By Dan Orlando
In October, The Nathaniel opened its doors on 138 East 12th in Greenwich Village.
Named after once-penniless world traveler Nathaniel Taggart who went on to became a railroad magnate, the luxury building is blazing a trail through the East Village with prices that make a statement in a neighborhood where grunge is still cool.
Developed by YYY Third Avenue LLC — a partnership that includes the giant Equity Residential REIT — the building offers residences at rates including $3,485 for a studio, $4,740 for a one bedroom and nearly $11,000 per month for a three bedroom.
Douglas Elliman is handling the leasing for the property, which began to move residents in last month.
Cliff Finn, executive vice president of Douglas Elliman development marketing said that initial interest in the property has skewed towards a younger professional crowd, including graduate students and young families. “It’s a cross section of a lot of people that are already in that neighborhood,” he said.
“We thought of our location as probably the best 10-block radius that you’d want to live in in New York,” Finn continued.
“From parks to culture, to restaurants, hotels, lounges, shopping, nightlife, everything. It’s a very active and bright neighborhood. Everything you need is within ten blocks.”
The building’s exterior was designed by Karl Fischer with interior architects McCartan.
The entrance gives off an eclectic vibe that skews towards a marriage between urban/industrial history and natural accents.
McCARTAN outfitted the units with white oak floors and appliances that include a washer and dryer. Dishwashers are blended into the modern kitchens with panelled facades. The kitchens also come equipped with Liebherr refrigerators, custom cabinetry and Caesarstone Blizzard White counters.
The neo-industrial finished product is far from surprising as McCartan’s signature style involves inventive and distinctive designs.
For the Nathaniel, the designer opted to outfit each unit with floor-to-ceiling window-paned walls so that the living rooms offer residents a unique view of the surrounding neighborhood.
Of course, the building offers the standard perks, including a 24-hour lobby, a private gym, and bicycle storage.
The gym is certainly adequate but not quite on the level of some comparable residences, such as the Equinox-designed facility at Abington House on the High Line.
One amenity that does stand out is the building’s sizeable rooftop terrace. The open space offers residents a picturesque view of Greenwich Village and a 44 ft. long reflection pool by which to sit and relax.
The terrace lacks a space to set up a BBQ for summer cookouts, but this omission was a conscious decision.
“You can host a party up there,” Finn said, “but what we didn’t want to do with a rooftop like that is have the roof always taken up by private parties. We really wanted a roof environment that could be an open space for all the residents and not always be restricted.
“We wanted to make sure everyone had fair access to everything and a place to escape when (they) need to escape.”
For indoor relaxation, the Nathaniel offers the Nathaniel Club.
The indoor lounge includes a billiards table, eclectic furnishings, a flat screen, and a stocked library of books. The surrounding neighborhood includes pieces of Greenwich Village as well as the Flatiron, Union Square and subsections of Nomad.
For residents looking for off-site getaways in their spare time, the vicinity offers outdoor retreats such as Gramercy Park, Tompkins Square Park, Union Square, Washington Square Park, and Stuyvesant Square.
Local shopping ranges from the iconic Kiehl’s to bigger chains such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. The area also offers G-Star Raw, Ann Sacks and St. Mark’s Bookshop.
Butter Lane bakery highlights the notable eateries of the neighborhood, alongside popular locations such as St.
Mark’s Ale House, Otto, and Wise Men.
Nathaniel residents that are entertaining out-of-town guests can house them at the nearby Bowery Hotel, The Standard or West Union Square.
The Nathaniel’s strength lies in its neighborhood, which is a bit more centric to the action of New York’s downtown scene than its counterparts to the west.
Residents are only a short walk from multiple subway lines and direct routes to the heart of Midtown.
It is in this area that the luxury prices for the 85 units within the Nathaniel are justified. Is it the “best ten-block radius,” in New York? That’s obviously subject to the individual renter’s interests and proclivities.
But for renters that are set on experiencing the lifestyle and culture of lower Manhattan, the Nathaniel certainly echoes the immediate area’s charm of youth and art.
It seems to fit the mood of a Manhattan neighborhood that’s avoided blatant commercialization, despite experiencing heavy gentrification.
The building was built by Joy Construction which has raised more than 70 buildings and about 7,000 multifamily units in New York.