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A Tower the Height of the Empire State Building…in Brooklyn

The wave of skyscraper construction in New York is about to jump the East River.
August 6, 2015, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Matthew Ruttledge

"Developer Michael Stern will pay $90 million for the former Dime Savings Bank of New York building on 9 Dekalb Ave., and could use its air rights to build a tower next door that rises above 1,000 feet," according to an article by Daniel Geiger.

"The bank at 9 Dekalb Ave. is a 150-year-old landmarked Neo-Roman building with a domed roof and an ornate interior. But perhaps more important than the building, which could become a prime retail location for an upscale brand like Apple, are the development rights that come with it: roughly 300,000-square-feet."

Geiger notes that this would be the first building in New York City to top 1,000 feet outside of Manhattan. A source familiar with the deal "suggested that Mr. Stern could build a tower potentially higher than the Empire State Building, whose spire stands at 1,454 feet." In a city flush with plans for tall buildings, only one would climb higher than that speculative possibility for the Brooklyn development.

Geiger also notes that Stern is on a roll with parlaying landmarked buildings into high-end high-rise buildings. His building at 111 W. 57th St. will be over 1,400 feet tall, "incorporating an existing building whose ground-floor retail space used to be a showroom for the piano maker Steinway & Sons and is landmarked."

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Published on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 in Crain's New York Business
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