Search results for "Manhattan"

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Washington's Technicolor Dream Coat

MVRDV’s first U.S. project breaks multicolored ground at the top of Manhattan
A flash of rainbow is set to touch down in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, as MVRDV’s first project in the United States broke ground earlier today and released a swath of new renderings. The technicolor 22-story Radio Tower & Hotel will be sure to stand out for better or for worse once it’s finished, as it’s springing up in a neighborhood mainly known for blocks of low-slung, turn-of-the-century brick Renaissance Revival–style buildings. Rotterdam-based MVRDV is no stranger to stacked, staggered, and carved forms and bright splashes of color, and from the renderings, it appears that Radio Tower will keep true to that tradition. The mixed-use tower, described by MVRDV as a “vertical village,” was designed to “pull” office, residential, and hotel space off of the ground level and onto a single building. Each of the staggered volumes, about the size of a typical building in the neighborhood, has been assigned a different color and corresponding unique use. For instance, the horizontal blue box at the tower’s center will be reserved for event space. The 234,000-square-foot building is set to rise at the base of the Washington Bridge on 181st Street and Amsterdam Avenue, right where the street grid drops off into Harlem River Park. Because the site is at the edge of the Harlem River and none of the adjacent buildings come close to reaching the same height, Radio Tower should contribute significantly to Washington Heights’ skyline. MVRDV has used colored ceramic brick for the building’s facade, and the firm states that the color of each box is a reference to a typical fixture in the predominantly-Hispanic neighborhood—a design diagram cites brick, murals, supermarket and bodega canopies, and local restaurants as informing their palette. The staggered massing will also preserve views for residents and guests, as well as carve out rooftop terraces atop each of the volumes. A coffee shop and community garden in the building’s communal internal courtyard will be open to the public, as MVRDV has wanted to create both a “welcoming beacon for people entering Manhattan” as well as a community amenity. Still, it remains to be seen how the Washington Heights community will react to the announcement. A proposed rezoning of Inwood a bit further north drew furious protests from uptown residents, as has the Columbia University Medical Center’s previous expansion plans. No information on the affordability of the complex's residential portion has been revealed as of yet.
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Rough Skin

David Adjaye’s 66-story Lower Manhattan tower gets its rugged concrete skin
Last week, massive, hand-cast concrete arches—reminiscent of historic New York building materials from the 19th and 20th centuries—started getting installed on the facade of Adjaye Associates' 130 William residential tower in Lower Manhattan. The tower has made huge progress over the past six months, transforming from a steel skeleton into a concrete superstructure 27-floors high, which is still less than half the size of its projected 66-story peak. Once finished, the building will considerably transform New York City’s iconic skyline, while introducing 244 new luxury condominiums to the Financial District. The skyscraper is significant not only for its immense height, eclectic building materials, and interesting color palette, but also for its visual simplicity, clarity, and unique profile. Distinguished by its stark inverted-pyramidal design, the facade of the building symbolizes an era of social change, technological development, and evolution from the repetitive style of modern architecture in the city. The minimalistic, concrete pillar, evocative of New York City's industrial history, drastically differs from Manhattan’s glass-box skyscrapers. Although this urban monument lacks vibrant imagery and ornamentation, its sheer height and rational twists in concrete, glass, and bronze give it an animated appearance, while still embodying a modern “less is more" ideal. Adjaye Associates describes its architectural practice as, “renowned for an eclectic material and colour palette and a capacity to offer a rich civic experience, the buildings differ in form and style, yet are unified by their ability to generate new typologies and to reference a wide cultural discourse.” According to a representative, the building’s real estate is selling well.
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Creative Colors

viaARCHITECTURE brings joy to a small office in Lower Manhattan
There are good clients and then there are good clients with great projects. They don’t always go together, but when they do, the result can be inspiring architecture and design. viaARCHITECTURE, the New York City firm led by Frederick Biehle and Erika Hinrichs, found both when they were commissioned to design the New York offices for Creative Capital. The nonprofit began as a project to “reinvent cultural philanthropy and to support innovative artists pursuing adventurous projects in all disciplines.” It was founded in response to the National Endowment for the Arts' abandonment of support for individual artists, and the nonprofit is proud to claim “a fierce commitment to freedom of expression.” In the last few years, they have supported artists as diverse as Meredith Monk, Laura Poitras, and Rebecca Solnit, among many others. Biehle was excited to design the group's office space and produced a working environment that is a thrill for its 20 daily inhabitants and any additional visitors. The organization's office is in a typical cramped New York site on Maiden Lane near Wall Street on the 18th-floor. But the architects were able to open up the space and emphasize the view out through a number of tall windows. The 5,000-square-foot space is further enhanced by exposed concrete floors and ceilings with stripped-down beams and columns all focused on the view out to the street and sky. In addition, the office design, which emphasizes communal, co-working spaces instead of individual work rooms, have space-saving pocket doors and multiple openings to increase spatial adaptability and visual access. The space feels open and light-filled despite its less than desirable dimensions. Visitors to Creative Capital exit a small elevator and turn into a narrow hallway, where they are greeted by a colorful double-wide sliding metal door that pulls one into the space. It is hard to convey how the architects' color palette has created an entirely joyful work environment for its employees, something that is not always the case in narrow Lower Manhattan work spaces. It should be noted that the architects worked with their clients to produce not only a desirable work environment but also one that was affordable for the nonprofit. The construction fees for the office were integrated into the ten-year lease plan, and the architects produced efficient built-in furniture and the rest is discounted Herman Miller task furniture for the remainder of the space. This commission was a special one for the architects and produced a project that improved the daily work experience for its users. It’s a case study in what architects can do to improve everyone’s lives.
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Going Up

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners brings high-tech industrial chic to Manhattan
The first renderings of New York's Otis Elevator building revamp have trickled out, and it appears that Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSH+P) will be preserving the historic far West Chelsea building while adding their own industrial flair. Developer and investor Vornado Realty Trust purchased the seven-story brick building at 260 11th Avenue in Manhattan in 2015, with plans to convert the former Otis Elevator headquarters into office space for new companies. The office market in New York is still going strong, particularly on Manhattan's lower west side, and Vornado revealed their plans for the building in the trust’s latest investor report. As CityRealty notes, Rogers has hearkened back to the “inside-out” style of his Centre Pompidou for 260 11th Ave, exposing the structural and HVAC elements, and including a freestanding, glass-clad circulation core. A 10,000-square-foot parking lot facing 27th Street currently sits behind the original Otis Elevator building, which Vornado will be developing into an eight-story, glass-fronted building with a structural steel facade. From the renderings, it appears that RSH+P will set back the new building at the sixth floor, and cantilever a two-story atrium over the roof of the neighboring 549 West 26th Street, with a connection to the new glassy topper at 260 West 11th. Both rooftops will also be converted into accessible green space. The new addition and any exterior changes to the 235,000 square-foot existing building will need to pass muster with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. While the headquarters, built in 1911, has historical cachet (the Otis Elevator Company supplied elevators to some of N.Y.C.’s most famous buildings), it isn’t an individual landmark. Both lots fall inside the West Chelsea Historic District.
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Blue for Days

Rockwell Group’s Blue School brings a pop of color to Lower Manhattan
Rockwell Group’s design for the recently opened Blue School in New York City falls outside the lines of traditional design for primary and secondary education, especially in the cramped Big Apple. While the school includes many basic elements such as closed-door classrooms and a sizable cafeteria, the one thing the architects were expected to uniquely incorporate for the private school, which was founded by alumni of the Blue Man Group, is color. Lots of color. Stretched across four floors of a mixed-use, former medical building in Manhattan’s Financial District, the school serves as a “home away from home” for its kids, featuring flexible spaces and playful palettes that encourage creative self-expression and pride at all ages. The Blue School opened last month for its inaugural semester, welcoming 100 students and 70 faculty members through its shiny glass doors under a neon sign signaling its presence in the neighborhood. The 45,000-square-foot facility is the New York-based institution’s second campus designed by Rockwell Group. It provides much-needed breathing room for the school’s fourth through eighth-grade levels, which were previously housed in what’s now the primary school located in the South Street Seaport. Thanks to the move, pre-kindergarten through third-grade students were also given more space inside their facility, which opened in 2010. For the Upper School, as the new facility is known, Rockwell Group leveled up the design out of respect for the older children, who naturally are becoming more mature as they age. The architects outfitted the space with a bright, eye-catching interior and a layout designed to spark personal discovery as well as collaboration. “There’s a sense of respect the kids feel in spaces designed for them,” said Michael Fischer, the associate principal who led the design with David Rockwell. “They have autonomy, feel empowered and trusted.” Upon walking through the doors of the new Blue School, students, teachers, and guests are greeted with a lobby sporting a lounge-like feel, as well a high-gloss, neon yellow central staircase that serves as the main point of circulation in the facility. To the left in a community space called the Commons, colorful outdoor furniture adds a contemporary twist to the cafeteria setting along with bleacher-like seating wrapped in wood and staggered along the walls for a topographical effect. Additionally, a bar with stools lines the edge of the 1,800-square-foot space overlooking the street. The Commons also includes walls lined with LED-lit garden planters where food is grown as part of the school’s science curriculum as well as for students’ meals. The living wall is maintained in partnership with Brooklyn Grange and enhances the living room-like atmosphere of the shared space. On the basement level, Rockwell Group created a grown-up version of their Imagination Playground system with which students can construct their own seating stations using shapely, blue-foam cushions. The surrounding walls are clad with colorful, geometric wallpaper by Flavor Paper. Two studios as well as a column-free gymnasium, which doubles as a 130-seat auditorium—the Blue School’s first ever performance space—were also designed for the school’s arts and exercise programs. If flexibility is an integral part of the Blue School’s educational philosophy and its interior architectural design, the concept is most evident on the top floors where each learning space includes key elements that allow teachers and students to take over space how they see fit. Rockwell Group collaborated with Uhuru to create non-directional trapezoidal desks that can be easily set up to form clusters for group-work situations. Each classroom also includes a raised carpeted platform dedicated to quiet reading or presentations. An art room, maker lab, and materials library were also given major space on the second floor. Both are fully stocked with every kind of arts and engineering supply imaginable, from paint brushes to saws, to glue and glass. An adjacent materials library—open to the kids at all times—serves several fields of study and specific STEAM courses. The Blue School’s library features a book-lined, double-height reading space with a massive sofa and custom common tables by Rockwell Group for Knoll. Hanging from the ceiling next to the curtain-wall window is a light sculpture designed in collaboration with Dot Dash Design. It changes colors throughout the day and amplifies the school’s interior at night. From the street level, passersby can see activity within the facility and students get a sense of inclusion in the bustling neighborhood. Since the Blue School began in 2006, it has added one grade level per year to its roster of students—hence the need to build out a new campus for its burgeoning population. The first group of kids to begin at the school recently graduated from 8th grade and though they never had the chance to move into the new Upper School, they were integrated into the extensive planning process that Rockwell Group held with students, parents, and teachers. The school expects the number of students to double over the next several years. Blue School will featured as an Open Access site during Open House New York this Saturday, October 13th. Check it out from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or go on a guided tour with representatives from Blue School and Rockwell Group at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Reservations are not required.
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A Funny Thing Happened...

Columbia rounds out its Manhattanville campus with Renzo Piano’s Forum
The third of Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s academic buildings for Columbia University is now complete, filling in the first phase of the school’s Manhattanville campus extension in West Harlem. The Forum, a triangular concrete-and-glass building on the campus’s south section, is the smallest of the Manhattanville trio but cuts an impressive, ship-like figure with its concrete entrance “prow." While Columbia’s factory-like Jerome L. Greene Science Center and stepped Lenfest Center for the Arts tower over the three-story, 56,000-square-foot Forum, all three buildings are elevated and glassy at street level to evoke a sense of openness. Whereas the Science Center houses Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, and Lenfest now holds Columbia’s Wallach Gallery, the Forum was designed to hold conferences, meetings, public events, and a 4,200-square-foot public café and program space at ground level. On the upper two floors, the Columbia World Projects initiative, which brings university research projects across the globe, will take offices, as will the Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia. “In designing the master plan for the campus and its first three buildings, we wanted to help Columbia as a global university in the city and for the city,” said Renzo Piano in a statement, “so New York’s streets and sidewalks are woven into the fabric of the campus. This is not like the campus of earlier centuries. All the buildings are transparent, open to the public, and have amenities for the local community at street level, including plazas and green spaces for everyone to share.” In mentioning the “campus of earlier centuries," Piano is referring of course to Columbia’s central Morningside Heights campus, which is technically open to the public but bounded by walls and gates. The Forum’s materiality is tied to this openness and its programmatic requirements; the entirely glazed first floor invites in passerbys, and the stepped, precast concrete topper holds a 437-seat auditorium. The auditorium, topping out at 31 feet at its highest point, is clad in rough stone and wood acoustic paneling, while polished concrete and exposed pipes are used on the first-floor common areas. Bright orange carpeting and rounded rectangular windows further delineate the office and meeting spaces from the rest of the building. While every building in Piano’s Manhattanville triptych serve a specific purpose, dialogue with each other in both material use as well as planning, and are now finished, the Forum is far from Columbia’s last West Harlem project. Diller Scofidio + Renfro are designing the Henry R. Kravis Building and the Ronald O. Perelman Center for the business school, both slated to open in 2021, and Columbia still holds several open parcels in the area. Interested in touring the Forum? The building will open its doors to the (ticket-holding) public on October 23 as part of Archtober.
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ArtPOPS

Public art chapel in corporate midtown Manhattan to get a restoration
Tucked away in the corporate international style Citigroup Center in midtown Manhattan lies a spiritual sanctuary designed by one of the 20th century's great artists. The Chapel of the Good Shepherd, also known as the Nevelson Chapel, is the work of Louise Nevelson, a flamboyant New York City sculptor who rose to prominence for her postwar abstract assemblages that turned street detritus into enigmatic works of art. An interdisciplinary team is restoring the space, both conserving the painted relief sculptures that line the walls and installing modern mechanical systems to better condition the room. The Nevelson Chapel is a privately owned public space (POPS) in the Citigroup Center, which opened in 1977 and features a distinctive raised base and a slanted roof. The building was landmarked in 2017. POPS began in 1961 when New York City started offering developers FAR bonuses on developments if they would build public spaces as part of the projects. Dozens of these areas are now scattered through the city. As a POPS, the chapel is open to visitors. Saint Peter’s Church originally commissioned the chapel and currently operates the space as part of their worship areas in the complex. The restoration is part of a $5.7 million initiative made possible by donations from nonprofits and individuals, many of whom are connected to Saint Peter's. Objects Conservation Studio and Pratt Institute students are treating painted wood surfaces to reveal Nevelson's original paint using a technique developed in Florence, Italy. Jane Greenwood of Kostow Greenwood Architects, Michael Ambrosino of ADS Engineers, Michael Henry of Watson & Henry Associates, Ryoko Nakamura of Loop Lighting, and Sarah Sutton of Sustainable Museums are installing new lighting and mechanical services. According to the Saint Peter's website, the Nevelson Chapel is accessible every day at almost any hour. The chapel will be open while the artwork is being restored through October 15, after which time more intense construction will take place, and the chapel will close. The space is scheduled to reopen in spring 2019.
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Keeping Up A-Pier-Ances

SHoP and Field Operations bring a mall, public space, and balloons to Lower Manhattan
As SHoP Architects and the Howard Hughes Corporation continue to put the finishing touches on Pier 17, AN took a behind-the-scenes look at the Manhattan seaport’s reinterpretation of the big-box mall and the massive rooftop gathering space above. The 300,000-square-foot mall and public space has been under construction since 2013 and has undergone several design tweaks since its original presentation before the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The proposed glass pergola on the roof has been cut, as has the lawn shown in earlier renderings. The roof is now covered in pavers and designed for flexibility; the planters are modular and can be moved to accommodate larger crowds, and a freight elevator allows food trucks onto the roof directly from the adjacent FDR parkway. According to Howard Hughes, the roof can accommodate up to 3,400 (standing) guests. SHoP took suggestions from the LPC and surrounding community into account when linking Pier 17 with the surrounding waterfront and in their decision to wrap the East River Esplanade around the building. The Esplanade extends into the interior of the first floor, as the building’s base is wrapped in double-height glass doors that can be fully raised if weather permits. The restaurant and retail sections have been reimagined as two-story 'buildings', separate from but still attached to the main structure and aligned on a grid that preserves views of the Brooklyn Bridge and surrounding skyline. SHoP has clad each building-within-a-building in materials that correspond to the area’s nautical heritage, including sustainably harvested tropical hardwood, corrugated zinc sheets, and overlapping zinc tiles. Howard Hughes has already locked down several big-name anchor tenants for Pier 17, including a two-floor restaurant from David Chang and upper-floor office space and a green room for ESPN. Outside, SHoP has collaborated with James Corner Field Operations for the landscaping and furniture, and global firm Woods Bagot has designed the Heineken pavilions. Visitors looking to soak in views of Brooklyn will also find a bar and lounge on the eastern side of the building in the shadows of artist Geronimo’s massive multicolored balloon sculpture. Her creative process is documented in the video below: The top half of Pier 17 has been clad in vertical panes of foggy green-gray channel glass, which rises and falls as it wraps around, in reference to the passing East River below. Some of the crazier renderings have shown the building’s upper floors lit up in technicolor at night, and internet-connected color-changing lights have been embedded in the facade. The public can experience Pier 17’s rooftop when it opens to the public on July 28, complete with an accompanying concert series.
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Setting Up SHoP

SHoP Architects tapped to transform Manhattan tower into haven for tech startups
New York firm SHoP Architects is hopping on the coworking train with a commission to design and renovate 335 Madison Avenue into the new home for Company, a vertical tech campus that combines working spaces and lifestyle facilities. Within the 350,000-square-foot space, Company will house “a curated community of top-tier companies that spans the innovation spectrum from venture-backed startups to large enterprises,” according to Company's description of the project. Company’s office building is located next to Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan. SHoP has recently unveiled a series of interior renderings that showcase the firm’s plan to renovate the atrium lobby and office floors of the building. They will also design supporting amenity spaces. The new spaces include “a bar, multiple dining venues, several event spaces, a two-story glass enclosed library, a wellness center and a gym, and a terrace.” The location will also create ample networking opportunities for the tenants of the building. The startup offices on the lower floors are furnished with “meeting rooms, phone rooms and breakout spaces optimized for productivity,” according to a statement from Company. Those offices range from 2,000 to 12,000 square feet. The enterprise offices will take up the upper floors of the 29-story building with open floor plans.
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Threadbare Urbanism

Manhattan’s Garment District is next on the rezoning block, with some bright spots for manufacturers
Hot off of a contentious rezoning of East Harlem and in the middle of spinning up the Inwood rezoning, the de Blasio administration has once again turned its attention to the Garment District in Midtown. While a previous attempt to transition the neighborhood away from manufacturing failed last year, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that a revised plan will be presented any day now. New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has reportedly worked out a plan, with input from advocates and manufacturers in the area, that would ease some of the area’s restrictive manufacturing requirements and open the neighborhood up to commercial development. A major sticking point of the prior plan, and part of the reason that neighborhood manufacturers opposed the initial rezoning, was that the city had floated the idea of relocating most of the manufacturers to Brooklyn's Sunset Park. From the details that have been made public so far, it looks like the city will lift certain zoning restrictions along the neighborhood’s side streets rather than the whole district, which is located between West 35th and West 40th streets and Broadway and West 9th Avenue. The city will spend up to $20 million to acquire a building that will solely house manufacturing, and developers will be given tax incentives for allocating at least 25,000 square feet for clothing manufacturing in any new buildings. It’s likely that the restrictions on building new hotels from the older plan will be included in the final revision. Under the 1987 zoning code that the new plan addresses, developers converting buildings in the district were required to maintain a 50-50 split between manufacturing space and offices. The new plan is likely a win for manufacturers looking to stay in Manhattan. Despite the district’s central location, many of the small clothing and cloth shops that lined the neighborhood’s streets have left due to unaffordable rent and overseas competition. The WSJ notes that of the 9 million square feet of space within the 1987 zoning regulation’s boundaries, only 700,000 to 900,000 square feet is being used for manufacturing today. Much of New York’s manufacturing base has already shifted to Brooklyn, with a sizable chunk moving to the Navy Yard because of the ability to vertically integrate their production; the latest rezoning plan is a direct effort to address this.  In a press release, the EDC put forth a commitment to preserve at least 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space in the neighborhood, noting that 25 percent of all garment manufacturing in the city is still done in the area. "The Garment Center's unique ecosystem of skilled workers and specialty suppliers clustered in one place is the foundation that the wider New York fashion world is built on. What we've negotiated here is a real plan to preserve it for years to come," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer in the release. "This is much more than just a tax benefit program, although the IDA benefits are central.  It’s an IDA program combined with a real commitment of resources to purchase permanent space. This package will help keep the fashion industry anchored here in New York."
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Crane Game

Adjaye Associates’ loggia-wrapped Manhattan condo tower starts to rise
The Adjaye Associates-designed 130 William, the firm’s first skyscraper in New York, is on the rise. AN has spotted crews working above grade, and a red kangaroo crane has gone up at the Financial District site to help the building reach its expected completion in 2020. At 66 stories and 755 feet tall, the building will be a substantial addition to the downtown skyline. However, unlike most recent towers built in this current boom, 130 William will eschew a glass curtain wall for a custom-tinted precast concrete accented with bronze. The texturally rich surface will be punctuated by arches and loggias on the upper floors, which will blur the divide between interior and exterior spaces for their inhabitants. The cutouts in the upper half of the building's façade invert the traditional window shape commonly found among historic buildings in the neighborhood (as well as on the tower's lower half). The project’s narrow, L-shaped lot on the corner of Fulton Street and William Street was assembled in 2015 through piecemeal acquisitions and demolitions by developer Lightstone group. Construction began in late 2017, well before the official renderings were released. The building’s location near the Brooklyn Bridge will afford many of the residents unobstructed views of the East River from the 244 light-filled units, which includes interiors also designed by Adjaye Associates. Residents of the luxury tower will also have access to a number of amenities, such as a black-tiled swimming pool with grandiose windows, a fitness center, a pet spa, shared outdoor spaces, a rooftop observatory, and not least of all, reportedly an IMAX theatre. According to City Realty, city paperwork also suggests that there will be ground-level retail and a plaza park, embedding the tower within the urban landscape below. David Adjaye has been ramping up the firm's presence throughout Manhattan as of late, including the Studio Museum in Harlem and the recently completed SPYSCAPE museum in Midtown.
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Bancroft Buster

Take a first look at BIG’s Manhattan-bound “tower-in-the-park”
The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has released the first batch of renderings for its latest Manhattan project, a 60-story office tower set to touch down in NoMad. As first reported by New York YIMBY, “29th & 5th” will rise from the site of the former historic Bancroft Bank Building, replacing an 800-foot-tall luxury condo tower designed by Moshe Safdie. As seen in the renderings, the building at 3 West 29th Street will consist of two slender, linked rectangular masses with a glass curtain wall. Differentiating each volume will be the width of the windows, with the curtain wall of the eastern half holding much wider windows than its western counterpart. One of the project’s more interesting features is the “spine” of cantilevering concrete terraces running up the tower’s eastern side, which will give each floor access to outdoor space. According to the project’s EB-5 materials–a program designed to lure foreign investment in the building in exchange for a potential green card–the tower is being designed with a heavy emphasis on wellness. “The building will incorporate a LEED-Certified design and highly amenitized offering package promoting employee connectivity, communal workspaces, and fitness options that will pioneer a new frontier of wellness and sustainability within the workplace. The building is designed with smaller 13,400-square-foot floor plates that will attract an underserved market while leaving ample lot area to design a vibrant park surrounding the building.” While permits filed with NYC’s Department of Buildings show that the project was submitted as a 34-story, 300,000-square-foot tower, YIMBY is reporting that the original application was used to begin foundation work ahead of a final plan reveal. This set of new renderings paints a picture of a tower that’s at least 60 stories tall, with a possible height of 800-to-850 feet and up to 600,000 square feet of floor space. The skyscraper’s massive heft has been made possible by developer HFZ Capital’s agglomeration of air rights from throughout the neighborhood. No completion date has been given for 29th & 5th at the time of writing.