Grand Central skyscraper reportedly brings new LIRR connection

Modern dance, movie screenings, and maybe knitting lessons will bring the outdoor scene to life at 175 Park Ave., the cloud-free skyscraper that’s proposed to replace the much-loved Grand Hyatt Hotel on East 42sd Street.

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

That’s when developers RXR Realty and TF Cornerstone expect their plans for the massive project designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill to go to the entire city council for approval. The Planning Commission has already blessed the project, which is to rise to 1,646 feet and 83 stories. It would include 2.1 million square feet of office space, a 453,000 square foot Hyatt hotel and 10,000 square feet of retail space.

The plan is currently under review by Council’s zoning committee, which is expected to give it the green light before it is put to a vote in plenary. Public scrutiny is required under East Midtown’s zoning rules, which allow much larger towers than previously allowed, but require developers to provide important public and transit facilities.

Grand Central Hyatt exterior photo
Goodbye to you: the project would replace the Grand Hyatt in Grand Central Terminal.
Corbis via Getty Images

SL Green, the first developer to exploit the improved zoning, paid $ 220 million in transit improvements to develop One Vanderbilt slightly west of the RXR / TF Cornerstone site.

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

It’s also unclear how much developers will pay for pedestrian / transit upgrades and what they all will be. But a feature will be the conversion of an abandoned subway track “short loop” under Grand Central Terminal to a direct underground connection between the new LIRR platforms and the subways.

Outdoor decks must total 25,000 square feet, more than the 10,000 square feet required by zoning. Located along the west, Lexington Avenue and north sides of the tower. They will be fitted out by James Corner Field Operations of the renowned High Line.

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

The Public Art Fund and global consultancy Lord Cultural Resources were asked to provide advice on programming for the terrace. Representatives of the project told Realty Check that ideas being considered include modern dance, experimental theater, poetry readings, comedy, film screenings and musical performances. Interactive events will include dance lessons, knitting lessons and fashion shows.

To fine-tune the events on the patio, developers and board member Keith Powers will form a program advisory board that includes representatives from the board, the Manhattan Borough President, and Community Council 5.

TF Cornerstone senior vice president and planning director Jon McMillan said the developer “has worked closely with Powers to develop inclusive arts and culture programming.”

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

Several of the new leases are on the third, 12th and 20th floors of the tower, which Skyline has converted into prefabricated office suites and bespoke custom spaces.

Orin Wilf speaking on a podium
Skyline Development President Orin Wilf watched his family’s business rack up 13 new leases at 1040 Sixth Ave.
Paul Bruinooge / Patrick McMullan

New tenants include accounting firm Bonadio & Co., law firm Meirowitz & Wasserberg and software developer Brightidea.

Skyline also worked with brokerage firm Newmark to restructure and / or extend existing leases totaling 36,074 square feet. These tenants included legal services firm Update, insurance services firm FJA US and media firm Outdoor Sportsman Group.

Skyline Founder and Chairman Orin Wilf said: “We have worked closely with our existing and potential tenants to understand needs, concerns and to develop unique solutions that support the flexibility necessary for their success. “

Sarashina Horii, the first establishment outside of Japan for a 232-year-old Tokyo soba restaurant, opened at 45 E. 20e St. The beautiful restaurant, specializing in sarashina-style soba noodles made from the innermost part of the buckwheat seed, joins what may be the most diverse lineup of fine Manhattan restaurants to be found on only one block away.

Between Broadway and Park Avenue South on East 20e booth Danny Meyer’s legendary Gramercy Tavern, rustic Italian hit Rezdora, famous Indian restaurant Sona, modern Israeli café Nur, French-inspired rotisserie, popular Italian steakhouse Il Mulino, romantic Russian Mari Vana, Mediterranean brasserie longtime Barbounia, the affordable sushi restaurant Sugarfish and Laut Singapura, specializing in Singaporean street food.

For good measure, there’s Beecher’s cheese heaven around the corner from Broadway, a retail store that also has a sit-down cafe.

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