Let’s chat about 551 West 21st Street, a boutique new development whose sales office I visited last week.
My firm is marketing the property, but I am not.
This just-born project, one of many in the hopper for Sir Norman Foster of Foster & Partners,
One of my favorites
of his creations
was the addition
atop the original Hearst Building, known as the Hearst Tower.
He and his team are moving forward on any number of projects.
Another we know about is an RFR development in the East 50’s.
And there was a pretty remarkable one at 980 Madison, which never came to pass.
I have written about 50 UN Plaza, which, in this reviewer’s humble opinion, was not nearly as successful as what’s been delivered at 551 West 21st Street, despite a good deal of similar features.
Both feature prominent, sweeping River views.
Both feature limited unit numbers.
Both feature driveways that elicit some level of drooling.
Both feature attention to exterior window design – and
huge picture windows.
But the design palette here
more adventurous, exhibiting a desire, perhaps, to
embrace a contemporary-yet-throwback mentality.
These rooms are less urban and more of the oversized variety I just discussed in my “diatribe” post
on city vs. suburban.
If you look at this recent article on upcoming developments, so many boutique full-service buildings are
coming to market, each housing only
So much opportunity to test this hypothesis.
With West Chelsea
hub of this amazing construction, and with the High Line’s impact on residential living amongst galleries, we are
seeing things trading at incredible numbers.
These apartments warrant top dollar.
picture belies the warmth of this kitchen, the stunning herringbone flooring in all the public rooms, the richly designed smallest details – closets, built-ins, baths, and so on.
The three-bedrooms are over 3000 square feet, so we are talking about generous proportions in all the units. Contracts were
out and signed on many of the high floor units in just a few weeks.
Perhaps I enjoy this color palette, even the champagne-colored window detail that reads aglow into the units.
Or perhaps I just
prefer the Hudson River.
Cast Iron House
remarkable finishes and thought to
layouts, retrofitting the spaces into the old building, creating incredibly interesting duplexes.
from the 2nd floor units (which, with low ceilings,
are priced at $1600-$1700 per square foot),
the units have great room ceilings of 15′ or more.
amenities for as small a building as this are robust, to say the least.
one step removed from being private residence,
for which people are willing to pay much, much more.
we consider that a top-tier renovation would cost $500-$1000 per square foot, purchasing a Shigeru-Ban designed property at $1600-$2300 per square foot doesn’t seem that radical.
Now, the common charges are pretty high.
$2.40-2.80 per square foot.
That may have been a bit of a drag on pricing, but for the level of amenities, this may not be an issue right now.
white laquer cabinetry, white
marble counters, Gaggenau for the entire appliance package.
Fully pre-wired for a/v, and of course the double-height ceilings.
Really, ceiling height appears to be a signature of Ban’s design in the building.
Sliding walls by Schuco, radiant floors in the baths, a system to keep the outside out and the inside in for the sliding walls- and the massive outdoor terraces.
The Tribeca buyer is less concerned with views than with finishes, space, and location.
This should be a huge success.