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One57 tops NYC's most expensive condo list; neighborhood to protest tower Sunday

Viewed from Central Park, 157 W 57th Street

Viewed from Central Park, 157 W 57th Street stands high above the Midtown Manhattan skyline Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2015. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

The tallest residential building in the city is now the most expensive living space in the Big Apple.

One57 topped CityRealty's top 100 condo index, which was released Wednesday, with an average $6,010 per square foot price tag, an 18% jump from the same period last year. The 1,005-foot building, which opened in 2014, has been the center of huge criticism and protests from residents and affordable housing advocates, who say the news is a harbinger of what's to come for 57th Street, dubbed "Billionaires' Row."

"I don't think this will stop. I think we're going to see prices get even higher," said Alan Lightfeldt, a data scientist for the real estate site StreetEasy. "I think it really showcases how luxury has shifted back to midtown."

Gabby Warshawer, CityRealty's director of research, said One57's perks played a key role in the price jump.

"There are a lot more amenities there," she said of the tower. "More investors and real estate tycoons are also flocking there."

The second most expensive building on the real estate company's index, the 540-foot tall 15 Central Park West, had an average price of $5,726 per square feet.

Warshawer said 15 CPW, built in an art deco style, has a stronger resale value because of its eight years on the market and the fact that its owners tend to spend more time actually living in the space.

Midtown will soon see astronomical prices elsewhere, Warshawer added, with the 1,396-foot 432 Park Avenue starting sales this season. Other large residential towers are planned for the same street.

"The big question is, 'When there is real competition, what will the prices look like?' I suspect that we will see some of them stand the test of time," she said.

Longtime neighborhood residents, however, say they are fed up with the enormous buildings and the price wars, which they say have destroyed the character of the area.

A protest is scheduled for Sunday that calls on building planners to stop creating these mega towers without getting more input from the community. Layla Law-Gisiko, the chair of Central Park sunshine task force for Manhattan's Community Board 5, said aside from the shadows that cover Central Park South all day, the developers don't contribute to the city's economy due to tax abatements.

Although she acknowledged that these buildings were always intended for extremely wealthy tenants and investors, Law-Gisiko said the community is disappointed at the lack of balance for other home hunters.

"It's very unfortunate that this building and other buildings in the same league aren't generating any affordable housing in the district," she said.


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