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Thread: 211 East 51st Street

  1. #16
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    When Is a Building a Rubik’s Cube?

    Meltzer/Mandi Architects
    A condo at 211 East 51st Street
    faced caps on heights.
    By C. J. HUGHES
    January 21, 2007


    Sometimes, developers and architects say, the biggest design problem with a new Manhattan residential building is figuring out how it will fit onto its lot. Two luxury condominiums, one planned for East 51st Street and the other for East 13th, are currently presenting a challenge.

    The 21-story condo that will rise at 211 East 51st Street, between Second and Third Avenues, is set to contain 72 units, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms. Pricing hasn’t been set yet, because the building is under contract. Uned Associates, the current owner, based in Manhattan, is selling to Allied Properties of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The closing is scheduled for this week, said Tim Ziss, Allied’s principal.

    At first, Mr. Ziss had planned to demolish the 15-story condo currently on the site, leaving only its metal beams, concrete floors and foundation, and use those elements as the groundwork for something larger, thereby creating the maximum number of apartments permitted at the site.

    But this plan was hamstrung by the fact that the property straddles a commercial zone and a residential zone, each with different building height requirements.

    A potentially lopsided roofline wasn’t what worried Mr. Ziss. It was the fact that height caps on the residential eastern half of the building would severely curtail how many units he could create.

    “It was extremely complicated,” he said. “Even the zoning experts had a hard time tweaking this one.”

    The solution, proposed by the architect David Mandl, was to add medical offices to the building’s second and third floors. By law, if commercial tenants serve some kind of public benefit, as doctors do, the building can grow taller — in this case, on the commercial side. Thus, more square footage can be wrung from the project.

    “I’ve been practicing under my own shingle since 1980, and this is one of the more exotic zoning situations I’ve dealt with,” Mr. Mandl said. “But I think it will turn out to be an elegant project.”

    For the A Building, a luxury condo at 425 East 13th Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A, the hitch came in the form of an unusual T-shaped lot that extends the width of a block — so that the T’s base fronts on 14th Street.

    The size may seem advantageous, leaving plenty of room for extra apartments. But according to John Cetra, the architect, zoning dictates that any new structures be massed along the lot’s edges, so that an unbroken line of buildings faces the sidewalk.

    So the building is divided in two. The East 13th Street portion, with 150 feet of frontage, will have 77 units, and the East 14th Street side, with 25 feet of frontage, will have 7 units. Prices range from $600,000 to $2.5 million, and 35 percent of the units have sold, said Robert Kaliner, president of the Ascend Group, a Manhattan-based developer.

    To avoid leaving a potentially unattractive doughnut hole of unused space in the lot’s center, Mr. Cetra decided to pack it with trees and grasses, creating a courtyard that complements the 5,000-square-foot roof deck, which will have similar landscaping and a 50-foot pool.

    Another snag: East 13th Street sits at a slightly lower elevation than East 14th, which means that the glass walkway traversing the courtyard to connect the building’s two areas must slope down, Mr. Cetra said.

    “Organizing the lower floors was sort of a puzzle,” he added, explaining that he had never worked on a lot like this before, or on a block-through project. “It added a lot of drama.”

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  2. #17


    ^ Quite handsome.

  3. #18


    Definitely. Compared to the rendering jeffpark posted on page 1, the new balconies really add a lot to the tower. And it's less white brick to stare at.

  4. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by sfenn1117 View Post
    Definitely. Compared to the rendering jeffpark posted on page 1, the new balconies really add a lot to the tower. And it's less white brick to stare at.
    well i guess they did a new design,
    this one looks a little like Richard Meier's 165 Charles Street.

  5. #20


    They are gonna need alot of luck to make any money on this at the crazy price they are paying.

  6. #21
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Green-glass condo tower planned at 211 East 51st Street


    Allied Properties of Brooklyn, of which Tim Ziss is a principal, is in contract with Uned Associates, of which Unni Edelman is president, to acquire the 14-story apartment building at 211 East 51st Street.

    The white-brick building was erected in 1958 and contains about 85 rental apartments.

    David Mandl of Meltzer-Mandl Architects told today that it has recently revised its designs for an expansion of the building to 21 stories with 72 apartments.

    The most current rendering of the project, shown at the right, has been further revised by a lowering of its tower because no rooftop watertank is now planned.

    Mr. Mandl said that a demolition permit is expected shortly for the project, which will utilize its existing steelwork. A complete demolition would not have permitted the project to become as tall because of building and zoning regulations for new construction.

    Mr. Mandl, whose firm designed the curved and handsome residential building at 57 Bond Street, the 13-story Paradigm at 146 West 22nd Street, and the very attractive 6-story building at 647 Ninth Avenue between 45th and 46th Streets, estimated that the project would be completed in early 2009.

    The property was offered by Eastern Consolidated with an asking price of $42,500,000, which includes the 76,500-square-foot existing building and approximately 10,000 square feet of the building's unused and developable air rights. In conjunction with the offering, preliminary architectural plans were developed for the conversion of the building into condominiums with a new facade and added floors.

    Peter Hausburg of Eastern Consolidated, however, told CityRealty.Com today that the seller has extended the contract deadline because the buyer has indicated it is negotiating new capitalization.

    The new building will be clad in two tones of green glass and will have 36 seven-foot-deep balconies and eight terraces.

    The mid-block building between Third and Second Avenues, adjoins Green Acre Park, designed with a 25-foot waterfall by Hideo Sasaki.
    The site is close to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and the Citibank tower and it is convenient to public transportation.

    Copyright © 1994-2007 CITY REALTY.COM INC.

  7. #22


    what has "Allied Properties of Brooklyn" developed in the past,
    i never heard of them.

  8. #23

  9. #24

    Default The 211 East 51st Street Condominium

    Happened to notice this blog as I was doing some research for my friend who is interested in purchasing a condo at 211 East 51st Street. The long and short of what happened was that the building was purchased back in May 2007 by Henry Justin of HJ Development who elected not to follow that rendering that was posted but rather keep the existing structure and perform a first class gut rehabilitation and restoration on the exterior and interior. A few of my friends have already put down their deposit and look forward to closing this summer. What I do know from their website is that the interiors were designed by Shamir Shah and that the finest materials were used. Hope this helps answer some of the lingering questions.


  10. #25
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    Thanks for the information. Shame they didn't go with the rendering, it was very attractive.
    By the way, the little park they mention, Green Acre Park, is one of the best little pocket parks in the city. The design makes the space seem twice as large as it really is.

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