Three Residential Developments Test East 96th Street as UES Northern Boundary

The Real DealDecember 12, 2011
A trio of Upper East Side developments will test the traditional northern boundary for luxury buildings, the Financial Times reported.

The projects -- 1280 Fifth Avenue, 4 East 102nd Street and 1212 Fifth Avenue -- will test the East 96th Street line Manhattanites have long considered the separation between the Upper East Side and Harlem. But the new developments offer the amenities of buildings to the south and all three were designed by "brand-name" architects. While 1280 Fifth Avenue and 4 East 102nd Street are new developments, by Brickman and Durst Fetner Residential, respectively, 1212 Fifth Avenue is a conversion.

The Robert Stern-designed 1280 Fifth, the furthest north, at 109th Street, is anchored by the African Museum of Art. As The Real Deal previously reported, sales, which had been handled by Brown Harris Stevens, was recently taken over by Core. The 116-unit building has a rooftop pool and a private dining room, in a dramatic departure from the rest of the neighborhood's building stock.

Meanwhile, 4 East 102nd Street -- a 52-floor, 230-unit rental building -- was designed by famed Argentine architect Cesar Pelli's son Rafael and 55-unit 1212 Fifth Avenue by S. Russell Groves, who is best known for designing retailer Tiffany's boutiques, the Financial Times said. The 1212 Fifth building, at 104th Street, offers a 24-hour concierge and a gym.

So far buyers are not too hesitant to move to the "transitional" area, the paper said. More than 15 percent of 1280's units are reportedly in contract, while at 1212 Fifth over a dozen apartments have been sold. The East 102nd Street building will be completed next spring.

"I've spent several years looking for a pre-war condo that's on Central Park and fully modernized," an Argentine attorney who bought a pair of apartments at 1212 Fifth Avenue told the Financial Times. "For me, the developers have done an elegant job of blending the old with the new." [Financial Times]

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