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Central Park Tower, NYC's tallest residential building, to enter crowded luxury market when it opens

Ann Schmidt

A supertall residential tower that is expected to open next year in New York City will be entering a crowded market of luxury buildings, the developer said Tuesday.

Gary Barnett, Extell Development Co. president, said the $3 billion, 1,550-foot Central Park Tower is entering an oversupplied market.

"We have to price it at a reasonable range for this type of product,” he said. “And we have to be flexible when we're selling the really large units."

Apartments listed on Central Park Tower's website range from $6.9 million for a two-bedroom on the 33rd floorto $63 million for a five-bedroom on the 112th-floor.

Barnett spoke at a ceremony Tuesday to celebrate that the tower — on Manhattan’s so-called Billionaire’s Row — has reached its full height. It took place on the 107th floor of the tower.

Critics have complained the tall, skinny towers proliferating along the southern edge of Central Park during the last few years are casting shadows on the park, but Barnett dismissed those concerns for the Central Park Tower.

"We've done shadow studies," he said. "It's just a question of, you know, occasionally somebody might be sitting somewhere in the park and there'll be a shadow for, I don't know, 20 or 30 minutes."

Extell secured the right to build Central Park Tower by buying 6,000 square feet of air rights from surrounding buildings. Its 1,550-foot height makes it taller than One World Trade Center without its crowning spire.

The Council on Tall Buildings measures One World Trade Center's height as 1,776 feet, a tally that includes the spire, and makes it the tallest building in the United States. But if it is measured to the roof, One World Trade Center's height would be 1,368 feet, which is the height of the original building destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.

By comparison, Chicago's Willis Tower is 1,451 feet when measured to the top of its roof and 1,729 feet when measured to the top of the television masts atop its roof.

Central Park Tower will be the world's tallest building that is mostly residential, although there are other buildings with a residential component that will be taller.

Extell's partners in the project include Nordstrom, which is building a seven-story department store at the building's base.

Tuesday’s ceremony came days after a report from StreetEasy found that more than 25 percent of condos that have been built in New York City since 2013 remain unsold.

In terms of unit, 16,242 condos have been built since 2013, of which 12,133 were sold. That means more than 4,100 have not.

The median price of a condo in Manhattan is $2.3 million.

A backlog of unsold units has not stopped construction. According to the report, 63 buildings with more than 5,600 units are listed but have construction hasn't been finished.

Investors appear to hold a large proportion of these properties because they have shown up on the rental market. According to StreetEasy, 30 percent of the condos built since 2013 have been listed for rent.

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Researchers say these trends could be indicative of a potential future recession.

“New Yorkers can expect this condo hangover to last well into the future,” the report predicted.

FOX Business’ Brittany De Lea and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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