Zeckendorf and Global Holdings hold ground breaking for 50 United Nations Plaza; $500 million project designed by Foster + Partners; to be constructed by Lend Lease

December 11, 2012 - Design / Build

William Zeckendorf, Zeckendorf Development

Eyal Ofer, Global Holdings

Rendering of 50 United Nations Plaza - New York, NY

Zeckendorf Development with Global Holdings unveiled 50 United Nations Plaza, the first residential tower in the U.S. designed by Foster + Partners, at a ground breaking ceremony in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Occupying a location across from the United Nations Headquarters, the 44-story condominium will be constructed by Lend Lease. The $500 million project is scheduled to be completed in late 2014.
"50 United Nations Plaza is destined to become an international landmark, defined by its modern architecture and renowned location," said William Zeckendorf, co-chairman of Zeckendorf Development. "This neighborhood is of great personal significance to my brother Arthur and I, as our maternal grandfather Trygve Lie was the first UN secretary general, and our paternal grandfather assembled the land upon which the UN Secretariat building now stands."
Located adjacent to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at First Ave. and 46th St., 50 United Nations plaza will feature 87 units. Residences will range in size from one-bedroom apartments up to 1,100 s/f, two bedrooms from 1,600 to 2,600 s/f, three bedrooms from 3,000 s/f, and full-floor homes of 6,000 s/f, as well as a two-floor penthouse with 10,000 s/f. Ceiling heights for all residences range from 10 ft. up to 16 ft.
A private motor court and garden leads to a lobby, and a residents only garage with 87 parking spaces - one for each residence. In addition, there will be 5,000 s/f of retail and restaurant space on First Ave.
"We are thrilled to again partner with Zeckendorf Development on creating another premier New York City residential condominium," said Eyal Ofer, chairman of Global Holdings. "With a location facing one of the most famous and important buildings in the world, 50 United Nations Plaza will attract considerable interest from buyers who recognize there is no other opportunity in New York City to own a home created by one of today's great architects."
During the ground raising ceremony, Zeckendorf Development and Global Holdings donated $100,000 to support Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, a non-profit community organization whose mission is the beautification, preservation and public programming of the plaza. These funds will be used to engage a professional landscape architect to create a plan to beautify the boundary between 50 United Nations Plaza and Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. The landscape architect will also be tasked with designing a prestigious entrance to the plaza's Katharine Hepburn Garden.
"The collaboration between Norman Foster, Zeckendorf Development and Global Holdings will set new standards for luxury living and create one of the most memorable residential buildings in the world, which will fit securely and independently among New York's iconic towers," said Arthur Zeckendorf, co-chairman of Zeckendorf Development.
The exterior of 50 United Nations Plaza is characterized by deep bay windows, which accentuate the views and broaden the living spaces within. The windows are unified by a horizontal grid of stainless steel tubes that wrap around the building. The tower's jewel-like quality is further enhanced by highly reflective panels, which run vertically between each of the faceted bays.
Norman Foster, chairman and founder of Foster + Partners said, "The slender proportion of 50 United Nations Plaza is attenuated by the vertical stacks of bay windows, which give it a distinctive identity. From the apartments within, these bays offer spectacular views of the East River and Manhattan's skyline. The polished stainless steel detailing of the façade is in the spirit of earlier historic towers in the city, and it reflects the sharp quality of light which is special to New York. The building has a strong environmental agenda combining measures to reduce energy consumption with the use of recycled materials."
A bracelet of planting encircles the tower, set within the wider context of the UN Sculpture Garden and surrounding parks including Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Inside, the warm color palette of the grand lobby is complemented by granite, red marble flooring and mahogany walls. An open fireplace is located to the rear, with a full-height water feature that divides the space. A spa within the building incorporates a large exercise pool for residents.
Every residence at 50 United Nations Plaza is focused on the floor-to-ceiling bay windows. Interiors are luxurious and classically laid out, with generous space for entertaining. The penthouse features an infinity pool, cut from the top level of the building.
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