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The new Midtown East skyline as seen from Selene (Williams New York) The new Midtown East skyline as seen from Selene (Williams New York)
With the exception of some rumblings around pockets of Fifth Avenue shopping and the celebrated Grand Central Terminal, Midtown East has spent the past few years subdued in the wake of pandemic-induced office closures and long-deferred return-to-work dates. However, the area has seen some stirrings of life as of late. As of last week, the Grand Central Madison Terminal brought long-awaited Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal. Gothamist groused that this doesn’t save passengers a lot of time compared to taking the subway from Penn Station, but it does ease congestion at Penn Station and allow for a more direct trip to the East Side.
Moreover, while Grand Central Madison makes the prospect of a commute more enticing, things could get more interesting close to home. In his recent State of the City address, Mayor Eric Adams spoke at length of a plan to rezone part of Midtown Manhattan to allow for more housing and greater conversion of office buildings. Some industry experts say that Park and Madison Avenue should be left out of this, but that the Third Avenue office corridor was hit especially hard, is now ripe for residential conversion, and that not a moment should be lost.
270 Park Avenue, 347 Madison Avenue, 415 Madison Avenue, and 350 Park Avenue SUpertall skyscrapers Midtown East's next generation of office buildings: 270 Park Avenue, 347 Madison Avenue, 415 Madison Avenue, and 350 Park Avenue
Midtown-East-02 Looks like our hypothetical rendition of the Midtown East rezoning wasn't so far-fetched. Just please improve the streetscape, widen sidewalks, and no more prosaic glass boxes.
If the proposed rezoning goes through, it would come on the heels of the 2017 rezoning that allowed for massive new buildings like One Vanderbilt (which set a new record for New York’s most expensive office lease in April 2022) and other projects in the works that include 175 Park Avenue, 347 Park Avenue, 415 Park Avenue, and the new JP Morgan Chase headquarters at 270 Park Avenue.
These new buildings aim to draw New Yorkers from all boroughs, but the convenience of being able to walk to work cannot be overlooked. Landmarked religious institutions, fine dining restaurants, and high-end department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdale’s have long made Midtown East attractive to tourists. However, between home decor stores lining Third Avenue and recently opened gourmet grocery stores, locals have come to embrace it as a residential destination.

Developers recognized the convenience of Midtown East as well, and a new crop of condominiums with high-end interiors and well-curated amenities has sprung up. We take a look at the most architecturally impressive, state-of-the-art condos in the neighborhood.
100-East-53rd-Street Views of the new Midtown East skyline from Selene (Brown Harris Stevens)

Developed by Donald Trump | Design by Swanke Hayden Connell
58 stories | 238 condo units
Completed in 1983

721-Fifth-Avenue-01 Trump Tower (The trees on the cascade of terraces were removed a few years back)
Whether or not you agree with Donald Trump's politics, the cachet of one of the world’s most famous addresses is undeniable. A prime location at Fifth Avenue and East 56th Street, crisp modern design by architect Der Scutt of Swanke Hayden Connell, and proximity to Central Park, and Fifth Avenue shopping at your doorstep, have ensured enduring value for this iconic black-glass building.

Trump Tower, #35E (Domus Arbiter Realty Corp.)

Developed by Macklowe Group | Design by CetraRuddy
35 stories | 67 condo units
Completed in 2018

200-East-59th-Street 200 East 59th Street
The 35-story sliver at the corner 200 East 59th Street sits at the junction of Midtown East, Billionaires’ Row, and Lenox Hill, some of the city’s most rarified residential destinations. Small floorplates make for exclusive living, with just two units per typical floor. Glass-railed balconies feature in every apartment. Sheer, floor-to-ceiling windows lend ample sunlight. Ceiling heights gradually rise toward the upper floors, which open onto Central Park views.

200 East 59th Street, #16A (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Developed by Aristotle Onassis | Design by Skidmore Owings & Merrill
52 stories | 226 condo units
Completed in 1978

641-Fifth-Avenue Olympic Tower
In 1975, magnate Aristotle Onassis erected the 51-story Olympic Tower across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Rockefeller Center, attracting high society elites and ushering a new era in New York’s luxury living. The somber skyscraper helped crystalize high-rise modernism into a lifestyle statement that persists in spiritual descendants from Trump Tower to 432 Park Avenue.

Olympic Tower, #34B (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Developed by RFR Holding | Design by Kohn Pedersen Fox
45 stories | 76 condo units
Completed in 2005

60-East-55th-Street Park Avenue Place
Park Avenue Place looks a little like a high-tech, stainless-steel aircraft carrier, minus its superstructure, standing on one end, which is to say that it is very elegant and has a precise feel. As such, it is a good neighbor to Heron Tower, the slightly smaller tower just to its east that is a pleasant, conservative, pin-stripe office building that lends a calming effect to an otherwise "wild" block.

Park Avenue Place, #PH3 (Sothebys International Realty)

Developed by Ceruzzi Properties | Design by Pelli Clarke Pelli
64 stories | 124 condo units
Completed in 2020

138-East-50th-Street-01 The Centrale
The 803-foot, 64-story Centrale introduces Billionaires’ Row-style living into central Midtown. The slender skyscraper rises high above the broad office slabs in the Park Avenue corridor, and offers unobstructed 360-degree panoramas from the upper floors. The design aesthetic combines mid-century modernism with Art Deco, both hallmarks of Midtown East, while tall-ceiled apartments sport a palette of refined finishes and high-end fixtures.

The Centrale, #38B (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Developed by World Wide Group and Rose Associates | Design by Skidmore Owings & Merrill
65 stories | 95 condo units
Completed in 2017

252-East-57th-Street 252 East 57th Street (Credit: Albert Vecerka of esto)
The esteemed firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, a pioneer of Modernist architecture, brings its signature minimalistm to this apartment building near the east end of Billionaires’ Wow. The 65-story tower is a jewel box of high-quality, green-tinted glass, accented with a pair of subtle, concave niches. An impressive amenity package cements 252 East 57th as one of prime residential destinations in Midtown East.

252 East 57th Street, #37B (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Sponsor: Vanke US | Design by Foster + Partners
63 stories | 93 condo units
Completed in 2017

100-East-53rd-Street Selene (CityRealty)
100-East-53rd-Street-01 Selene (Credit: Williams New York)
Located just off Park Avenue and next door to the iconic Seagram Building, Selene brings a shimmering design with stainless steel bays and faceted glass walls by Foster + Partners (whose New York credits include the Fifth Avenue Apple store, the Hearst Tower, and West Chelsea condo 551W21) to Midtown East. The 94 bespoke residences feature spectacular day-to-night vistas and clean lines so as not to detract from the views; they also boast high, ribbed concrete ceilings, custom kitchens, and serene baths.. Residents enjoy direct elevator access to Le Jardinier, a Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as amenities like a sunlit 60-foot lap pool, a state-of-the art wellness center, and Atlas Club & Library.

Selene, #51A (Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing LLC)

Developed by Vornado Realty Trust | Design by Cesar Pelli & Associates
55 stories | 105 condo units
Completed in 2003

151-East-58th-Street-01 One Beacon Court
The 806-foot-tall One Beacon Court ranked among the city’s tallest buildings, apartment or otherwise, upon its 2004 completion. Years later, the mixed-use complex remains among East Midtown’s premier addresses thanks to its mid-block porte cochere, across-the-street adjacency to Bloomingdale’s, in-building shopping and subway access, and Central Park views from the upper floors. Notable residents have included Jack Welch, Steve Cohen, Brian Williams, and Beyonce.

One Beacon Court, #PH50 (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Developed by Dajia Insurance Group | Design by Schutze & Weaver
52 stories | 375 condo units
Completed in 1931, converted in 2019

303-Park Avenue
High-class connotations of the Waldorf Astoria name long predate the 1931 completion of the Park Avenue skyscraper, let alone the 2019 conversion of the upper floors into condominiums of the Towers moniker. Though the secret underground train that once connected directly to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s suite is no longer in service, residents retain access to the legendary building’s landmark interiors and world-renowned services.

The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria, #3309 (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Developed by Macklowe Group | Design by Rafael Vinoly Architects
96 stories | 104 condo units
Completed in 2015

432-Park-Avenue 432 Park Avenue
When it thrust into the Midtown skyline in 2015, 432 Park Avenue became an undeniable symbol of ultra-luxurious living, to supporters as well as detractors of opulent lifestyles and untold riches. Today, the 1,397-foot tower is no longer the tallest even on the street where it stands, yet the now-globally-famous address still reigns supreme in scale and luxury alike over any contender in Midtown East.

432 Park Avenue, #66A (Corcoran Group)

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