22 Facts About The Central Park Tower

interesting facts about the central park tower

New York is home to some of the tallest residential skyscrapers in the world, but this building is set to beat them all in height. In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of facts about the Central Park Tower.

Interesting facts about the Central Park Tower

1. What is the Central Park Tower?

The Central Park Tower is a supertall residential skyscraper in the heart of Manhattan in New York City, United States. It’s bound the be completed in 2020.

The alternative name for the tower is the “Nordstrom Tower.” Nordstrom is an American luxury department store and they have committed to open the first store in the base of the tower.

facts about the Central Park Tower

2. Where is the Central Park Tower located?

The tower is located along Billionaires’ Row on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Other famous buildings in Midtown Manhattan are the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center.

The Central Park Tower will be a fitting addition to the Billionaires’ Row, the name given to a number of luxurious residential skyscrapers of which most of them are in the “Supertall” category (over 300 meters / 1,000 feet high).

The Billionaires’ Row is located at the southern end of the most famous park in New York, Central Park, the perfect location for residential skyscrapers!

Billionaire's row in Manhatten
Billionaires’ Row in Manhattan. / Chris O. / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

3. It’s the tallest residential skyscraper in the world

The Nordstrom Tower became the tallest residential skyscraper in the world when it was topped out in September 2019. It has a total height of 1,550 feet (472 meters).

There are multiple skyscrapers that are higher than the Central Park Tower, but all of them are mixed-use. The Burj Khalifa for example, the tallest building in the world at the moment, has 900 residential units but consists of multiple spaces that aren’t residential as well.

central park tower extell

4. It holds some more prestigious records

The Nordstrom Tower isn’t just the tallest residential skyscraper in the world, it has multiple other accolades at the moment such as:

  • The second-tallest skyscraper in the United States.
  • The second-tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The 15th tallest building in the world.
  • The tallest building outside Asia by roof height.

This list will obviously fluctuate in the future as there are several proposed and projects under construction that will become higher, including the Jeddah Tower, the PNB 118 in Kuala Lumpur, and the Sky Mile Tower in Tokyo.

jeddah tower
The Jeddah Tower will stand over 1,000 meters tall upon completion. / Wiki Commons

5. It’s developed by a New York-based company

The project is developed by the “Extell Development Company,” a New York-based real estate company that was founded in 1989.

They are involved in multiple other real estate skyscraper projects in the New York area such as “One Manhattan Square” and “Riverside South” to name a few.

central park tower facts
Extell’s Riverside South residential skyscrapers. / Wiki Commons

6. They needed Chinese funding though

The total cost of the project is a staggering $3 billion USD. One of the most interesting facts about the Central Park Tower is that in order to get another construction loan that was desperately needed for the project to succeed, Extell has attracted Chinese investments.

The joint venture was formed with the Shanghai Municipal Investment Group, an experienced Chinese real estate investment company with major stakes in multiple subsidiaries.

7. The developers needed to buy a lot of properties

The highly urbanized area didn’t really allow for a massive residential skyscraper to be constructed on the Billionaires’ row.

The solution to this “minor” problem?

Just buy all the properties needed in order to acquire enough land to allow a 563,000 square feet (52,300 sq m) building to be constructed!

The major purchases were the former home of the Hard Rock Cafe and Broadway Dance Center at 221 West 57th Street and the neighboring property fronting 58th Street. These two lots alone opened up 261,000 square feet (24,200 sq m) of buildable space.

Total cost? $67.5 million USD.

billionaire row

8. The main architect is experienced with tall buildings

In December 2012, Extell announced that the main architect who would design the building was “Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture,” a Chicago-based design and architecture firm.

This firm has built the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, the Willis Tower in Chicago, and is leading the construction of what will become the tallest building in the world, the Jeddah Tower.

This pretty much means that the Nordstrom Tower is in good hands!

central park tower construction

9. The original plan was a mixed-used tower

before the main architect of the project was announced in 2012, the plan was still to turn the Central park Tower into a mixed-use building.

Apart from a planned hotel on floors 7 through 12, the building was also planned to rise only 1250 feet (380 meters) and be completed in 2018 (which was a pretty ambitious goal.

The tower will now only include residential units, be completed in 2020, and be built on top of the city’s first Nordstrom Inc. department store.

10. A major controversy was sparked initially

Extell had purchased air rights worth $31.8 million for a total size of 6,000 square feet (560 m2). They also acquired rights to build a cantilever roughly 290 feet (88 m) above the Art Students League of New York’s building at 215 West 57th Street.

Why did they do this?

Because they wanted to maximize views of Central Park which is just 2 blocks north. This would clearly maximize the value of the residential units with this view.

The Art Students League actually filed a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent the air rights from being sold. The cantilever would extend the tower with 23 feet (7 meters), covering 1/3 of the Art Student’s league’s building.

The case was eventually dismissed because the construction had already started to a point where it couldn’t be undone.

Art Student League Building / Beyond My Ken / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

11. Construction started and a new plan was announced

Excavations for the building’s 80 feet (24 m) deep foundations started in May 2014. After about a year of excavating, the construction of the tower finally started.

One of the most remarkable facts about the Central Park tower is that not too much later, new renderings were revealed on April 20, 2015, showing a roof height of 1,530 feet (470 m) and an architectural height of 1,775 feet (541 m) with the spire.

The final plan didn’t include the spire though, but a roof height of 1,550 feet (472 meters).

Construction in October 2015 / The XRH / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

12. The first condos went up for sale in 2018

With the construction going pretty much according to plan, the first condos went up for sale in October 2018.

The early buyers better had some cash in hand because the top 20 condos went out for a whopping price of $60 million USD, and the ultimate penthouse went up for sale at a price of $95 million USD!

After all, you’re paying for a room with a view.

central park tower facts
Central Park Tower / Mr 167 / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

13. It surpassed another residential skyscraper in 2019

New York is home to a lot of residential skyscrapers, and the previous tallest skyscraper in New York was 432 Park Avenue, which is 1,396 feet tall (425.5 m) tall and at the moment the third-tallest residential skyscraper in the world.

The Central Park Tower surpassed 432 Park Avenue in March 2019 and eventually topped out in September 2019.

central park tower and 432 park avenue
Central Park Tower and 432 Park Avenue / Jim Henderson / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

14. The Nordstrom store was the first to open

The Nordstrom department store was opened on October 24, 2019. It was the first part of the skyscraper to open up just a month after the building topped out.

The store covers the first 7 floors of the building and covers a total area of 285,000 square feet (26,500 sq m) and also contains six different bars and restaurants.

Quick facts about the Central Park Tower

  • 15. The tower is 300 feet higher than the Empire State Building.
  • 16. The architectural height of the tallest residential skyscraper in New York is 1,550 feet (472 meters).
  • 17. There are a total of 131 floors of which 95 are habitable.
  • 18. There are a total of 11 elevators.
  • 19. The total floor count is 1,285,308 square feet (119,409 square meters).
  • 20. The total cost of the project is $3 billion USD.
  • 21. The building contains 179 condominiums with an average floor size of 5,000 square feet (460 square meters).
  • 22. The most expensive unit is a triplex penthouse, spanning 17,000 square feet (1,600 sq m) across floors 129 through 131, and is valued at $95 million USD!
facts about the central park tower
Central Park Tower / Extell

This concludes the ultimate list of facts about the Central Park Tower, the world’s tallest residential skyscraper!

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