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Rabina Properties and 520 5th Ave: Progress on the Next Super Tall Skyscraper in Midtown


Midtown’s New Skyscraper: 520 5th Ave.

Want to stay in the loop about the latest developments in Midtown Manhattan? If you are interested in buying a home in this glitzy, bustling neighborhood, then you should. Keep reading below for NewDevRev’s comprehensive guide to what we know so far about 520 5th Ave, a super tall skyscraper currently under construction.

520 5th Ave.’s History

Even before construction permits were filed in January 2021, real estate watchers have had their eyes on Rabina Properties latest undertaking: a super tall skyscraper in midtown Manhattan, 520 5th Ave. Investors and home buyers alike should pay attention to this exciting new development currently set to complete construction in 2023.

The Architects: Kohn Pederson Fox

Originally home to three buildings that housed retail stores, the plot at 520 5th Ave. has been laying unoccupied since initial development ambitions went bust with the 2008 recession. Clearly, the development of this plot of land has not been a straight line. Different iterations of the projected 520 5th Ave. tower have emerged and faded before the final design was decided.

Back in 2008, Pelli Clarke Pelli designed a skyscraper that was going to be developed by Aby Rosen and Hines. When the recession hit, Rosen’s firm, RFR, then tried to redevelop the site without success. They sold 520 5th Ave. to Thor equities, who then sold it to Ceruzzi Properties in 2015 for $325 million.

The first rumblings about the current construction began in 2019, when there was speculation that SMI USA and Ceruzzi Properties were going to build the first skyscraper over 900 ft. tall on 5th Avenue on the plot. Handel Architects created the initial design, which was set to be a 920 ft. tall glass structure with 76 stories. Construction on this version of 520 5th Ave. was meant to begin in 2020.

However, these plans changed after Ceruzzi Properties defaulted on one of their loans, which was put up for sale and purchased by new developers. These new developers decided to move away from Handel Architect’s design.

In January 2021, permits were officially filed on a building design from a different architecture firm: Kohn Pederson Fox, one of the biggest architects in NYC. The new design clocks in at a lower–but still incredibly tall–height of 896 ft housing 70 stories. Since these permits were filed, we have also gotten new renderings visualizing the future tower. Take a look.

The Developers: Rabina Properties

Rabina Properties took over the development from SMI USA and Ceruzzi Properties in 2019 after the latter defaulted on a loan from Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies. Rabine properties decided to take the 520 5th Ave. project in a new direction, securing a new mortgage through Bank OZK and $540 million in financing from Bank OZK and the Carlyle Group.

Rabina is a real estate development and investment firm with roots dating back to 1956. Family owned, the firm is headed by Chairman and founder Mickey Rabina and President Josh Rabina, a father son team whose hands on leadership have helped Rabina Properties grow in diversified markets–including residential, office, retail, industrial, and mission critical real estate.

Their past developments include over 2,000 apartment units in New York City and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as office buildings in NYC and Charlotte, North Carolina. They have built retail properties that have housed tenants like Macy’s, Zara, Starbucks, CVS, and TD Bank.

The firm not only specializes in development, but also acquisition, asset management, and structured credit services. Throughout its history, Rabina has developed 25 million square ft. of property. Soon, the 450,000 sq ft. of 520 5th Ave. will be added to that total.

The Construction: Projected Completion

Right now, excavation is underway on 520 5th Ave. It looks like finally, after all of this time, a new building will actually go up on this corner plot. Once excavation is complete and the foundation slabs are laid, construction will officially begin.

At the moment, we project that the building will be completed in 2023. Hopefully all goes according to plan, but if there are delays, New Dev Rev will be sure to keep you updated.

520 5th Ave Building Details

So, what do we know about the building so far? Since it is still being built, we have to go off of the details from the permit filings. Here are the details we can share with you right now.

Building Specs

At the moment, we can anticipate that 520 5th Ave. will be 76 stories, with 4 stories as underground cellar levels. The building’s total height is projected to be 995 ft. tall, encompassing 507,608 sq. ft. This would make it the second tallest building on 5th avenue, only beaten out for first place by the Empire State Building.

Aesthetically, 520 5th Ave. looks reminiscent of classic New York City architecture, but with a modern twist. The gently stepped design feachers setbacks that narrows the building’s width as it soars into the sky. The plot is 85 ft by 125 ft in width, so the tower will be on the narrow side.

From the renderings, it appears that 520 5th avenue will be lined with large, arched windows that are sure to give great views of the midtown and the rest of Manhattan. There also appears to be terraces on each of the setbacks, meaning there will be valuable outdoor space to future residents.

Projected Use

520 5th Ave. is set to be a mixed-use building. This means it is not purely residential, but instead will host a number of residents as well as businesses. There will be 98 residential units spanning floors 31 through 68. The first three floors will contain restaurants, while the floors in between the restaurants and the residences will be office space. The 69th floor and one of the basement floors will have residential amenities.

Possible Amenities

We are not yet sure of the details of the amenities residents can expect at 520 5th Ave. However, we know that the 69th floor will host a sky lounge, solarium, and reading room. In the subterranean basement levels, residents can enjoy a pool, gym, spa, and sports club.

Based on the renderings, it is clear that the setbacks will make space for outdoor terraces. Whether these are all private terraces or if they are shared between multiple residential units is still unclear. It also does not look like every unit will have a terrace, but only select units.

Should You Live in Midtown?

If you are considering purchasing a home in Manhattan, then you have many neighborhoods from which to choose. So how do you decide the right neighborhood for you?

Read New Dev Rev’s Neighborhood Pages

First, check out our neighborhood pages to get an overview of what kinds of new developments are on the market in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. There are several sections of midtown that you can peruse to get a feel for 520 5th Ave.’s surroundings.

Enjoy Bryant Park

520 5th Ave. is a mere two short blocks from Bryant Park, midtown’s jewel. This beautiful park is always full of New Yorkers taking in the art, culture, and a quick bite to eat all under the shade of London Plane trees. Right next to multiple subway lines (7, E, B, D, F, and M), this bustling park is one of the most popular in the city.

This urban oasis is a great place to take in live music, or participate in outdoor yoga. The park offers countless free events for all New Yorkers to enjoy, and as a resident of 520 5th Ave., you are just around the corner from the heart of it all.

The park is also bordered by the historic and grand New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. This is the flagship main branch of the NYPL, and has been a beloved icon for 125 years.

Calming Comfort with Bustling Surroundings

At 520 5th Ave., you can enjoy the comfort and calm of a luxury residence while still being in the center of New York’s thriving heart–midtown. Midtown is the central hub of business and art in NYC. For New Yorkers who are sick of the commute, living here is a great option since many workplaces are located in this span of Manhattan.

Just a few blocks to the West, 520 5th Ave. residents can find Times Square and Broadway. A transportation hub, Times Square is more than just masses of people taking in the bright lights: it connects you to all parts of the city through multiple subway stations. Historic Broadway theaters branch off of Times Square, where you can take in some of the best shows in the world.

To the North of 520 5th Ave., you can find the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), as well as luxury shopping along 5th Avenue leading up to beautiful, sprawling Central park. Situated on the edge of calm Midtown East and the hustle and bustle of the Theater District and Midtown West, 520 5th. Ave. is in the perfect spot for New Yorkers who want the best of both worlds.

Stay Up to Date on 520 5th Ave

If 520 5th Ave. sounds like the perfect place to call home, then you should stay up to date on the developments going forward. Since the building is still under construction, you should be sure to check in with NewDevRev’s coverage of this property and the other exciting new developments going up throughout NYC.

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