Olympic Tower

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Olympic Tower
Olympic Tower NY by David Shankbone.JPG
General information
Location645 5th Avenue
New York City, New York
Coordinates40°45′33″N 73°58′34″W / 40.7592°N 73.9760°W / 40.7592; -73.9760Coordinates: 40°45′33″N 73°58′34″W / 40.7592°N 73.9760°W / 40.7592; -73.9760
Construction started1972
OwnerOxford Properties
ManagementOxford Properties
Roof620 ft (190 m)
Technical details
Floor count51
Floor area92,900 m2 (1,000,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectSkidmore, Owings & Merrill

The Olympic Tower is a 51-story building in Midtown Manhattan, in New York City on Fifth Avenue. It is between East 51st Street and East 52nd Street. The exact address is 641 Fifth Avenue. Built in 1975, it was constructed on a site that was occupied by a Best & Company Store that was built in 1947.[4] It contains 225 condominium apartments and more than 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) of office space and retail space. Situated next to St. Patrick's Cathedral, it offers views of the cathedral's buttresses and Fifth Avenue. Upon construction, it became a prime real estate location for the glitterati of that time.

The planned use of the building was a groundbreaking concept at that time because it was the first mixed use zoned for Fifth Avenue, which had 21 floors of offices, 30 of condominiums and high-end retail on the first floor. It was constructed by shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and his company, Victory Development, in joint venture partnership with Arlen Realty & Development Corporation.

Olympic Tower was designed by the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, notable for designing the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center in Chicago, among many other high-rise buildings in the U.S. and elsewhere.[5] Paul Goldberger of the New York Times criticized the building's architecture as "oppressively banal".[6]

The completed building housed some of the most luxurious condos in the world at that time. 80s billionaire Adnan Khashoggi had a swimming pool installed in his after the building was constructed. Other notables who lived there included choreographer, director and dancer Ron Field, who choreographed the Broadway musicals Cabaret and Applause.[7] The NBA offices are located in the tower between the 12th and 20th floors.[8]

In May 2012, real estate investment firm Crown Acquisitions took a 49.9 percent stake in the tower, which was valued at around $1 billion.[9] In 2015, Oxford Properties acquired a majority interest.

Alessandra and Allegra Gucci, the daughters of Maurizio Gucci, own a penthouse in the building; in August 2015, they listed it for sale.[10]

On August 23, 2012, the Penthouse that belonged to Aristoteles Onassis was purchased by Alejandro Betancourt López, a Venezuelan businessman accused of stealing more than $ 1 billion (1USD MM) in dirty contracts with the Venezuelan dictatorship.


  1. ^ Olympic Tower at Emporis
  2. ^ "Olympic Tower". SkyscraperPage.
  3. ^ Olympic Tower at Structurae
  4. ^ Alpern, Andrew. New York's Fabulous Luxury Apartments: with Original Floor Plans from the Dakota, River House, Olympic Tower, and Other Great Buildings. New York: Dover Publications, 1987. Print.
  5. ^ Alpern, Andrew. Apartments for the Affluent: a Historical Survey of Buildings in New York. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975. Print.
  6. ^ Goldberger, Paul (April 4, 1983). "ARCHITECTURE: ATRIUM OF TRUMP TOWER IS A PLEASANT SURPRISE". New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  7. ^ Kelly, Kevin. "A broken 'Hearts': Director looks at what went wrong." The Boston Globe, December 24, 1978.
  8. ^ "NEREJ - Seherr-Thoss of FirstService Williams negotiates 153,405 s/f lease; Assisted by Jaccom, Freedman, Plehn and Plakopita". nerej.com. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Crown Acquisitions Buys Stake in NYC's Olympic Tower Complex". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  10. ^ Candace Taylor, Fashion’s Gucci Sisters List Manhattan Penthouse for $45 Million, The Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2015

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