Zeckendorfs eye another home-run with 18 GPS

By Holly Dutton

A finished model unit is drawing curious buyers to 18 Gramercy Park where developers Will and Arthur Zeckendorf are hoping to re-create the record-breaking success of their 15 Central Park West.

The unit is the first completed apartment in the 17-story building, formerly the Salvation Army’s Parkside Evangeline residence for young ladies. Located at the corner of Gramercy Park South and Irving Place, the building directly overlooks Manhattan’s only private park, for which only residents hold a key.

Originally built in 1927, it was a dormitory for young women to live in temporarily while they looked for jobs, recalled Arlene Harrison, president of Gramercy Park Block Association and a Trustee of Gramercy Park who has been monitoring the Zeckendorfs’ progress in the tony neighborhood, whose residents include movie stars like Julia Roberts and Uma Thurman, actors Jim Parsons and Alex Baldwin, and more than a board table worth of high powered business moguls.

According to Harrison, the locals welcomed the Zeckendorfs to their tight-knit corner of Manhattan with open arms.

“The building is the tallest in the Gramercy Park Historic District, but it was not particularly notable architecturally,” said Harrison. “The Zeckendorf Development team was the only one we wanted.”

The Zeckendorfs purchased the building for $60 million. Although the deal went to contract in 2007, it took two years to close as first some of the Parkside ladies went to court to fight the sale and then Lehman went bust and soured the wealthy’s taste for extravagant spending.

Construction began in 2010 and Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture and the man responsbile for crafting 15 CPW, was tapped once again, this time to transform the 200-room single-occupancy building into just 16 luxury family apartments.

“This is the very first project following the global and unprecedented success achieved at 15 Central Park West,” said Zeckendrof Development in an email to Brokers Weekly. “18 Gramercy Park is a continuum of design excellence on a smaller scale, but is equally important.”

On CPW, the company sold $2 billion worth of apartments, making it the most expensive apartment building to ever open in Manhattan.

All going well, they’ll collect around $200 million on the “smaller scaleˮ 18 GPS.

Although only three apartments have officially been listed, the developer said prices range from $9.25 million for a ground floor two-bedroom apartment with a home office, three baths and a powder room, to $42 million for a 6,329 s/f two-story penthouse.

Floor plans show the duplex penthouse has five bedrooms, five baths and two powder rooms; a salon, library, gallery and 18 x 12 ft. foyer as well as staff quarters and a laundry room. The 1,889 s/f of outside space includes a giant terrace off the salon that overlooks the park and a plethora of other terraces, each with its own little touch of luxury, such as an infinity pool or a whirlpool.

Full-floor homes are listed between $14 and $18 million and amenities in the building include 24-hour doorman, concierge, spa, fitness center, and a pet-grooming room. Residents will also get the option of purchasing a coveted key to Gramercy Park.
Sales at 18 Gramercy Park South began on Sept. 4 and “several residences are spoken for” said the developer, adding, “Zeckendorf Development is consistently focused on attention to detail and materials, as well as on the relationship of space and light, which allows 18 Gramercy Park to offer unique living spaces.

“18 Gramercy Park is a newly-designed, modern classic that evokes the luxury and grandeur of some of New York’s finest cooperative landmarks in a historic downtown setting.ˮ

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