View from the top: Inside the Billionaire's Row skyscraper that just became the tallest residential building in the world at 1,550 feet

Extell DevelopmentThe tower is part of New York City’s Billionaires’ Row.

Central Park Tower, a 1,550-foot luxury tower in New York City, just became the tallest residential tower in the world.

According to The Skyscraper Centre, the next-tallest completed residential building is Manhattan’s 432 Park Avenue at 1,397 feet, which Central Park Tower surpassed in height earlier this year.

Read more:
Here’s what the tallest residential building in NYC will look like when it’s completed in 2020

The world’s tallest residential skyscraper officially reached its full height on September 17th, but it won’t be completed until 2020.

I went to the building’s topping out ceremony. Here’s what the views look like from the second-tallest building in New York City.

Central Park Tower just officially topped out at its full height of 1,550 feet, making it the tallest residential building in New York City — and the world.

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The building’s developer is Extell, which is behind other prominent New York buildings including One57 and Brooklyn Point.

When it’s finished, the tower will house 179 luxury condos, as well as a seven-story Nordstrom and the exclusive Central Park Club with 50,000 square feet of amenities for residents.

The tower sits on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, about a block from Central Park.

Google Maps

The bustling stretch of 57th street is part of an area that has come to be known as Billionaires’ Row.

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In New York City, Billionaires’ Row includes a set of eight ultra-luxury skyscrapers along the southern end of Central Park. Some of the buildings were recently built, while others are still under construction.

“I like to define Billionaires’ Row as New York City’s Monopoly board for uber-wealthy international and domestic titans of industry who come together here to work, play, and do lots and lots of shopping,” Alexander Glibbery of Compass told me earlier this year.

I rode the construction elevator up with some other journalists and Extell employees. The journey seemed to take forever, and although the elevator was enclosed, I could imagine us climbing up higher and higher into the sky above New York City.

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Someone in the elevator who had made the journey before said the ride took close to 10 minutes. I didn’t time it myself, but I’d estimate it took somewhere between five and 10 minutes.

When the building is completed, its OTIS elevators will reach speeds of 2,000 feet per minute, so the journey to the top will only take about a minute and a half, a publicist for Extell told me.

We stepped out onto the 107th floor, where media and Extell employees in hard hats were milling around and enjoying a spread of coffee, juice, bagels, and pastries.

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Central Park Tower has 131 floors, so I was somewhat disappointed to find that the ceremony was taking place on the 107th.

A publicist for Extell told me the ceremony was on the 107th floor because the 133rd doesn’t have windows yet.

White curtains covered the floor-to-ceiling windows, so nobody could yet see the much-anticipated views.

Gary Barnett, the founder and president of Extell Development, got up on stage to say a few words.

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The standout feature of Central Park Tower is its “spectacular views,” Barnett told the crowd.

“You can see everywhere in all directions,” he said. “You can see the beautiful Manhattan skyline at night, and nobody’s blocking our views. … And so we brought you up here today to experience them firsthand and pass it on. Here we go.”

With that, Barnett reached over and dramatically pressed a button next to the podium. The curtains covering the floor-to-ceiling windows collapsed to the floor. The crowd gasped, and sunlight streamed into the room. It was quite theatrical.

Everyone rushed to the windows to take in the views. Looking downtown, you have a direct view of the Empire State Building and One World Trade Centre in the distance.

If it weren’t for One World Trade Centre’s 400-foot spire, Central Park Tower would be the tallest building in the country, according to New York Magazine.

To the west, you can see the new Hudson Yards skyscrapers sprouting up next to the Hudson River, and beyond that, New Jersey.

To the east, you can spot the tip of another of Extell’s Billionaires’ Row towers, One57, and then 111 West 57th rising behind it. Behind that is the completed 432 Park Avenue, which Central Park Tower surpassed as the city’s tallest residential tower.

I was surprised they didn’t clean the dirty windows before this ceremony.

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But it was the views of Central Park that truly took my breath away.

There’s nothing to obstruct your view of the park and its surrounding neighbourhoods, such as the Upper East Side.

Central Park Tower will be completed in 2020, but it’s already launched sales of its 179 condos.

Extell DevelopmentA view of Central Park Tower and Billionaires’ Row from Central Park.

Seven units have been listed for sale on StreetEasy since June, ranging from a two-bedroom for $US6.9 million to a five-bedroom, full-floor residence on the 112th floor for $US63 million.

So who’s buying these extravagantly priced condos 1,550 feet in the sky? A publicist for Extell told Business Insider they’re not releasing any sales data at this time.

Last week, The New York Times reported that one in four of New York City’s luxury apartments remain unsold.

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