It’s hard to miss 56 Leonard, the new 60-story glass tower that dominates an otherwise low-key corner of Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood. When the design was unveiled in 2008 by the building’s architect, Herzog & de Meuron, the favored description of the building’s shape was “Jenga-like,” and its cantilevered floors did indeed look like a precarious, dynamic, almost impossibly complicated pile of glass and steel building blocks.
Nine years later, after the financing issues that delayed construction were resolved, the building is finally complete. In its transition from rendering to reality, though, it’s become far more subdued. Most of the first 50 stories could be confused with any of the dozens of generic luxury condos along the city’s west (and now east!) sides, but the top floors—home to the building’s 10 penthouses— remain as vertiginous and complicated as ever.
The most expensive penthouse in the building—a four-bedroom, four-bathroom 7,800-square-foot apartment that spans the entire 60th floor—closed for $48 million in June, while the buyer of penthouses on the 53rd and 54th floors has combined them and is now attempting to flip the single 11,892-square-foot unit for $65 million.