Following several years of controversy and public hand-wringing over the project, plans have finally been approved to bring a mixed-use condo and Islamic Cultural Center to a common build site in Lower Manhattan just steps from Ground Zero, with shovels breaking ground earlier this month. Set for a site which includes 45 and 51 Park Place in the middle of the Financial District, the new Soho Properties development will include a 43-storey, 50-unit luxury condo tower designed by SOMA Architects rising adjacent to a planned three-storey Islamic Cultural Center, to be designed by renowned architect, Jean Nouvel

45 Park Place, build site, image by Forum contributor towerpower123

While the development is not slated for completion until 2018, the most recent images on our Forum reveal a tight excavation site, as the tower will occupy a relatively small footprint despite its projected height of 665 feet. Below, work crews can be seen hard at work through a chain link fence, as the excavation begins to dip below grade. 

45 Park Place excavation site, image by Forum contributor towerpower123

Once complete, 45 Park Place will contain just 50 units spread across 43 storeys, a move which will undoubtedly push the project into the high luxury stratosphere. Amenities will include a pool, fitness centre, children's playroom, and a 2,821-square-foot outdoor public plaza which will sit alongside the tower's base. While it is currently unclear just how the three-storey Islamic Cultural Center will relate to the tower, it has been reported that it will more than likely take up the plot of land found at the adjacent 51 Park Place, with a direct link to the tower. 

45 Park Place, as it will appear upon completion, image via SOMA Architects

SkyriseCities will be sure to return to this project as progress continues. For more information, check out the associated Database file and Forum thread, and as always, feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.