Construction Of A Condo Giant At 242 West 53rd Street Is Underway

Former Roseland Ballroom will stand 62 stories tall and come with 426 apartments.

By Team Agorafy December 6, 2016
242 West 53rd Street. Photo by Tectonic

The massive residential tower at 242 West 53rd Street was once home to the beloved Roseland Ballroom. Now the CetraRuddy-designed building is on its upward journey and will eventually stand 62 stories tall and come with 426 apartments—though, whether they will be rentals or condos is presently unclear.

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The rendering shows a glassy Lego like structure, by far outstripping anything around it. The amenity packed building will include a car parking garage, bike storage, tenant storage, resident lounges, two swimming pools, basketball court, an outdoor terrace and a roof, golf simulator and a private dining room.

Roseland Ballroom is not the first music establishment that gave way to shiny sky-high condos.

The Ballroom closed in April of 2014 after a series of shows by Lady Gaga. Amid tears and fond memories, demolition started in August and was completed a year later. Not all legendary music venues have gone the way of the condo, but, alas, gone they have.

Punk haven, CBGB’s at 315 Bowery closed in 2006 and had been replaced by a clothing store. Nearby, the Palladium on 14th St between Irving Place and 3rd Street shuttered its door in 1997 and was later demolished. A dorm room for NYC students has taken its spot. Music venues have been dropping faster than guests with food poisoning on a cruise ship. Lenox Lounge in Harlem closed in 2011. The Knitting Factory relocated to Williamsburg in 2009. And let’s not even get started on the once hallowed NYC club scene.

Justin Kalifowitz, the founder and president of Downtown Music Publishing, feels New York has lost its place as the world’s “undisputed music capital.”

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“I jokingly say that it was the year we lost the Grammys,” Mr. Kalifowitz told the NY Observer in 2014—even though talks are now underway to bring the Grammy’s back to the NYC. The Hit Factory around the corner from Roseland Ballroom, which recorded Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen, among others, closed, to be opened as The Hit Factory condos. In 2007, Sony Music Studios met the same fate.

“I think New York is still unique to all big cities in the kind of manic energy it produces,” said the art historian Roselee Goldberg, when asked to assess the city’s cultural health. But high rents and luxury development have made it “impossible,” in her words, for young artists to feel comfortable in the city. “It means you’re not having that real birth of next-generation creativity,” she warned, “which we need to keep going.”


Team Agorafy



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