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.”