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Is it a screwdriver? A power tool? Wall-E come to life? No! It’s the architect’s vision for a corner site on 8th Avenue and W46th Street, where work has begun on what will be a 1,067ft tower housing a hotel, an observation deck — and Manhattan’s first theme-park style “drop ride.”

ODA Architecture’s concept sketch for the supertall at the construction site. Photo: Wesley Salim

The concept sketch for the supertall was revealed this week (and reported by YIMBY), as excavators moved in on the site which has previously housed a parking lot, a Christmas market and, until 2008, a four story-building.

The unique shape of the 51-story Theater District tower is likely to raise eyebrows. The protrusion at the top will include an observation deck as well as the theme-park style ride, which New York Yimby reported will let thrill-seekers experience a “free drop” during a 90-second experience. One commenter on the Skyscraperpage forum compared it to Wall-E, the Pixar robot in the 2008 movie.

Putting a theme-park style ride at the top of a Midtown tower is the latest move in the battle for visitors and dollars being staged among New York skyscraper owners. As well as the time-honored Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, the new competitors include One Vanderbilt, whose Summit features glass floors looking down from the 79th story. And at 30 Hudson Yards, the 1,200ft Edge open-air skydeck offers thrill seekers the chance to climb even higher outdoors.

The site for the hotel at 740 Eighth Avenue is being excavated this week. Photo: Wesley Salim

The hotel at 740 Eighth Avenue will feature up to 825 rooms when it opens in 2027, Urbanize New York reported.  It is being developed by Extell, the firm behind other Midtown supertalls, including the forthcoming Central Park Tower, a 1,550ft addition to W57th Street boasting a seven-bedroom penthouse listed for $250 million.

The site has had a checkered history. Boston Properties and Stephen Ross’ Related Companies planned a million-square foot office tower, which was canceled in late 2008. Then Extell slowly pieced parcels of land together over almost 10 years, first planning a 10-story office tower, according to the Real Deal. Extell then shifted its focus to the 51-story hotel, and was able to avoid needing a special permit — thanks to an exemption in new city rules for Theater District sites of over 20,000 square feet, where half the land is empty.

Construction began this week at 740 Eighth Avenue. Photo: Wesley Salim

And things could still change. ODA Architecture, the design architects, told W42ST that the drawing is a “concept sketch” and full designs will be unveiled at a later date. SLCE Architects are the architect of record.

Join the Conversation

11 Comments

  1. Insane.
    Had no idea a huge building was slated here.

    The complaints about traffic/vehicle congestion are BS – the City has manufactured congestion such as a super high-rise here.

    BTW high-rise buildings are really bad for the environment – they are significant contributors to pollution, climate change and urban/trapped heat. They generate significant emissions and use much more energy and resources for construction and operation.

  2. Just what we need! Another ugly building taking more of the Sun and Sky away from midtown, the most congested area !
    Who needs another Hotel when the Beautiful Paramount Hotel across the street on 46th is Closed as well as many others. ( soon to ge filled with Migrants. )
    Bad Idea.

  3. I agree with MLA and Joanne.
    I live in The Camelot on the corner of 45th & 8th Ave. My 17th Floor apartment faces this “construction” which is really a DEstruction of the environment in too many ways. Tenants here will be moving out as we have to endure the awful loud noises that have only just begun as they dig to build this ugly monstrosity for the next 5 or 6 years – however long it takes. And let’s hope there are no on-site accidents. This will force me to move out after being here since 1992. Extell is creating hell for those of us in our apartments facing 8th Ave. There are no noise cancelling headphones that can shut this out. They have already taken away the sidewalks –forcing people to walk in the street. And the city allows that?!
    It’s unnecessary and bad for Hell’s Kitchen. It’s all for tourists now. There is too much congestion here already. Have you walked down 8th Av recently from 42nd to 47th? This is what NYC is building while affordable housing is lacking?
    I am taking photos every day to document the digging and building since May 2022. I am happy to share these photos with you. Maybe the City of NY will be interested in my bird’s eye view documentation.

    1. Janet,
      Suggestion – include Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine in communicating about this issue. (Personally don’t have much faith in him but at the very least his office should be aware of what is happening)

  4. The building I like unlike the flat roofed boring square boxes New Yorkers are used to but it’s will wreak havoc and more pedestrian gridlock. Talking about ugly buildings. Is extell ever going to light the top of that ugly boring 131 floor thing on central park. It’s SCREAMING for something.

  5. So. Ugly. Why can’t these new buildings at least be aesthetically pleasing? My favorite part of this story is the 3 small buildings which refused to sell and which will remain on 8th avenue with the new building built around them. Reminds me of the house in the film Up.

  6. N00000000000000000. Not another tall building with a HOTEL in the theater district. A forest of tall buildings. HEll’s Kitchen is trying to KEEP a neighborhood of families, children and a LIFE. Is NY going to be just buildings. Where do workers live? Let the tourists view the beauty of Manhattan from the GROUND not from the clouds. Most of the hotels in this area are now home for out of the US. This will be adding to the congestion. PLEASE DO NOT BUILD. NYC is not an circus,amusment part, go to Disneyland.

  7. Nice to see all the NIMBY’S (for those that can’t understand what it means ….let me help you….it means Not in My Backyard….GOT IT.) participate in this discussion. What you forget is that a major industry in the city is TOURISM. The millions of dollars that come into the city help boost the city’s economy but I doubt there are any accountants and or financial advisors on this forum. Oh by the way we’re talking about Times Square and the Theater District, a hub for TOURISM in the city but I’m not sure you grasp that concept. Also who controls the politics in the city ???…. That’s right !!!!…The real estate industry and it’s developers. Ok so you’re upset so you join the local community board to fight this project and what will that get you in terms of stopping that project….. NOTHING….Community Boards can only recommend in other words you have no power. It’s ultimately up to the City Council to decide and you’ll lose there because no City Council member not even the Mayor of the City of New York will try to stop this knowing that they can’t say no to the tourism industry or the Unions that will benefit by all the jobs that will be created and anyhow they have contributed to the politicals with a nice sum of money into their campaign coffers to boot. Ok so you want band together and sue the developers to stop the project…Do you have possibly millions of dollars to fork over to invest in that fight knowing that a judge will throw out your case and if you appeal to the State Supreme Court you’ll lose there too because the political powers that be have lined the courts with their judges on the bench. Regardless whatever you do, the property is already zoned and grandfathered in to build a building of that scale and shape so your arguments are fruitless meaning you’ve thrown away alot of money to fight a battle that was already lost from the outset. You do have an option though… There are plenty of nice places in Iowa or North or South Dakota where the air is fresh and clean and would gladly welcome you to their region of the country for a place to live and stay and live a nice clean wholesome life where the nearest supermarket and or grocery store is 20 miles away and by the way where you live now, the place is called NEW YORK CITY just to refresh you mind so you have a nice day and hope and pray that all your dreams come true BUT NOT HERE !!!!! Good luck .

  8. Nice to see all the NIMBY’S (for those that can’t understand what it means ….let me help you….it means Not in My Backyard….GOT IT.) participate in this discussion. What you forget is that a major industry in the city is TOURISM. The millions of dollars that come into the city help boost the city’s economy but I doubt there are any accountants and or financial advisors on this forum. Oh by the way we’re talking about Times Square and the Theater District, a hub for TOURISM in the city but I’m not sure you grasp that concept. Also who controls the politics in the city ???…. That’s right !!!!…The real estate industry and it’s developers. Ok so you’re upset so you join the local community board to fight this project and what will that get you in terms of stopping that project….. NOTHING….Community Boards can only recommend in other words you have no power. It’s ultimately up to the City Council to decide and you’ll lose there because no City Council member not even the Mayor of the City of New York will try to stop this knowing that they can’t say no to the tourism industry or the Unions that will benefit by all the jobs that will be created and anyhow they have contributed to the politicals with a nice sum of money into their campaign coffers to boot. Ok so you want band together and sue the developers to stop the project…Do you have possibly millions of dollars to fork over to invest in that fight knowing that a judge will throw out your case and if you appeal to the State Supreme Court you’ll lose there too because the political powers that be have lined the courts with their judges on the bench. Regardless whatever you do, the property is already zoned and grandfathered in to build a building of that scale and shape so your arguments are fruitless meaning you’ve thrown away alot of money to fight a battle that was already lost from the outset. You do have an option though… There are plenty of nice places in Iowa or North or South Dakota where the air is fresh and clean and would gladly welcome you to their region of the country for a place to live and stay and live a nice clean wholesome life where the nearest supermarket and or grocery store is 20 miles away and by the way where you live now, the place is called NEW YORK CITY just to refresh you mind so you have a nice day and hope and pray that all your dreams come true BUT NOT HERE !!!!! Good luck .

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