After nearly a decade of planning, developers are ready to begin building an 82-story skyscraper adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan on West 53rd Street. Houston-based Hines acquired the land in 2007 and, today, closed on the purchases of additional air rights necessary to build 53W53, a for-sale residential tower designed by Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel.

53W53There were two air-rights closings: one with MoMA and one with Saint Thomas Episcopal Church. The project partnership also closed on an $860 million construction loan led by United Overseas Bank Limited with participation from three other Asian banks: Maybank; OCBC Bank; and DBS Bank. In addition, a guaranteed-maximum-price construction contract was finalized with Lend Lease.

Hines and project partner Goldman Sachs have entered into a joint venture agreement and equity partnership with Pontiac Land Group, a Singapore-based real estate developer and investor. With the achievement of these milestones, the project is ready to commence construction.

53W53 is located adjacent to MoMA and spans the width of the block- from 53rd to 54th Streets. The 1,050-foot-tall, 82-story tower will comprise 140 highest-end condominium residences plus 28 service apartments and offer an extensive palette of luxury amenities including interiors by Thierry Despont. The new tower will also include, and rise above, a 39,000-square-foot expansion of gallery and public space for The Museum of Modern Art on lower floors.

One of the most striking attributes of 53W53 is its unique metal and glass facade which is meant to express the building’s structural system with its many diagonal elements. Architect Jean Nouvel also designed the 23-story high-rise at 100 Eleventh Avenue in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea, which is noted for its facade comprised of a patchwork of window panes in varying shapes and sizes.

“More than a decade of planning has gone into setting the stage for this architectural masterpiece. The building’s singular elegance will be valued by future residents and treasured by New Yorkers and visitors as a new international design landmark,” commented Hines Senior Managing Director Tommy Craig.

All discretionary approvals necessary to build the project are in place and construction is expected to begin in October with initial occupancy in late 2018. Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group will handle marketing of the project, and a sales gallery will open on Fifth Avenue in early 2015.