Yesterday, New York real estate developer Aby Rosen hosted the topping out ceremony for his much-anticipated luxury residential tower, 100 East 53rd Street, designed with the British firm Foster + Partners. The excitement around the event attests to the mark high-end residential living is making on Midtown Manhattan.
The neighborhood has long been viewed as an area reserved only for distinguished offices and the city’s touristic attractions. For many, it’s an area to be completely avoided, especially city dwellers not inflicted with the chore of having to commute there for work. Yet, Rosen maintains the strong conviction that this is simply no longer the case. Following 100 East 53rd Street’s topping out, he pitched a residential-focused Midtown at the building’s sales gallery located at the Seagram building (another Rosen holding).
“I just think people are looking at Midtown as a real option to live in, which was not really the case before. Now, all New York neighborhoods are basically livable. Previously, the Flower Market was only the Flower Market, but now it’s residential, shopping, retail, nightclubbing; it’s all one big city. Midtown was the last one to fall and basically change. If you’re an Upper East Sider you don’t need anymore to go downtown for good food, and good energy, you can find it Midtown, as well,” said Rosen.
The sales gallery space, designed by the celebrated William T. Georgis as a one-bedroom showcase, features large, floor-to-ceiling windows with mostly light tech wood and marble concrete raw material. The space displays artworks from Rosen’s own personal collection, including pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons. He announced humorously they were all for sale, too.
“[Future residents] are people who understand art and architecture and, in our case, we have tried to link both very close together. That’s how we designed these spaces,” said Rosen.
The completion of the slender, white-glass exterior building is expected by the end of 2017 and will include 94 residences within the 63-story tower. The building amenities are comprised of a private pool and site-specific artwork.
Lifestyle and cuisine seem to have also been an emphasis. Rosen stressed that the building had the advantage of neighboring upscale restaurants including The Four Seasons Restaurant, and that the kitchens were designed with more clean counter space, the better to order food from downstairs and have it sent up. “That’s more the way people eat here nowadays anyhow, nobody sits down in the dining room and makes a fancy meal. It’s all about casual living,” said Rosen.
Rosen seemed confident despite what people believe to be a current oversupply of luxury tower development on the market. “There is demand out there, we will see how deep that demand is. If you’re a reasonable developer looking to make a decent return, I think that’s achievable. You have got to price it right. The buyers are far too smart and they are far too many options out there,” he said.
Rosen believes that even if the foreign buyers were to fall apart (which he doubts), domestic demand would be largely sufficient, as a $10 million one- to two-bedroom is easily sellable to a Los Angeles, Greenwich, or New Jersey buyer looking for a pied-à-terre in the city.