By Al Barbarino
Related Companies’ marketing campaign is in full swing at 1214 Fifth Avenue, a 53-story glass and stone residential tower overlooking Central Park, between East 102nd and East 103rd Streets in East Harlem.
The 510-foot building, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and built by Durst Fetner Residential for Mount Sinai, features 185 luxury residences on floors 21 through 51, with penthouse duplexes under construction on floors 52 and 53, atop 20 floors of medical office space.
The project is yet another success story to emerge post-recession. Originally conceived to include luxury condos, not rentals, it was put on hold when the recession hit and seemingly no one — not even Durst Fetner Residential — could get financing to build, said Tom Ahn, vice president of real estate at Mount Sinai.
Mount Sinai issued an RFP through what was then Newmark Knight Frank back in 2008 to over 100 developers before selecting Durst Fetner and signing them into contract in 2009.
When the market rebounded, Mount Sinai scrapped the condo plan, keeping DFR on to build a rental building under the city’s 80/20 Program, which gives developers access to low-cost financing in the form of tax-exempt bonds; in exchange, 20 percent of the apartment units are reserved for low-income tenants earning no more than 50 percent of the area median income.
“It was a fortuitous decision for us and we are happy with the decision we made,” Ahn said, adding that the rental income will be used to pay down the construction debt on the property.
The Durst Organization deferred comment to Mount Sinai, but spokesman Jordan Barowitz called the project a “terrific collaboration between Mount Sinai and DFR, and we are very pleased with the outcome.”
The end result, completed this year, and designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, is a building that towers above any other in sight.
Leasing started in June and the property is roughly 40 percent rented, said Joni Pincus, the regional leasing manager at Related Companies, the exclusive leasing agent for the property.
“There’s nothing like Central Park – everyone loves it. You also have the desirable Fifth Avenue address,” she said.
It starts in the lobby, with walnut millwork, silver travertine flooring and a collection of original artwork, and ends in the residences, pre-war, with doorknobs, finishes and moldings that evoke classic Upper East Side architecture.
Homes feature marble baths, white oak floors, walnut kitchen cabinetry, with stainless steel appliances, and a majority of the residences have their own washers and dryers.
The tower offers what Related’s Daria Salusbury called the “epitome of luxury rental living” within “a true uptown gem.”
Prices range from $2,595 for alcove studios, $4,025 for one-bedrooms, $5,195 for convertible two-bedrooms, $6,095 corner two bedrooms and $8,995 for three bedrooms.
The lower portion of the building, clad in stone with vertical windows, delineates the medical offices, while the residential tower is clad mainly in reflective windows and thin strips of vertical, stone piers.
It is being pitched as the tallest residential building on the Upper East Side, though it is technically located in East Harlem.
“Technically speaking, anything north of 96th Street is Harlem,” said Michelle Larsen, a Corcoran real estate agent who moved her family into the building in August. But, she added, “I think those boundaries are changing.”
Either way, the building towers over any other nearby and offers sweeping, panoramic views of Central Park and the Hudson River that are unprecedented in the area.
“This is the best view I’ve had in New York in 30 years,” said Larsen, who lives in a two-bedroom apartment with her family.
Other amenities include an entertainment lounge, screening room, outdoor sun terrace, bicycle storage rooms, children’s playroom, 24-hour concierge service, landscaped drive-through courtyard, 200 underground parking spaces and electric car charging stations.
The property, located just off Museum Mile, which borders the eastern side of Central Park, is steps from Central Park’s Conservatory Garden and close to the 92nd Street Y, the Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.