Our team has been busy this month viewing new development with buyers.
There are two projects in particular which have garnered some attention.
Both benefit from an utter lack of inventory- which I’ll cover in my broader discussion.
We’ll chat about
(Part I) and
The former is a pre-war rental building conversion, the second a ground-up construction.
Both interesting and beautiful in their individual ways.
I see 200 e 79th being slightly more successful in the short-term, but both will find happy buyers living there in a year’s time.
141 east 88th street, known as the Philip House.
Not multiple philips, but just one. who is this philip?
i need to look into it a bit more.
developers name buildings after daughters and sons, of course, per usual.
but Philip isn’t a common name these days.
perhaps it’s an honor on a recently deceased relative?
This developer scored a recent success with the Devonshire House on University and East 10th where Alec Baldwin decamped to, from the El Dorado on 90th and CPW.
So this developer has some experience in this market, catering to the tastes of the current buyers looking at high end condos.
The building is a classic pre-war layout.
lobby built through-block from 88th to 89th streets, with an additional entrance on lexington avenue itself.
as a west-side resident, i’m keenly aware of whipping wind along the drive (riverside drive), but these buildings, built before air-conditioning, were designed to capture all the breeze available to their location. creating air flow in all four directions, this lobby would be cool even on the hottest days.
the lobby will lose its western door, which is not a major loss- having a lexington entrance seems pointless, when the developer can create much-needed retail that is also a value add to the neighborhood and to their bottom line.
so a new boutique will be there soon!
they are creating a floor-to-ceiling window that leads out to a planted terrace to the east, which is essentially looking through the light/view corridor east between the 88th and 89th street buildings to third avenue.
that will look lovely.
should they close off the 89th entrance, it will require them to cool the lobby- so it seems they would be making an extra cost for themselves.
i expect that it will be a “back door” that people like as they take a cab up 3rd avenue, take a left on 89th, and pop in- there are two sets of elevators, and depending on which side one lives on, this will be a nice convenience.
there are buildings such as 241 w 97th/240 w 98th that have a similar cab-friendly/drop-off friendly feature depending where one is coming from.
all of this and I haven’t even described the finishes.
You can view everything on the website, but currently the sales office is the only finished product. that said it is lovely, giving buyers a good flavor of the finishes.
The building has done a nice job:
Wide-plank white oak flooring, engineered flooring- but able to take sanding many times- which will hold up well.
Lovely, classic, windowed full baths, with powder rooms strategically located.
Good closet space.
secondary bedrooms are a bit small, but workable, with large master baths, massive kitchens with pretty bluestone counters, and smart ergonomic, functional windowed kitchens for the most part.
The open kitchen to the living room is a winner in these four-bedroom layouts, as is the corner unit- the sales office resides in this space.
The downsides are simple.
First, the units are not finished, and the developer is struggling to create the large units, as there are so many rent regulated apartments throughout the building.
It keeps the developer from assembling the spaces- and so this building will end up having more 1-2 bedroom units that they would want.
This is a concern, if only because the building’s unit mix will determine some of the reputation that ultimately happens.
It’s not a major concern, but it is something to consider.
The second downside is the view.
The building is essentially a location proposition.
Most of the units will look out in some fashion onto low Lexington Avenue buildings, which is not bad, nor are the views of 88th and 89th street buildings, including a nice Southwest view of east 88th, the school there (PS 169) and trees.
However, the building, like many, is built like an “E,” with cutouts on the eastern facade, which give light and air, but create unattractive views from many kitchens, secondary bedrooms, and even master bedrooms- these “airshaft” views are identical no matter what floor the apartments are on, though the views to eventually open up to the East above the 7th floor or so.
However, whether buyers will shell out $1700-1850 per square foot for these large apartments remains to be seen.
I am seeing the smaller units sell quickly- and once the large apartments are completed, or more completed- they are right now shells with loads of construction going on- they will catch the buyers who can’t see through the mess.
I can see some flexibility on pricing for the bad-rear-view units.
We’ll cover 200 east 79th in a separate post.