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Thread: 50 East 57th Street @ 432 Park Avenue (former Drake Hotel site)

  1. #1291

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    I admit complete ignorance in this field (other than my own property taxes which appear relatively straight forward), but is there not something fundamentally wrong when apartments with an actual market value of say $30,000,000 are given a "market" value of $2,000,000 and an assessed value of say $1,500,000.

    What am I missing here? How is either calculated? It appears to be a crazy loophole the city is allowing. Should the tax not be reassessed after the actual purchase?

  2. #1292
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Well, the city regularly re-assesses the value of property (all of them do), but it's on a sort of rotating cycle of "as we get to it." Rochester has been going through a huge series of reassessments the last few years. Anyway, property owners can also ask for their property to be reassessed. This won't happen if the assessment is going to go way up (only if it's going down). The issue is the confluence of a tax break and an initial low assessment (based on dated market values).

    Yes it is a huge loophole, but if you can keep taxes low enough that the city can't afford more assessors, then the problem won't be fixed either.

  3. #1293
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    You are debating an opinion on what makes a building look good. One57 is adorned with multicolored glass, but my opinion is that the adornment does not make it look good.

    The question I posed to you is strictly on the cost of construction. You have been going on about the cheap developer, but is this really a cheaply designed building as compared to others.

    He could have used up the FAR with a broader building with less height, which would have been less problematic (and less expensive) to construct. It also would have been more efficient in layout. But he chose to build a unique building, the tallest (and thinnest) tower in the city. It may not work out, but I don't think for lack of effort, or cost.

    A contradiction. You're not an accountant, but you know about the balance sheet of the building.

    Again, you are trying to interject your aesthetic opinion on what is a straightforward question - is this a cheap building. Would glass or metal make the building look better. I don't think that worked a few blocks down 57th St. I know you don't like anything with a flat top. You don't like TWC; you don't like 8 Spruce. So I know that no matter what, you would not like this building.

    Nothing to do with the present discussion. The Drake is gone. Lots of buildings we now admire replaced structures more iconic than the Drake.

    And you still haven't compared this to One57, the one you don't seem to have a problem with. Has that developer ripped us off?
    My point is that he is utiizing the height of this tower as a means of privacy for the tenants. In a city as dense and populated as this privacy=$$, thusly he will command a very favorable prcing scheme on those higher apartments. Prices that would not just cover the engeniering requirements to build them but to somewhere in there command a profit of some sort. Profits that I believe will/could afford a little more effort at the discretion of the developer. I do not get how you could infer that there is no lack of effort in a tower that is done with just the barest of materials, concrete, in the barest of shape, square; the distinctive height leaves it bare in the sky as a gimmick to command a better price tag for profits barely for the developers checking account --and thats it. One57 at least tries, and I am in the belief that ugly/tacky is better than prosaic/simple/moderninst/boooring (dont you dare bring up Kaufmann cuz he stuff is cheap, ugly AND boring). And then we are left looking at this solidied stack of cement, with aesthetics aking to that of a cardboard box.

    I do not like this building because, like TWT and 8 spruce they soar out into our skyline to do nothing except get in the way of the ESB, woolworth, Chrysler, etc. (when they were being designed you see that their developers wanted to give something back the the city, and boy did they ever!) and waterdown what is the signature of NYC, its once majestic skyline, with rectilinear-clones (what do they give back?). To me these clones are trasendent, socio-economic testament to our culture, all so that rich developers get richer with more for themselves and no one else.

    It seems like you can abide by this, but this dude cannot.
    Last edited by TREPYE; April 9th, 2013 at 09:57 AM.

  4. #1294

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    Quote Originally Posted by TREPYE View Post
    My point is that he is utiizing the height of this tower as a means of privacy for the tenants. In a city as dense and populated as this privacy=$$, thusly he will command a very favorable prcing scheme on those higher apartments.
    This is an ambiguous argument given that the primary purpose of any building developer is to make money. The point is has this developer "ripped us off" financially more than other buildings in this class.

    I do not get how you could infer that there is no lack of effort in a tower that is done with just the barest of materials, concrete, in the barest of shape, square; the distinctive height leaves it bare in the sky as a gimmick to command a better price tag for profits barely for the developers checking account --and thats it.
    First of all, concrete isn't cheap, especially when hauled up to extreme heights. And the amount of it used in this building is substantial. Secondly, the perimeter concrete is even more expensive. The processing requires higher kiln temperatures and produces less final product.

    One57 at least tries, and I am in the belief that ugly/tacky is better than prosaic/simple/moderninst/boooring (dont you dare bring up Kaufmann cuz he stuff is cheap, ugly AND boring).
    LOL. You made my argument; I don't have to say anything.

    And then we are left looking at this solidied stack of cement, with aesthetics aking to that of a cardboard box.
    Statements like this cannot be argued, because they are meaningless. Moving on.

    I do not like this building because, like TWT and 8 spruce they soar out into our skyline to do nothing except get in the way of the ESB, woolworth, Chrysler, etc. (when they were being designed you see that their developers wanted to give something back the the city, and boy did they ever!)
    I already knew and stated why you wouldn't like the building, and why I wasn't going to discus aesthetics with you.

    I doubt that developers in the past built to "give something back to the city." That's your assumption. It was a different time - cost of labor, materials, transport. I could go on, but it's like comparing athletes from different eras.

    It seems like you can abide by this, but this dude cannot.
    Rather condescending of you to assume that my opinion - unlike yours - involves tolerating something inferior. Especially since you believe that "ugly/tacky is better."

    I like the idea of this building - it's simplicity of form, slimness in a sea of fat behemoths, defined widows; but I don't think it's perfect. I reserve judgement on the final product.

    One other point: Its dimensions have the characteristics of a sliver building. I like that they avoided using solid shear walls to counteract lateral loads. The engineers clearly had trouble here, incorporating several open areas to allow the wind to pass through, reducing the forces on the building.

  5. #1295
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post

    ... concrete isn't cheap, especially when hauled up to extreme heights. And the amount of it used in this building is substantial. Secondly, the perimeter concrete is even more expensive. The processing requires higher kiln temperatures and produces less final product.
    Will they be using this type of concrete construction here?

  6. #1296

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    From what I've seen on the webcams and what's been posted elsewhere, I don't think so.

    It seems to me that you would use this type of application where you wanted to span large areas with concrete, since concrete has poor tensile strength. I don't think that's an issue with a building that's 93.5 feet square.

    The trade off is shear-strength. This analysis of voided concrete slabs show shear strength of this systems as a percentage of a solid slab (90% or so). Another document I browsed measured it at 65%.

    I suppose that's acceptable for most applications, but what about a quarter mile high building?

  7. #1297

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    Most new construction is build under property tax abatements. Those phase out after ten years. When that happen, the assessed value will be something more like it's market value. At that point, this building will be a huge cash cow for the city.

    Quote Originally Posted by IrishInNYC View Post
    I admit complete ignorance in this field (other than my own property taxes which appear relatively straight forward), but is there not something fundamentally wrong when apartments with an actual market value of say $30,000,000 are given a "market" value of $2,000,000 and an assessed value of say $1,500,000.

    What am I missing here? How is either calculated? It appears to be a crazy loophole the city is allowing. Should the tax not be reassessed after the actual purchase?

  8. #1298

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    Huh? Privacy has nothing to do with it. It's all about the views. Views command a huge premium. By going this high, a huge percentage of the units in the building will have spectacular views, comparied to a shorter, broader building.

    Quote Originally Posted by TREPYE View Post
    My point is that he is utiizing the height of this tower as a means of privacy for the tenants. In a city as dense and populated as this privacy=$$, thusly he will command a very favorable prcing scheme on those higher apartments.

  9. #1299
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    I do not suffer from vertigo, and I do like a view from a height, but I could never be comfortable living with the views from the upper floors of this building. Being so high up it would be like flying, where the view has no foreground, the background is the horizon, and the only context comes from looking down. Who would enjoy such a view? Certainly someone who had so much money and conceit that he fancied himself a god, and I would wager that more than one tenant of this building will call their pad "Olympus." Perhaps one of these monstrosities planned up and down 57th street can be named "Caligula Tower" and another "Mammon's Alter."

    I am reminded of the ferris wheel scene in the Third Man, where Harry Lime asks Holly Martins to


    Look down there. Would you feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you 20,000 pounds for every dot that stopped moving, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money? Or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax. It's the only way to save money nowadays.
    Last edited by ttk; April 9th, 2013 at 10:23 PM.

  10. #1300
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttk View Post
    I do not suffer from vertigo, and I do like a view from a height, but I could never be comfortable living with the views from the upper floors of this building. Being so high up it would be like flying, where the view has no foreground, the background is the horizon, and the only context comes from looking down. Who would enjoy such a view? Certainly someone who had so much money and conceit that he enjoyed imagining himself to be a god, and I would wager that more than one tenant of this building will call their pad "Olympus." Perhaps one of these monstrosities planned up and down 57th street can be named "Caligula Tower" and another "Mammon's Alter."

    I am reminded of the ferris wheel scene in the Third Man, where Harry Lime asks Holly Martins to


    Look down there. Would you feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you 20,000 pounds for every dot that stopped moving, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money? Or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax. It's the only way to save money nowadays.
    I don't know how much "living" the buyers of these apartments will be doing there. More and more, the highest-end market is aimed towards buyers who live elsewhere and use residential real estate in alpha world cities as a kind of 'savings account' whereby their money is safely buried in a fungible fixed asset. Think Russian oligarch...or corrupt Chinese Transport Minister.

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    That's a very good point. Given this, what good comes to New York from these hideous buildings? Is it the bonanza of property tax revenue based on the low-balled assessments? Is it the ruined skyline? Or is it the "oh-so-cutting edge" architecture of this thing, or for that matter the banal One57, or Tower Verre (which to me is straight out of a Charles Addams cartoon)?
    Last edited by ttk; April 9th, 2013 at 10:26 PM.

  12. #1302
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    This kind of investment is a great hedge against inflation. Just about the worst thing that could happen to this town would be a dirty bomb, making parts of it uninhabitable for a long time. But even then, insurance would kick in (with a fight, no doubt) and I believe the Feds would step in for Americans with some kind of bailout.

  13. #1303
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    04.14.13









    Štectonic

  14. #1304

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    In the first photo, it looked great. It almost looked like limestone. However, in the second to last photo, it looks like crap.

  15. #1305
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Give it a chance. Once they get all those non-union guys up there to polish it, the concrete will look great.

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