Neighborhood-Inspired Amenities Elevate These Buildings Above The Rest
By: Michelle Sinclair Colman
All too often, new buildings are plopped down in the middle of the city with little regard for their location or context. When this happens on a recurring basis […]
All too often, new buildings are plopped down in the middle of the city with little regard for their location or context. When this happens on a recurring basis, cities around the world all start to become indistinguishable from one another. But when a building really considers its time, place and context, there is a uniqueness that buyers and residences truly value.
The following buildings have made concerted efforts to incorporate their context not only in their exterior architecture but also in the amenities they offer. With the diversity of New York City neighborhoods, there is a lot of material to draw on.
180 East 88th Street
Credit: March Made for DDG
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th Street is a striking condominium being developed and designed by national real estate developer DDG. Residents have access to an extensive selection of amenities but one that stands out in terms of respecting its location is their interactive children’s playroom designed in partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Arts. The light-filled room features plenty of space to run, draw, and play, and best, a slide. DDG was inspired by the building’s proximity to and magnificent views of Central Park for the design of the playroom. The developers collaborated with several artists that commonly work with the American Museum of Natural History to create a one-of-a-kind diorama that will be housed in the children’s playroom when the building is complete. Specifically designed to showcase the building’s stunning Central Park views in an unconventional and experiential way, the extraordinary mural depicts a unique, tree-top vista of Central Park that includes the City’s iconic skyline and continues onto the adjacent walls with a unique LEGO installation.
When the Children’s Room Becomes a Work-of-Art
Can a children’s room be a work-of-art? Developers are beginning to team up with world class art institutions to transform playrooms into artistic masterpieces. […]
Can a children’s room be a work-of-art? Developers are beginning to team up with world class art institutions to transform playrooms into artistic masterpieces. This high quality level of artwork can inspire them to be more creative and take their imagination to the next level.
180 East 88th St
The Children’s Museum of Art collaborated with New York-based developer DDG to create a one-of-kind play space at their new building at 180 East 88th St. In addition to working with the Museum, the developer also commissioned muralist Sean Murtha, who has created many of the backgrounds depicted in the dioramas at American Museum of Natural History, to craft a wildlife mural to be housed in the children’s playroom. His wildlife designs are inspired by the still-remaining pockets of field, forest and salt marsh on the north shore of Long Island where he grew up.
Checking in on 180 East 88th: Tea Party Soiree Offers a First Look into the Last Duplex and Glimpses of Central Park
By: Michelle Sinclair Colman
On Thursday, October 4th, the luxury Upper East Side condominium 180 East 88th hosted a tea party to offer a first look inside the building’s last duplex residence, 38 West, […]
On Thursday, October 4th, the luxury Upper East Side condominium 180 East 88th hosted a tea party to offer a first look inside the building’s last duplex residence, 38 West, which is currently on the market for $15 million.
The event took place in the beautifully designed two-story home with a glimpse of Central Park. DDG CEO and Chairman Joe McMillan and Corcoran CEO and President Pamela Liebman were in attendance, which featured a tea party and a live performance by the New York Philharmonic Pianist Steven Beck.
The duplex condominium has impressive double-height ceilings, iconic arches and pre-war inspired design elements.
180 East 88th is the firm’s first Uptown project. Inspired by the pre-war masonry construction in New York during the 1920s – 1940s, DDG’s design team revived the art of traditional craftsmanship and blended it with a modern aesthetic. The building features 48 luxurious private residences ranging from lofts to five-bedrooms, full floor and duplex units, as well as a triplex penthouse. The condominium’s amenities include a partial indoor basketball court and indoor soccer pitch with double-height ceilings, top-of-the-line fitness center with private yoga studio, game room, residents’ lounge, wine room and an interactive children’s playroom designed in partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Arts.
Luxury Condo 180 East 88th Offers First Look Inside Remaining Duplex Residence
To offer a first look inside its $15 million duplex residence, luxury condominium 180 East 88th hosted an elegant event on Thursday, October 4th. […]
To offer a first look inside its $15 million duplex residence, luxury condominium 180 East 88th hosted an elegant event on Thursday, October 4th. The exclusive soiree took place in the meticulously designed two-story home and was attended by DDG CEO and Chairman Joe McMillan and Corcoran CEO and President Pamela Liebman.
A number of New York City’s top brokers, including Robby Browne and Lauren Muss, attended the special event, which featured a whimsical tea party and a live performance by acclaimed New York Philharmonic Pianist Steven Beck. Guests were enjoying an array of teas while admiring the condominium’s double-height ceilings, iconic arches and pre-war inspired design elements.
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th is a striking condominium being developed, designed, constructed and managed by DDG. The firm’s first Uptown project, 180 East 88th is inspired by the pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York during the 1920s – 1940s, and DDG’s design team paid homage to the lost art of traditional craftsmanship while maintaining a modern aesthetic. It features 48 graciously-appointed private residences ranging from lofts to five-bedrooms, full floor and duplex units, as well as a gracious triplex penthouse. The condominium’s extensive amenity selection includes a partial indoor basketball court and indoor soccer pitch with double-height ceilings, top-of-the-line fitness center with private yoga studio, game room, residents’ lounge, wine room and an interactive children’s playroom designed in partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Arts.
The Real Deal
The Closing: Joe McMillan
By: E.B. Solomont
Joe McMillan is the Chairman and CEO of DDG. The company — which launched in 2009 and initially focused on buying distressed properties — has developed real estate […]
Joe McMillan is the Chairman and CEO of DDG. The company — which launched in 2009 and initially focused on buying distressed properties — has developed real estate valued at $2.5 billion, including luxury condos such as 41 Bond, 12 Warren and 345meatpacking, which made headlines in 2012 when the firm wrapped it in a giant banner designed by artist Yayoi Kusama. McMillan — who graduated from the University of Virginia and is an openly gay military veteran — worked for a dozen years in private equity at Greenhill & Co. and at Och-Ziff Capital Management Group before shifting to real estate. Unlike builders focused solely on development, DDG has teams dedicated to capital investment; architecture and design; and development and construction. And McMillan personally invests in every deal. The Tribeca-based company, which also has offices in Florida and California, is currently teaming up with Westbrook Partners to convert the former Standish Arms Hotel in Brooklyn Heights to condos. DDG is also building a 48-unit, 50-story condo at 180 East 88th. The project is nearly topped out.
DOB: November 11, 1971
Hometown: West Grove, Pennsylvania
Lives in: Manhattan
TRD: What were you like as a kid?
JM: When I was very young, I was incredibly studious. I wore a suit to school, I carried a briefcase up until probably 10 or 12. That’s when I became a little more rambunctious.
TRD: What was your childhood like?
JM: I had a good childhood. There were six of us that lived in a two-bedroom house. My sister had a room, my parents had a room and my two brothers and I slept in the attic. I lived in the house until I was 18 years old, when I enlisted in the Army.
TRD: What made you enlist?
JM: I grew up in a very small town —1,800 people, one traffic light. My father had been in the Navy, my brothers had been in the Army and Navy. There was not a lot of opportunity. I had been on a plane once in my life. [Joining the Army] picked me up and transported me half a world away. I went to college on the GI Bill.
TRD: What military habits have stuck with you?
JM: I tend to like things that are very orderly. [The Army] taught me discipline and work ethic.
TRD: What was the transition into the military like?
JM: When I first went into basic training, I smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. Let’s just say that my level of physical activity was not what it needed to be.
TRD: What was your first ever job?
JM: Shoveling snow, mowing lawns and landscape work. I worked after school, on weekends. I needed money. I was living in the attic! When my brothers and I were first pushed up to the attic, there was no electricity. There was no heat. It wasn’t always Bond Street.
TRD: What was your relationship with your parents?
JM: I was incredibly close with my mother. [She died] when I was 28. It was like my heart was ripped out. My relationship with my father was more estranged. I had come out as gay. He was a conservative minister then, so we didn’t necessarily see eye to eye. We [later had] a fantastic relationship, but there were some tense years.
TRD: How and when did you come out?
JM: In stages, starting in my late 20s. I came out to my sister first. I visited her in Atlanta and I told her in a Waffle House around midnight.
TRD: What was her reaction?
JM: She said it’s a phase. And I was like, “No, I don’t think so.” I told my mother about a year later. She cried. I thought she was upset, but it was because I had never told her before — and that I felt I had to keep it from her.
TRD: What made you pivot from private equity to real estate?
JM: I’d been doing a number of deals, [grappling with] the passing of my mother and looking at where I was personally. I looked back at what I really enjoyed. I like the creative aspect and I wanted to do something tangible. I wanted to build things.
TRD: Before DDG, what kinds of investments did you make?
JM: I bought some spec land and was a passive investor in five or six deals. [I did] well enough to quit my job and start a company.
TRD: Do you have a favorite project?
JM: 41 Bond was an acquisition we did in 2009. We bought a piece of vacant land and we built our first building, so that will always be truly special.
TRD: You live there, too, right?
JM: I do.
TRD: You said you used to smoke three packs a day. How about now?
JM: I actually don’t drink or smoke. I don’t drink coffee or soda. I drink more water and green tea with honey.
TRD: Do you have vices?
JM: I have a weakness for vanilla cake. I probably will eat pretty much any type of cookie in front of me.
TRD: You grew up without money. Do you resent those born on third?
JM: I don’t resent people who inherited money. What I find offensive is when someone acts as if they worked really hard for it, or they don’t treat other people well. I’ve been a waiter. I’ve been a busboy. I’m a good tipper. It’s the sense of entitlement and arrogance that some people have that I find offensive.
TRD: Are there any deals that got away?
JM: We were looking at 432 Park when it was distressed. But when you’re starting a new company, 432 Park is not going to be the first thing you do. Investors are not going to support that. I think it was a missed opportunity.
DDG Releases Final Duplex at 180 East 88th; Exclusive Look at its Outstanding View
By: Ondel Hylton
One of the biggest new additions to Carnegie Hill since well, Andrew Carnegie parked his mansion on Fifth Avenue, is 180 East 88th, a towering new condo building being developed, […]
One of the biggest new additions to Carnegie Hill since well, Andrew Carnegie parked his mansion on Fifth Avenue, is 180 East 88th, a towering new condo building being developed, designed, constructed and managed by Joe McMillan’s DDG.
Come 2019, the team will deliver 48 pre-war-inspired residences unique to any product on or off the market. Among the most coveted units are the duplex residences, which feature nearly 30-foot-high ceilings and a custom-designed sculptural staircase. Last week, the team listed Residence 38 West, the last remaining duplex available in the building. From its lofty space to its wide-angle views above the city, this particular aerie undoubtedly rises to the occasion.
Residence 38 West is 3,794 square feet with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths. The lower level holds the living spaces and the master suite, while the upper level has three other bedrooms and a laundry room.
Perched roughly 400 feet above the city, the home will be among the highest on the Upper East Side. The L-shaped layout presents unobstructed south and west views of Central Park and the Midtown skyline. Above is an exclusive image from the team showing how the home is an ideal roost to watch Manhattan grow.
The incredible great room anchors the southwest corner of the building. Nine-foot-tall tilt & turn Albertini Italian windows frame sunset views of Central Park.
Entertaining areas have custom-designed plaster cove ceilings, wainscoting, picture rails and 7.5-inch wide Austrian White Oak flooring.
At the heart of the plan is the central dining space that has a double-height, 28’8″-high ceiling and is bound by park-facing exposure and a sculptural staircase.
The kitchen consumes the northern end of the lower level and has two exposures looking north to the George Washington Bridge and west to the park. Features include a center island with custom white-lacquered cabinetry by Molteni & C Dada, Statuario marble countertops and a full suite of Gaggenau appliances.
The master bedroom has an en-suite windowed master bath with radiant heat flooring, silver travertine slabs and mosaic tile accented walls. The master suite also has a 16-foot-long dressing room.
The building will offer a fully-attended lobby and DDG concierge services. Condos are perched above eight floors of amenities that include a fitness studio, double-height basketball court, soccer pitch, playroom designed in collaboration with the Children’s Museum of the Arts, game room and residents’ lounge with catering kitchen. Also available for purchase is wine storage, residential storage and bike storage.
180 East 88th Lists $15 Million Duplex
DDG’s striking Upper East Side condominium, 180 East 88th, has just listed its last remaining duplex residence, an expansive 4+ bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home priced at $15 million. […]
DDG’s striking Upper East Side condominium, 180 East 88th, has just listed its last remaining duplex residence, an expansive 4+ bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home priced at $15 million. Spanning two levels and 3,794 square feet, the residence’s two most defining
features are its double-height ceilings, which stretch up to an unbelievable 28’8”, and an impeccably-designed architectural staircase. With 180 East 88th being the tallest building north of 72nd Street, Residence 38 West also features unprecedented views of Central Park and the Midtown skyline. This final duplex opportunity is outfitted with a corner-situated great room, windowed kitchen and full-size laundry room with sink.
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th is a striking condominium being developed, designed, constructed and managed by DDG. The firm’s first Uptown project, 180 East 88th is inspired by the pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York during the 1920s – 1940s, and DDG’s design team paid homage to the lost art of traditional craftsmanship while maintaining a modern aesthetic. It features 48 graciously-appointed private residences ranging from lofts to five-bedrooms, full floor and duplex units, as well as a gracious triplex penthouse.
Residents have access to an extensive selection of amenities including a half-court indoor basketball court, partial indoor soccer pitch, private fitness and yoga studios, game room, resident’s lounge, wine room and an interactive children’s playroom designed in partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Arts.
DDG’s 180 East 88th Now Past its Halfway Point, Soon to Stun the Upper East Side Skyline
By: Katy Cornell
DDG and Global Holdings’ exquisite 180 East 88th is now past its halfway mark, approximately 30 stories up. Slated to top out at 50 stories, the tower will reign as the tallest building […]
DDG and Global Holdings’ exquisite 180 East 88th is now past its halfway mark, approximately 30 stories up. Slated to top out at 50 stories, the tower will reign as the tallest building in Manhattan north of 72nd Street.
Situated between Lexington and Third Avenues, the tower’s design strays from its tall glass counterparts sprinkled throughout the city. Instead, 180 East 88th stands out with its hand-laid Kolumba brickwork, 9’ tall windows and stunning concrete catenary arches at its ground-, mid- and crowning levels.
Boasting a canopied entrance on Third Avenue and mid-block frontage on 88th Street, the building will beckon residents through a landscaped path, shielded by a sculptural bronze canopy and leading into a vaulted lobby. Here, residents will find a fireplace below an elaborate custom plaster installation molded by German artist Jan Hooss.
This unmatched attention to detail is carried throughout the building’s 48 residences, which average at over 2,000 square feet apiece.
Designed for the art collector, many residences boast ceiling heights soaring up to 14’-2” and 28’-2” in duplexes, oval-shaped entry galleries, 9’ tall tilt-turn windows and picture rails. Select homes will offer duplex layouts, and many will include a balcony or a terrace.
180 East 88th will be home to fitness and yoga studios, partial basketball court, indoor soccer pitch, children’s playroom, game room, residents’ lounge and wine room.
Perks abound in the surrounding Carnegie Hill neighborhood as well. The building stands in close proximity to Central Park, Museum Mile and the Second Avenue subway at 86th Street.
WNBA All-Star “Assists” in Unveiling New Basketball Court at Upper East Side Condo
On April 17, 2018, luxury condominium 180 East 88th partnered with the non-profit Ladies Who Hoop, an organization dedicated to empowering women of all ages through the game […]
On April 17, 2018, luxury condominium 180 East 88th partnered with the non-profit Ladies Who Hoop, an organization dedicated to empowering women of all ages through the game of basketball, to host the First Annual Free-Throw Contest at the rapidly progressing building and provide a first-look at the future basketball court amenity space. Former WNBA Star and Cover Girl Kym Hampton and Ivy League All-Star and current pro-athlete Armani Cotton were both in attendance, along with more than 40 brokers.
Guests had the opportunity to sign an “empowerment wall” and were led through drills and treated to instruction by Ladies Who Hoop Founder Amber Batchelor and the organization’s Director of Organizational Development & Programming Meagan LaDue to dust off their court skills and prepare for the lively free-throw contest that followed.
In the end, attendee Michael Deutch prevailed and won the contest, and was able to direct 180 East 88th’s donation to one of three funding initiatives for Ladies Who Hoop; Future Ladies Who Hoop. 180 East 88th is being designed, developed, constructed and managed by DDG, whose Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Joe McMillan, was also in attendance.
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, the condominium is being developed, designed, constructed and managed by DDG. The firm’s first Uptown project, 180 East 88th is inspired by the pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York during the 1920s – 1940s, and DDG’s design team paid homage to the lost art of traditional craftsmanship while maintaining a modern aesthetic. It features 48 graciously-appointed private residences ranging from lofts to five-bedrooms, full floor and duplex units, as well as a gracious triplex penthouse. When complete, the building will include a partial indoor basketball court featuring double-height ceilings and an abundance of natural light.
WNBA All-Star Kym Hampton Helps DDG Unveil 180 East 88th’s New Basketball Court
DDG’s new luxury condominium 180 East 88th partnered with the non-profit Ladies Who Hoop, an organization dedicated to empowering women of all ages through the game of basketball, […]
DDG’s new luxury condominium 180 East 88th partnered with the non-profit Ladies Who Hoop, an organization dedicated to empowering women of all ages through the game of basketball, to host the First Annual Free-Throw Contest featuring former WNBA Star and Cover Girl Kym Hampton and Ivy League All-Star and current pro-athlete Armani Cotton to help reveal one of the building’s amenities, its basketball court.
Guests had the opportunity to sign an “empowerment wall” and were led through drills and treated to instruction by Ladies Who Hoop Founder Amber Batchelor and the organization’s Director of Organizational Development & Programming Meagan LaDue to dust off their court skills and prepare for the lively free-throw contest that followed. In the end, attendee Michael Deutch prevailed and won the contest, and was able to direct 180 East 88th’s donation to one of three funding initiatives for Ladies Who Hoop; Future Ladies Who Hoop. 180 East 88th is being designed, developed, constructed and managed by DDG, whose Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Joe McMillan, was also in attendance.
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th is being developed, designed, constructed and managed by DDG, representing the firm’s first Uptown project and draws inspiration from the pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York during the 1920s – 1940s. DDG’s design team pays homage to the lost art of traditional craftsmanship while maintaining a modern aesthetic. The property’s façade comprises a total of 594,443 bricks, handmade by Danish firm Petersen Tegl. Internally, German plaster artisan Jan Hooss was commissioned to create an installation that celebrates the stucco that was prevalent in Upper East Side architecture at the turn of the 20th century. 180 East 88th offers 48 graciously-appointed private residences ranging from lofts to five-bedrooms, full floor and duplex units, as well as a gracious triplex penthouse. When complete, the building will include a partial indoor basketball court, soccer pitch, game room, residents’ lounge, wine room, private fitness and yoga studios and an interactive children’s playroom.
The 15 Best Gyms in NYC Residential Buildings
By: Michelle Colman
Jay Wright, founder and CEO of The Wright Fit, a gym design and management consultancy, is behind many of the gorgeous gyms in high-end NYC residential buildings, from […]
Jay Wright, founder and CEO of The Wright Fit, a gym design and management consultancy, is behind many of the gorgeous gyms in high-end NYC residential buildings, from 15 Central Park West to 56 Leonard.
The Wright Fit has a very specific philosophy that guides their design and programming for their clients’ facilities. “That philosophy is called centerpoint strategy. The goal of is to create balance, functional longevity, and optimal quality of life for our clients and the residents of the building. We are trying to get people off of fixed path motion machines, where the actual machines define the path of motion, and teach people about their bodies. We like to challenge people to evolve their way of thinking.”
Wright says that time and proximity are the biggest barriers to working out. By creating gorgeous gyms in residential buildings, those two barriers are eliminated. So if you live one of these buildings with amazing gyms, let us envy you as you run down the stairs (forget the elevator) and start sweating. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the 15 best residential gyms that are getting New Yorkers’ heart rates pumping.
Projects include: One Hundred Barclay, Woolworth Tower Residences, Two Fifty West 81st, Madison Square Park Tower, 11 Beach, 180 East 88th, One Manhattan Square, Waterline Square, 125 Greenwich Street, 277 Fifth Avenue, 242 Broome Street, 101 West 78th Street, The Greenpoint, Park and Shore and Ellipse.
180 East 88th
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th is a striking condominium being developed, designed, constructed and managed by DDG. Its extensive amenity selection includes an expansive fitness studio featuring state-of-the-art machines and Peloton bikes. It’s situated on a higher floor to allow for natural light and provide outdoor views and the use of board-formed concrete echoes the artisanal aspects of the building. In addition to the fitness studio, the building also features a private yoga studio, indoor soccer pitch and indoor, half-court basketball court with double-height ceilings.
Design, Construction and Art: An Interview with Joe McMillan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DDG
LEADERS Magazine: What attracted you to the real estate industry?
Joe McMillan.: I was always fascinated by real estate, construction and […]
LEADERS Magazine: What attracted you to the real estate industry?
Joe McMillan.: I was always fascinated by real estate, construction and development. I found myself working in the private equity and hedge fund businesses. Out of my personal account, I was investing in real estate. I was seeking a way to merge my interests.
Through various years and multiple processes, I determined the best way to merge the aspects of being an investor and a developer was to leave what I was doing and start a firm. Many years ago, I felt that visiting properties and walking onto construction sites was much more fulfilling than solely sitting in an office all day, every day. Now, I have varied experiences where some days I’m on a site, some days I’m with an architect and some days I’m in meetings with lenders and investors. I get to use that whole multifaceted skill set as opposed to using a few of those on a regular basis.
LM: How did the financial crisis of 2008 / 2009 provide the right timing to start DDG?
JM: That year was the best time to start a firm. What happened in 2008 / 2009 provided a rare opportunity – the market was at a bottom, lending had collapsed and Wall Street was in disarray. It was the best time to buy assets.
Entering a market near a bottom means a great buying opportunity. Real estate is about location and basis. From a basis perspective, coming into the market at that point in time was really an opportunity to be seized.
LM: Would you highlight your focus on art and architecture and how critical this is to each project?
JM: If we get location and basis right, we have many opportunities on the design and artistic side. It has always been a passion of mine to try to figure out a way to merge the investment with the design, construction and art. Since the basis and location were right across multiple opportunities when the company was started, we had the ability to incorporate art. By incorporating great design along with high-quality construction and the arts, it formed the basis for a better business model. In the end, returns that fall down to the bottom line are better than if you just focus on one of the aspects. It was a nexus around the combined set that enabled us to form the company with the team we have.
LM: Are there certain common characteristics incorporated in a DDG project?
JM: Our projects all have an organic quality to them. They have a warmth that is consistent across the portfolio.
One will often see significant portions of masonry in many of our buildings and a consistency in the flooring – it tends to be extremely warm and earthy. Those are the hallmarks of what one will notice. The green aspect is also almost a given for us in any project. The green is not just the right answer aesthetically, as everyone wants to look at something beautiful and organic, but also from an environmental perspective. All of those things come into play when we’re looking at a project. Even with these consistencies, none of our projects look alike.
LM: Is DDG’s main focus on the luxury residential segment?
JM: We started out in the luxury residential space – we have done luxury condominiums and have two luxury micro-rental apartment buildings under construction in San Francisco. In addition to New York and California, we’re also in Florida. We have done parking and some retail. It’s a more varied portfolio than most know, but our roots are in luxury residential.
LM: Will you discuss your project at 180 East 88th Street in New York City?
JM: This is our first project uptown. When we started, we were known as downtown developers. Now, we’re in three states and multiple cities, as well as two New York City boroughs.
From a high-rise perspective, it will be the tallest building we will have completed to date, so that is significant.
The Upper East Side is one of many great neighborhoods in the city. The proximity of our location to Central Park, great museums and world-class schools make this location’s amenities hard to find anywhere else in the city.
LM: How critical are amenities in the luxury space?
JM: First and foremost, a resident wants quality and that trumps amenities. If we combine the quality with the amenities, then we have something that is truly exceptional.
LM: As DDG has grown, how critical has it been to continue to attract top talent?
JM: The number one most critical item to the success of the company has been, and will continue to be, the quality of the team. All of our talent and assets walk out the door every evening and come back in the morning to help contribute to what we’re trying to do.
Without a team, no company would exist and that’s especially critical for development projects.
If any piece breaks down, it has tremendous impact across all teams, so the teams must also work together.
We have tried to create an environment where we foster creativity. One of the biggest components of my responsibility is attracting talented people and enabling them to do what they want to do in an environment where they want to do it.
As March Madness Kicks Off, a Look at the Dreamiest Residential Basketball Courts in NYC
Crowned by many as the best sporting event of the year, March Madness has just gotten underway and nearly everyone from basketball fanatics to those who just […]
Crowned by many as the best sporting event of the year, March Madness has just gotten underway and nearly everyone from basketball fanatics to those who just enjoy the excitement of the game will be watching the national tournament. And even if you haven’t finalized picks for your die-hard friend’s fantasy league, chances are you have at least one fond memory of shooting hoops in a neighborhood park, or at a rusty basket hanging precariously from a garage door.
These days, the Cage at West 4th Street isn’t the only basketball mecca where athletic New Yorkers can practice their 3-point shots. Some of the city’s ultra-luxe condominiums are now fitted out with epic basketball courts designed to appeal to everyone from professional athletes to young Stephen Currys-in-training to baller dads looking to improve their jump shot. Functional and fashionable, they truly take the indoor basketball court to the next level.
As we take the yearly dive into the March Madness hole, let’s check a roundup of the coolest residential courts in New York’s concrete jungle. From double-height ceilings to full-size indoor courts, these practice spaces will top any commercial court any day.
Projects include: 180 East 88th, Waterline Square, Madison Square Park Tower, One Manhattan Square and The Greenpoint.
180 East 88th
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th Street is a striking condominium being designed, developed, constructed and managed by DDG. The firm’s first Uptown project, 180 East 88th is inspired by the pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York during the 1920s -1940s, and DDG’s design team paid homage to the lost art of traditional craftsmanship while maintaining a modern aesthetic. It features 48 graciously-appointed private residences ranging from lofts to five-bedrooms, full floor and duplex units, as well as a gracious triplex penthouse.
However, perhaps most exciting about the condominium is its extensive selection of amenities, somewhat considered a rarity on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and in particular its partial indoor basketball court featuring soaring double-height ceilings and an abundance of natural light. An incredible space, there’s no better place to perfect your jump-shot and practice your free-throw. Other notable amenities include an indoor soccer pitch, private fitness and yoga studios, game room, residents’ lounge, wine room, and an interactive children’s playroom designed in partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Arts.
Swanky Residential Basketball Courts, Just in Time for March Madness
By: Michelle Sinclair Colman
It’s almost time for March Madness when everyone becomes a basketball fan. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, basketball is the most popular […]
It’s almost time for March Madness when everyone becomes a basketball fan. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, basketball is the most popular sport in the United States with over 26 million people playing. Even though there are outdoor hoops all over Manhattan, indoor courts are not as easy to come by in the city whose average price per square foot outranks all other US cities. Amazingly, some NYC developers are defying the odds and have built indoor basketball courts that will knock your basketball tube socks off.
Here are four indoor courts to dribble over. Projects include: 180 East 88th, Waterline Square, Madison Square Park Tower and One Manhattan Square.
180 East 88th
The Upper East Side’s 180 East 88th is a striking condominium by DDG. The artisan crafted building features 48 private residences ranging from lofts to five-bedrooms, full floor and duplex units, as well as one triplex penthouse. In addition to the wine room, children’s playroom, game room, residents’ lounge and fitness studio, the amenity that will get your heart pumping the most (literally) is the partial basketball court and adjacent soccer pitch. The half-court indoor basketball court features soaring double-height ceilings and an abundance of natural light (something not often found in indoor courts).
Brick to Brick: Luxury Real Estate Forgoes Steel & Glass for a Return to the Classics
With glass and steel towers dotting every street corner, New York has never seemed more like an urban jungle. Design, it seems, has only gotten more futuristic, […]
With glass and steel towers dotting every street corner, New York has never seemed more like an urban jungle. Design, it seems, has only gotten more futuristic, leaving a shiny, metallic city in its wake that feels worlds apart from what it was even decades ago. Yet, a small number of developers are beating to a different drum. As the towers get glassier, these luxury real estate titans are grabbing hold of the craftsmanship of the past, where textured stone, handmade brick and skilled masonry techniques helped create some of the city’s most beautiful and iconic buildings. Let’s take a deeper look at some of these up-and-coming, yet throwback buildings that are offering a different type of lifestyle.
Projects include: 145 President, 211 Schermerhorn, 180 East 88th, 150 Wooster, The Kent and 20 East End Avenue.
180 East 88th
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th is a striking condominium being developed, designed, constructed and managed by DDG. The company’s first Uptown project, 180 East 88th is inspired by the pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York during the 1920s – 1940s and DDG’s design team paid homage to the lost art of traditional craftsmanship while maintaining a modern aesthetic. The property’s facade features 594,443 handmade bricks from Petersen Tegl in Denmark. These distinctive bricks, which include the elegant, elongated Kolumba style, possess a thoroughly unique texture and color palette that reflect their handmade quality. The artisanal nature of 180 East 88th Street’s facade not only provides a welcome contrast to many of today’s steel and glass towers, but also provides a point of resonance with many of the pre-war buildings dotting the Upper East Side, while maintaining a modern twist. Each of the condominium’s 48 gracious residences features 9’ tall tilt-turn windows, soaring ceilings and a number of unique design accents including classic picture rails, baseboard reveals and a formal entry gallery appointed with herringbone flooring, custom wainscoting and plaster ceiling details.
Sustainably Designing & Developing New York City with Joe McMillan of DDG, the Innovative Firm Behind 12 Warren & 41 Bond
PROFILEnyc had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Joe McMillan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DDG, to discuss bringing green building […]
PROFILEnyc had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Joe McMillan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DDG, to discuss bringing green building and sustainable practices to New York City real estate. Joe and DDG have been behind major projects such as 12 Warren, 180 East 88th, and 41 Bond, amongst others, where they use innovative design solutions to improve the built environment, creating value for both stakeholders and the community at large. DDG is fully integrated to optimize value via both designing and building their developments. Learn what it takes to design and build sustainably in the fast paced streets of Manhattan:
PROFILEnyc Magazine: So few real estate developers are as fully-integrated as DDG when it comes to designing and developing your own projects, why do you think this is so rare? Why did DDG take it upon itself to be involved in both the architectural design and development?
Joe McMillan: It is really a multi-faceted answer. If you look at design, development, construction and the other business we are in, asset management and property management, and overall investment, they are all very separate and distinct skill sets. What most typical firms do is they focus on one of the aspects of development and one of the skill sets. We felt that it would be an incredible competitive advantage to be able to integrate various of those under one corporate umbrella. That is why we chose to do the development, the design, the construction and the asset management all in-house. Having those capabilities and the integration enables us to be more nimble. We can move faster. We can control more of the process and we can control more of the quality. In the end that falls out to the bottom line, so as investors we obtain a better margin and better quality product as a result.
PM: What is your background and how has it enabled you to build a fully-integrated real estate company?
JM: My background is private equity and I am an institutional investor. I spent a number of years as an investor who had a tremendous passion for real estate and the arts. When DDG was started, we built out a team that has very extensive depth along the investment side, from Wall Street firms like Morgan Stanley, Barclays, etc. We have institutional capabilities from development firms and have hired from Hines for one, and on the design side we have a very robust team of designers who are incredibly talented and design a lot of our projects. On the construction side we have hired out of Tishman, Turner, and others; on the hospitality side some members of our concierge team have been trained by the Four Seasons and other five star hotels, so we have the best in class in all the businesses that we operate in. This gives us a very deep set of capabilities in each aspect of our business. We go out, try to find the best and the brightest, bring them together as one team and try to push that as a platform.
PM: Let’s jump to 12 Warren where you chose to use a unique bluestone for the facade. Why did you make this choice? How has the reception been?
JM: The bluestone has been incredibly well-received. We first worked with bluestone as a company at 41 Bond, which was the inaugural project that we completed in 2012. It was the first project that we did as a company. There we used a much more rationalized contemplation of the stone. If you look at the brickwork it was very linear, it was in very regular patterns. The articulation is incredibly beautiful, but it was done differently than 12 Warren. If you look at Warren Street, we wanted to do something that was rough-hewn. The reason we went back to the bluestone is it was a very traditional material used in New York City construction in the late 1800s early 1900s. It was used less over time as concrete, steel and glass became much more prevalent. We wanted something that went back to the roots of New York City. If you look at the Tribeca neighborhood, it is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. We thought the rough, organic texture was completely different. If you look just a couple of blocks away you have the World Trade Center towers and various other developments that have a lot of glass. We wanted to do something that was really an opposite reflection of what was going up. We wanted to show something that was much more traditional, although the final contemplation brought it into a slightly different light as well.
PM: What differentiates the design and style both from an architectural perspective and development perspective between the different neighborhoods of Manhattan? Where is DDG’s favorite neighborhood to build in?
JM: Every project is different and every neighborhood is different. I would say that every neighborhood has its opportunities and every neighborhood has its challenges. I think that you really need to respect the individual neighborhoods and look at them in their context. Every building needs to be contextual. There are certain neighborhoods that lend themselves towards high-rise, and certain neighborhoods that lend themselves to low-rise and mid-rise; some are more traditional and some are more contemporary. We send our design and development team into a neighborhood and they will walk block by block and take a myriad of photos so we have samples. We will come back to the office and we will sit and go through a reflective line: “What is the context of this neighborhood today?” We will do as much historical research as possible, going back as far as we can in city records and city tax records and get as many pictures as we can find, and figure out what was there 50, 100, 120 years ago. This really helps us understand the history of the location and history of the neighborhood, to bring that into today’s context and from there we decide what is appropriate for the site and the neighborhood.
I cannot say that we have a favorite neighborhood per se. I can say that we enjoy building in many of the various neighborhoods throughout the city and we have a lot of projects in Manhattan, and more recently we have worked in Brooklyn. We think that there is a lot of opportunity.
PM: Both 12 Warren and 180 East 88th are designed to be LEED Certified. Why is DDG so committed to sustainability? How does this affect design and development?
JM: It is not just 12 Warren and 180 East 88th that are going for LEED Certification, we have buildings across our portfolio that are. Every project that we have done in New York since 41 Bond has gone for LEED Certification. We don’t only believe in LEED, we believe in green, we believe in sustainability. We believe that as investors and developers, we have a responsibility to do what we think is right. Part of that is what we think is right for the environment, what is right for the city, and what is right for the planet. LEED is a portion of that, WELL Building is a portion, and green building is a portion.
LEED is one of the many standards that we try to adhere to and try to achieve. There are various levels of certification, whether it is silver, gold or platinum, and we think of that as important from a corporate responsibility perspective. We also think that as the world has changed over time, we as individuals have become much more cognizant of what is happening. We look at global warming, rising sea levels, temperature changes; we try to do anything we can do to help some of that and to slow down and pivot. Whether it is using sustainably harvested wood where everything that is not used is recycled, or using local stone like bluestone, or going for LEED Certification, we try to implement sustainability across everything that we do, and not just in New York, but also we are very aggressive in pursuing green building in the other markets we are in, which currently include California and Florida.
PM: You guys hit several snags with 180 East 88th before getting the final go-ahead to finish construction. Can you comment on how the project is progressing and what its completion will mean to the Upper East Side?
JM: 180 East 88th is currently under construction. We are presently pouring the 16th floor of concrete and the building is nearing halfway towards its pinnacle. We are actively in the sales process. We feel very good about that building; it has a tremendous location. If you look at the amenities of the surrounding area for many buyers, there is no better location than the Upper East Side. The building has been very well responded to by the market.
PM: What is the hardest part about building in Manhattan?
JM: The hardest part about building in Manhattan is maintaining patience. It is a very lengthy process. Whether we are talking about the acquisition of a site, which can take many years to assemble and acquire, or the planning and construction processes, both of which take multiple years. After that, you either hold the property or you exit. The entire process is very lengthy and there are many twists and turns. I would say maintaining patience through that is the greatest challenge, but it is also incredibly fulfilling. I can think of nothing else that I would rather do, and nothing as fulfilling, than being able to bring beautiful architecture and beautiful buildings and really make a change for the better and contribute to the environment. The legacy that we participate in is exceptional. Bringing housing to the city and doing it in a beautiful way is something that I take personal satisfaction in.
PM: Where is the future of development and architecture in Manhattan heading? Where do you expect to see the borough change over the next 5 years? 10 years?
JM: I think we are seeing somewhat of a classical shift to more traditional materials and more traditional architecture. I think there was a period of time where there was a tremendous amount of glass used, and I think that there is a true desire for warmth. You are seeing that reflected in a growing number of projects where developers and architects are taking a step back and saying, “let’s blend some of the modern with some of the more traditional and do something that is slightly different.” You don’t want to look at a building and say, “this was a 2000s-era building.” I think we are getting to a place where we want the architecture to be a little more timeless.
A Return to the Classics in Real Estate
By: Eva Troester
As development in New York City continues to evolve, modern glass and steel towers are more prevalent than ever before. Architecture, it seems, […]
As development in New York City continues to evolve, modern glass and steel towers are more prevalent than ever before. Architecture, it seems, has only gotten more futuristic, with New York’s appearance living up to the nickname “an urban jungle” through its shiny, metallic wake. Though these modern towers are eye-catching and distinct from afar, some developers are opting to go a different route, returning to the classics: stately stone buildings and homes that offer visions of grandeur and recall a different time period through modern design and sophistication. These developments recall an era in which skilled masonry work and handcrafted aesthetic signified utter luxury.
Paying homage to the past, a trend has slowly taken root among some of today’s developers, and the return to classic building materials is making a comeback. From hand-laid brick to elegant limestone facades, these buildings aim to provide the appeal of a pre-war building, but with all of the comforts and conveniences in today’s luxury homes. Take a peek at the dream-worthy homes below to see the latest interpretations of the classics.
Projects include: 70 Charlton, 150 Wooster, 20 East End Avenue, 180 East 88th, 145 President and 211 Schermerhorn.
180 East 88th
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th is a striking condominium being developed, designed, constructed and managed by DDG. The property’s facade features nearly 600,000 handmade bricks from Petersen Tegl in Denmark. These distinctive bricks, which include the elegant, elongated Kolumba style, possess a thoroughly unique texture and color palette that reflect their handmade quality. The artisanal nature of 180 East 88th’s facade not only provides a welcome contrast to many of today’s steel and glass towers, but also provides a point of resonance with many of the pre-war buildings dotting the Upper East Side while maintaining a modern twist.
Real Estate Weekly
Top New York Apartment Buildings That Stand out in the Crowd
By: Holly Dutton
The past year saw dozens of new developments and conversions across the five boroughs and we’ve endeavored to bring you the inside scoop on most of them. […]
The past year saw dozens of new developments and conversions across the five boroughs and we’ve endeavored to bring you the inside scoop on most of them.
But if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it takes more than dollar signs and divine amenities to create a stand-out home in a city full of them.
As we start the new year, we have culled our favorite properties to bring you a list of what we consider to be the five most memorable offerings on the MLS, the RLS, or wherever you post your properties.
They aren’t the most expansive homes on the market or even the best known but, in our humble opinion, they have something that makes them stand out in the crowd…
Projects include: The Shephard, American Copper Buildings, The Woolworth Tower Residences, 550 Vanderbilt and 180 East 88th.
180 East 88th
Located on 88th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, 180 East 88th will be the tallest building above 72nd Street once completed.
The vision for the building was inspired by classic elements of Upper East Side architecture, married with modern, European-style design.
“When we thought of the Upper East Side, we thought of traditional Manhattan, it’s a very long standing neighborhood, extremely traditional, a lot of masonry, and we felt that a masonry building was the most appropriate for the area,” said DDG Chairman and CEO Joe McMillan.
“We thought something that was too modern, that had too much of a glass component, was not appropriate for the neighborhood.”
The 48 units will have ceiling heights of up to 14’ 2”, and up to 28’ 8” for duplex units. Units will range from lofts to five-bedrooms, full floor and duplex units and a triplex penthouse. Wood floors are imported from a Benedictine monastery in Austria, and the bricks used in the facade are handmade from Petersen Tegl in Denmark.
“All of our buildings have a thread,” said McMillan. “You’ll see consistent details from the outside all the way to the inside.”
New York Spaces
Developers Implement A Return to the Classics
With glass and steel towers dotting many a street corner, New York has never appeared more like an urban jungle. Architecture, it seems, has only gotten more futuristic, […]
With glass and steel towers dotting many a street corner, New York has never appeared more like an urban jungle. Architecture, it seems, has only gotten more futuristic, leaving a shiny, metallic city in its wake that feels worlds apart from what it was even decades ago.
Stately stone buildings and homes, though, still offer visions of grandeur and recall a different era of sophistication. A time when skilled masonry work and a handcrafted aesthetic signified utter luxury.
Not at all forgotten, a trend is slowly taking root among some of today’s developers and a return to classic building materials is making a comeback. From handmade brick to elegant limestone, these buildings aim to provide the appeal of a pre-war building, but with all of the comforts and conveniences in today’s luxury homes. Take a peek at the dream-worthy homes below to see the latest interpretations of the classics.
Projects include: 145 President, The Kent, 211 Schermerhorn, 20 East End Avenue, 180 East 88th and 150 Wooster.
180 East 88th
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th is a striking condominium being developed, designed, constructed and managed by DDG. The company’s first Uptown project, 180 East 88th is inspired by the pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York during the 1920s – 1940s and DDG’s design team paid homage to the lost art of traditional craftsmanship while maintaining a modern aesthetic. The property’s facade features nearly 600,000 handmade bricks from Petersen Tegl in Denmark. These distinctive bricks, which include the elegant, elongated Kolumba style, possess a thoroughly unique texture and color palette that reflect their handmade quality. The artisanal nature of 180 East 88th’s facade not only provides a welcome contrast to many of today’s steel and glass towers, but also provides a point of resonance with many of the pre-war buildings dotting the Upper East Side, while maintaining a modern twist.
Grey Brickwork to Clad Upper East Side Residential Tower by DDG
By: Eleanor Gibson
A host of art deco-influenced details are found in the design of this condominium building under construction in New York’s Carnegie Hill, including patterned grey brickwork, […]
A host of art deco-influenced details are found in the design of this condominium building under construction in New York’s Carnegie Hill, including patterned grey brickwork, vaulted terraces and brass frames.
DDG aimed to reference the masonry high-rises constructed in New York between the 1920s and 1940s, many of which were built in the art deco architectural style, in the design.
The new tower will be clad with 594,443 handmade bricks, which will be set in wooden molds and then fired at varying temperatures to give different shades of grey.
“These distinctive bricks, which include the elegant, elongated Kolumba style, possess a thoroughly unique texture and color palette that reflect their handmade quality,” said DDG in a statement.
Renderings of the 50-story building show that the brickwork will be arranged in horizontal bands. Concrete will be used on the northern wall of the main tower in a chevron pattern, and will also form vertical banding to mark the penthouse at the top.
Huge vaulted openings around the three-story residence’s private terrace will offer panoramic views across Central Park, the East River, the Hudson River and Downtown. Smaller arches will also be featured part-way down the tower.
The tapered columns of the vaults will provide a framework for planting, while glass railings will be detailed with brass balustrades to match the window frames.
The skyscraper will include a total of 48 residences, ranging from lofts to five bedrooms and full floors, in addition to the duplexes and the penthouse. A key feature of the homes will be high ceilings that will rise to 14’2” in most of the residences, and 28’8” feet in the duplexes.
Interior details include custom-made wainscoting, plaster accents and bathrooms lined in silver travertine and brass.
The lobby will be topped with vaulted ceilings, and feature flooring that combines travertine and Austrian oak in different patterns.
Residents will have access to a host of communal facilities. As well as fitness and yoga studios, the tower will include a basketball court, soccer pitch, wine room, game room and residents’ lounge. DDG also teamed up with the city’s Children’s Museum of the Arts to create a playroom for younger children.
Grey Brick Façade of 180 East 88th Will Contrast New York’s Steel and Glass Skyscrapers
By: Philip Stevens
180 East 88th is a residential tower currently under construction in New York’s Upper East Side. Once complete, the 50-story property will feature 48 private residences ranging from […]
180 East 88th is a residential tower currently under construction in New York’s Upper East Side. Once complete, the 50-story property will feature 48 private residences ranging from lofts to five-bedrooms, full floor and duplex units, and a triplex penthouse. Standing in stark contrast to the glass and steel towers that populate many of the city’s street corners, the building’s design is inspired by New York’s pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction — paying homage to traditional craftsmanship, while maintaining a contemporary aesthetic.
180 East 88th is being developed, designed, constructed, and managed by DDG, a national firm that is working on a growing number of projects in the city. The property’s façade comprises a total of 594,443 bricks, handmade by Danish firm Petersen Tegl. Internally, German plaster artisan Jan Hooss was commissioned to create a curved wall installation that celebrates the stucco that was prevalent in Upper East Side architecture at the turn of the 20th century. Meanwhile, the wood flooring, used throughout the residences and in select common spaces, is imported from a Benedictine monastery in Austria.
The building’s 48 private residences boast ceiling heights that stretch up to 14’ 2”, and 28’ 8” in duplexes, making room for 9’ tall tilt-turn windows. A range of design accents found throughout each home include classic picture rails, baseboard reveals, and a formal entry gallery appointed with herringbone flooring, custom wainscoting, and plaster ceiling details. Residents will have access to a range of amenities including a partial basketball court, soccer pitch, game room, resident’s lounge, wine room, private fitness and yoga studios and an interactive children’s playroom.
“We are thrilled to bring to market a series of exquisite residences at 180 East 88th that are unlike anything currently available on the Upper East Side,” said Joe McMillan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DDG. “This project continues DDG’s tradition of working with unique artists and craftsmen from around the world to create properties that are distinctive and timeless.” Sales have been launched for the residences, with prices starting at $3.2 million.
Architects Go Back to Basics with Brick and Stone Facades
By: Rebekah Bell
As glass and steel buildings become increasingly prevalent, cities are looking shinier and more futuristic than ever. […]
As glass and steel buildings become increasingly prevalent, cities are looking shinier and more futuristic than ever. And while many architects prefer this ultra-modern aesthetic, a handful are going back to the basics, using handmade brick and textured stone to mirror classic buildings from bygone days.
Projects include: Lovejoy Wharf, Arte by Antonio Citterio, The Kent, 145 President and 180 East 88th.
180 East 88th
180 East 88th Street, a 50-story Upper East Side tower designed, developed, constructed, and managed by DDG, features a nearly 600,000-brick exterior handmade by Petersen Tegl in Denmark. Prices for the 48-unit building, which offers everything from lofts to five-bedroom units, start at around $3.2 million.
Design-Build Projects by DDG
By: Jane Margolies
Being a designer is certainly challenging. Ditto being a developer. But some firms manage both to design and to develop. […]
Being a designer is certainly challenging. Ditto being a developer. But some firms manage both to design and to develop.
DDG sometimes goes even further, constructing and managing its properties as well. For 180 East 88th, DDG is throwing some curves into the design. Arches will evoke both caves and cathedrals in the lobby, then reappear at the pinnacle of the facade, fronting penthouse terraces. While the handmade bricks for the exterior are imported from Denmark, and the oversize windows are Italian, the views are genuine New York.
Homes so Entertaining You’ll Never Want to Leave
By: Jennifer White Karp
Can homes on the Upper East Side still be considered stuffy if they have a Lenny Kravitz-designed music studio? What about homes with boxing gyms, […]
Can homes on the Upper East Side still be considered stuffy if they have a Lenny Kravitz-designed music studio? What about homes with boxing gyms, private basketball courts, yoga studios and saunas? No one would call those places “fussy,” right?
Loaded with amenities that appeal to hip, active New Yorkers, as well as modern layouts and upscale services, new condo buildings are updating the monolithic character of Upper East Side luxury homes and giving prewar homes stiff competition.
That’s because most prewar buildings on the Upper East Side, as beautiful as they are, were not originally conceived with amenities other than a lobby where white-gloved doormen greeted residents, plus private storage units and a small gym — if you were lucky. But today’s buyers expect a suite of amenities — spurred in part by swank new luxury buildings rising in other parts of the city — and developers are delivering. New and under-construction condo towers like The Kent offer three levels of curated indoor and outdoor amenities; 180 East 88th Street has amenity space spanning more than eight floors of the building, while 520 Park Avenue presents over 15,000 square feet of amenity space, perhaps the highest ratio of amenity-to-unit space of any building in the city — and where two units priced over $70 million went into contract within the same week in June.
For this story, LLNYC spoke with developers and marketing experts about the impact of amenity-laden new luxury condos on the upper strata of the Upper East Side market. We considered only new condo buildings, built between 2014 and 2017, with listings on the market above $5 million, the lower range for “affordable” luxury in New York City.
Anna Zarro, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Extell for The Kent said, “the Upper East Side is not stuffy anymore.”
New high-end condo towers rising on the UES are drawing buyers away from older luxury co-op buildings, thanks in part to their massive square footage. Today’s luxury residential buyers “could purchase two units at a prewar co-op with the intention of combining them,” Zarro said, “but that means dealing with a co-op board, hiring designers and then renting another place while they wait years for construction to be complete.”
On the other hand, new construction typically offers larger, open layouts. “Because of that appetite for new [construction],” she said, “condos are performing better” on the Upper East Side.
Similarly, adding amenities to an existing building takes a lot of coordination that can’t compete with the opportunity to create amenity space in a new building. As a result, new properties on the Upper East Side are introducing an unprecedented level of amenities, which Zarro noted was pioneered by The Lucida, Extell’s 2009 building, followed by The Brompton, Related’s Robert A.M. Stern-designed 2009 building, both on East 85th Street.
Zarro sees the Upper East Side as a “neighborhood rising to the occasion.” In addition to the new buildings that went up in anticipation of the opening of the Second Avenue subway, there’s also been a change in the level of retail, with the introduction of more upscale restaurants and shopping.
Zarro pointed to the five-level Rumble boxing gym expected to open late this year on 84th Street and Third Avenue, as well as the newly opened Quality Eats steakhouse at 1496 Second Avenue. Also new to the nabe is an outpost of La Esquina, the hip Downtown taqueria, which opened at Second Avenue and 73rd Street.
Amenity packages are often described in athletic or military terms, such as an “arms race” between developers in a battle to win over buyers. But Jodi Stasse, Senior Managing Director at Corcoran Sunshine, said amenities should not be thought of as a competition, because they’re “curated to how people live.” She pointed to 20 East End Avenue, designed by Stern, which she said combines the elegance of prewar design with modern proportions like high ceilings and open-plan layouts. “It’s the best of both worlds,” she said. Perhaps no detail better exemplifies that duality more than the building’s gated porte-cochere, a drive-in landscaped courtyard with a 12-foot fountain hand-carved in Italy. Residents can pull in and make a grand entrance while enjoying maximum privacy as they exit from their vehicle.
Another notable address, the limestone-clad boutique tower rising at 520 Park Avenue is just outside the protected UES historic district. This is also a Robert A.M. Stern building, by Zeckendorf Development, and will appeal to fans of Stern’s prewar-inspired aesthetics thanks to its soaring ceilings, full-floor layouts, oversized bay windows and balconies. There are only 34 residences, and residents have a long list of amenities here, including a salon, garden, pool, bi-level health club, clubroom, screening room, catering kitchen and private wine storage.
A similar prewar-meets-modern sensibility is also on display at 180 East 88th, a new condo by DDG in its first Uptown project. The exterior of the 48-unit building was inspired by the prewar-style masonry in New York and uses nearly 600,000 bricks handmade in Denmark to create its impressive facade.
The building is situated where Carnegie Hill crests between Lexington and Third Avenue, said Joe McMillan, CEO and Chairman of DDG. Within a few blocks are incredible stores, cultural attractions, schools and Central Park, he noted. The goal, he said, was to “create an internal amenity package as attractive as what the neighborhood provides.” The result was athletic spaces, private lounges, wine storage, a playroom and more spread across eight floors.
“We know of no other new construction with this level of amenities,” McMillan said. Sure, residential space was sacrificed, he said. “But it was worth it.”
Residences include: The Kent #12A, 520 Park Avenue #32, 1110 Park Avenue #H, 60 East 86th Street 9th Floor, 155 East 79th Street Maisonette, 180 East 88th #34B, and 20 East End Avenue #6A.
Residents of the 48 homes here can take their pick from amenities spread out over eight floors, including a double-height basketball court, indoor soccer pitch, game room, wine room, fitness studio, yoga studio, residents’ lounge and children’s playroom. This residence is a corner unit with three exposures, including Central Park to the west. Pre-war inspired details include an elliptical entry gallery and custom plaster wainscoting complemented by an oval pattern inset into the herringbone flooring. The corner living room has soaring ceilings and a formal dining room leads to a separate windowed kitchen with custom white-lacquered cabinetry by Molteni&C Dada, Statuario marble countertops, Gaggenau appliances and Fantini brass fixtures.
By: Heather Corcoran
“New York is unlike any market in the country,” Joe McMillan says as he sinks back into a sofa in the concrete-lined living space of 12 Warren, a new 12-story luxury condominium […]
“New York is unlike any market in the country,” Joe McMillan says as he sinks back into a sofa in the concrete-lined living space of 12 Warren, a new 12-story luxury condominium building in Tribeca. While the statement may seem like a no-brainer
(after all, if you can make it here…), McMillan has spent the past eight years entrenched in the market, learning how to stand out in this most competitive field.
The unit where he’s sitting is part of the latest project developed, designed, built and managed by DDG, the “design-focused integrated real estate” company founded in 2009, and where he serves as CEO and Chairman. Since then, DDG has grown to 100 employees in offices in California, Florida and New York, and has developed a portfolio of residential and mixed-use projects in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods, from SoHo to Palm Beach.
Part of DDG’s success, McMillan explains, is its in-house attention to design, a process that starts with research into the neighborhood’s past to imagine how a building will fit into the streetscape today, as well as in the future to come. “You have many more eyes on your projects in New York than you do anywhere else in the country,” he says, which is why DDG’s focus on design begins at the street level, with distinctive facades like the bluestone of 12 Warren and 41 Bond, which is cut and laid out at an upstate quarry before being numbered and shipped to the site, or the cast-aluminum face of SoHo’s XOCO 325, which references the area’s historic buildings.
Today, McMillan says, buyers aren’t just looking for a good investment – though value remains the key driver – they’re also looking for a unique experience. That means staying true to certain signatures (rich materials, quality construction, design-driven details) while also cultivating distinctive features, including LEED certification and artistic collaborations, like the partnership with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and the Whitney Museum that transformed a building wrap into a temporary art exhibition. “We want to continue to help change the streetscape and the landscape for the positive, to do projects that are additive to the built environment,” McMillan says, “so when we all look back five, ten, twenty years from now, we can stop and say, ‘That’s a great building.’”
10 Reasons Why the Upper East Side is New York City’s Hottest Neighborhood Right Now
By: Sandra Ramani
A leafy haven known for its venerable museums, high-end boutiques, and close proximity to Central Park, the Upper East Side has a reputation for being one of Manhattan’s […]
A leafy haven known for its venerable museums, high-end boutiques, and close proximity to Central Park, the Upper East Side has a reputation for being one of Manhattan’s most charming — and, admittedly, staid — neighborhoods. Recently, however, the entire city seems to be heading uptown. With the opening of the first phase of the long-awaited Second Avenue subway line earlier this year, an influx of new establishments with a downtown sensibility is turning this sleepy enclave into the city’s hottest place to be.
The restaurants, residences, hotels, and museums that are defining the new Upper East Side include 180 East 88th, The Surrey, The Kent, The Lowell, The Met Breuer, Ziggy’s, The Mark, Sugar East, The Carlyle, and 200 East 62nd Street.
180 East 88th
For its first uptown project, national real estate developer, designer, builder and property manager DDG picked a quiet stretch of East 88th Street in the historic Carnegie Hill neighborhood. “While we’ve had a strong presence in Lower Manhattan, San Francisco, and now Brooklyn and Palm Beach, we’ve always had our eye on the Upper East Side, which offers a blend of traditional and new that few other neighborhoods can match,” explains Joe McMillan, Chairman and CEO of DDG.
Inspired by Manhattan’s building boom of the ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s, the new 180 East 88th Street residential building mixes a modern aesthetic with nods to traditional artisan masonry and craftsmanship. Look for touches like handmade Petersen Tegl bricks from Denmark, wood flooring imported from a Benedictine monastery in Austria, and custom kitchens by Molteni&C Dada. Ranging from lofts to five-bedroom apartments, and including triplex and full-floor units, the building’s 48 condos boast extra-high ceilings (up to an incredible 28 feet 8 inches in some), and 9-foot-tall tilt-turn windows that frame sweeping views.
Shared facilities include a soccer pitch, partial basketball court, game room, residential lounge, wine room, and private fitness and yoga studios, as well as a children’s playroom created in partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Arts.
How to Make an Unexpected Style Statement in the Kitchen
By: Alyssa Clough
What was once an eyesore in the kitchen is now a chic centerpiece. The range hood has become an underrated way to add artful elegance — and utility — to your home. […]
What was once an eyesore in the kitchen is now a chic centerpiece. The range hood has become an underrated way to add artful elegance — and utility — to your home. “We want to reinvent the kitchen hood, in a sense, and make it cool,” says the team at DDG. “We want to turn it into something that people enjoyed seeing, rather than despised.”
DDG is not alone: A handful of New York City developers have started incorporating statement vent hoods into their projects. We chatted with a few experts to find out more about the trend and get their advice on how to make it work in your home.
Get in on trending metals
Metal home decor is in, and range hoods are not immune to this trend, which goes beyond the classic stainless steel. In the all-white kitchens at 180 East 88th, DDG installed a layered brass-clad hood that anchors the room.
The DDG team says, “I think metal is becoming increasingly popular as a hood material, with many designers using stainless steel and brass. Size also seems to be increasing; people are becoming bolder and are open to more oversize, sculptural designs that act as focal points in the room. At DDG, we liked the idea of cladding the hood in brass as it both looked elegant as well as picked up the finishes of the faucet and door handles.”
Let it serve as a focal point
Every style of kitchen has the potential to make a statement with a range hood — even the most minimalist spaces.
“Up until very recently I think the trend was to make the hood more discrete, with designers aiming to make it blend in rather than standout,” says DDG. “We’re starting to see that change more and more as kitchens become larger focal points of residences as gathering and social spaces, not just cooking spaces.”
A hood adds real function
Range hoods are a practical way to ventilate your kitchen, eliminating heat, steam, and smoke from the space. It’s important to have clean air in the kitchen, especially now that incorporating kitchen nooks, more expansive bar seating at kitchen islands, and open floor plans are becoming more popular.
Make the hood an architectural element
At the Fitzroy, a new Chelsea building designed in the Art Deco style by Roman and Williams, the custom copper hoods are reflective of the building’s facade. “Copper is a living material that will patina over time, just like the building itself, which has a terracotta facade and copper-clad windows,” says Michael Stern, CEO of JDS Development, the firm behind the project.
If you have the space, use it
Have high ceilings? Don’t waste the space. Instead of hiding your kitchen hood, use it to create length and drama. DDG suggests a kitchen hood, especially an oversized one, can add a grand element to your space.
Make the kitchen the heart of the home
At 70 Vestry, a new condo building in Tribeca, Related Companies worked with AD100 designer Daniel Romualdez to custom design the kitchens “to be the heart of the home and look more like a family room than a utilitarian kitchen.” “Knowing that buyers expect every aspect of new developments to be curated, we carefully deliberated all of the materials,” says Ben Joseph, Executive Vice President at Related. “The Bardilgio Imperial marble kitchen hoods are flanked by open brass shelves and full length oak cabinetry providing a warm library-like feel for residents.”
New York Lifestyles Magazine
180 East 88th
By: Daniel J. Bollinger
DDG has done it again with a beautiful new development at 180 East 88th. Rising high above the Upper East Side in Carnegie Hill this luxury condo offers 48 units from […]
DDG has done it again with a beautiful new development at 180 East 88th. Rising high above the Upper East Side in Carnegie Hill this luxury condo offers 48 units from studios to five bedrooms including two duplexes and one triplex. Located directly across the street from a Whole Foods and close to Central Park, The Met, The Guggenheim, and many private / public schools, DDG couldn’t have a picked a better location. The layouts and designs of the residences are fantastic.
A Look at the Past
DDG is quickly becoming a leader in NYC development. They are an integrated national real estate firm that takes their design aesthetic and follows it throughout the whole project tastefully and eloquently. For this project, DDG wanted to stay faithful to the pre-war designs in NYC. Some of the characteristics of pre-war residences include brick buildings, high ceilings, herringbone patterns, spacious foyers, arched doorways, and solid wood doors with brass fixtures. DDG has given respect to the past, but with a contemporary spin and on a much grander level. As Joe McMillan, DDG Chairman and CEO states, “All of our projects have unique attributes to them, such as craft, the unique quality of the materials, or handmade qualities. These attributes are a thread throughout our portfolio.”
The façade is built of handmade Danish Kolumba brick by Peterson Tegl. Each brick is made by hand, and one of the attractive characteristics of these bricks is you can see the thumbprints in each block made by the artisans when pushing the bricks out of the mold. The entryway is a private gated entrance surrounded by natural plantings. The lobby has vaulted plaster ceilings with architectural concrete walls and silver travertine floors inlaid with Austrian white oak which create movement and direction. There is a warm and inviting fireplace with a custom hand-sculpted plaster wall by German artist Jan Hooss. “The city is a very busy place, so we wanted to create an environment where people decompress as soon as they walk in,” says McMillan, and DDG has designed a relaxing oasis with the high arched ceilings and fireplace.
The ceiling heights in these residences are enormous. The majority of NYC ceiling heights are between 9 and 11 feet. A height above 11 feet is rare and desirable. DDG has designed its upper residences with up to 14-foot 2-inch ceiling heights in primary living areas, and the duplexes have 28-foot plus ceilings. This is what sets this building apart. Combine this with the 9-foot windows in the great rooms and DDG delivers magnificent spaces with unbelievable light and views. These great rooms also have hand sculpted picture railings, arched plaster ceilings, and 18-inch baseboard, which are all details popular in pre-war design.
The foyers of the residences have an elliptical entry gallery with a domed ceiling and a matching herringbone oval floor. It is a unique design that nods to pre-war building foyers history with a modern interpretation.
The kitchens and baths are everything we have come to expect in a DDG development. All Gaggenau appliances, custom integrated cabinetry by Molteni&C Dada, with Statuario Marble slab countertops and backsplashes. The custom decorative brass hood enclosure above the range is gorgeous. Brass was a favorite material in the pre-war era, and DDG pays homage by designing the hood out of it, but also has accents of brass in the marble island countertop and employs Fantini faucets in natural brass. They curved one side of the marble countertop to help define the ‘flow’ in the kitchen. I also love the oversized stainless steel sink. The master baths feature a spa-like open wet room design. This opens up the bathroom space. With silver travertine slabs and mosaic tile accented walls and floors, it is truly elegant. Their niche factor is high with a tub length horizontal niche and an equal length vertical niche in the wet room. Once again they employ brass using all Fantini fixtures in natural brass.
The property has eight floors of amenities including a basketball court, soccer pitch, resident’s lounge, a game room, a children’s playroom, a wine room, a fitness center and yoga room and private storage available for purchase. Three catering kitchens can be found within all of these amenity floors.
DDG has done it again with their fantastic design by harkening the pre-war style in their designs and building a 21st-century iconic building. Investing in a DDG development is buying into this new era of NYC architectural history. With protected views from the 8th floor and up North, South, and East, unparalleled 360-degree views from the penthouse, and all of the finest materials and design you cannot go wrong with a DDG project. As McMillan sums up: “From duplex penthouses with 28-foot 8-inch ceilings in the living room, full floor units with 360-degree views and amazing outdoor spaces, we’ve created something that isn’t currently seen in new construction in Manhattan. If you look at the amenities, the quality, the craft, and the materials, it’s something special.”
Inside the Sales Gallery for DDG’s Upper East Side Condo, 180 East 88th
By: Tanay Warerkar
When you enter DDG’s 180 East 88th’s sales gallery you’re immediately struck by the recreation of the building’s facade. This will be created using handmade Kolumba […]
When you enter DDG’s 180 East 88th’s sales gallery you’re immediately struck by the recreation of the building’s facade. This will be created using handmade Kolumba brick made in Denmark by Petersen Tegl — you can see and feel the thumbprints in the grayish facade. Adjacent to it, the large window has been created by Albertini from Italy.
This European influence continues throughout the building, and DDG’s Chairman and CEO Joe McMillan, said his firm was inspired by Art Deco architecture while thinking about their Upper East Side project.
The sales gallery has been fitted out with what a typical condo’s living room, dining area, kitchen and master bathroom will look like. In these living rooms, or great rooms as they’re being called by DDG, ceiling heights will vary from 14’-2? feet to an astonishing 28?-8?feet in the duplexes, and the windows will be up to nine-feet tall.
The kitchen carries on that European influence with this area being designed by DDG in collaboration with Molteni&C Dada of the Italian company, the Molteni Group. The kitchen will come fitted with a Gaggenau appliance package and Italian Statuario marble slab countertops. Master bathrooms will come fitted with silver travertine and natural brass fixtures by Fantini, also from Italy.
Building lobbies are where developers and architects often love to make the boldest statements, and so too is the case with DDG’s building. A hand-sculpted plaster creation by German artist Jan Hooss can be seen in the sales office. Once the building is complete this work will be transported to the lobby of the building and fitted above a fireplace.
We didn’t really get a sense of the amenities in the sales office, save for its depiction in the model of the building. However when the condo is complete, it will offer residents a basketball court, soccer pitch, children’s playroom, fitness center, private storage, resident’s lounge, game room and a wine room for private wine tastings.
Sales on the tower’s 48 apartments got underway early last year with prices starting at $3.2 million for a two-bedroom (though the building will feature a mix of studios through triplex residences). All the units haven’t appeared on the market yet, but of the ones currently available prices range from $3.45 million for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit, and go up to $6.875 million for a four-bedroom home on the 24th floor of the building. Construction on the project is expected to wrap sometime next year.
Real Estate Weekly
It’s All in the Details at DDG’s 180 East 88th
By: Holly Dutton
At DDG’s condo tower on the Upper East Side, it’s all in the details. That’s the approach developer DDG took when sourcing the materials used in creating 180 East 88th, […]
At DDG’s condo tower on the Upper East Side, it’s all in the details. That’s the approach developer DDG took when sourcing the materials used in creating 180 East 88th, where DDG is not only the developer, but also the designer, contractor and property manager.
The residential building, located on 88th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, will be the tallest building above 72nd Street once completed.
DDG first launched sales for the building in January of last year, but they recently re-launched sales after the project was sidelined for several months with a stop work order. After re-filing its plans with the city last December, the work order was lifted and construction resumed.
It was so important to DDG Chairman and CEO Joe McMillan to show just how high the ceilings will be in the residences at the new luxury building, that he and his team looked at between 30 and 40 retail spaces before finding the right space for the sales gallery, located about 24 blocks south of 180 East 88th.
The vision for the building was inspired by classic elements of Upper East Side architecture, married with modern, European-style design.
“When we thought of the Upper East Side, we thought of traditional Manhattan, it’s a very longstanding neighborhood, extremely traditional, a lot of masonry, and we felt that a masonry building was the most appropriate for the area,” said McMillan. “We thought something that was too modern, that had too much of a glass component, was not appropriate for the neighborhood.”
The 48 units will ha
ve ceiling heights of up to 14 feet, and up to 28 feet for duplex units. Units will range from studio lofts to two and three bedroom homes, to full-floor and triplex units. Wood floors are imported from a Benedectine monastery in Austria, and the bricks used in the facade are handmade from Petersen Tegl in Denmark.
In the units, lobby, and facade, the design is inspired by cathedrals of Europe, with swooping, Gaudi-esque arches within the residences.
“All of our buildings have a thread,” said McMillan. “You’ll see consistent details from the outside all the way to the inside.”
It was important to the team to not have a facade that was totally different from the aesthetic on the inside of the building.
“Here, every space is different, and it’s a sequencing, a peeling of the layers, where you get to transition from one to another, but it has a natural organic flow to it,” he said.
McMillan and his team spent a lot of time in Europe sourcing the materials used in making the building, including visiting the brick factory in Denmark where each of the building’s roughly 594,000 handmade bricks are made. It’s the same brickmaker DDG used on its Meatpacking District building, 345 W. 14th Street, a building DDG completed in 2013.
“We really love these bricks because they are made by hand, so the coloring and shape is slightly different on every brick,” said McMillan. “We really view this as bringing a little bit of downtown uptown, using a very modern brick, although it’s being made in the same way it’s been made for hundreds and hundreds of years in Europe.”
The design team wanted to use a distinctive brick that was also deferential to the architectural history of the neighborhood.
The team also spent time in Italy, where they sourced the nine-foot windows for the building, at the Albertini factory, as well as the Fantini factory, where they sourced hardware for the residences.
Art plays a role in the building, including the lobby’s curved wall installation by German plaster artist Jan Hooss, a nod to the plaster and stucco that was a fixture in Upper East Side buildings at the turn of the 20th century.
And just blocks away from the building are some of the city’s best art museums, including the Guggenheim and the Met.
The attention to detail wasn’t spared for the building’s amenities either. Spread across eight floors, they will include a basketball court, soccer pitch, fitness center, resident’s lounge, game room, private storage and wine room. DDG partnered with the Children’s Museum of the Arts in designing an interactive playroom for the building’s residents.
“The amenities in the building are fantastic, as are the amenities surrounding it,” said McMillan.
Corcoran Sunshine is heading up sales at the building, and while they haven’t released sales numbers yet, they said the response has been very good and prospective buyers see it as unique.
DDG first acquired the building at the end of 2013, for $70 million. Now, the firm is expecting construction of the 48-unit condo to be complete sometime in 2018, with prices starting around $3.2 million and going up to $16.7 million. The penthouse unit has not been listed, but they expect it to be priced around $28 million.
DDG’s 180 East 88th Official Sales Gallery Unveiling
DDG celebrated the official unveiling of the 180 East 88th Sales Gallery, designed in collaboration with luxury American furniture company BDDW. […]
DDG celebrated the official unveiling of the 180 East 88th Sales Gallery, designed in collaboration with luxury American furniture company BDDW. Hosted by DDG CEO and Chairman Joe McMillan, guests at the broker event included Corcoran CEO and President Pamela Liebman, Halstead Property Chairman and CEO Diane M. Ramirez, Fox Residential Sales Agent Marcia Roma and Stribling Sales Agent Inez Wade. In addition to feasting on food and cocktails by Sant Ambroeus, attendees had the opportunity to fully experience the sales gallery, taking in the custom art installation by master German plaster artisan Jan Hooss as well as the striking diorama created by celebrated diorama artists Stephen Quinn, George Dante and Sean Murtha. Both artworks will be displayed in 180 East 88th when the building is complete. Situated in the coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood on the Upper East Side, 180 East 88th is a striking condominium being developed, designed, constructed and property managed by national firm DDG. Inspired by the pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York during the 1920s – 1940s, its facade will feature handmade bricks from Petersen Tegl in Denmark. It will feature 48 expansive residences with ceiling heights stretching to over 14 feet and unparalleled views extending far beyond Central Park.
13 Luxurious Condo Fireplaces That Warm the Heart
By: Keith Flamer
In high-end condos, the hot amenity is chic fireside communal spaces. And residents are getting fired up. […]
In high-end condos, the hot amenity is chic fireside communal spaces. And residents are getting fired up. Cozy is king in the frigid North where soothing fireplaces can redeem a day of Siberian frost—with or without marshmallows. Luxury developers are furnishing projects with ambient, flame-entrancing public spaces (lounges, lobbies and rooftops) where residents can read, drink, socialize or just chill—figuratively. As winter kicks in, here are 13 toasty fireside escapes from the polar vortex—each architecturally unique from traditional to modern, formal to informal, rooftop to cellar.
Projects include: 30 Park Place, 20 East End Avenue, 180 East 88th, One Dalton, Flair Tower, Oosten, Austin Nichols House, Sono East, 135 West 52nd Street, One Manhattan Square, 555Ten, Citizen 360 and AKA Sutton Place.
180 East 88th
In the coveted Upper East Side enclave of Carnegie Hill, this 48-residence luxury condominium (designed, developed, built and managed by DDG) transformed a potentially cold sitting area into a warm, intriguing communal space aided by a roaring fireplace and extraordinary vaulted cathedral ceilings. The space includes an enigmatic plaster wall installation (above the fireplace) by master German plaster artisan Jan Hooss, whose work is also featured in Provence, France’s Château Miraval—Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s one-time 1,200-acre estate.
Out of the Bluestone
DDG shows us their latest intricate work of art made out of the Bluestone fresh from Hancock, New York. […]
DDG shows us their latest intricate work of art made out of the Bluestone fresh from Hancock, New York.
We stood in front of the currently under-construction 12 Warren Street Residences, and it absolutely blew us away! The 12-story bluestone façade is imbued with the unpredictable beauty of nature. In contrast to much of the architectural landscape of New York, the asymmetrical stacked blue-hued brick beckons the eye to inspect closer. The effort might suggest materials from an exotic foreign land, painstakingly hauled from across many plains, and finally placed between two practiced locals.
While the stone may not come from a faraway land, the exterior did take a lot of effort to complete. “It’s all hand cut. No two pieces are the same,” said Joe McMillan, CEO and Chairman of DDG. These unique pieces to which he’s referring were all cut out of Tomkins Bluestone Quarry in Hancock, New York, assembled on the ground in a paint-by-numbers-type scheme, and transported to the site where they were artfully reassembled.
“This has never been done in our city,” said McMillan confidently. DDG is not interested in repeating themselves or anything else that has been erected before. It’s wonderful then, that this uniquely designed structure has bloomed out of the desire to create something new and ambitious.
We’ve seen this ambition from DDG before. Be it at 180 East 88th Street, which looks pleasantly non-indigenous when compared to its habitat, or XOCO 325, which has an eternal shell resembling a very orderly mesh of glass placed behind a skeletal frame, DDG continues to revolutionize the New York scene.
Speaking of XOCO 325, we learned that the repurposed building once functioned as a chocolate factory, hence the Catalan “xoco” for chocolate. The name is pronounced the way the French pronounce “choco,” which is with a “sh” sound at the beginning. McMillan shared that, “if you go to the building, you’ll actually get a chocolate bar.” We were tempted to test this claim, if only because we’d enjoy visualizing ourselves cooking up a storm on one of the unique rounded kitchen islands the condos boast.
If XOCO 325 would greet you with a chocolate bar, we imagine 12 Warren to perhaps offer us the chance to build our own little bluestone sculpture of which we could take a polaroid to bring home. The idea is not too far off from the actual art you’ll find in the property. Coming from the mind of Jacqueline Hassink are a series of photographs inspired by the quarry and its natural surroundings. The art tells a story, giving would-be residents the notion of being a part of something more than just a building. Photographs show the innate beauty that both inspired and became a part of the 13-unit building.
But there’s more to 12 Warren than bluestone. To find lumber for the flooring, DDG traveled to a forest in Austria that is managed by monks. “We find it incredibly beautiful,” McMillan said of the oak, “and besides the wonderful color, it’s completely sustainable.” We might not have found any photos of the Austrian town, but that did not stop us from conjuring images of men in long robes carefully planting saplings in tall, green woods. While the portrait itself is alluring, the white oak also comes highly regarded by the current market.
Besides Austria, DDG favors Italy for its top-quality glass. The condominiums then benefit not only from a dual heating system, but also from great insulation. The windows are framed with a metal finish on the outside, and a wood finish on the inside to involve a feeling of warmth.
So, who is going to be looking to call 12 Warren their home? Considering the homes on offer will have three to four bedrooms, it’s safe to assume that buyers will be those who appreciate having a lot of space. “It’s rare that you find new construction that can offer a full floor,” McMillan reminded. And for the price of $3.3 million, you too could find yourself in the TriBeCa domicile.
While always shooting to provide something that doesn’t already exist, like the unrivaled 28’-8” duplex ceilings at 180 East 88th Street, it’s not to say there aren’t some common threads among the works of DDG. In addition to accentuated design and a focus on sustainability, there’s a consistent emphasis on art. “If you combine art with real estate, it becomes very experiential.” We’d have to agree.
Forget the Loft: The Newest Trend in Luxury Real Estate is Walls
By: Mark Ellwood
High-end art collectors are affecting the way developers build new condos — from wall space, to humidity systems, to the size of the freight elevators. […]
High-end art collectors are affecting the way developers build new condos — from wall space, to humidity systems, to the size of the freight elevators.
For Wendy Maitland, Town Residential’s president of sales, an Oscar-winning director client of hers was a typical real estate shopper with typical requests.
He had a seven-figure budget and was keen to buy into one of the many new luxury condo complexes sprouting around Manhattan. The client was downsizing from a huge country house in Connecticut since his children were grown, and he planned to use a new perch in Manhattan as his primary residence. So Maitland showed him multiple locations until they whittled his choice down to two: one a luxe development on the Upper East Side, the other a new building downtown, in SoHo. The clincher for her client was a second opinion from someone he trusted — but it wasn’t his life partner, an interior decorator, or even a feng shui master. It was his art consultant.
“We sent her CAD drawings, and she went to [the house in] Connecticut to inventory and measure everything. She checked the ceiling heights, the volume, and the wall space,” explains Maitland by phone from her office in New York City, “Every space in the apartment had to be approved by the art consultant.”
It wasn’t a request that fazed Wendy — in fact, she wasn’t even surprised. It’s becoming increasingly essential in new luxury developments to engineer them expressly as art-friendly spaces. The new rule in this art-loving world can be summed up simply: more walls, fewer windows.
Ian Schrager has adopted a new phrase on blueprints for his latest project, 160 Leroy: Plentiful numbers of blank walls are tagged as so-called art walls. “These are walls large enough and with high ceilings that can accommodate the large paintings of modern art, as well as art from other periods,” he told Bloomberg via e-mail, “It also allows for a visually prominent display with appropriate lighting.”
Developer Joe McMillan of DDG has embraced the term, too. “Every grand room now needs at least one art wall,” he says by phone from his Manhattan office. At his new retro-styled building, 180 East 88th, McMillan has gone even further, inverting the rule that new buildings should emphasize light to the exclusion of everything else.
“We spaced the windows, which are 9 feet by 9 feet, far apart enough from each other so you have large expanses of white wall between them, discrete spaces to hang your art. There’s a window acting as a picture frame on the city, a large expansive white space where you can hang some art, and then another window.” Koons and other artists, it seems, are now just as important as a view of the Chrysler Building.
Increasingly, interior walls are not only more plentiful; they’re designed much like those of a museum or gallery. At 180 East 88th, McMillan has installed a picture rail system similar to that used at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “No one likes having holes punched in their walls, and for an art-centric buyer, this allows you to minimize that. It enables you to rotate pieces easily, even if they’re not the same size.”
A similar throwbackish touch is incorporated into the Marquand, a lavish conversion of an early 20th-century apartment block. In these apartments, designer Lee Mindel created long hallways — again, extra walls — to act as interior galleries, safe from the sun and with molding that acts as a picture rail.
At 551 West 21st Street, which sits at the heart of Chelsea’s gallery district, the Norman Foster-designed apartments feature custom glass with a built-in UV screen that filters out 90 percent of rays — not to protect skin, but to safeguard any art on display inside.
For the same reason, humidifiers are a new amenity added as an art-friendly touch. In Tadao Ando’s upcoming project in Nolita, 152 Elizabeth Street, commercial-grade humidity systems were installed so that a constant moisture point can easily be maintained around fragile artwork in any of the homes. And builders Alfa Development — which has built a reputation for eco-friendly projects — has also begun courting the art market. Instead of using basic plaster to finish new developments, it now offers drywall reinforced by plywood — the same system used at most galleries, since it’s stronger and requires less maintenance when hanging art.
Even service elevators are now being enlarged so that they can be used to transport bulky artworks easily into an apartment. Roy Kim, creative director of Douglas Elliman, cites how Rafal Viñoly engineered the super-skyscraper 432 Park Avenue. “It was designed, very intentionally, with an oversize elevator at its core expressly for the move-ins of large items of art,” he says by phone from his Manhattan office.
This emphasis on prepackaging buildings as art friendly, whether by adding more walls or expanding the elevator, is a concrete manifestation of the close relationship between art collecting and real estate. Of course, there’s an element of smart marketing, too: Art world affiliation offers built-in cachet, while such thoughtful amenities as a simple picture rail can act as sweeteners to help justify skyrocketing prices in New York — 10 years ago, Elliman’s Kim says, the “entry point for luxury in 2006 was $1,200 per sq. ft. and has now jumped to $3,000.” Perhaps the most compelling factor behind this trend, though, is that many major developers are also powerful art collectors themselves. Aby Rosen might be the best known, but Steve Witkoff, Edward Minkskoff, and even Ian Schrager are art world aficionados too.
As for Wendy Maitland’s buyer, the Oscar-winning director did finally make a decision between those two newly built apartments — one on the Upper East Side, the other in SoHo. He chose the downtown space after his art consultant pointed out the larger freight elevator and museum-like ceiling heights there, as well as the reinforced floors. There was one piece in particular, she knew, that would need to be drilled into the wall and the floor for display. “The neighborhood was less essential than the wall space for art, and the ability to exhibit his art collection,” Maitland marvels, “That’s a big statement.”
The Real Deal
A Home, A Museum: Developers Tailor New Luxury Pads for Art
By: Dusica Sue Malesevic
Forget location. Forget windows. What buyers really want in luxury real estate is walls — lots of them — and developers are eager to oblige. […]
Forget location. Forget windows. What buyers really want in luxury real estate is walls — lots of them — and developers are eager to oblige.
Developers are now tailoring high-end projects for customers who want to display their costly Koons and pricey Picassos, and need certain features to accommodate and flaunt their art.
At Ian Schrager’s 160 Leroy Street 50-unit condo project in the West Village, blank walls are dubbed art walls, Bloomberg reported.
“These are walls large enough and with high ceilings that can accommodate the large paintings of modern art, as well as art from other periods,” Schrager told Bloomberg via e-mail, “It also allows for a visually prominent display with appropriate lighting.”
Joe McMillan, CEO and Chairman of DDG, told Bloomberg, “Every grand room now needs at least one art wall.” Condos at his 50-story tower at 180 East 88th Street will make putting up paintings a snap as walls feature a picture rail system similar to the one the Met uses.
At SR Capital’s 20-story, 44-unit building at 551 West 21st Street on the High Line, the condos feature a custom glass that filters out the sun’s rays to safeguard art that’s displayed, Bloomberg reported.
Temperature is also a concern with some buildings, like 152 Elizabeth Street, designed by Tadao Ando, featuring commercial-grade humidity systems to protect fragile works. Then there’s getting the masterpieces to the apartment itself — developers are ensuring service elevators are large enough to take big pieces up.
Luxury has changed in the past 10 years as an increasing number of developers double as art collectors and the two worlds — art and real estate —become intertwined. In 2006, the entry point for luxury was $1,200 per square foot. It is now $3,000, according to Roy Kim of Douglas Elliman.
Residences at NYC’s Tallest Skyscraper Above 72nd Are Now for Sale
By: Kai Acevedo
Sales for the luxury residences at 180 East 88th Street in New York City have launched! Set to feature 50 stories, the 521-foot structure, projected to be the tallest building […]
Sales for the luxury residences at 180 East 88th Street in New York City have launched! Set to feature 50 stories, the 521-foot structure, projected to be the tallest building north of 72nd Street, will boast 48 spacious private residences. The luxury apartments, which will range from loft, full-floor, and duplex units featuring between two and five bedrooms, will have wood flooring, high ceilings, and large windows, as well as master bathrooms that are “lavishly outfitted” with the finest fixtures and kitchens by Molteni&C Dada with marble slab countertops, white lacquer cabinetry, stone and white oak island front kitchen islands, and state-of-the-art appliances. Prices for units begin at $3.2 million.
The building will offer access to not only luxury and privacy but also an art installation by German plaster artisan Jan Hooss, private fitness and yoga studios, an interactive children’s playroom which will be a partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Arts, a wine room, a partial basketball court, and several other amazing amenities.
180 East 88th, a collaboration between DDG and Global Holdings, will be marketed and have sales handled by Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group.
“Global Holdings takes pride in creating buildings that the world falls in love with,” says Global Holdings’ chairman Eyal Ofer. “The vision here was to bring a downtown sensibility to an uptown audience, and we look forward to watching 180 East 88th become an iconic residence on the Upper East Side.”
Construction on 180 East 88th is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2018. More information on the luxury high-rise can be found by visiting the website, 180e88.com.
Wall Street Journal
The Most Extreme High-Rise Condos on the Market Including DDG’s 180 East 88th
By: Nancy Keates
With scores of tall buildings going up, it can take a lot to stand out: A look at the contenders in New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles. […]
With scores of tall buildings going up, it can take a lot to stand out: A look at the contenders in New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Included with the purchase of this Manhattan condo: a $1 million-dollar yacht, two Rolls-Royce Phantoms and $2 million in credits to renovate the unit. A sweet deal, but hardly a dent in the condo’s asking price of $85 million.
“People spending this much money can afford to buy their own yacht and Rolls-Royce,” says Dan Neiditch, the real-estate agent who has the listing. But the extras “show the lifestyle we want to present here.” The 10-bedroom, 13-bathroom apartment on the 45th floor of midtown building Atelier has had about 12 offers in the $50 million range over the past year — not quite high enough, says Mr. Neiditch. With scores of super-tall, glassy buildings popping up in cities across the country, it can take a lot of superlatives to distinguish one from another. So developers and marketers are getting creative to stand out in the high-rise market. Drone landing pad? Check. Complimentary dog walking? Sure. Biometric elevator access? Done.
To cut through the hyperbole, Mansion set out to find the tallest, biggest, priciest and otherwise mostest high-rise apartments on the market in four major cities. We used data and information from real estate websites PropertyShark and Realtor.com. (News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal, also owns Realtor.com, the listing website of the National Association of Realtors.) In all categories, top residences were chosen based on publicly available listings and data. Here is a bird’s-eye view of some of the country’s most extreme aeries in the sky.
Wildest Amenity: 180 East 88th – Indoor soccer field
Upper East Side building 180 East 88th has eight floors dedicated to play, with a fitness studio, partial basketball court, playroom and residents’ lounge, but the most unusual is its 18’ x 26’ indoor soccer field. In the school-heavy neighborhood a soccer area “made perfect sense,” says Joe McMillan, Chairman and CEO of developer, designer, builder and manager DDG. On the market for $15.5 million is unit 42 — a four-bedroom, 4,429-square-foot full-floor apartment.
Most Expensive: 635 West 42nd Street (Atelier Building) – $85 million
Best View: 157 West 57th Street (One57) – 360-degree views that take in Central Park, the Hudson and East Rivers and the Statue of Liberty
Highest Floor: 432 Park Avenue – Floor 91
Most Exclusive: 834 5th Avenue – Buyers must get past the co-op board
Most Expensive: 3315 Collins Avenue (Faena House) – $55 million
Best Views: 401 North Wabash Avenue (Trump Tower) – Views to the south, east and west from the 69th floor
Wildest Amenity: 415 East North Water Street – An oak and maple squash court modeled after one Michael Douglas uses in the movie “The Game.”
Most Exclusive: 65 East Goethe Street – When a condo becomes available it is usually bought off-market by someone already in the building who wants to expand, according to Jim Kinney, vice president of luxury home sales for Baird & Warner.
Most Expensive and Largest: 1 West Century Drive (Century City) – 9,318 square feet for $28.95 million
Highest Floor: 701 West Olympic Boulevard (The Ritz-Carlton Residences) – Floor 51
Most Exclusive: 10375 Wilshire Boulevard (Wilshire Terrace in Westwood) – Buyers must pay all cash and pass the formal approval process by the homeowner’s association board, including a background screening, personal reference check and financial statement review. No leasing is allowed.
Wildest Amenity: 1050 South Grand Avenue (Ten50) – Drone landing pad
Units Come Online for 180 East 88th, Tallest Building Between 72nd Street and Albany
By: Ondel Hylton
In spite of a bristling array of glass spires erupting into our man-made mountain range and a global high-rise boom remodeling world cities into alien, cutting-edge […]
In spite of a bristling array of glass spires erupting into our man-made mountain range and a global high-rise boom remodeling world cities into alien, cutting-edge anonymity, Manhattan stubbornly manages to appear tellurian. But Joe McMillan’s integrated real estate investment and design company, DDG
has emerged as one firm genuinely committed to nurturing and progressing our architectural zoo of a city. Their past projects – 345meatpacking, 41 Bond, XOCO 325, and 12 Warren – transcend common architectural styles, clad in a unique palette of materials and composed of an uncanny mashup of parts informed by context, nature, and technology.
DDG’s latest exotic specimen comes to the architecturally conservative Upper East Side, at 180 East 88th Street. The 50-story, 521-foot development will not only be the team’s first uptown building, but also their first high-rise. DDG purchased the three-lot parcel from Muss Development for $70 million in 2013, and groundwork earnestly began last spring.
Ultimately, the site will yield a tower for which the team seeks to provide a “fresh perspective on the classic prewar apartment building.” The tower will rise upon a contextually scaled base and will slightly cantilever over its walk-up neighbor.
Its campanile-like profile features two sets of thirty-foot-high catenary arches, first along the sky garden/mechanical floor at the 13th and 14th levels and then again around a spectacular duplex penthouse.
The exterior will be clad in concrete and blueish-gray Kolumba bricks, which were also used throughout the firm’s 345meatpacking project. Other peculiar details include an ivy-covered brass canopy, a herringbone-patterned sheer wall, and a scaled golden-colored rooftop bulkhead.
180 East 88th will grant buyers sweeping 360-degrees views of the city and its craggy skyline. Like its exterior, the building’s 48 unique residences seek to “reinvigorate and re-imagine the pre-war aesthetic” and use a wide-array of materials ranging from wide-plank wood floors, marble-walled kitchens, and brass-hooded stoves. The first two units have recently come online: a third floor, two-bedroom home for $3,215,000 ($1,864 per square foot); and a 20th-floor four-bedroom for $6,600,000 ($2,790 per square foot).
The project will seek LEED certification, and amenities will include an attended lobby, children’s playroom, teen room, bicycle parking, fitness center, sports court, and a wine cellar.
While not significantly taller than surrounding towers, when finished, 180 East 88th will become the highest building between 72nd Street and Albany, besting 1214 Fifth Avenue by three feet. Just to the west, new construction is limited to 210-feet in height and has yielded less than palatable results with developments growing outward rather than upward, engulfing pre-war buildings and often cantilevering over them. Extell’s glassy Lucida condominium demolished more than a dozen walk-up buildings to accommodate the site’s maximum floor area while remaining under the 210-foot height limit.
The Real Deal
Renderings of DDG’s 180 East 88th Project are Here
By: Christopher Cameron
After clustering around 57th Street for the last several years, super-tall condominiums, which are coveted by buyers for their views and scorned by […]
After clustering around 57th Street for the last several years, super-tall condominiums, which are coveted by buyers for their views and scorned by some others for their bulk, are turning up in other neighborhoods.
Fresh renderings of what will soon become one of the tallest towers on the Upper East Side are here.
As The Real Deal previously reported, developer Joe McMillan’s luxury condo tower at 180 East 88th Street will be the tallest building north of 72nd Street when it’s completed in 2018. It will rise some 521 feet.
McMillan’s Tribeca-based DDG bought the site from Muss Development in 2013, paying $68 million, or $538 per buildable square foot. Over the summer, the developer broke ground on the project, which will feature 30-foot-high masonry arches and a brick façade imported from Denmark.
Back in November, DDG received the green light from the AG’s office to begin selling apartments. It’s aiming for a total sellout of $308 million, including its storage units.
Apartments range from $3.2 million for a two-bedroom to $6.6 million for a four-bedroom.
New York Times
Taller Condos on the Upper East Side
By: C.J. Hughes
After clustering around 57th Street for the last several years, super-tall condominiums, which are coveted by buyers for their views and scorned by some […]
After clustering around 57th Street for the last several years, super-tall condominiums, which are coveted by buyers for their views and scorned by some others for their bulk, are turning up in other neighborhoods.
Among the latest is 180 East 88th Street, a 48-unit high-rise on the Upper East Side built by DDG and Global Holdings that will stretch to 521 feet. While that elevation is dwarfed by buildings that soar beyond 1,000 feet along the so-called Billionaires’ Row around 57th Street, it is significant in an area where only about three dozen buildings are 400 feet or higher, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a group that certifies building heights.
“The height is a major selling point, because it offers 360-degree views that are mostly unobstructed,” said Joe McMillan, DDG’s chief executive and chairman. Still, “this was not about building the tallest building we could possibly build,” said Mr. McMillan, adding that zoning at its site at Third Avenue would have permitted a larger tower, possibly by up to 100 more feet. “This is about building the best tower we can build in this location.”
Ignoring the trend toward glassy exteriors, DDG has opted for a facade of Kolumba bricks, which are longer and thinner than the standard ones, and in this case, have a bluish-gray hue. The condo will require 593,987 of them, the developers said.
The lobby is also unusual. Wishbone-shaped arches, inspired by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, swoop from floor to ceiling. Similar arches also ring a “sky garden” on the 14th level. A duplex penthouse at the top of the tower is framed by them as well. Finishes in the apartments, which mostly range from two to four bedrooms, are distinctive. Brass has been liberally used for kitchen faucets, towel racks and even the range hoods, whose long, segmented shapes resemble Japanese lanterns.
Amenities are mostly spread across six contiguous floors, starting at the second floor, which includes a partial basketball court, playrooms for children, and a wine room, where bottles can be stored. No. 180 will have higher-than-average prices for a condo, but does not compete with some of the pricier buildings at the high end. Two-bedrooms start at $3.2 million, three-bedrooms at $4.7 million and four-bedrooms at $6.6 million; average asking prices are $3,000 a square foot, Mr. McMillan said. The Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group is handling sales at the building, whose sales office is expected to open the week of Jan. 17.
In contrast, the average sale price for new development apartments in Manhattan was $2,142 per square foot in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the Corcoran Group brokerage. If Midtown residential skyscrapers have sparked controversy, their Upper East Side counterparts seem to have met with less of an outcry so far. Community officials say this may be because most of the planned tall towers are rising at the edges of the neighborhood, whose borders are traditionally considered to run from East 59th to East 96th Streets.
For instance, 520 Park Avenue, which will rise to 781 feet, is at East 60th Street, close to Midtown. And 1214 Fifth Avenue, a rental-office hybrid measuring 513 feet that opened in 2012, is at East 102nd Street, far to the north.
These buildings aren’t the first lofty high-rises in the neighborhood. Trump Palace at 200 East 69th Street, which has been around since the early 1990s, is one of the Upper East Side’s highest. The tall buildings council puts it at 623 feet.
James G. Clynes, the chairman of Manhattan Community Board 8, which represents the area, said he had not received complaints about No. 180, which is not in a historic district and did not require city approvals for its size. But others are sounding the alarm about what might lie ahead, like the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, an advocacy group that has called for a height limit of 210 feet along neighborhood avenues. “We should do something to preserve our light and air,” Mr. Clynes said, “for those people who don’t live high in the sky.”
DDG’S 521-FOOT UPPER EAST SIDE TOWER REVEALS PRICING, RENDERS
By: Amy Plitt
After clustering around 57th Street for the last several years, super-tall condominiums, which are coveted by buyers for their views […]
After clustering around 57th Street for the last several years, super-tall condominiums, which are coveted by buyers for their views and scorned by some others for their bulk, are turning up in other neighborhoods.
Name: 180 East 88th
Size: 50 floors, 48 units
Prices: Starting from $3.2 million
Sales and Marketing: Corcoran Sunshine Marketing GroupThere’s a mini-development boom happening on the Upper East Side right now, but few new projects have garnered as much attention as DDG’s residential tower at 180 East 88th Street. The 48-unit project, which launched its website today, is notable for its height: At 521 feet high, it’s among the tallest buildings in the neighborhood. And unlike in Midtown, where the views from tall towers may be blocked by…other towers, these vistas are a huge perk: DDG’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Joe McMillan told The New York Times that “The height is a major selling point, because it offers 360-degree views that are mostly unobstructed.” Other selling points: the facade, made from an austere brick; and the lobby, full of sinuous curves and arches, which has a sculptural feel that was apparently inspired by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. The building also has plenty of amenities, including a fitness room, partial basketball court, and a wine room. Sales are expected to launch sometime in the next week, and apartments range from $3.2 million for a two-bedroom to $6.6 million for a four-bedroom.
Wall Street Journal
Construction Loan Set for DDG Condo Tower
By: Emily Nonko
The development team of DDG and Global Holdings has closed on a $153 million construction loan for a 50-story condominium tower […]
The development team of DDG and Global Holdings has closed on a $153 million construction loan for a 50-story condominium tower under construction on the Upper East Side.
The loan, provided by M&T Bank and Union Bank, completes construction financing for the $310 million building at 180 East 88th Street, according to Joe McMillan, DDG’s CEO and Chairman. “To date, we’ve funded construction largely with cash, and now our full capital structure is complete,” he said.
Mr. McMillan said the 521-foot building will be the tallest residential tower north of 72nd Street on the Upper East Side. “Roughly half of the apartments will come with Central Park views, which is rare for new development in the area,” he said.
Foundation work is expected to be completed in February and construction is expected to wrap up in 2018, he said. A mix of two-bedroom to four-bedroom apartments will be priced from $3 million to $30 million.
Mr. McMillan noted the construction financing market has tightened, with “a reversion back to quality,” he said. “Developments without strong sponsorships are not easily securing loans,” he said.
DDG has closed more than 10 loans with M&T Bank, according to Mr. McMillan.
DDG Gets $153M Construction Loan For Carnegie Hill Residential Tower
By: Danielle Balbi
M&T Bank provided Joe McMillan’s DDG and real estate investment firm Global Holdings with a $153 million loan on a residential development in Carnegie Hill […]
M&T Bank provided Joe McMillan’s DDG and real estate investment firm Global Holdings with a $153 million loan on a residential development in Carnegie Hill, Commercial Observer can first report.
Proceeds of the financing, which closed on Dec. 21, will be used to construct a 50-story condominium tower at 180 East 88th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues.
The latest filings with the New York City Department of Buildings indicate that the tower will house 48 condo units, and the reported sellout estimate for the project is $308 million.
Mr. McMillan’s Tribeca-based development firm acquired the site, along with 1558-1560 Third Avenue between East 87th and East 88th Streets, from Muss Development for roughly $70 million in 2013, as Commercial Observer previously reported. The parcels, which have connecting rear lots, housed two vacant five-story apartment buildings, which have since been razed. (It was not immediately clear when Global Holdings joined DDG as a partner).
M&T provided the borrower with a $47.5 million acquisition loan in December 2013, according to city records.
Representatives for DDG and Global Holdings did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for M&T declined to comment.
The Real Deal
Can You Say UES Building Boom?
By: E.B. Solomont
For years, the promise of a Second Avenue subway line has tantalized residential developers who have been hungrily eying the stretch of the Upper East Side between […]
For years, the promise of a Second Avenue subway line has tantalized residential developers who have been hungrily eying the stretch of the Upper East Side between Third Avenue and the East River.
With the first phase of the new line — which will run between 63rd and 96th streets — set to open in late 2016, a wave of new condos are being constructed.
In all, there are close to 900 condo units being developed across 19 projects on the Upper East Side between 59th and 96th streets, according to Halstead Property Development Marketing.
Some of the developments are the result of large and complicated assemblages; others are large-scale conversions of the neighborhood’s ample rental stock.
“There’s going to be tremendous growth in this neighborhood over the next 10 years,” said developer Ben Shaoul, whose firm Magnum Real Estate is converting 389 East 89th Street into condos.
Barbara van Beuren, managing director of development firm Anbau, said that when her company was evaluating development sites two years ago, it saw a void in the Manhattan condo market for units priced under $3,000 per square foot.
“Other people were overlooking the neighborhood,” said van Beuren, whose firm is developing a condo on East 89th Street. “Now it’s obviously a different story.”
Shaoul said the area’s high-density zoning is a big draw for developers. In addition, he noted that low retail rents — $300 to $400 per square foot in some locations — is driving development.
“Retail has been low because the area wasn’t developed,” he said, noting that the additional transportation is the spark developers needed.
On top of that, buyers have always been enticed by the throwback feel of the neighborhood.
“This is a real Manhattan neighborhood that hasn’t been infiltrated by commercial tenants yet,” Shaoul said. “There’s still a grocer, a butcher. There’s a Starbucks, of course, but [the neighborhood] is still very mom-and-pop.”
Families, in particular, have long been drawn to the Upper East Side because of its high concentration of private schools like Dalton, Spence, and Chapin, as well as popular public schools such as P.S. 6, P.S. 290 and P.S. 158.
Some of the big projects in the works in the neighborhood include 205 East 92nd Street, 360 East 89th Street, 1562 Second Avenue, 1059 Third Avenue, 180 East 88th, 389 East 89th Street and 20 East End Avenue.
180 East 88th
The Real Deal
AG Approves DDG’s $308M Condo Plan at 180 East 88th Street
By: Rich Bockmann
DDG received the green light to begin selling apartments at its Upper East Side condo tower, which will aim for a total sellout of slightly more than $308 million. […]
DDG received the green light to begin selling apartments at its Upper East Side condo tower, which will aim for a total sellout of slightly more than $308 million.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office last month approved the Tribeca-based development firm’s condo offering plan for its under-construction tower, 180 East 88th.
DDG is aiming for a total sellout of $308.2 million, a figure that also includes storage space in the building. Construction kicked off earlier this summer on the 521-foot tall tower, which will feature 30-foot-high masonry arches and a brick façade imported from Denmark.
Along with the Zeckendorfs’ 520 Park Avenue, DDG’s building will be one of the tallest on the Upper East Side. The development firm paid $68 million, or $538 per buildable square foot, when it bought the site in 2013, making it one of the riskier development deals out there.
DDG is also behind XOCO 325, a ten-story condo building at 325 West Broadway in Soho. It has four listings on the market, ranging from $2.6 million to $7.6 million.
New York Times
Bricklaying, a Nearly Lost Art, Makes a Comeback in Luxury Buildings
By: Matt A. V. Chaban
A neat little row of bricks and stone blocks sits on a worktable inside the TriBeCa offices of the development, design and construction firm DDG. Some are classic red, others ivory […]
A neat little row of bricks and stone blocks sits on a worktable inside the TriBeCa offices of the development, design and construction firm DDG. Some are classic red, others ivory white, a few resemble smoke, a ghost of their birth in the kiln.
“Each brick has a fingerprint,” said Joe McMillan, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the six-year-old firm.
He was not being poetic, at least not entirely. On the top of each 21-inch brick is a pair of thumb prints, a reminder that each one was pressed from a wooden mold by an actual person in Broager, a small seaside town in Denmark where the bricks have been made in this fashion by the Petersen brick company since 1791.
“The crazy thing is, no one is ever even going to see that print once it’s been set,” Mr. McMillan said. “But just knowing they are there, it gives you a sense of how much care went into each brick.”
And by hand-laying those bricks — a nearly lost art — DDG hopes to show how much care goes into each of its buildings.
With everything growing slick, streamlined and interconnected the past few decades, both in construction and life, DDG’s zeal for mortared joints happened almost by coincidence, more through a bond with craft than a love of bricks. Yet the attraction has been just as strong for luxury buyers who want everything in life to be tailored.
Whether a boutique TriBeCa loft building that looks as if it pushed its way out of the earth or a 521-foot tower with nearly 600,000 hand-laid bricks on the Upper East Side, DDG has a way with mortar that is at once contemporary and recalls the earliest days of cities, which masonry made possible.
“I think we’re finally over the stripped-down modernist boxes, and we’re searching for something with more intrinsic values,” Peter Guthrie, DDG’s head of design and construction, said. (Unlike most developers, the firm does both, part of the reason its work can be so exacting.)
He and Mr. McMillan could spend hours talking about bricks, discussing and dissecting them the way some people do wine or literature. The patina, the heft, the hue, the character, even the philosophy of construction are popular topics around the office.
This may sound strange, but it is doubly so given how most brick buildings are assembled these days, whether a four-story townhouse or a 40-story tower.
After the great fire of 1835, New York mandated that all buildings be made from noncombustible materials. Suddenly the clay-lined shores of the Hudson Valley became a gold mine. “It became one of the greatest brick industries known to man, almost all of it feeding the growth of New York,” said Richard Pieper, director of preservation at Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, an architecture firm specializing in historic restoration work.
For more than a century, there was an explosion of red brick, brownstone, terra cotta and limestone construction around the region. Even once skyscrapers started rising on their iron and steel frames, bricks played an important role — the Empire State Building, though clad in stone, has more than 10 million bricks invisibly lining its structure as fireproofing.
After World War II, companies like Alcoa and U.S. Steel looked for ways to put their factories to use building things other than tanks and planes, which spurred aluminum panels and glass curtain walls. Yet New York resisted the modernist urge for some time, at least for residential buildings.
After all, the great prewar architects Rosario Candela, J.E.R. Carpenter and Emery Roth had divined the concept of the apartment house, ushering in high-rise living with their great piles of limestone and brick lining Central Park and Park Avenue. The midcentury mode was seen in the white brick behemoth of Manhattan House on East 66th Street and its myriad imitators. But then Richard Meier’s glass towers on Perry Street seemed to change that forever.
“It just took over in the 2000s,” Carol Willis, director of the Skyscraper Museum, said of the boom in crystalline construction. “Somehow glass came to symbolize luxury and first-class construction, even if that wasn’t always the case.”
Even when developers still use bricks, they have all but abandoned bricklaying in favor of what is known as “panelization.” Inside factories across the Midwest and China, bricks or stone blocks are arranged into panels many feet or stories in dimension. They are then shipped to the site and hoisted into place, often exposing seams. Panels are even used in modern masonry marvels like 15 Central Park West.
Into this void stepped DDG in 2009. The firm’s first project was 41 Bond, on the blockbuster block of NoHo already home to the work of Herzog & de Meuron, Deborah Berke and BKSK.
Given the neighborhood’s fabric of cobblestones and Romanesque Revival loft buildings — and the fact that it was a landmark district — the firm decided that a hand-laid facade would be most fitting. Rather than brick, though, they settled on slender, undulating bluestone blocks. A local material more common in Brooklyn sidewalks, here it got a modern treatment with deeply grooved window frames. (As with all their projects, the masonry is not structural, but merely decorative, and largely made possible by the firm employing its own masons.)
Two years later, the firm turned to the Danish bricks for 345meatpacking, an 11-story project on 14th Street just off Ninth Avenue, on the border of the Meatpacking District. The zippered corners and mottled coloration of the white bricks could have been achieved with panels, but it would have shown not only on the outside, but also within, given the deeply recessed windows. It is for that same reason DDG will lay all those bricks at 180 East 88th on the Upper East Side, at the corner of Third Avenue and 88th Street — 593,989 to be exact, by Mr. McMillan’s calculation.
“We considered doing panels after the first hundred feet or so, because you’d think you couldn’t tell,” he said. “But you know where you could? From inside the apartments.”
At 100 Franklin, a newly proposed project on Franklin Street in TriBeCa, DDG tried to branch out with a mostly glass facade with brick accents. The property is in a historic district, though, and the community board was emphatic, so back came the bricks, though again with modern flourishes, in this case subtle perforations in the pattern.
At 12 Warren, a 13-unit development that is the firm’s latest, the designers turned again to bluestone. No two blocks are the same, and while most are a foot or two long, some are the size of small boulders and weigh many tons. All the pieces were pre-arranged in a yard, tagged, and then put into place in the city.
Passers-by could be forgiven for thinking they had always been there.
New York Post
NYC’s 33 Buzziest New Buildings
By: Zachary Kussin
If there’s ever been a time start your house hunt and lock down the perfect pad, it’s right now. From Midtown to Midwood, Boerum Hill to Bed-Stuy and Long Island City […]
If there’s ever been a time start your house hunt and lock down the perfect pad, it’s right now. From Midtown to Midwood, Boerum Hill to Bed-Stuy and Long Island City to Jersey City, there’s a gaggle of new residential projects coming to market this fall. Some are new development, while others are conversions. But all add to a massive rush of new opportunities for homebuyers citywide.
“We estimate that, in 2015, about 7,000 units are entering the market, and probably a similar, but lesser amount next year,” says property appraisal maven Jonathan Miller, though he adds this volume is still below the city’s 2004-to-2007 peak. “What you’re seeing took several years of planning … it’s at critical mass now. You’re seeing a ramp-up of product.”
And speaking of product it’s quite diverse: There will be everything from a super-tall Billionaires’ Row tower on 57th Street to a boutique synagogue-to-condo conversion in the East Village. Some projects are crafted by award-winning architects; others masterminded by up-and-comers.
Projects include 111 West 57th Street, 100 East 53rd Street, 118 East 59th Street, The Bryant, XOCO 325, 520 West 28th Street, Gramercy Square, 520 Park Avenue, 212 Fifth Avenue, The Fitzroy, 280 Saint Marks Avenue, 77 Condominiums, 415 East 6th Street, 1 Great Jones Alley, 52 Wooster, Citizen360, 465 Pacific Street, 55 West 17th Street, 275 West 10th Street, 180 East 88th Street, The Sorting House, 30 Warren, Thirteen East + West, The Gibraltar, 40 Somers Street, 19 Park Place, The Lighthouse Condos, Navy Green, State + Bond, The Residences at Prince, Flushing Commons, The Dutch and The Oakman.
To be sure, New York real estate is so hot that prices are high, but that also means developers are doing everything they can to build, build, build so that there are enough apartments to go around at every price point.
180 East 88th Street
Meanwhile, DDG has another project in the works on the Upper East Side.
It’s developing, designing and building 180 East 88th Street — a 50-story condo project with 48 plush pads. Reports say it’ll be the tallest Upper East Side tower north of 72nd Street.
The exterior, which will have 30-foot-high masonry arches on its top floors, will feature hand-crafted brick imported from Denmark.
Two-bedroom homes will start around $3.4 million, three-beds will start around $4.5 million and four-bedrooms will list for roughly $7 million when sales launch this fall.
New York Magazine
New New New
By: S. Jhoanna Robledo
The scaffolding doesn’t lie: We’re in the midst of a serious condo-and-rental-building boom with buildings like DDG’s 180 East 88th Street and 12 Warren Street quickly rising. […]
The scaffolding doesn’t lie: We’re in the midst of a serious condo-and-rental-building boom with buildings like DDG’s 180 East 88th Street and 12 Warren Street quickly rising. Over 3,600 permits have been filed for new residential structures in the past two years – to be precise, 2,394 in 2014 and 1,230 thus far this year, compared with 2,804 in total for 2009 and 2010. Talk of the 421(a) tax abatement expiring this past summer (it didn’t) may have spurred the recent frenzy, with much of it concentrated in the usual suspects of Hudson Yards, Downtown Brooklyn, and LIC. But new pockets of construction are emerging in unlikely corners, like the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island and the South Bronx. With an overwhelming number of projects to sift through, here’s a selection of some of the more notable arrivals, for magnates and non-magnates alike.
Rising properties include 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, 111 Murray Street, 40-26 College Point Boulevard, 180 East 88th Street, 111 West 57th Street, 538 Washington Avenue, 12 Warren Street, 34 Prince Street, 1769 East 13th Street, 360 Central Park West, 101 Wall Street, 212 Fifth Avenue, 318 West 57th Street, 275 West 10th Street, 70 Charlton Street, 16 West 40th Street, 100 East 53rd Street, 118 East 59th Street, 527 West 27th Street, 520 West 28th Street, 360 East 89th Street, 170 Amsterdam Avenue, 535 Carlton Avenue, 625 West 57th Street and 480 Main Street.
180 East 88th Street
On the market: Fall. This will be the tallest building above 72nd Street once it opens. Many of the 48 apartments will have 16-foot-high ceilings, a feature rarely seen in residential towers.
The 45+ New NYC Developments Hitting the Market this Fall Including Three by DDG
By: Curbed Staff
Now that Labor Day is a thing of the past and the dog days of summer are (theoretically) waning away, it’s time to welcome fall the best way we know how: by mapping the […]
Now that Labor Day is a thing of the past and the dog days of summer are (theoretically) waning away, it’s time to welcome fall the best way we know how: by mapping the
hundreds of new apartments — both condos and rentals — that will inundate the real estate market in the coming months.
From under-the-radar projects like 180 East 88th Street by DDG and The Giovanni by John Catsimatidis, to front-and-center developments like 111 West 57th Street and The Fitzroy, there’s no denying that it’ll be a busy fall. And if there’s a project we missed, the tipline is always open.
Projects to keep on your radar include 111 West 57th Street, One Seaport, Jardim, 465 Pacific Street, 280 Saint Marks Avenue, King & Sullivan Townhomes, 52 Wooster, Carmel Place, 520 West 28th Street, Gramercy Square, 393 West End Avenue, One Hundred East Fifty Third Street, 515 High Line, One Sixty Madison, XOCO 325, Prince, The Fitzroy, 22-22 Jackson Avenue, The Enclave at the Cathedral, 535W43, The Sorting House, 30 Warren Street, 212 Fifth Avenue, City Tower, 8 Vanderbilt Avenue, 118 East 59th Street, The Greenstone, 180 East 88th Street, The Bryant, 559 West 23rd Street, 12 Warren, 221 West 77th Street, 1 Great Jones Alley, 55 West 17th Street, The Giovanni, The Grand Two, The Lighthouse, 39 Madison Street, 223 Pulaski Street, Jones LES, The Grove, AKA Sutton Place, Aperture 538, 41-07 Crescent Avenue, 2225 Adam Clayton Powell BLVD, 350 Degraw Street and 40 Somers Street.
The chocolate-, Catalan-, and comic book-themed XOCO 325 (former chocolate factory, Catalan name, comic book website) is a building that has been in the works for a long time, but developer, designer, builder and property manager DDG took over in 2012 and finally got things moving along. The building will feature 21 condos, ranging in size from 1,055 to 4,837 square feet, and many will have balconies or private terraces.
180 East 88th Street
Soon to be the tallest building north of 72nd Street, 180 East 88th Street is yet another DDG development launching this fall (these guys are busy!). It will feature 48 condos with 16-foot ceilings, and the building will boast several custom artworks, including a piece by German artist Jan Hooss in the lobby and a diorama by Sean Murtha in the sales gallery. Prices have not yet been revealed.
DDG’s 12 Warren could be one of the most interesting new buildings. The design is inspired by the uneven stacking of bluestone, and the renderings really go all the way with it. The 12-story building will hold 13 full-floor, duplex, and triplex homes, many with outdoor space. A model residence is being curated in partnership with The Future Perfect.
Upper East Side Tower Reveals its Artsy Side, Preps for Sales
By: Amy Plitt
Now that the 521-foot-tower at 180 East 88th has gotten the green light, construction is underway — and so are the building’s branding efforts. The 48 condos in DDG’s Upper East […]
Now that the 521-foot-tower at 180 East 88th has gotten the green light, construction is underway — and so are the building’s branding efforts. The 48 condos in DDG’s Upper East Side project haven’t gone on the market yet, but that hasn’t stopped the company from launching a teaser that holds clues to what residents may see once the building is complete.
The teaser itself is pretty bare-bones — literally all you can do is request details on the project — but it reveals some details about the building’s art. The cream-colored background, evoking a piece of plaster, is actually a hint at the building’s lobby, which will feature a custom piece by German artist Jan Hooss. And the dreamy painting of Central Park that first appears there is part of a larger mural by Sean Murtha, known for his pieces depicting birds, animals, and other natural environments. Murtha is also creating a custom diorama for the sales gallery.
This isn’t the first time the design-focused DDG has collaborated with artists on its buildings: 345meatpacking, its avant-garde condo on West 14th Street, featured an Andy Warhol exhibition and was, at one point, sheathed in custom polka-dotted scaffolding designed by Yayoi Kusuma.
Sales are expected to start this fall.
New York YIMBY
DDG Breaks Ground on 180 East 88th Street, The Upper East Side’s Future Tallest Tower
By: Rebecca Baird-Remba
DDG has just started construction on 180 East 88th Street, set to become the tallest tower in the Upper East Side. Excavation and site clearing are underway, and the […]
DDG has just started construction on 180 East 88th Street, set to become the tallest tower in the Upper East Side. Excavation and site clearing are underway, and the tower will begin to take shape sometime this fall, according to a spokesman for the developer.
The 50-story structure will feature 30-foot-high masonry arches on its top floors and a facade clad in handmade brick imported from Denmark. Ultimately, the building will stand 521 feet tall, towering over all of its neighbors on East 88th between Third and Lexington Avenues.
Its 48 residences average over 2,000 square feet. Average ceiling heights will reach 16 feet, resulting in some of the largest and most voluminous construction condos in the area.
The ground floor will host a small art gallery and a bike storage room in addition to a spacious lobby with dual entrances. Each residential floor will have just one or two apartments. A penthouse duplex will take up the top two stories and the roof.
DDG handles the design and HTO Architect is the architect of record. DDG also performs design, construction management and property management for all its projects internally.
The bulk of the tower will be set back from the street, and the building’s seven and eight-story base will match the street wall.
The site spans 15,354 square feet and wraps around in an L shape to front Third Avenue and East 88th Street. DDG picked up the site in December 2013. Demolition of the prior structures was completed in Fall 2014. Excavation began in April 2015 and vertical construction will commence in Fall 2015.
The Upper East Side’s generous zoning has made it a hotbed for new high-rise condo towers. The short list includes two 21-story towers planned near the 86th Street stop on the 4/5/6, at 1289 Lexington Avenue and 147 East 86th Street, an Extell-developed condo project in the works on Third Avenue between 94th and 95th Streets, and a glassy development designed by SHoP under construction at 1711 First Avenue.
Since the MTA is working overtime to finish the Second Avenue Subway by late 2016 or early 2017, the construction boom may even accelerate in the next two years.
Upper East Side’s Tallest Tower Gets Green Light to Build
By: Hana R. Alberts
Hey, Upper East Siders. It’s time to really brace for the tallest tower in the neighborhood, coming to 88th Street between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue. The 521-foot […]
Hey, Upper East Siders. It’s time to really brace for the tallest tower in the neighborhood, coming to 88th Street between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue. The 521-foot tower, which is being designed, developed and built by DDG, got its new building permit today.
The building, filling an L-shaped lot that faces both Third Avenue and 88th Street, will only contain 48 condos — which means that each one will be pretty huge. There are also going to be 16-foot ceilings, and, as for the facade, the design is contextual as far as the Upper East Side goes. It’s brick and there are rather stately decorative arches.
Here’s a shot behind the blue plywood of the construction site taken recently and the outline of the building’s footprint posted on-site:
And here are past renderings of the building:
New York YIMBY
180 East 88th Street to Become New York City’s Tallest Skyscraper Above 72nd Street
By: Nikolai Fedak
Back in February, YIMBY revealed the first renderings of DDG’s new tower coming to 180 East 88th Street. Now, YIMBY has also learned that the project’s 521-foot height […]
Back in February, YIMBY revealed the first renderings of DDG’s new tower coming to 180 East 88th Street. Now, YIMBY has also learned that the project’s 521-foot height (it has seen a bump from 469 feet) will make it the tallest building north of 72nd Street. A tipster has also sent along demolition photos, which show the old tenements that formerly occupied the site have now been cleared to make way for the 50-story building.
A tower of this height could be lost in the canyons of the Financial District or Midtown, but the upper reaches of the East Side are relatively short, and this part of Carnegie Hill is particularly dominated by low-rise structures. It will surpass the current leader, at 1214 Fifth Avenue on the corner of 102nd Street, by eight feet.
The site’s base elevation of approximately 80 feet will give the tower a little extra boost when it comes to overall prominence, and the building will add a new apex to the neighborhood skyline. There are many buildings with larger floor counts in the vicinity, but none will have the average ceiling heights of 180 East 88th Street, which will approach 16 feet. DOB filings indicate the tower will total 151,458 square feet, which will be split between 48 condominiums.
New construction in the vicinity is much more contextual than in most parts of New York, and most projects feature facades dominated by masonry rather than glass. Other nearby examples including 151 East 78th Street and 1010 Park Avenue, the former designed by Peter Pennoyer and the latter by Beyer Blinder Belle.
DDG’s addition will be faced in handmade brick, but the cantilever and crown will give it a strong contemporary edge. DDG designs and builds its own projects.
The site also includes the lots at 1556 and 1558 Third Avenue, as well as air rights from 1550, 1552, and 1554 Third Avenue, and additional air rights purchased from the neighborhood. Foundation permits have now been approved, meaning construction has begun. Completion is tentatively slated for 2018.
Real Estate Weekly
DDG Building East Side’s Tallest Apartment Tower
By: Dan Orlando
Development firm DDG has filed plans for what will be the tallest residential building on the Upper East Side. The building, 180 East 88th Street, will measure 521 feet tall. Developed […]
Development firm DDG has filed plans for what will be the tallest residential building on the Upper East Side. The building, 180 East 88th Street, will measure 521 feet tall. Developed by Joe McMillan’s DDG, which will also design, build and manage the tower, the 50-story building will surpass 1214 Fifth Avenue (at the corner of 102nd Street), currently the tallest building on the UES, by eight feet.
Filings with the Department of Buildings show the tower will total 151,458 SF, space that will be split between 48 residences, plus amenities and commercial space. The building design will be a “fresh perspective on the classic prewar apartment building,” according to DDG’s website.
The site also includes the lots at 1556 and 1558 Third Avenue, as well as air rights from 1550, 1552, and 1554 Third Avenue, and additional air rights purchased from the neighborhood. Foundation permits have now been approved, giving construction the go ahead.
According to the firm’s website, the residences will feature panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, Central Park and the East River. A full suite of services and amenities will be provided.
As with many of the firm’s other projects, the building will be eco-friendly, with the firm planning to have the building LEED certified, and include an irrigated exterior planter system, green roof system, green marquee, and green cleaning program.
The building will be DDG’s first uptown project, and is slated for completion in 2018.
DDG has several residential projects they have completed and that are in the works in New York City, including 100 Franklin and 12 Warren in Tribeca, 325 West Broadway and 25 Wooster in Soho, 41 Bond in Noho and 345meatpacking in the Meatpacking District.
The company has acquired, designed, built and developed more than two million square feet of property on the east and west coasts, and also has an office in San Francisco.
New York YIMBY
First Look: 180 East 88th, DDG’s 31-Story Upper East Side Tower
By: Nikolai Fedak
Back in August, YIMBY reported on the first permits for a new building coming to 180 East 88th Street, on the corner of Third Avenue. DDG was behind the filings […]
Back in August, YIMBY reported on the first permits for a new building coming to 180 East 88th Street, on the corner of Third Avenue. DDG was behind the filings, and the firm designs and builds the bulk of their projects in-house as well. And now, we have the first renderings for the 50-story tower, though plans are not yet final.
The DOB filings reveal a total construction area measuring 151,458 square feet, and split between the 48 apartments listed on filings, that yields an average unit size surpassing 3,000 square feet. The palatially-sized homes will have ceiling heights to match, 50 floors, and it will stand 521 feet to its roof.
HTO Architects is listed on the permit as the architect of record, but as mentioned, DDG does most of their design and construction work in-house. Like their recent projects at 41 Bond and 345meatpacking, that should yield a contextually-minded building that improves upon the neighborhood architectural lexicon.
In the case of 180 East 88th — the building will feature a distinguished stone facade. Massive arched windows will crown the structure, also lining the ground floor and one of the mid-levels, after the initial setbacks.
On the very top, the facade will continue past the arched windows, and the rooftop mechanicals will also be covered in a stone parapet. At the base, the building’s envelope will match the existing street-wall, with a set of staggered setbacks yielding to the intermediary level with arched windows.
Nearby projects include 1711 First Avenue (on the corner of East 89th Street, designed by SHoP and under development by Anbau Enterprises), as well as 1768 Second Avenue (on the corner of East 92nd Street, where Curtis + Ginsberg are designing and Extell is developing).
As the Second Avenue subway comes closer to completion, the Upper East Side should continue to boom. Luckily the product coming to market will cater to a relatively diverse range of incomes, ranging from the uber-rich for the (likely) astronomically-priced 180 East 88th, down to the “ordinarily wealthy” for buildings like Related’s 203 East 92nd Street.
Further uptown, new rentals at developments like East River Plaza and HAP’s 2211 Third Avenue will cater both to upper-middle class residents, as well as lower-income residents who secure lottery-allocated “affordable” apartments included alongside the luxury rentals.
If any situation merits the repeal of New York State’s hard cap on residential density, one could make an excellent case for the eastern edge of the Upper East Side, which will soon become much more accessible with the opening of the Second Avenue Subway. As 180 East 88th makes obvious, development pressure is already pushing price-points in the neighborhood’s new projects higher; allowing even larger buildings would help plug the gap between supply and increasingly pent-up demand.
As for 180 East 88th, no completion date has been announced, and per DDG, the building is “currently in its early stages.”
DDG Files Permits for New Carnegie Hill Tower
By: Rowley Amato
DDG recently filed permits for a new development on the Upper East Side at 180 East 88th Street. The 521-foot, 50-story tower will have 182,995 square feet of residential space, […]
DDG recently filed permits for a new development on the Upper East Side at 180 East 88th Street. The 521-foot, 50-story tower will have 182,995 square feet of residential space, crazily spread across just 48 units, which New York YIMBY helpfully points out is an average of 3,500 square feet per unit. Each floor will also have 15-foot ceilings.
The site, which DDG bought last year for $70 million, sits on the corner of Third Avenue.
New York YIMBY
Permits Filed: 180 East 88th Street
By: Stephen Smith
In the past, DDG’s projects have all been on or below 14th Street, but the integrated design-and-development firm has finally moved uptown: today their architects filed permits for a tower […]
In the past, DDG’s projects have all been on or below 14th Street, but the integrated design-and-development firm has finally moved uptown: today their architects filed permits for a tower at 180 East 88th Street, on the Upper East Side.
The 521-foot, 50-story tower will sit at the corner of Third Avenue, on a site that they picked up from Muss Development for nearly $70 million.
The permit indicates 182,995 square feet of residential space (though, confusingly, just 151,458 square feet of total construction area) divided among just 48 apartments. Even using the lower square footage, this works out to apartments that are nearly 3,500 square feet in size on average – far larger than the average new American single-family home. Units this large combined with the extreme ceiling heights (each story will be more than 15 feet, including mechanical space) and DDG’s past projects all but guarantee that it will be condos.
The project will be by far the most attractive on this stretch of Third Avenue, once dubbed Birnbaum Canyon for all of the Philip Birnbaum-designed middle-class towers that went up after World War II. That building boom was sparked by the demolition of the old IRT Third Avenue elevated line, and perhaps aided by the fact that the Yorkville section of the Upper East Side was one of the last desirable corners of New York City with generous zoning under the 1961 code. (That loose zoning is still in effect, though rent stabilization and controls have made redeveloping the avenues’ remaining tenements difficult.)
The current boom is also likely being sped along by rapid transit, but by addition rather than subtraction. By 2016, the first phase of the Second Avenue subway, on the Upper East Side, should open. It will have a stop at 86th Street, and will provide a one-seat ride across 59th Street to the West Side and then down Broadway, as an extension of the Q (at least for the foreseeable future, before the third and fourth phases downtown are completed). The DDG site, however, is actually closer to the current express stop on Lexington Avenue than it will be to the Second Avenue one.
HTO Architect is the architect of record, but DDG does its own design. There will be no parking included.
New York Times
The 30-Minute Interview – Joe McMillan
By: Vivian Marino
Mr. McMillan, 42, is the chief executive and chairman of DDG, an investment, architecture, construction and development firm that focuses mainly on […]
Mr. McMillan, 42, is the chief executive and chairman of DDG, an investment, architecture, construction and development firm that focuses mainly on residential and mixed-use projects. Past developments include the 41 Bond and 345meatpacking condominiums; DDG is currently working on several other down-town projects, among them 325 West Broadway, a former chocolate factory, and 100 Franklin Street.
DDG was founded in 2009.
Interview conducted and condensed by Vivian Marino.
Q. There are other principals at the firm. What is your main role?
A. My main role is to run the company and set strategy: what we’re going to do over the next 12, 24, 36 months, and the long-term planning as well. I’m also in charge of acquisitions.
Q. Your company takes on many roles in development as well, from design to property management.
A. The integration, we think, helps us control the quality of our product and differentiates us from the market. The quality control we’re able to have — given we are developer, designer and the general contractor — enables us from start to finish to end up with a product that we’re really happy with.
Q. So how is business?
A. Business is very good. We did our first project in 2009 and so we are about four and a half years in, going on our fifth year, and it’s going exceptionally well. We have the office in New York; we have an office in San Francisco; and we’re actively acquiring buildings.
Q. How many projects are you working on?
A. Between New York City and San Francisco we have 10 in total. In New York City we currently have six.
Q. Let’s talk a little bit about some of them, starting with the Chocolate Factory Building project.
A. There are two separate buildings at the project, actually. One is a new construction and the other is a landmark renovation. We’ll be doing a series of maisonettes, full-floors and penthouses.
We broke ground for the new construction last year. We would expect construction to be complete next year, and we would expect to market units at some point between now and the beginning of next year, subject to approval of the offering plan. There’s currently contemplated to be 21 units and retail. The bulk of the building will be two- and three-bedroom units, some as large as four- or five-, and there are a small number of one-bedroom units.
Q. How about 12-14 Warren Street?
A. Warren is also under construction. It started approximately the same time as West Broadway. Warren will be a combination of large, 4,000- to 5,000-square-feet full-floor units and some duplexes. A lot will have outdoor space. It’s designed with families in mind.
Q. DDG recently received approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a new building design at 100 Franklin.
A. We worked with L.P.C. and the members of the community to get to a project that we think is beautifully designed.
We went through two, three iterations to get to where we are now. I think that generally Landmarks was very, very happy. And we’re very happy with the outcome. I would expect we would break ground next year. We haven’t settled on the number of units — it’s still in the design phase — but it will also have retail.
Q. What else do you have in the pipeline?
A. 180 East 88th Street — it’s a tower. It will be our first project on the Upper East Side. We’re still drawing the project — we have not filed with the Building Department yet — but we would anticipate there to be full-floor units and some half-floor units.
It will be ground up. There are currently three four- to five-story buildings on the site that have been vacant for some time and which are in the process of being demolished.
We purchased the site and the ability to do a cantilever over the neighbor to the south.
We also have a project in Brooklyn that we are waiting to close on — our first project in Brooklyn. It’ll be a conversion of an existing building to condominiums — a beautiful masonry 100-year-old building.
Q. Where is that building?
A. I’d rather not say presently.
Q. DDG has some of the more attractive construction sites. For instance, you shrouded 345meatpacking in a black-and-yellow netting designed by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
A. We collaborated there with the Whitney Museum and Yayoi Kusama to wrap our building in the work she had done some 20 years earlier. And so it was 120 feet tall, 150 feet wide around the building. We thought it was a creative opportunity to do something for the neighborhood.
Q. Do you live in, or plan to live in, any of your projects?
A. I live at 41 Bond, the inaugural project. It is a duplex with a backyard.
I am personally invested in every project we have done.
Q. I understand you have an Army background. Has it helped you in this business?
A. Tremendously. It teaches you a sense of discipline, tenacity and self.
I went in as an E1, which was a private, and I got out as a specialist, an E4.