Fisher Brothers Design Challenge a Chance to Leave Mark on NYC

The mark of a thriving and vibrant city is constant ingenuity and improvement. That is, after all, the engine underneath all new development. Bold, innovative thinking tends to be rewarded in our industry, and the results of that are on display all around us in New York.

Encouraging exactly that kind of innovation is what drives Fisher Brothers’ new competition, Beyond the Centerline, which is an open call to innovative minds to come up with new, exciting visions for Park Avenue. Fisher Brothers has essentially created a blank canvas on Park Avenue between 46th and 57th Streets.  The zone today of course is the iconic main stretch of the Plaza District, featuring centerline plantings and periodic sculpture installations.

The contest rules specifically ask innovators to create visions for re-energizing and animating these “islands of green” down the center of Park Avenue.  Ten of the very best designs will be on display in an exhibit in the public arcade of Fisher Brothers’ Park Ave Plaza tower on 52nd Street beginning in February 2018, with a grand prize of $25,000 awarded to the winning proposal and another $5,000 award granted by a popular vote.

The Real Estate Board of New York embraces this competition and believes that the initiative fits into a broader pattern of development across New York City.

New York is a dynamic city of change. The rezoning of East Midtown will usher in an era of significant improvements to this historic and vibrant business district. Staten Island’s North Shore is experiencing unprecedented development that is mirrored by all of the exciting mixed-use developments rising in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

As every corner of the five boroughs evolves, it is only fitting that Park Avenue should do the same.

The beauty of the competition is that it encourages innovators to think in the boldest terms possible. Winston Fisher, the Fisher Brothers partner who is spearheading the competition, has instructed participants to be unconstrained by “zoning codes, cost, weight, or other restrictions” in their proposals.  Doing so will primarily foster creativity and challenge participants to think outside of the box, but will also encourage ideas that would have never been considered possible otherwise. This is the best way to reimagine what already exists, says Fisher Brothers, and we at REBNY agree.

The jury who will evaluate the project features some of the most esteemed names in New York real estate, art and architecture. They include: Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of PAU and Professor at Columbia University; Winston Fisher; Jon Kessler, artist and Professor at Columbia University; Signe Nielsen, Principal at Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; David Rockwell, Founder and President of the Rockwell Group; Samantha Rudin, Senior VP of Rudin Management; Michael Speaks, Ph.D. and Dean of the School of Architecture at Syracuse University; and Xin Zhang, CEO of SOHO China.

REBNY encourages all innovators to register at and then come up with their biggest and boldest visions for Park Avenue’s future.  A truly great proposal has the chance to do more than just win a cash prize – it can leave a new and lasting impact on the world’s most famous commercial thoroughfare.