New York PostJune 26, 2013North of Madison Square Park is buzzing with restaurants, hotels and new condos — here are five reasons we’re excited
NYC is awash in acronyms: Today SoHo, TriBeCa and FiDi are fully part of the local lingo.
But what about NoMad — North of Madison Square Park?
If you haven’t been tossing the term around, you soon will. This area, from 26th Street up to 30th and from Lexington Avenue over to Sixth, has seen an explosion of chic hotels, hip restaurants and glitzy residential buildings where there were once mostly wholesale clothing stores and rug merchants.
Here are our top five reasons that what was once a barren no-man’s-neighborhood has finally landed.
This 15th-floor, three-bedroom, three-bathroom penthouse at 241 Fifth Ave. is on the market for $6.95 million; the 45-unit, new-construction condo building should be ready for move-ins this summer and is already 70 percent sold.
Apparently, “Huys” is the Dutch word for a new 58-unit construction condo. At least that’s what they’re calling the building at East 28th Street that went on the market in March (for the record, the developer and designers are all Dutch) and is over 50 percent in contract; available units go for $3.1 million to $9.25 million. (Active listings are about $2,100 per square foot.)
And just a block or so north of Madison Square Park is a new-construction condo at 241 Fifth Ave. The 45-unit building, which is being marketed by Core’s Doron Zwickel and should be ready for move-ins this summer, is already 70 percent sold, with prices at a highly respectable $1,800 to $2,000 per square foot (not counting the pricier three-bedroom, 3,080-square-foot penthouse, priced at $7.95 million, still on the market).
And new buildings that are south of NoMad — meaning, they’re actually on the park — only add to the allure of the nearby neighborhood. They include the Whitman, a four-unit building on the northern edge of the park that should have move-ins this summer (and which reportedly sold a unit to Chelsea Clinton) and still has a $25 million, 6,540-square-foot penthouse available; and Ten Madison Square West (the former International Toy Center), with 125 units, which will start sales in the coming weeks, with one-bedrooms starting in the $1.5 million range and a five-bedroom penthouse listed for $25 million.
And there’s activity on the south side of the park, too: Related is restarting sales on One Madison Park, and we hear that Ian Bruce Eichner’s firm, Continuum, is also gearing up to start a project down the block on East 22nd Street.
The grub runs the gamut — from cool and casual to costly and fancy.
Let’s say high-end dining isn’t really your thing. So the NoMad, where culinary superstars Daniel Humm and Will Guidara dish up a foie gras-and-truffle-stuffed roast chicken for $79, might not be for you. But have no fear: If you’re more of a casual diner, NoMad has you covered. There are new sandwich places like Num Pang (Cambodian sandwiches) and Melt Shop (grilled cheese). Hooni Kim, a Michelin-starred chef, recently opened his casual Korean gastropub, Hanjan, on West 26th Street, the same block as the also-new whiskey bar/restaurant Maysville. The neighborhood “was really underserved when it comes to quick, cool, healthy food,” says Nicolas Jammet, the founder of the Washington, DC-based chain Sweetgreen, which offers salads, frozen yogurt and juices and is opening a 40-seat, 2,500-square-foot outpost in the NoMad Hotel this summer.
The Meatpacking District needs to watch its back, hotel-wise.
You might be familiar with the Ace and the NoMad Hotel — two of the heavyweights in the area — but what about Eventi, on Sixth Avenue and 30th Street? And the Gansevoort Park Avenue on 29th Street? And maybe you heard that King & Grove acquired the Hotel Lola on 29th Street last year? Well, all that stuff is old news anyway. We’re excited about the Virgin Hotel, on 29th Street and Broadway, slated for 2016. And we might be even more tickled by the 190-room SLS Hotel that’s opening next year at 444 Park Ave. South. “Jose Andres is our culinary director, and helping us find the right concept [for the hotel’s restaurant] — we’ve interviewed a number of chefs,” says Arash Azarbarzin, president of SBE, the hospitality group that owns SLS. “On the rooftop we do have plans for a lounge. It’s not going to be a nightclub — we’re going to welcome everybody. It’ll have beautiful views of the skyline.” In the basement, they’re planning the smaller S Bar.
Hey, Sixth Avenue is getting a Fairway!
A hot neighborhood is all fine and good, but the question any serious real estate shopper needs to ask before signing a contract is: Where do I buy my groceries? NoMad will no doubt get a great residential boost this summer when a Fairway opens up at the base of the 33-story Chelsea Landmark on Sixth Avenue and 25th Street. The coming store (the 13th in New York and Connecticut) will be a massive 23,000 square feet and will come with all the organic and specialty hallmarks Fairway is known for. And if you feel the need to shell out more money for your groceries, Eataly isn’t going anywhere.
Families need not fear these trendy developments.
OK, NoMad might work for the single, swinging guy looking for cool lounges and fancy restaurants . . . but will it work for a family? We are confident on that front, too. Walk around Madison Square Park and one sees advertisements for free concerts for kids, every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. The kids will no doubt relish a stop at the park’s flagship Shake Shack. (Danny Meyer deserves a lot of credit for giving NoMad some of his restaurateur cred.) And since 2007, there’s been an Apple Seeds — the indoor playground — on 25th Street. “It’s certainly become a lot more family-friendly, even with all the hotels,” says Bobby Berna, co-founder of Apple Seeds, who is himself a nearby Chelsea resident. “There’s a lot of young families in the neighborhood.”