By Orlando Lee Rodriguez
With the exception of Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue Flagship store, Manhattan’s Garment District, with its fabric wholesalers, fashion outposts and sample sale spaces, doesn’t exactly conjure up images of high-society, residential New York City.
But as the boutique manufacturing by independent designers continues to wane, the recent construction of 400 Fifth Avenue may be a symbol of where the district’s future may lie.
With sweeping views of the city, top-notch amenities, a restaurant, bar, gym and even a salon, 400 Fifth Avenue is an early mover into a centrally located area not known for its residential market prowess.
“When we began construction of 400 Fifth Avenue in 2008, the neighborhood was considered a no man’s land for residential development,” says Giuseppe Rossi, executive vice president of Bizzi & Partners Development.
“There was great value in choosing a part of town that had yet to reach its full potential. The building is now achieving record pricing per square foot.”
According to StreetEasy.com, past sales have averaged $2,497 psf while current listing are priced at an average of $3,635 psf.
Current listings include the $32 million six bedroom penthouse and a $15 million three bedroom penthouse.
Its central midtown location means its floor-to-ceiling windows offer uniquely placed, un-obstructed central views of the skyline that have previously been the domain of workplaces only.
Apartments facing south have the pleasure of being so close to the Empire State Building, that you can see the details of the iconic tower perfectly from your windows.
Designed by architect Gwathmey Siegel, 400 Fifth was developed by Italian-based Bizzi & Partners Development, which has properties in Bordighera, Lativa, Estonia and Cancun. This is their first project in the United States.
“The New York marketplace is extremely competitive,” said Rossi. “We chose one of the most trying times to jump in. Our main challenge was to stay on schedule with construction, which we succeeded in doing, and our sales program is doing very well.”
“We are now focusing on marketing the top floors, specifically the penthouses on floors 59 and 60. We recently collaborated with Fendi Casa to transform penthouse 2N into a showroom,” he said.
The penthouse showhome was a first in New York City for Fendi Case, the home design division of the celebrated Italian fashion and accessories brand.
The design house decked out the 3,292 s/f penthouse 2N with over $600,000 worth of Fendi Casa furniture and about $240,000 of artwork from Hirschl & Adler.
“For more than 80 years, FENDI has established itself as a world leader in high fashion and design, renowned for its innovation and commitment to using the finest materials. We share in those same principles and are delighted to collaborate with this esteemed company,” said Rossi.
According to exclusive brokers at Douglas Elliman, who joined the project last May, the building is 80% sold. Apartments range in price between $1.7 million for one bedroom at 982 s/f and $32 million for six bedrooms at 6,883 s/f. Apartments can be combined and customized.
Kitchens feature Montblanc countertops, Subzero refrigerators and Miele stoves and dishwashers.
Bathrooms are super large and have extra-large Zuma soaking tubs. All sinks have Grohe fixtures and each apartment has a washer and dryer. Each room in every apartment can be individually heated and cooled.
Elevators have exclusive key card floor access for an additional layer of privacy. Residents can also access the hotel amenities, but not vice-versa.
There is a lounge that is for the exclusive use of residents that features two fireplaces and outdoor seating to entertain guests.
Residents are entitled to a personal trainer for 20% off. Babysitters, dentists and physicians are also available on call.
As one of the latest condominiums placed atop a hotel in the city, residents benefit from the shared amenities of the 5-star luxury boutique hotel below.
The building maintains a separate entrance on 36th Street from the Setai Fifth Avenue, managed by A Capella, which takes up the first 30 floors of the building. Developers say the shared space is what makes 400 Fifth a unique place to live.
“There are many advantages to this partnership,” said Rossi. “Residents enjoy in-home catering, linen and turndown service and housekeeping, as well as priority access to Ai Fiori, Bar on Fifth, and the Auriga Spa and Julien Farel salon located onsite.
“This caliber of service brings great value to buyers, especially our international clientele.”