After years of controversy, community pushback and construction pauses, the building slated to become the tallest on Manhattan's Upper West Side is finally going up — to the annoyed resignation of local residents.
Close to both Central Park and Lincoln Center, 50 West 66th Street will be 775 feet tall with 127 luxury condo units. Eight listings available on Douglas Elliman are currently going for between $4.6 million and $34 million.
Its distinctive orange-clad scaffolding and glass facade are already towering above the block.
“I’m less than thrilled,” said local Lynn Kressel. “I feel like there’s a shadow over the whole city because of these tall buildings.”
Richard Obetz lives nearby and said his apartment used to get sunlight before the building started going up.
“It’s New York City and that’s life,” he said. “I’m gonna live with it, but I don’t like it.”
Another woman said simply, “I’m not happy about it.”
The building will have over 50,000 square feet of amenities, including an indoor and outdoor pool, a terrace, fitness center and courts for squash, basketball and pickleball. There will also be a new ground floor home for Congregation Habonim, which was previously located on the site.
The skyline around Central Park has been growing significantly in the past decade or so, with much of the development concentrated on the south side’s Billionaires’ Row, where Extell also has several properties.
But 50 West 66th Street has been controversial ever since plans were put forward in 2017.
While the developers tout it as being 70 stories, architectural filings with the city indicate only about 34 of them are classified as residential or community space. It contains several high mechanical floors approximately 14 floors up, an inclusion that riled many locals, preservationists and civic groups when the building was proposed.
Representatives for Extell did not respond to multiple inquiries from the Daily News.
Monica Blum, President of the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, welcomed the development and said it has been an economic boon for the neighborhood.
“Needless to say, it has been pretty impressive to watch the building go up,” she said. “This project, designed by world acclaimed architects, will be a dramatic addition to Lincoln Square’s skyline and will contribute to the vibrancy of this great neighborhood.”
It will be Extell’s first residential building in the United States, according to their website. The developer also acquired part of the former ABC campus just across the street in a nearly billion-dollar deal last year.
Construction on 50 West 66th is reportedly expected to be completed by late 2024 or early 2025.
“On the list of things that are bothering me it’s just … there,” Kressel said. “It’s yet another building that only very wealthy people can afford. I know that’s the city we’re living in but I just can’t get too excited about it.”