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Old January 22nd, 2014, 04:14 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by SomeKindOfBug View Post
In the world of companies who have the means and motive to build a 600m tower in the middle of the hottest real estate development in the country, a billion dollars is not a lot of money.

Also, companies rent lower floors because they're larger.

And companies that build really tall towers can often not need to rent space in the first place. Because they own the building themselves, a la Sears. No matter how much of a white elephant it becomes.
I think we're weirdly dancing around the same point, that for the right company, money is no object.

But what I was arguing with is the idea of "Mega American Corporation X." The company that winds up building this will not be American, unless it's some bug-eyed individual with many billions to blow. (I'd also argue that, with One WTC being the most expensive building on the planet, at a cost of around $4 Billion, $1 Billion isn't chump change) American corporations are, by design, profit-margin oriented, and as we've seen time and again, buildings over ~1400 ft. don't cut it. That's not to say that they won't make a profit, but they won't make the maximum profit.

I don't believe that any American developer is willing to leave tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on the table for the sake of vanity height or bragging rights. This idea that we're in a height race is ridiculous, as evidenced by the many developers reducing heights to increase total profit. What we're in is a maximizing-profit-margin race.

So for this tower to reach its maximum possible height, the developer needs the backing of either:

a) A planned economy like China, where they're secured against failure.

b) An extraordinarily wealthy individual, like the sheiks and sultans in the Middle East.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 05:10 AM   #142
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Right! Although, while that would be awesome for skyscraper enthusiasts, I'm not sure it totally sits right with me as an American.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 06:39 AM   #143
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Funny that a particular poster on here just a few short
Months ago would not shut up about how nyc wouldn't get a taller proposal than nordstrom for many more years. I'm sure many of you can guess who
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 07:58 AM   #144
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Funny that a particular poster on here just a few short
Months ago would not shut up about how nyc wouldn't get a taller proposal than nordstrom for many more years. I'm sure many of you can guess who
There isn't an actual proposal yet. The "Hudson Spire" is just an idea by the seller of the plot of what could be built there. We don't know yet who will be buying the plot and what that company's idea for it will be, we just know there will almost certainly be a supertall because anything shorter would be a waste.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 09:27 AM   #145
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Exactly true. Plus even nordstrom seems to be way below 500m mark, what was originally believed it could be.

And btw in case that "particular poster" was me I don't believe I said there won't be anything taller than nordstrom. If anything I just said that maximum feasible height for ny currently seems to be around 400m and till now it's still true with the cheating exception of 1wtc
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 09:30 AM   #146
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London is the busiest airspace in the world by passengers and flight numbers.

Actually by quite a margin. A margin that is increasing over New York (2) and Tokyo (3) every year. And if the Thames Estuary project goes ahead, the gap will jump by around a third.

Also, the 2000ft limit is not a hard limit. The FAA explicitly states that anything over 2000ft can be built if there is public interest and appropriate legal/political/financial shenanigans.

The reason it's not come up is because, well, nothing has come close to 2000ft in America yet.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 09:56 AM   #147
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The reason it's not come up is because, well, nothing has come close to 2000ft in America yet.
There are guyed masts in the US higher than 2,000 ft. And after 9-11 there was a serious proposal to build a 2,000 ft. hyperbolic Hyperboloid TV transmitter tower in NY Harbor to replace the communications gear lost with 1WTC. The FAA would probably never allow a tower higher than 2,000 ft. in NYC but in less congested areas, it's possible. Really the main issue has been economic. Megatalls are not capital-efficient which is why the few that have been built are mere national trophies. If Hudson Spire reaches 1,800 ft. it would likely be due to a spire while the main tower itself may be no higher than 1,400-1,500 ft.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 02:01 PM   #148
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I think we're weirdly dancing around the same point, that for the right company, money is no object.

But what I was arguing with is the idea of "Mega American Corporation X." The company that winds up building this will not be American, unless it's some bug-eyed individual with many billions to blow. (I'd also argue that, with One WTC being the most expensive building on the planet, at a cost of around $4 Billion, $1 Billion isn't chump change) American corporations are, by design, profit-margin oriented, and as we've seen time and again, buildings over ~1400 ft. don't cut it. That's not to say that they won't make a profit, but they won't make the maximum profit.

I don't believe that any American developer is willing to leave tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on the table for the sake of vanity height or bragging rights. This idea that we're in a height race is ridiculous, as evidenced by the many developers reducing heights to increase total profit. What we're in is a maximizing-profit-margin race.

So for this tower to reach its maximum possible height, the developer needs the backing of either:

a) A planned economy like China, where they're secured against failure.

b) An extraordinarily wealthy individual, like the sheiks and sultans in the Middle East.
I agree with you on a lot here. But I think it's disingenuous to use the past decade as a sole benchmark for the attitudes of American companies. Massive financial collapse, 9/11, businesses moving overseas and so on. We're emerging from the worst slump in American skyscraper construction for decades. It's still too early to tell what is possible down the line.

The buildings already under proposal are a first wave of renewal. Modest attempts to kickstart a rush. Look at the 57th Street developments. Tall but very, very thin. Mixed-use and mostly residential. The desire was there but the finances, not quite. Even the Hudson Yards as a whole started off having a centrepiece. But that got reduced because others were enlarged. And extra plots were acquired and the whole project has kept expanding in scope since its inception. And all of this was conceived in 2010-2012, before the economic recovery was in full swing. Proposals that are being thought up right now, for completion in the 2020s, don't have to deal with the economic realities of a 'financial recovery'. It will have recovered by the time the first brick is laid.

I think the reduction in height of other skyscrapers hasn't been - necessarily - due to a frugal budgeting sweep, but rather as a response to the newer proposals that are announced almost every week. These buildings, especially from third party developers, don't exist in a vacuum and must be costed according to their surroundings and the broader economic situation of the city. When the only skyscraper going up in NYC is your own, it makes sense for it to be 400m tall and massive. But as you get nearer to construction, if five other supertalls have been announced in the same district, it makes sense for you to adjust your plans accordingly.

Plus, I mean come on. I don't really believe America is all about profit margins and saving the last dollar. And I also don't think that China is some ego-fuelled unstoppable skyscraper machine. Remember, these super and megatalls going up in Chinese cities have no competition for prestige. That drastically alters their economic viability.

A few more years of positive economic growth, of more stable interest rates and a relatively flat Dow and something like the Hudson Spire could absolutely be built. You underestimate the greed and the ego of Americans.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 03:29 PM   #149
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I agree with you, Marshall. This can reach 560m if it's built by a Chinese corp that wants to make a statement by having the tallest tower in the de facto capital of America.

They could move the US HQs of Chinese companies there, plus the Chinese Consulate and the Chinese Mission to the UN, plus a Chinese hotel, plus condos for wealthy Chinese.
That would be the worlds first Vertical Chinatown

i hope the Chineese or the Arabs will go all out on this great opportunity.

There hasent really happened anything in max height increase in the US after Sears tower and the old WTC Twins.

And the new World trade centre turning out to be not really taller than the twins, was very disappointing for me.

and also classically New York has had one tower, or twin towers dominating the skyline it should return to this.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 06:24 PM   #150
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Although this is not a formal proposal I would love to see something in NYC hit 1,800 feet roof height before you add in a spire, mast or antenna.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 08:33 PM   #151
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The Chinese consulate will be in the Capitol. Washington.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 08:59 PM   #152
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That would be the embassy.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 10:04 PM   #153
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The Chinese consulate will be in the Capitol. Washington.
This is the Chinese Consulate in New York. It's in a converted 1960s motor hotel.


Chinese Consulate, Hell's Kitchen by New York Big Apple Images, on Flickr
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 11:20 PM   #154
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This is the Chinese Consulate in New York. It's in a converted 1960s motor hotel.

And it's hardly a symbol of the might of the No. 2 nation on earth. The same is true with respect to their Mission to the UN. It would make a statement if those entities were housed in The China Spire, which rose 550m+, in the de facto capital of America.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 01:47 AM   #155
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Wow, the China Spire. Tallest building in all the West. That'd ruffle some feathers. Not mine though!
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 04:24 AM   #156
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Sorry folks.. I'm still in dc mode. I was just thinking about how the Chinese just built a fancy new fortress of an embassy here
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 04:34 AM   #157
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Sorry folks.. I'm still in dc mode. I was just thinking about how the Chinese just built a fancy new fortress of an embassy here
They need a new NY Consulate and UN Mission too!
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Old January 24th, 2014, 05:15 PM   #158
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Yeah but not having one is more of a power play.

The fact that the Chinese consulate is in a converted hotel says more about China's disdain for America than if it was some billion dollar architectural marvel.

Some 500+m 'China Tower' would be far, far less of an insult to America than what is currently in place. After all, the worst insult you can give to someone is ignorance.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 06:35 PM   #159
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Let's not forget that big hole in Chicago where the 2000ft chicago spire almost became a reality before the 2008 recession. I read that Kelleher still hopes to revive the project but I think that's wishful thinking.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 06:41 PM   #160
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Now what happens if this thing is Chinese-funded and the Chinese bubble pops while it's under construction? Do we end up with half a skyscraper sitting on the skyline?
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