NYC’s largest residential skyscraper proposed for West Side

The proposed contraction site of a Silverstein Properties building sits on 11th Avenue between West 40th and West 41st Streets.
The proposed contraction site of a Silverstein Properties building sits on 11th Avenue between West 40th and West 41st Streets. Photo Credit: iStock

A skyscraper proposed for the revamped west side would be the largest residential tower this city’s ever seen if it gets the go-ahead.

Silverstein Properties, the developer behind the new World Trade Center, introduced early plans to the Department of City Planning last week to build an 1,100-foot mixed skyscraper between 41st and 40th Streets and 10th and 11th Avenues.

If approved, the 520 West 41st St. project, which is awaiting approval from the city’s Department of Planning for a public review process, will be the fourth largest building in the city and the largest residential tower.

Robert Benfatto, the district manager for Manhattan’s Community Board 4, which oversees the area, said the neighborhood is generally excited about the energy the skyscraper would bring to the area, which is already being reshaped by the Hudson Yards development further south.

“We like the fact that it will be developed because now that space is just an empty lot,” he said.

City Planning is currently reviewing Silverstein’s “draft scope of work” and the public will be able to comment about the proposal in a meeting on July 31. Several parties, including the community board and borough president’s office, can give recommendations on the plan, but it approval from City Planning, the City Council and the mayor.

The mayor’s office didn’t messages for comment.

According to the proposal, tthe tower would include 475,000 square feet of commercial space, a public green space and 1,400 residential apartments. There will be affordable housing units, but the number and details for those apartments has yet to be determined.

“A high quality mixed-use project on this site will make the area around the Lincoln Tunnel entrance a lot more people-friendly, with dynamic retail, amenities, new public space and a pedestrian-oriented streetscape,” Dara McQuillan, a spokesman for Silverstein Properties said in a statement.

Silverstein Properties has a tentative 2017 start for construction and 2020 completion date for the tower, which falls inside the Hudson Yards Zoning area. No architect has been named.

Benfatto said the board looked over the draft a few weeks ago and some members had concerns about the height of the building but overall liked the current scope of work.

“We hope that it fits in with the area and the retail is beneficial not only for the people visiting but also those who live in the area,” he said.

Andrew Dolkart, a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, agreed.

Dolkart, who is a staunch opponent to One57 and the other skyscrapers that are being constructed in midtown due to the massive shadows they cast on the neighborhood, said the West Side is the perfect place for such tall structures such as the skyscrapers under construction at the main Hudson Yards site at 34th Street and 11th Avenue.

“It is a relatively undeveloped area,” he said. “The idea of Hudson Yards was to create a dense tall urban neighborhood.”

Dolkart added that Silverstein already has two towers on West 42nd Street and they fit the changing neighborhood well. He said the city and community should have long and deep discussions with Silverstein to make sure everyone gets the best out of the development.

“A lot depends on the design. [Big skyscrapers] can be really beautiful or bad depending on the look and use in the neighborhood,” he said.

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