left open to allow the wind to pass through. These floors also contain modular mechanical services for the six floors above and below to reduce the number of ducts needed. In addition two tuned mass dampers are located at the top of the tower and in the outriggers of some of the mechanical floors to help damp the motion.
As early as 2012, a dozen potential clients were described as being interested in occupying units at 432 Park. By the end of 2015, close to 90% of the apartments had been sold, with almost half of those owned by a foreign citizen, "part of a global elite that collects residences like art." It has been estimated that the majority of the units will remain unoccupied for more than ten months a year. Notable residents include Bennett LeBow, David Chu, Jennifer Lopez, and Alex Rodriguez. Other wealthy residents include investment-management executive Bob Prince and Douglas Elliman owner Howard Lorber.
In 2016, eighty-one of the 104 units were sold at a median price of $18.4 million; by 2017, the remaining unsold units were put for sale at prices ranging between $6.5 and $82 million. The first sale of apartment #35B was reported in January 2016 for $18.116 million, more than the $17.75 million asking price. Ten additional apartments were available at the time ranging from $17.4 to $44.25 million. #35B covers 4,000 square feet (370 m2), one half of the 35th floor of the tower, and contains three bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths. Each face has six 10 by 10 ft (3.0 by 3.0 m) windows, which for #35B, face south and west with views of Central Park.
The median penthouse units were more expensive than the other units. Two penthouses labeled as being on the 91st floor were sold for $60 million in 2018 to Caryl Schechter, the wife of hedge-fund manager Israel Englander, while three penthouse units on the 92nd and 93rd floors were sold in 2017 for a combined $91 million. The 94th-floor penthouse was sold for $32.4 million in 2019, about 25% lower than the original asking price. The 95th-floor penthouse, originally listed for $82 million, was split in half in 2018 and the individual units were sold at $30 million. The top floor unit, labeled as the 96th floor, was listed at $95 million but actually sold to Saudi businessman Fawaz Alhokair for $88 million in 2016.
The skyscraper has received mixed reviews from both professionals and the public alike. Not everyone agreed with the artistic value of the building. Some city residents have criticized 432 Park Avenue, stating that it represents New York's increasing cost of living and ostentatious wealth. 432 Park's association to wealth inequality was also remarked upon by the building's architect himself, Rafael Viñoly, who commented that "There are only two markets, ultraluxury and subsidized housing." Other critics noted 432 Park's slenderness and simplicity. For example, fashion consultant Tim Gunn described the building as "just a thin column. It needs a little cap." The architecture critic for New York magazine, Justin Davidson, wrote that the building is nothing more than just "stacked cubbyhole units" and questioned the creative value of the building. It has also been criticized for having about a quarter of its floors devoted to structural and mechanical equipment, which do not count towards total floor size, a zoning loophole used to make buildings taller without exceeding FAR zoning limitations.