Real Estate Weekly
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Alchemy introduces forever homes on Upper West Side

Alchemy president Kenneth Horn filed plans for his newest development at 250 West 81st Street in April 2016 after a long search for just the right lot in a neighborhood patterned with landmark preservation orders.


When he found it on the same block as the iconic gourmet grocery Zabar’s, between two of the city’s most renowned parks, Central and Riverside, he tapped an architect hailed for his contemporary classic style to design “something that felt like it’s been there forever,” according Tim McCarthy, senior sales director for Alchemy.

“That was really important with Alchemy, to develop a building that was contextual to the neighborhood,” McCarthy said. “Instead of putting in a glass shiny building that didn’t relate.”

The company is now close to topping out the 18-story building which will have 31 “family-sizedˮ apartments ranging from two- to five-bedroom apartments and currently priced from $3.8 million to $8.8 million.

In designing the exterior of 250 West 81st Street, Alchemy and RAMSA drew inspiration by pulling from the pre-war architecture style of the buildings that have been there for ever.

250 West 81st has a setback design and a façade of grey brick, limestone accents, and decorative window openings to help fit into the neighborhood’s personality.

When residents first step into the building, they’ll be greeted by a 24-hour attendant and concierge in a lobby that features a 14-foot-high domed ceiling and a fireplace surrounded by marble flooring.

Inside, the spacious apartments are designed with high ceilings and oversized windows offering direct views of the Manhattan cityscape. Many of the apartments have outdoor terraces, bay windows, or Juliet balconies.

The contemporary kitchens, with marble countertops, polished chrome fixtures, and Gaggenau appliances, are the result of a collaboration between RAMSA and Smallbone of Devizes, a custom cabinet maker based in England.

While the outside is designed to fit in, the inside will stand out in a neighborhood short on new development.

Some 6,000 s/f of amenities includes a sky terrace on the rooftop and a terrace lounge and library where residents can entertain guests or enjoy their outdoors with their family.

The building will have a fitness center and multi-purpose sports courts for those looking to keep in shape. For those musically inclined, there will be a state-of-the-art music recording and practice studio with professional equipment for mixing and recording music. And kids can spend their days in the playroom filled with arts and crafts.

“Tremendous attention to detail was given to this curated lifestyle amenity package so that our residents can actually incorporate these wonderful educational and activity spaces into their daily lives,” said Joel Breitkopf, principal at Alchemy Properties. “Musical education and performance, wellness, fitness and leisure are all well represented at this building for only thirty-one residences.”


McCarthy added that 250 West 81st Street really offers an “intimate boutique building” feeling, and has all the bells and whistles of next-level amenities.

“You go through the various buildings in the cities and there’s the standard amenities,” McCarthy said. “Then there’s a way to make those amenities one step up.”

With their wide range of amenities, Alchemy is hoping to attract a similarly diverse crowd of buyers. McCarthy said the property will appeal to buyers who want more space, transplants moving into the city, or those who have been in the neighborhood for a while and have become empty-nesters.

“There will be a great mix of buyers and people who are attracted to the functionality of living, amenity space, and the neighborhood we’re living in,” McCarthy said.
First move-ins are expected in January 2019.

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