As a new high society climbs in Manhattan, it’s a race to the top

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As a new high society climbs in Manhattan, it’s a race to the top

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As recently as two years ago, only five towers in New York City topped 1,000 feet. Now, there are that many “supertall” towers in the works on 57th Street alone, and roughly two dozen either under construction or on the drawing boards across Manhattan and in Brooklyn.

The city has not seen such an epochal shift on the skyline since the postwar boom, and before that, the Jazz Age.

This upheaval, fueled by advances in engineering and an influx of foreign money, and enabled by lenient zoning codes, has left residents, politicians and developers themselves scrambling to adapt the city’s changing profile.

The New York skyline is always in flux, and not everyone has been happy about it. In the past, most of the consternation was directed at office towers. Now, though, as the city competes for verticality with Beijing, Dubai and London, residential towers are reshaping the skyline.

Flip through a high-end magazine right now and one will see page after page of ads for new luxury developments in New York, many of them for towers on Billionaires’ Row, the area between the southern edge of Central Park and 56th Street, that push above the clouds and the madness of the city. Those ads, however, tend to ignore the towering competition down the block. The views they proffer don’t show the nearby buildings already reaching skyward, or give any indication that there will soon be others. Whether the omissions are by accident or design depends on whom you ask. […]

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