There have been some stunning new projects coming to market, even as much has been made of sliding sales volume at the high end.
I got to visit two well-located projects, 101 west 78th Street and 121 East 22nd Street.
The first is a rehabilitation of a gorgeous building from another century.
The second is the first residential project from an architect firm seemingly from another, more interesting, planet.
Both are important projects for their respective neighborhoods.
101 West 78th Street
I had the good fortune to view 101 west 78th Street a couple of months before it launched to the public.
First, let’s discuss the location.
Located at the corner of 78th Street and Columbus Avenue, this location would be considered prime, overlooking the Museum of Natural History.
The Penthouse in the building will have the most incredible view of the Thanksgiving Day Parade as they roll out.
Given that I’m writing this as Mardi Gras comes to its climax in New Orleans, I’m having fun envisioning the Thanksgiving Day party in the Penthouse which is under construction now, being added on top of this late 19th-century building.
Of course, since there are 364 other days of the year, let’s discuss the building.
First, you’re not only across from the museum, but you’re also one block from Central Park, and among the gorgeous cooperatives that wrap the Park and the Museum.
With only 20 units or so, the building promises to always be boutique-y with a high level of service for the small unit count.
The spaces were all reconceived by designer Stephen Sills and you can see his handiwork here.
I must add that when a person’s last name matches the work he does, it’s called an Aptronym.
So at least you will have learned something new today, if you didn’t already know that…
I had a lot of fun walking through all of the
vestigial elements of
the building, such an interior air shaft that is getting removed, to incredible ceiling heights, to the interior landings on each floor with gorgeous tile details.
Views on the Southeast corner of the building are sunny and open, with views down Columbus Avenue.
You will also get to see the contextual addition to the Natural History Museum, which will be across the avenue and which was approved last year.
this isn’t a view building, per se, but is about the amazing location and size of these units, from two- to five-bedroom apartments.
They have been described as “chic and supremely comfortable.”
You can take a look at one here.
Everything in the interiors shouts luxury and I think the market will be quite receptive to these units.
121 East 22nd Street
As I’ve written before in blog posts, I had the good fortune to work alongside the great people at OMA, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, about a decade ago.
Pritzker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas had designed a building which did not get built, unfortunately, just a block or so away on 22nd street.
Fast forward to 2017, and this project at 121 East 22nd Street, spearheaded by developers Toll Brothers, looks to be the first residential design by Koolhaas’ firm, partner Shohei Shigematsu, that will come to fruition in Manhattan.
If you look at the photo here, you are looking at the 121 East 22nd Street as it faces 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue, with One Madison Park in the background- the latter tower
never receiving the OMA-designed partner it expected to get; the timing of its September 2008 launch didn’t help. The One Madison tower and its smaller entrance building are now nearly sold out as of 2016, with many resales already having taken place, too.
Toll Brothers’ City Living division is responsible for so many buildings popping up around Manhattan and Brooklyn right now.
This is the latest project to hit the market, while they are still selling out 55 West 17th Street, Pier House in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and others, including 400 Park Avenue South just 5 blocks to the North and one block to the West.
This location is two blocks from Gramercy Park.
This design will cement 22nd/23rd Street as a residential corridor.
That OMA, and Shohei Shigematsu in particular, has been considering the neighborhood for over a decade for a building design, lends a lot of weight to the design that was finally chosen.
This video talks about the location in more detail.
I was struck by the 22nd Street side of the building. Rather than a monolithic design, the building facing 22nd Street instead is a much shorter building that has bigger picture windows, while in between the two buildings, there are outdoor spaces for nearly every apartment.
Only from the very highest floors will this building become a “view building.”
What I mean is that to the south, the units face Sage House, a gorgeous Pre-war building at 4 Lexington Avenue.
To the North, the views start to clear above a commercial building across the street and 50 Lexington on 24th Street.
The design and size of the apartments stands apart from the views.
With a focus on generous ceiling height, and a builder who wants to deliver 1- and 2-bedrooms in addition to larger units, Toll Brothers is offering apartments which should see significant interest.
The design is in many ways monochromatic, with lots of blacks and whites, setting it apart from the Mid-Century Modern elements so prevalent across the new development marketplace at present.
Toll Brothers will certainly do its best to bring together high-end interiors, value-engineered enough to make the prices in line with the luxury market.
Thought I would suspect some flexibility in pricing.
A worthwhile addition to the market.
Let’s hope that we see more building designs, that, paraphrasing the words of Bjark Ingalls, don’t look like buildings.
More next month- S