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Market Update Monday: Supertall Showdown

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As developers surpass each other at unprecedented rates to build the next “supertall” residential building, it appears as if construction is a game of one-upmanship. At the helm of this supposed race to the top are 432 Park at 1,396 feet high and One57 at 1,004 feet tall. However, new development Central Park Tower, is expected to top this list in 2019 at a whopping 1,550 feet tall. With a historic number of luxury buildings on the market, it raises the question: will this supertall tower trend start to slow down any time in the near future?

According to The Real Deal, “there are at least 20 New York City projects at least 900 feet tall that are either under construction or in the planning stages today. Of that batch, 14 are 1,000 feet or taller.” New development specialist Nancy Packes notes that she’s never seen anything like this; it truly is a new genre for both height and luxury.

In addition to this supertall trend, we’re also seeing super-slender buildings too. With development space disappearing by the day, developers are forced to buy small lots with air rights to build higher. For a building to be considered “slender” it must have a height-to-width ratio of 10 to 1; for every foot at its base, it must also rise 10 feet high.

Though these slender towers alter the design of our iconic skyline, they also require sophisticated engineering that specializes in the production of features such as sound attenuation, high-speed elevators and wind turbines. And these features naturally cost more money.

At what point is too much enough? There doesn’t seem to be many more 1,000-foot-plus towers in the cards for a while, but it looks like we’ll all have to stay tuned and find out.