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Thread: The Centurion - 33 West 56th Street - Condo - by I. M. Pei

  1. #46

    Default thank you moderator!

    My thoughts exactly. I wasn't going to post again after midtown guy's cold welcome and Fabrizio's follow-up, but that would be a shame considering the interesting discussions going on around here. To assume that a new poster is a broker scamming to push units is very pessimistic. I assume these discussion boards go to better use than that!

    I originally found this thread because Lockhart linked to Fabrizio's Centurion comments a couple weeks back on his blog. Then I read through a few different boards and decided to join the site and volunteer my experience at the sales office for the benefit of everyone in this room.

    Anyway, I'll keep posting as I visit more offices. I'm debating buying another apartment after a hotel group bought 485 Fifth Avenue and they refunded my 10% deposit

  2. #47

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    "To assume that a new poster is a broker scamming to push units is very pessimistic. I assume these discussion boards go to better use than that!"

    Well, then it is obvious that you did just find out about this site.

    As I mentioned, it happens often here: posters coming in on their very first posts trying to promote apartments or their websites or whatever.

    Understand that posters here are on high-alert and thus Midtown's reaction. You should not take it so personally.

    -----

    Now on to the Centurion:

    While I like this building, it is unfortunate that it will have "highly reflective" glass as you say. If so, mirrored glass is usually down-market looking and would be wrong for this block. And mirrored glass combined with limestone sounds pretty dreadful.

    Interesting that Pei feels that tenenants "would never tolerate retail space in an ultra-chic condo building". They do at 15CPW, the Time Warner, Trump Tower, The Olympic Tower, The Plaza etc and etc.

    Pei might want an attended garage.... but is he aware that a garage entrance on such a side street only ruins the ambience for the rest of us?



    ---
    Last edited by Fabrizio; December 3rd, 2007 at 03:52 PM.

  3. #48
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    Pei's thinking is dated, and oh-so-60's.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    Whoa there.

    When a first time poster comes in with a post like that it should be expected that other posters just might suspect he's a shill. It happens all the time and the long time posters here aren't dumb.
    Perhaps not, but some seem to jump to conclusions very quickly sometimes. Being street-wise doesn't mean having to be rude.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    ... 2 ) perhaps he should get to know the place better first.... and feel the waters out a bit.
    And perhaps MidtownGuy (and anyone else) could do the same with regard to getting their facts straight about another person BEFORE they comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    As I mentioned, it happens often here: posters coming in on their very first posts trying to promote apartments or their websites or whatever.
    That's no excuse to tar all new posters with the same brush and make ill-informed assumptions about their motives for posting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    Understand that posters here are on high-alert and thus Midtown's reaction. You should not take it so personally.
    A bit difficult considering the immediately accusative and discouraging tone. And, anyway, the response was very level-headed in the circumstances.


    Thank you, infoshare, for your thoughts on this. I agree.

    ...anyway, that's my two cents' worth on that...back to the subject...


    I started this thread simply because I like the LOOK of this building, with no consideration for other issues. I've left that up to more learned members and have been rewarded with a (mostly) very interesting and informative discussion.

    And that includes your posts, nycondoblog, which I found both interesting and eloquent. I look forward to more. Thank you and welcome to the forum. I hope you'll stay.

  5. #50

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    Ok guys, now this is a first: instead of dragging this out for a few more pages, I will stop here and explain myself no further.

    (but just this one time)

    ---

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=AhVBHjL92MI&feature=related

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamilton View Post
    Pei's thinking is dated, and oh-so-60's.
    I tend to agree with you. I don't think his name conjures up any visions of grandeur.

    As for the inevitable destruction of the townhouses on that street, I'd say wait and see. Who does or does not own a property means little these days. Look at Roseland Ballroom. It is owned by Algin Management; one of the largest residential landlords in the city and developers in their own right. They've been sitting on this property for years and didn't move on developing it in the biggest real estate market in decades.

    One thing that I observe in all of this would be the visionless destruction of Manhattan neighborhoods in favor of souless generic buildings.

    What is there to really correlate "Chelsea," "Greenwich Village," "Murray Hill," "Turtle Bay," "Kips Bay," "Carnegie Hill," or any so called "neighborhood" to anything unique? The skyline and views might look great, but this has become one of the most sterile cities in the country at pedestrian level.

  7. #52
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    I know, it happened so quickly, it's shocking really.

    now, to nycondoblog, who asked "what's with the angry tone in your post?"

    I wouldn't say it was 'angry'. Maybe flippant? Or dismissive, oh, I don't know. Sorry if I ruffled feathers, and Welcome to the forum.

    You know, it wasn't hard to get the wrong impression (if indeed it was, I'm not convinced) from your post. All that gushing praise, the style of the writing, only a few posts, and then that moniker of yours, can you blame me?
    I'm still sore about the loss of the townhouses, yes. Daily reports of similar gems in danger of being razed, while other sites in the city cry for development, make me a little testy in the face of such unconditional enthusiasm, especially when it comes from people who might have personal gain as the main motivation. Like Fabrizio said, we get some of that around here.

    Consider my subsequent post as merely a counterbalance to the one-sided representation of the project that directly preceeded it. My "tone" was a tonic; remedy for all of that breathless cheerleading.

    The building will turn out fine, pretty limestone and all; but I will never consider it great because of what it does at street level, and because what it replaced looked better.

    The prices are sky high, but the sales gal was great and they adore Pei.
    Plus, I guess I'm just not as wild about Pei as the "sales gal".

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider View Post

    ... this has become one of the most sterile cities in the country at pedestrian level.
    Hard to agree with you on that ^ one.

    At least in NYC folks walk, so no matter what damage hack architects / developers might inflict on the city NYC still has amazing energy on the street.

    However ... As I was walking around this evening I noticed that stretches of various Avenues (those with chain retail and bad plastic signage / bright lighting) are starting to look like nothing better than strip malls

  9. #54
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    not so hard to agree after all, then

  10. #55
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    Centurion

    I.M. Pei Joins his Son to Create The Centurion
    New luxury building is the world’s first ground-up condominium designed by Pei Partnership Architects with Pritzker Prize-winning architect, I.M. Pei.
    L.C. (Sandi) Pei, design partner of Pei Partnership Architects, is joined by his legendary father, I.M. Pei, in designing their first ground-up residential condominium, The Centurion in Manhattan. The building presents a unique opportunity to live in a space designed by the architectural team that created the Bank of China headquarters in Beijing and Hong Kong, and the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. I.M. Pei is also the creator of The Pyramid, which modernized Paris’ Louvre Museum.

    “We describe The Centurion as a bespoke tailor describes his art: a balanced composition of exquisite materials and richly crafted details that will never look old or dated,” said Sandi Pei. “This project was an unprecedented opportunity to design a building as a work of art in a prime area of New York City that pulsates with life.”

    Located on 56th Street just west of Fifth Avenue, The Centurion is currently the only ground up residential building under construction in this world-famous upscale retail corridor. Developed by Stillman Development International and Antonio Development, the 19-story French limestone building will offer 48 one-to-four-bedroom homes, including 13 terraced residences and three penthouses. Interior living space will range from 754 to about 3,400 square feet. Several combinations are possible to create larger custom residences.

    Opening prices range from $2,000,000 to more than $10,000,000.
    Interior architecture by SLCE Architects consists of exceptionally spacious homes, several of which boast living rooms with ceilings and windows that soar to 17 feet. Each of The Centurion’s 31 unique floor plans maximizes the openness of living areas, and lightly reflective sound-insulating glass windows will allow homeowners to enjoy city views, while maintaining tranquility inside the home. Anticipated occupancy is early 2009.

    Each residence at The Centurion will be finished with the finest materials, appliances, and fittings. Kitchen counters will be 1 ½ inch-thick solid glass slab set on a stainless steel surface, accented by glass tiled backsplash. Kitchen cabinets are custom natural walnut. Floors are teak. Appliances include 36-inch over-under Sub-Zero refrigerators paneled in natural walnut, 30-inch Wolf dual-fuel stainless steel ranges, Sub-Zero under-counter wine chillers and Bosch Integra dishwashers paneled in natural walnut.

    Well-appointed master bathrooms will include 16” x 16” white Bianco Dolomiti polished marble tile floors and custom wood vanities with soft taupe-gray Baltimore limestone vanity counters, as well as Baltimore limestone walls and bathtub enclosures. Six-foot cast iron soak bathtubs by Michael S. Smith for Kallista will accompany separate glass shower stalls trimmed in polished chrome. Powder rooms will feature Spa Green honed marble floors, a full accent wall of Crystal White chiseled marble, and Dornbracht polished chrome sink, tub and shower fittings.

    The Centurion’s exterior will be fully clad in hand-set French “Chamesson” limestone quarried from same region as the limestone used by the Peis for the façade of The Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. The Centurion lobby floor and one continuous accent wall will be Magny du Louvre limestone, which I.M. Pei selected for the floor of the Louvre’s Pyramid. The 19-story Centurion façade will feature a graceful stepped profile consisting of a succession of cascading terraces. A symmetrical arrangement of five double-height windows with pewter-colored aluminum mullions will complete the building’s principal south-facing façade. This profile forms a limestone sculpture visible to pedestrians approaching from Fifth Avenue.

    An entrance canopy of dark aluminum, nickel, stainless steel, and translucent glass will welcome residents into The Centurion’s stunning lobby, where a tranquil outdoor Water garden will be visible through a glass wall. The garden’s fountain cascades water into a reflecting pool, providing a unique and soothing view. The limestone lobby is accented with blonde Anigre wood, decorative marbles, and rich leathers.

    “The Centurion will appeal to people from all over the world who understand the rarified nature of this building and who want to own one of the great works of Pei Partnership Architects with I.M. Pei,” said Roy Stillman, president of Stillman Development International. “I.M. and Sandi Pei’s architectural genius has produced some of the world’s most imaginative and graceful structures, and The Centurion is their next great architectural gem.”

    The Centurion will boast services and amenities that cater to its cultured, discerning residents including a private exercise facility, a private water garden, an on-premise, and 24-hour attended garage. Storage units are available for purchase. The Centurion will offer a hotel-style, full-service Residents’ Assistant who will fulfill almost any request made by residents.
    The Centurion will be located just steps from superb dining, entertainment, hotels, museums, city landmarks and Central Park. “This is the perennial destination of choice for Manhattan’s most sophisticated and privileged international and domestic residents and visitors. The Centurion is tantamount to exclusivity and is at the epicenter of everything that is New York,” said Antonio Development’s managing director Robbie Antonio, whose family has a long and bonded friendship with I.M. Pei.

    “It was important for me to do one more building with my son, Sandi,” said I.M. Pei. “The Centurion was the right project because of my close relationship with the Antonio family, and the need for the second generation to take over.”


    http://www.100thousandclub.com/us/eb...sp?art=271485#

  11. #56
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    From Pei's website







    That full-height window is to die for, especially since the building is south-facing - lots of glorious light. Don't like those columns in the first picture, though. I assume they're structurally necessary (?).

  12. #57
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    The Centurion, 33 West 56th Street (Midtown), Manhattan, New York, United States

    Apartment For Sale

    Excess $2,825,000 (€1,803,153) - 1 Bedroom, 2 Bathrooms

    Features:
    • One of the most desirable and central locations in all of Manhattan - 2 blocks from Central Park and steps from 5th Avenue
    • Beautifully finished and extremely spacious, with high ceilings and huge windows, and a unique array of floorplans.
    • First new building in this area (midtown) for 20 years - long term value for investment.
    • Boutique / exclusive condominium project with only 48 units in total.
    • By the legendary architect I.M. Pei, perhaps the greatest living of all architects (responsible for the Louvre Pyramid & the Manhattan Four Season



    More Photos

    Overall Floor Area: 92 Sq. Metres (990 Sq. Feet)

    Offplan new construction with the 421g Tax Abatement - estimated completion Spring 2009

    LOCATION:

    Historically, the most desirable and elite locations for residential real estate in Manhattan have been centered around Central Park and Fifth Avenue. As the Centurion is two blocks from Central Park, and mere steps from Fifth Avenue, it is in the center of one of the safest areas for real estate investment in the city - in an area which has seen significant appreciation during the current boom market and has always appreciated historically (even in previous eras in which other areas of the city were not doing well).

    With its proximity to Fifth Avenue, The Centurion will be surrounded by, literally, the finest shops in the world. Superb dining, entertainment, hotels, museums and city landmarks abound, and are all within a short walk of The Centurion.

    All other areas of the city are easily accessible by public transportation, as virtually every subway line is a short walk away.

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    During the immense wave of new condominium development in Manhattan throughout these last few years, a handful of buildings have stood out from all others as the most elite, the most prestigious, the most unique: The Plaza, 15 Central Park West, the Time Warner Center. To this short elite list can now be added The Centurion, a new condominium building currently under construction at 33 West 56th Street (56th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues). This location is one of the most desirable and central in all of Manhattan, 2 blocks from Central Park and steps from Fifth Avenue. The Centurion will be the first new building in this area for over 20 years.

    The architect for the project is the legendary I.M. Pei, internationally recognized as one of the greatest architects of all time, and perhaps the greatest of all living architects.

    Some of I.M. Pei's best known works include the pyramid at The Louvre in Paris, the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, and the Bank of China building in Hong Kong, among countless other outstanding buildings. The Centurion is the only I.M. Pei-designed luxury Manhattan condo building ever. It is also Mr. Pei's first residential project in Manhattan in many decades. This outstanding pedigree will contribute to the long term value of the building from an investment perspective.

    THE BUILDING

    In keeping with the I.M. Pei tradition, The Centurion is a building which is about serenity, exclusivity, and attention to detail. For just one of countless examples, the limestone to be used on the buildings facade, 'Chamesson limestone from Burgundy', has been hand-cut in France - as only there can one obtain limestone which has the specific hue which Pei wanted for the building. This will give the building a distinctive look different from most residential buildings in Manhattan, which use grayish Indiana limestone. Each hand-set stone is a warm beige color animated by gentle wisps of brown veining.

    Sensitivity to the surrounding buildings is a hallmark of all of Peís work. The Centurion will be a stately, elegant building with rich materials and gracious appointments, showing Pei's respect for the restrained elegance of the townhouses, boutique hotels, luxury merchants, and corporate headquarters which compose The Centurion's neighborhood.

    Mr. Pei has designed the 17-story building to taper upward from a squared base through a series of gradual curves to a narrow top. The practical reason for these setbacks is that the neighborhood́s zoning only allows the lowest 85 feet of the building to be flush with the property line in the front of the building. It is these types of zoning rules which lead to the 'wedding cake' appearance of many older New York buildings. However, Pei did not want The Centurion to resemble a sharply-tiered wedding cake. The idea is for the appearance of a cascade of stone, rather than steps. Formed by a succession of setbacks and a symmetrical arrangement of five double-height windows, the south-facing principal facade gives The Centurion a unique vertical presence that draws the observeŕs eye upward. This profile of cascading terraces forms a limestone sculpture visible to pedestrians approaching from Fifth Avenue.

    The design calls for a wide lobby with a rear wall that overlooks a private courtyard and the building's 'Water Garden'. The floor and one continuous wall of the attended lobby will be soft, cream-colored Magny du Louvre French limestone accented by finishes of blonde Anigre wood, decorative marbles, and rich leathers. An elegant seating area with sophisticated artwork will offer visitors a tranquil place to rest and enjoy the Water Garden.

    The Water Garden itself will feature clear water cascading gently over projecting granite weirs into a reflecting pool just beyond the lobby's glass wall. Planters at varied levels will warm the natural stone walls of the Water Garden. This will create a calming scene to welcome Centurion residents as they enter the lobby.

    INTERIORS

    The interior design of the apartments themselves will be handled by SLCE Architects, who have designed the units at several of New York's most high-end residential buildings, including 15 Central Park West, the Metropolitan, and 40 Mercer Street.

    All residences will feature a high degree of architectural integrity and livability. The absolute highest quality level of materials and finishes will be used in all cases.

    All residences will feature ceiling heights of 10 to 17 feet and specially-designed, enormous, tinted, sound-insulated windows. Oversized master bathrooms will feature soak tubs and separate shower stalls.

    The Pei ambiance is recognized throughout the world for being elegant, graceful, tranquil, and timeless. For the residences at the Centurion, every detail was painstakingly decided, and only those materials, textures, colors and qualities consistent with the architectural integrity that is distinctly Pei were selected.

    UNITS

    All units will have beautiful finishes and will be extremely spacious. Unusually high 10 foot tall ceilings and huge windows add to the appeal and to the brightness and openness of the space. Some units will even have extremely high 17 foot ceilings in some areas.

    Despite the small number of units, the building will offer a wide array of grand, unique, and spacious floorplans. It will not be a 'cookie cutter' building. There will be 31 unique floorplans available amongst the 48 units.

    While the architecture, quality of materials and finishes, and location, place the Centurion in the most rarified realm of real property available in New York City today, it is currently selling at prices far lower than those at comparable buildings. Units on lower floors are currently selling in the range of $2,500-$3,000 a square foot, and even penthouse units are still selling in the $3,000s per square foot range. By comparison, The Plaza has sold some units for as much as $6,400 a square foot. 15 Central Park West is currently selling units in the $6,000 a square foot range, and re-sales at the Time Warner Center currently sell for around $5,500 a square foot. However, the Centurion has a sense of exclusivity and refinement that these other buildings lack, as the others are all huge complexes, while the Centurion contains very few units per floor, and very few units in total.

    Note that these are current prices as of the writing of this report in January, 2008. Prices will likely rise significantly on each phased release as the building nears completion in the first quarter of 2009.

    The Centurion will be a very attractive building for investors because it will be one of the last residential buildings in Manhattan to offer the 421-A tax abatement, significantly lowering the monthly carrying charges for owners - the 421g offers incentives in the form of lower taxes to developers, which they then pass on to condo owners in the form of lower real estate taxes. The program has been significantly altered and will no longer apply to any new residential buildings constructed in Manhattan after the end of 2007. As The Centurion began construction this year, it still offers the 421-A, and is one of very few remaining new construction buildings in Manhattan in which one can take advantage of this incentive.

    VIEWS

    Even units on lower floors will have lovely New York street views and will be very bright (so will rent very well). There are very few comparable apartments available for rent in this area, so they will rent at a very high premium. Only the small number of apartments available for rent at The Plaza, 15 Central Park West, and the Time Warner Center will offer a comparable product - and these command very high rents. A studio at the Plaza is currently on the market for rent at $6,900 p.m. for example.

    New York Residence recommends The Centurion as an investment property due to the prestige, exclusivity, quality, and uniqueness of the building. It is simply one of the best of all new development condominium projects currently selling in Manhattan.

    APARTMENT AVAILABILITIES

    The Centurion is a boutique condominium building and as such there are few available units, and these are selling briskly. It is currently the fastest-selling of all the comparable high-end condominium buildings in Manhattan.

    New York Residence Inc. has access to the full inventory of remaining units. These range from 4C, a 987 square foot one bedroom currently priced at $2,475,000 to a duplex penthouse with a huge terrace and two exposures currently on the market for $10 million. While all segments of the residential real estate market in Manhattan have seen significant appreciation over the last few years, the 'luxury market', defined as the most expensive 10% of apartments on the market at a given time, has outperformed all others. The prices of most units at The Centurion place them firmly in this 'luxury' category. And again, keep in mind that the current prices of units at The Centurion are significantly lower on a per-square-foot basis than those at comparable buildings in the area.

    One can secure a unit at The Centurion by making a 10% down payment at the time of contract signing, with another 10% payable six months later. Note: there is no possibility of negotiation on the current prices. The way that the selling of a new development in New York City works is that the developer raises prices as the sales process goes on, on a phased sales release of select units. So the best investment strategy is to get in early to lock in the current prices.

    http://www.daft.ie/searchinternation...sale&id=568707

  13. #58
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    Another listing:

    £1490000 Top Manhattan Condo, designed by world famous architect I.M.Pei (New York, 56th Street/5th Avenue)

    Date: 2008-05-10, 1:13AM BST

    Absolutely stunning new condominium apartments, designed by world famous architect I.M.Pei. Mr. Pei is the architect for the pyramids of the Louvre, the Bank of China building in Hong Kong, the Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street in Manhattan and many other outstanding buildings in the word. The building, named the Centurion, is located steps from Central Park and the best shopping in New York. Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Harry Winston, Chanel, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and many other exclusive shops are at your doorstep.

    This is an exciting off plan opportunity. This super high end and very exclusive buildings has only 48 units, priced from GBP $1,490,000. 10% at contract signing, 10% after 6 months and the rest is only due when the building is complete in early 2009.

    Please email now for floor plans and prices. This is the fastest selling high class condominium building in New York!



    http://london.craigslist.co.uk/rfs/674757742.html

  14. #59
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    Click on the picture to zoom in:

    http://www.questmag.com/questmag/200803/?pg=73

  15. #60

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    ^In that rendering the double height fenestration is different. I assume it's older.

    This is better.


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