[slideshow id=22 width=590 height=400]Roland Li for Real Estate Weekly
Above a swathe of greenery in Marcus Garvey Park in the Harlem, a brick and glass tower juts into the skyline. The building, branded as Fifth on the Park, at 1485 Fifth Avenue, is one of the few high-rise structures in the area. And it is likely the remain the tallest feature in the immediate skyline – the project broke ground before City Planning’s East Harlem rezoning, allowing its 28 stories to rise before height limitations were enacted.
Being tall has its perks: the development’s outdoor decks, on the sixth and 13th floors, offer commanding views of a large chunk of the city. The top of Central Park swallows the southern view, but glimpses of midtown emerge on the horizon.
The building has 160 condo units and is around 60% sold. Amenities include services from Abigail Michaels Concierge, a fitness center, swimming pool and children’s playroom, as well as a garage. Units range from studios to four-bedrooms, with prices from $356,200 to $2.149 million. Three new model units were released in March, including a 586 s/f studio, listed for $379,000, an 856 s/f, one-bedroom unit for $499,000, and a 1,300 s/f two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment for $824,000.
The units have rich, cherry wood floors, offset by designer Irit Price’s sleek furnishings and varied artwork suspended on the walls on the model apartments. The views are emphasized through windows and balconies, with a sea of green trees mixed with the brick and concrete neighbors.
FXFowle Architects designed the building, whose upper level setbacks provide a staggered ascension at the top. Two sets of barriers surround parts of the façade – one about halfway up the building, the other on the top – giving it a sort of crown.
Halstead Property Development Marketing, the brokerage’s new developments arm led by Stephen Kliegerman, is the sales agent. It replaced Griffin Real Estate Group in December.
Residents at the building include a range of backgrounds and professions, from residents from the area to Harlem newcomers, said Michael Davis, a broker from Halstead. The nearby park is a big draw, along with the favorable prices, compared to the rest of Manhattan.
Developers Uptown Partners and Phoenix Realty obtained the site, between 120th and 119th Streets, from Bethel Gospel Assembly Church, which retains a worshipping space on the south side of the new building. The building was constructed as-of-right by using air rights from the block, which included a parking lot for the church. Construction was completed in May 2009.
The development was targeted by buyers in an Interstate Land Disclosure Act (ILSA) suit, in which the buyers cited the obscure law in an attempt to get out of their contracts. Other buildings in the city have also been targeted, with mixed results.
At Fifth on the Park, a New York court first ruled that the ILSA didn’t apply to the building, because 100 units had not been sold at the time of the contracts. But a federal court later overturned the ruling, and $460,000 in deposits for seven apartments may have to be returned to buyers.
An appeal from the developers is pending, said a spokeswoman for Fifth on the Park.
In a rapidly changing area – from the retail shift on 125th Street to the influx of new condo developments – Fifth on the Park is distinguished by its height and central location. And as one of the last new developments under the old zoning, there likely be nothing quite like it in the future.