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. 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 Willis Tower and John Hancock Center in Chicago, among many other high-rise buildings in the U.S. and elsewhere. Paul Goldberger of the New York Times criticized the building’s architecture as “oppressively banal”.
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. The NBA offices are located in the tower between the 12th and 20th floors.
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. 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