By Orlando Lee Rodriguez
In an era of massive residential towers, with almost too many amenities, it is a breath of fresh air sometimes to encounter a property where minimalism equals simplistic and artistic luxury.
With rooftop cabanas, heated floors and maybe one the largest master bathrooms in New York, Alchemy Properties’ Griffin Court gives tenants the deserved comforts of well-designed, top-notch quality without being ridiculously gaudy and flashy.
Built on the former site of Sony Studios on West 54th and 10th Avenue, Griffin Court is located one block from the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, as well as a short walk to Lincoln Center and the Theater District. The design and feel of the development draws from the artistic energy of the surrounding area filled with musicians, dancers and actors.
Designed by Stephan Dallendorfer of the architectural firm FXFowle, the 94-unit Hell’s Kitchen building was completed in February, 2011. It is made up of two small towers that rise only eight floors, in sync with the rest of the neighborhood.
Floor-to-ceiling double paned windows give each space plenty of natural light and views of midtown. Apartments have Kohler soaking bathtubs, Viking ranges, Bosch dishwashers, saddle-stone countertops, oak floors and customized Kitchen Aid refrigerators with customized paneling.
Common areas and elevators have the feel of an artistic, earth-toned oasis. In between each towers sits the 8,00 s/f, bi-level courtyard that boasts 23 species of plants. Each floor landing contains different nature-based photographs by Geof Kern to mirror the vegetation of the courtyard.
The common hallways in the north tower fill up of natural light from windows as the apartments are only located on one side of the corridor.
Keeping with the artistic vibe of the surrounding theater district, the west side of the south tower has a mural by Brooklyn’s Corrinne Ulman that illuminates at night.
Individual storage units come with each apartment. There is a full-time doorman, live-in super and a 24-hour gym.
Prices based on availability start at around $1.2 million for a 981 s/f one-bedroom, 2-bath with a den. The three bedroom, three bathroom 1,747 s/f penthouse will run you $2.9 million. Common charges run from $848 for a one bedroom to $1,776 for the penthouse.
Alchemy, which has been developing condominium properties since 1996, is known for its intimate properties with units that are each unique in their design. Two other new properties, The Isis on the Upper East Side and Sackett Union in Carroll Gardens, have sold briskly. Griffin Court is almost 85 percent sold.
Interestingly, when executives from Alchemy first visited the future site of Griffin Court, they were unexpectedly faced with a preservationist moment not usually associated with builders.
In a final walk-through of the iconic Sony Studios, they discovered a beautiful, gilded private bathroom built for a famous pop singer who would record there regularly. That moment of admiration helped to shape the design, which pays tribute to the legacy of what inhabited the space before.
Sales manager for Alchemy Properties, Jill Preschel, says that Griffin Court is not just a unique space, but one that will assist residents in channeling their inner artistic talents.
“This neighborhood attracts a lot of creativity,” she said. “Griffin Court contributes to that through the mural. The ability that residents will have to sit in the courtyard and think will help contribute to the creative process.”