Macklowes Mull East 57th Street Monster Tower
Harry and Billy Macklowe are so busy. Two months ago, they more than doubled their New York portfolio with a $7 billion buy from Blackstone. And now here comes their next prize.
We already know that the Macklowes are planning something at the corner of Park Avenue and 56th Street, where they own the soon-to-be-demolished Drake Hotel. But now it appears that the big development site is expanding even more.
According to city records, the Macklowes have purchased 44 and 50 East 57th Street for $41 million and have issued a declaration of development rights for 42, 44, 48 and 50 East 57th Street—all tiny buildings that border the Drake. In the declarations, those properties are bundled with 434 Park Avenue—the Drake’s address—to make up an L.L.C. named 440 Park Avenue Owner Associates.
That means the Macklowes’ prospective monster at the corner of Park Avenue and 56th will curve like an L and expand all the way to 57th Street. So, in addition to being pretty tall—it will reportedly be 70 stories—the new development’s going to have a huge base. (Conspicuously absent from the declaration of development rights is 46 East 57th Street; one wonders if the Macklowes are having a tough time nabbing that building. They would not comment.)
In any event, Harry and Billy Macklowe are quickly securing cash. According to a document obtained by The Observer, the Macklowes have signed an air-rights mortgage-spreader agreement with Deutsche Bank for the 440 Park Avenue project for $543 million.
So they’ve got the money, but what are they going to build there?
It was originally conceived as a mixed-use project that would be mostly residential. The proposed building, known as 50 East 57th Street on the Macklowe Properties Web site, is listed under residential properties and is described as mixed-use.
But at a time when every developer is trading in kitchens for cubicles, the Macklowes are still mulling it over. Billy Macklowe, the heir-apparent to his father’s robust throne, told a group of reporters in February that no decision had been made.
Nevertheless, they’ve got plenty of reason to think office. Their new tower will border 450 Park Avenue, the 32-story tower that owner Taconic Properties is selling for a record-breaking asking price of $1,500 per square foot. And the prospective 440 Park (a.k.a. 50 East 57th) will have one of its three entrances on 56th Street, directly across from the Park Avenue Tower, one of the eight buildings that the Macklowes acquired from Blackstone.