Inside the race to build Brooklyn’s tallest tower (2023)

It’s a race to the top in Downtown Brooklyn.

The borough’s densest neighborhood has witnessed a development boom that is now squeezing skyscrapers to heights of over 1,000 feet, rivaling the supertalls on Billionaires’ Row in Manhattan.

“Downtown Brooklyn didn’t have much of an identity over the last decade,” said Jared Della Valle, CEO and founder of Alloy Development, who recently broke ground on the Alloy Block, a five-building, mixed-use project in the area.

Now, that’s all changed.

Downtown Brooklyn’s new live, work and play vibe is partly thanks to a 2004 rezoning, which was designed to increase the area’s commercial footprint.

Whereas Flatbush Avenue, a major spine of redevelopment, was once clogged with gas stations, carwashes and XXX shops, today the neighborhood boasts sparkly modern conveniences, like Apple, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, as well as DeKalb Market Hall at City Point. The area’s thriving cultural offerings include BAM, BRIC, the Center for Fiction, Mark Morris Dance Group and Barclays Center.

New office towers, from the 495-foot-tall 1 Willoughby Square, developed by JEMB Realty Corporation, to the 360-foot-tall 141 Willoughby, by Savanna Partners, are in the works.

And there’s also a plan over the next decade, commissioned by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, to make the neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly with a master plan designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and WXY architecture + urban design to transform the streetscape with more green space, shared streets and bike lanes.

(Video) The Rise of Brooklyn's First Supertall Skyscraper

“Downtown Brooklyn has become an extension of Lower Manhattan.”

Matthew Villetto, executive vice president of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing

That’s attracting newcomers like Roshan Karunaratne, 32, a health care director who moved from Sydney, Australia, to a one-bedroom apartment at the new Willoughby at 196 Willoughby St. with his 27-year-old girlfriend Dainora Jonusaite.

With his new office in the Financial District, only two stops by subway, Karunaratne found the location to be “a massive plus” and more desirable than parts of Manhattan where he initially searched, which felt “claustrophobic.”

“I like the area between Fort Greene Park and Downtown Brooklyn,” said Karunaratne. “There’s a lot of cool restaurants, bars and coffee shops you can easily walk to.”

The 34-story building, with 476 apartments, was designed by Perkins Eastman and developed by RXR Realty. Prices start at $2,870 for studios, $3,840 for one-bedrooms, and $5,660 for two-bedrooms.

“Downtown Brooklyn has become an extension of Lower Manhattan,” said Matthew Villetto, executive vice president of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, which handles the Willoughby.

Here’s a look at some of the new towers gunning for supremacy in Downtown Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn Tower

The most impressive new structure to pierce the Downtown Brooklyn skyline is the Brooklyn Tower at 9 DeKalb Ave., which topped out in October. Soaring 1,066 feet above the borough at 93 stories, it dwarfs surrounding high rises, standing almost 350 feet taller than the next tallest building.

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Developed and built by JDS Development Group and designed by SHoP Architects, the two firms are no strangers to sky high luxury engineering—they also collaborated to create 111 West 57, the critically acclaimed, 1,428-foot-tall sky palace on Billionaires’ Row at the foot of Central Park.

Whereas 111 W. 57th St. houses a mere 60 residences with an average price point around $28 million, the Brooklyn Tower will offer a more diversified inventory at a much larger scale. It will soon be home to about 550 residences, designed by Gachot Studios, 400 of which will be rentals with 30% designated as affordable housing.

“It’s not just a sculpture in the sky, it’s different.”

Michael Stern, founder and CEO of JDS

The 150 condos for sale begin above 500 feet (where most nearby penthouses cap out), so all will enjoy panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, New York Harbor, Prospect Park and Brooklyn through floor-to-ceiling windows
The property also boasts 100,000 square feet of amenities, including health and fitness spaces and elevated outdoor loggias designed by Woods Bagot with landscape design by HMWhite.

While pricing has not yet been released, sales are set to launch early this year with leases to follow and occupancy by late 2022 with Douglas Elliman as the exclusive agent.

“It’s not just a sculpture in the sky, it’s different,” said Michael Stern, founder and CEO of JDS. The staggering tower also incorporates the restoration of the landmarked Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn, which dates back to 1906, with its dramatic dome ceiling and classical architecture, providing both a lobby entrance to the residences and 100,000 square feet of ground floor retail.

Brooklyn Point

Clocking in at 68 stories and 720 feet tall, Brooklyn Point at 138 Willoughby St. was completed in July 2020.

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, it still reigns supreme as home of the highest outdoor infinity pool in the Western Hemisphere, which crowns its rooftop sundeck.

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Developed by Extell Development Company — which graced 57th Street with its first supertall back in 2015 with One57, followed by the more recent Central Park Tower —Brooklyn Point is the first and only for-sale residence at City Point, attracting buyers with its 421a 25-year tax abatement status.

“We saw how mature the Brooklyn market had become for a project of this caliber,” said Ari Goldstein, senior vice president of development at Extell. “People want to buy in the neighborhood. They’re confident about appreciation.”

“We saw how mature the Brooklyn market had become for a project of this caliber.”

Ari Goldstein, senior vice president of development at Extell

In fact, 2021 saw 255 condo sales in Downtown Brooklyn, up 106% from 2020 and up 18% from 2019, according to analysis by Serhant, which handles Brooklyn Point sales. Of those, 82% were for new developments. The median sales price has also been on an upward trajectory, reaching $1.39 million in 2021, up 26% from 2020 and 40% from 2019.

Brooklyn Point’s 483 luxury units are currently priced from $900,000 for a studio to $2.87 million for a three-bedroom.

In addition to its sky-high swimming pool, it’s also home to 40,000 square feet of enviable health and wellness amenities, including a 65-foot indoor saltwater lap pool, a 35-foot rock climbing wall, a squash/basketball court and a spa with sauna, steam rooms and hot tub.

11 Hoyt

Rising 57 stories and 620 feet high, 11 Hoyt is distinct for its 27,000-square-foot elevated private park landscaped by Hollander Design, which rings the property atop a two-story base with shade trees, native flowers and lawns for lounging.

Developed by Tishman Speyer and designed by Studio Gang Architects, they drew inspiration from the classic bay windows of Brooklyn’s nearby iconic brownstones for a modern scalloped façade made of cast concrete and glass that sweeps diagonally across the building for a rippling effect.

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With 55,000 square feet of amenities, including a health and wellness center with a 75-foot saltwater pool, squash court, yoga studio and spa, there’s also a 32nd-floor Sky Club with a private dining room and entertainment spaces, as well as 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Opened in late 2020, 11 Hoyt’s 481 apartments range from studios to four-bedrooms with interiors by Michaelis Boyd Associates. Current listings, exclusively handled by Corcoran, range from $795,000 for a studio to $4.3 million for a four-bedroom.

The Alloy Block

The Alloy Block broke ground last summer as one of the most ambitious new projects shaping Downtown Brooklyn. Bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Schermerhorn Street, 3rd Avenue and State Street, the first phase, which is slated for completion in 2024, will include the city’s first all-electric residential tower at 505 State St. and two public schools designed to meet Passive House compliance for energy efficiency.

“There’s a public health crisis, job market volatility, logistics challenges, inequality, a sustainability crisis — it’s all part of the daily discussion in Brooklyn.”

Jared Della Valle, CEO and founder of Alloy Development

Rising 44 stories and 480 feet, the residential tower will be home to 441 mixed-income units with rents starting as low as $750.

(In its second phase, a second residential tower will climb nearly double that height to 840 feet.)

When it’s complete, the Alloy Block will consist of 850 new residences, including approximately 200 affordable apartments, 200,000 square feet of Class A office space and 40,000 square feet of retail.

“Our impact can be provocative,” said Della Valle. “It’s such an interesting time. There’s a public health crisis, job market volatility, logistics challenges, inequality, a sustainability crisis — it’s all part of the daily discussion in Brooklyn.”

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What is the tallest building in NYC 2022? ›

One World Trade Center. One World Trade Center is the tallest building in New York City. The building stands at 1776 feet tall and features 104 floors. It's also the tallest in the entire Western Hemisphere and the 7th tallest in the world.

Is the Brooklyn tower finished? ›

The Brooklyn Tower in 2021. Photo: Kidfly182 / Creative Commons. The Brooklyn Tower—the tallest skyscraper ever built in Brooklyn — will be completed this fall, developer JDS says, marking a new frontier for development in the borough.

What is the tallest building in the world 2022? ›

The 828-metre (2,717 ft) tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai has been the tallest building since 2010. The Burj Khalifa has been classified as megatall.

What building has the most stories in NYC? ›

1. One World Trade Center. Height: 1,776 ft. Info: Located in the Financial District, this 104-story 'Freedom Tower' is deemed not only the tallest building in New York City, but in the entire western hemisphere.

How much does it cost to live in Central Park Tower? ›

Available Residences
ResidenceBedsEst. Monthly Common Charges
Residence 58WBeds 3Est. Monthly Common Charges $4,231
Residence 62EBeds 3Est. Monthly Common Charges $4,548
Residence 79EBeds 4Est. Monthly Common Charges $6,031
Residence 86WBeds 3Est. Monthly Common Charges $4,472
5 more rows

What will be tallest building in 2030? ›

Edison Tower – First proposed in 2015, this tower is to be built in New York City. Its height will be 4,300 feet (1,310 meters) with a completion date in 2030.

Will the Empire State Building last forever? ›

The earliest steel skyscrapers, like the Empire State Building, which date from the 1930s are least likely to remain standing in 7,000 years because they are constructed almost exclusively of steel, meaning they have exceptional tensile strength but are quite rigid and inflexible.

Is the Steinway tower finished? ›

The main portion of the building is an 84-story, 1,428-foot (435-meter) tower designed by SHoP Architects and completed in 2021.

How much do buildings sway in the wind? ›

There's also “wind sway”. A 1,000ft building may sway several inches on a day with normal winds. On days with 50mph wind, such a tower may move approximately six inches. In the rare event of 100mph gusts, this height structure could move up to two feet, the New York Times reported.

What is the most beautiful building on Earth 2022? ›

The developers inaugurated the Museum of the Future on 22 February 2022. Since then, the UAE vice president Muhammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum dubbed it “The most beautiful building in the world”.

What's the tallest thing in the world? ›

Mount Everest's peak is the highest altitude above mean sea level at 29,029 feet [8,848 meters]. Mount Chimborazo's peak is the furthest point on Earth from Earth's center.

What will be the tallest building in 2045? ›

Sky Mile Tower

What is the oldest building still standing in New York City? ›

Oldest Building in NYC

The Wyckoff House is the oldest surviving building in New York City. Built in 1652, it was one of the first structures Europeans built on Long Island. However, the Wyckoff House isn't the only building in NYC with an impressive history!

What is the oldest building still standing in Manhattan? ›

Frances Tavern is “Manhattan's oldest building” and “New York's oldest restaurant. The construction was done by Stephen DeLancey in 1719. Later on, the property was purchased by Samuel Fraunces. It has the distinction to play an important role in the American Revolution.

What building in NYC has the most celebrities? ›

Top Celebrity Magnet Buildings in NYC – Where to Move if You Want to Be Neighbors with Celebrities
  • The San Remo, 145 Central Park West. ...
  • Eldorado, 300 Central Park West. ...
  • The Dakota, 1 West 72nd Street. ...
  • 443 Greenwich Street. ...
  • 195 Hudson Street, Tribeca. ...
  • 173/176 Perry Street, West Village. ...
  • The Beresford – 211 Central Park West.
22 Sept 2021

Can you sleep in Central Park? ›

Sleeping in the beech may be invigorating, but it is also illegal. Visitors are not allowed in Central Park between 1 and 6 a.m.; violators can be fined $50. While park rules do not explicitly forbid climbing any of its 24,000 trees, they do prohibit any behavior that damages a tree.

What celebrities live in Central Park Tower? ›

The twin-tower residential skyscraper with spectacular views of Central Park is home to many past and present famous folks, such as Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg, Demi Moore, Steve Jobs, Mary Tyler Moore and Rita Hayworth, to name a few.

Are there homeless people in Central Park? ›

While the number of unsheltered residents in the park is disputed, citywide homelessness in the past several years has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.

What is the biggest building in 2050? ›

The X-Seed 4000 is the tallest building ever fully envisioned. Its proposed 4,000 m (13,000 ft) height, 6 km (3.7 mi) wide sea-base, and 800-floor capacity could accommodate five hundred thousand to one million inhabitants.

How high can humans build? ›

"You could conceivably go higher than the highest mountain, as long as you kept spreading a wider and wider base," Baker says. Theoretically, then, a building could be built at least as tall as 8,849 meters, one meter taller than Mount Everest.

Can you live inside Empire State Building? ›

The Empire State Building does not have any apartments or residences, although it does have a suite of rooms.

Can you sleep in the Empire State Building? ›

It's a rare opportunity to stay inside New York's iconic 102-story tower, which has contained only office space and retail shops since its completion in 1931.

Can you survive a jump off the Empire State Building? ›

Known as one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, the Empire State Building ranks at a height of around 1,050 feet (320 meters), more than sufficient to get the job done. One lucky person managed to survive a suicide attempt.

How much does it cost to live in Steinway Tower? ›

The 60 apartments in the tower range in cost from $18 million to $66 million per unit, and offer 360-degree views of the city. It's located just south of Central Park, along a stretch of Manhattan's 57th Street known as “Billionaires Row.”

Does the Steinway tower sway? ›

Hence, Steinway Tower is always glistening. It is so thin that when wind with a slightly high acceleration hits, the upper floors of the tower sway around by a few feet. More than a feature, the swaying of the upper floor is alarming and dangerous.

Do tall buildings sway? ›

Just like tree branches rustling in the breeze, skyscrapers do sway in the wind. Their steel construction allows for normal swaying without endangering the building's structural integrity nor the occupants inside.

How fast does wind have to be to destroy a building? ›

EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes with 111 mph-165 mph winds can destroy a property in four seconds. Flying debris shatters windows and other openings and create holes in exterior walls. Once an opening is created, air rushes inside the structure and pressurizes it like inflating a balloon.

Can a hurricane knock down a skyscraper? ›

It is unlikely that an actual skyscraper would fall over.

Do buildings have a 13th floor? ›

Early tall-building designers, fearing a fire on the 13th floor, or fearing tenants' superstitions about the rumor, decided to omit having a 13th floor listed on their elevator numbering. This practice became commonplace, and eventually found its way into American mainstream culture and building design.

Which is the world No 1 building? ›

Burj Khalifa

Which building is most expensive in the world? ›

List of most expensive buildings
BuildingCityNominal cost ($USbillion)
One World Trade CenterNew York City3.80
Lotte World TowerSeoul3.11
Emirates PalaceAbu Dhabi3.00
Palace of the ParliamentBucharest3.00
42 more rows

What was the hardest building to build in the world? ›

Taipei 101 tower named 'world's toughest' building by Popular Mechanics. Popular Mechanics named the 10 structures that best withstand floods, winds, storms, and earthquakes.

What is the tallest human recorded? ›

Robert Pershing Wadlow, born February, 22, 1918, was and still remains the World's Tallest Man at 8 ft. 11 in. Wadlow weighed 439 lbs.

What is the tallest possible human? ›

This is the million-dollar question—biologically, how big can a human get? According to John Wass at the University of Oxford, a specialist in acromegalic gigantism (explained below), our upper limit is around 9 feet. To survive even for a few months at that height would be a bit of a miracle.

Who is the tallest human in the universe? ›

Sultan Kösen (born 10 December 1982) is a Turkish farmer who holds the Guinness World Record for tallest living male at 251 cm (8 ft 2.82 in).

What will be the tallest building in 2027? ›

Named Tokyo Torch, this new development will feature a 7,000sqm plaza and new office buildings, including Torch Tower and Tokiwabashi Tower. Once completed in fiscal year 2027, Torch Tower will be the tallest building in Japan at 390 metres, outshining Osaka's 300m-tall Abeno Harukas.

What building has 50 floors? ›

181 West Madison Street is a skyscraper located in Chicago. Built in 1990, the building is 680 feet (207 m) tall and contains 50 floors.

Will the Sky Mile Tower be built? ›

The world's tallest skyscraper is likely to be erected by 2045 and will be hexagonal in shape to ensure minimum resistance from wind. The tower will house about 55,000 people and will look like a city of its own.

What's the oldest restaurant in New York City? ›

Fraunces Tavern (1762)

The oldest of them all, Fraunces Tavern, dates back to 1762 and is recognized as the oldest restaurant in the city.

What is the oldest village in New York? ›

NEW YORK: Albany, est.

Originally founded as Fort Orange by Dutch settlers in 1624, the city was officially chartered by the British government as Albany in 1686.

What is the oldest operating bar in NYC? ›

Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Fraunces Tavern is a museum, restaurant, and bar. It is also New York City's oldest tavern and the site of the famous farewell of George Washington to his soldiers of the Continental Army after the British had evacuated New York City.

Is Manhattan built on a graveyard? ›

But the city simply built over the burial ground. It was claimed during the 19th century that a blue mist could be seen hanging over the park at night, the creepy vapor of the remains underground. It is believed that over 20,000 people are still buried here. Bodies are routinely uncovered during excavations.

What is the oldest surviving building in the United States? ›

According to the people who still inhabit the Taos Pueblo, the main part of the existing structures was built between 1000 AD and 1450 AD — which makes the Taos Pueblo the oldest building in America.

What is the oldest skyscraper in the world? ›

What Was The First Skyscraper? The Home Life Insurance Building has the distinction of being the first skyscraper. It was completed in 1885, and was the first building built whose entire weight was supported with an iron frame.

Where do billionaires live in NYC? ›

Central Park South is home to billionaires row, so there's no surprise it ranks amongst New York City's wealthiest areas. Some of the most expensive and well-known buildings in the city are located here, including One57, 432 Park Avenue, and 111 West 57th.

Where do billionaires go in NYC? ›

Stretching from Columbus Circle to about Park Avenue, this strip of super-luxurious tall buildings has concentrated unimaginable affluence in one place. Billionaire's Row in NYC has become a punchline, a source of awe, and the target of intense scrutiny.

Which celebrity owns the biggest house? ›

After seven years in the making, Bill Gates' mega-mansion 'Xanadu 2.0', takes the top spot at a whopping $125 million!

What is the newest tallest building in New York City? ›

New York City Boroughs Tall Buildings
#1One World Trade Center2014
#2Central Park Tower2020
#3111 West 57th Street2021
#4One Vanderbilt2020
6 more rows
11 Sept 2022

What is the tallest building in the USA 2022? ›

What is the tallest building in the United States in 2022? With 541 meters of height, the One World Trade Center in New York was at the top of the ranking. The highest skyscraper outside New York City, was the Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as Sears Tower.

What's the tallest building in New York today? ›

What Is the Tallest Building in NYC? The tallest building in New York, NY, is One World Trade Center, at 1,776 feet (or 541 meters). Also colloquially known as Freedom Tower, this 104-floor skyscraper also happens to be the tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth-tallest building in the world.

What is the new tall building in NYC? ›

Central Park Tower
Cost$3 billion
Architectural1,550 ft (472 m)
34 more rows

What is Billionaires Row in NYC? ›

Several buildings in Billionaire's Row are located on Central Park South, which, at an average of $9.8 million per home, is one of the most expensive residential streets in the world. Only the richest of the rich can live here, such as Ken Griffin, a hedge-fund manager who bought an apartment for $238 million.

Which US city has the most skyscrapers? ›

New York City, specifically the borough of Manhattan, notably has the tallest skyline in the country. Nine American buildings have held the title of tallest building in the world. New York City and Chicago have always been the centers of American skyscraper building.

What is the largest building in the world? ›

The world's current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, soars 2,716 into the sky, and more and more skyscrapers across Asia and the Middle East are rising each year. Eight of the top 15 tallest buildings are in China.

Which is taller Rockefeller or Empire State? ›

Its observatory on the 102th-floor is at 381 meters (1,250 feet), making it even higher than Top of the Rock. Top of the Rock is 244 meters (800 feet) above ground, making it shorter than the Empire State Building. However, the views from its observation deck aren't anything less.

Why does NYC have so many skyscrapers? ›

Real estate developers built skyscrapers to be near already established centers of commerce, where transportation was easily accessible, and away from slums and manufacturing districts.” Skyscrapers were built in the center (later both centers) of the city because the benefits of urban agglomeration increased rental ...

Does the Empire State building sway in the wind? ›

For comparison, the Empire State Building is supposed to move about an inch and change even in the face of 100 mile-per-hour (160 kilometer-per-hour) winds. But forget about being worried — you probably wouldn't even notice.


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