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Thread: Fifth on the Park - East 120th Street and Fifth Avenue - by FXFowle Architects

  1. #1

    Default Fifth on the Park - East 120th Street and Fifth Avenue - by FXFowle Architects

    Wow, this is a month old, but Artimus and Uptown Partners are building Fifth on the Park, a 30-story building at East 120th Street and Fifth Avenue that will have four stories of church space, affordable rentals and condos. Right now that lot is a giant hole in the ground. It used to be a church parking lot.

    December 06, 2006
    Phoenix Realty Group Announces Key Investment in Harlem -- Will Provide Apartments and Condos for Residents of Various Income Levels
    • Mixed-use condominium to incorporate landmark church and adjacent community center
    • Joint venture development with Artimus Construction and Uptown Partners
    New York City –Phoenix Realty Group, Artimus Construction Inc., and Uptown Partners LLC today announced the construction of Fifth on the Park, a new high-rise, mixed-use building that will occupy the full-block front of Fifth Avenue between 119th Street and 120th Street in New York City. The project will be located directly across the street from the 20-acre Marcus Garvey Park, 10 blocks from Central Park and five blocks from the 125th Street corridor.

    The building will include a 38,000-square-foot church for the Bethel Gospel Assembly, the previous owner of the land. Above the four-story, 1,800-seat church sanctuary, the developers will build a 26-story residential tower that will include approximately 50,670 square feet of affordable rental apartments, 247,000 square feet of market rate condominiums, and a 117-space subterranean parking garage.

    The residential floors will have views of Central Park, Marcus Garvey Park and the Manhattan and Harlem skylines. Equity for the development will be provided by Phoenix Realty Group (PRG) with a co-investment from Artimus Construction. PRG is a national real estate fund manager focused on urban and workforce housing development.

    "We are honored to be part of the Harlem housing renaissance with a high-profile development that includes both mixed-income and mixed-use at an important address - the meeting of Fifth Avenue and the Park," said Keith B. Rosenthal, president of Phoenix Realty Group. "The project will provide support for the 125th street retail corridor and is one of the best located mass transit-oriented buildings in the city, with proximity to both the East Side and West Side subway lines, as well as the Metro North commuter rail to Westchester and Connecticut."

    "Phoenix Realty Group's strategy is to create competitively priced housing, and we're proud to have found a way to apply this sensibility to such a dynamic market area," said Ron Orgel, managing director of Phoenix Realty Group. "Fifth on the Park will provide a range of new, cost-competitive housing to a diverse group of renters and homeowners. And at the same time, we're able to help create a new home for one of Harlem's premier churches."

    "We are excited about contributing to a community which we have worked in for many years, as well as the fact that we will be helping to shape the Manhattan skyline," said Eytan Benyamin, a principal at Artimus Construction, the developer of the building. "This development would not be achievable without our partnership with the Bethel Gospel Assembly, and we look forward to working with them and the community in the future."

    The sixth floor will feature a setback with a full-length lap pool, landscaped garden, outdoor deck, a complete fitness center and a theater-quality media room. The condominiums will offer a doorman and 24-hour concierge, and will be entered through an atrium lobby featuring artwork from prominent artists.

    Artimus Construction Inc. is developing the project and will serve as both the managing member of the property partnership and the general contractor. Uptown Partners, the originator of the project's concept, will be a member of the property partnership and will be responsible for design supervision, marketing and sales.

    FXFOWLE Architects, an internationally renowned architecture, design and planning firm in New York, will serve as architect for Fifth on the Park.

    "The property will provide numerous benefits to the community, including affordable rental apartments and an exceptional church and community center that will provide significant outreach programs to people living across New York City," added Joe Holland, President of Uptown Partners.

    Phoenix Realty Group ( is a national real estate investment firm founded by J. Michael Fried, Keith Rosenthal and Ron Orgel providing capital and expertise to urban developers focused on middle-market, for-sale and rental housing; low-income tax-credit housing; and community revitalizing commercial projects. Phoenix Realty Group (PRG) has attracted significant institutional investment from many of America's leading pension funds, banks and insurance companies. PRG currently manages private equity and tax credit real estate funds that together will provide nearly $3 billion in housing and community revitalizing commercial properties.

    Artimus Construction Inc. ( is a New York-based development and construction company founded in 1979. Over the past 10 years, Artimus has completed approximately 38 projects in the New York City area, including 18 in Harlem.

    Uptown Partners LLC is a Harlem-based real estate development company founded in 2001. It is currently completing the largest solely market rate development heretofore built in Harlem, The Lenox, in association with Artimus.

  2. #2


    wow -- what a wonderful boost the area... the site is a prime one, surrounded by some of the most beautiful brownstone blocks in NYC -- the kinds that go for 10 mil in the village...

    the building is nice... which is about all i can say for it...
    to bad -- it could have been something spectacular on that site.

  3. #3


    No no no...what a horrible design for a Central Park building! Probably designed with the fact that it would sell anyway well in mind.

  4. #4


    ^Wrong park.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Downtown Brooklyn


    Easy mistake to make though. After all when you hear "the park" does Marcus Garvey Park leap to mind? Purposely misleading no doubt.

  6. #6

    Default an improvement for an area that needs development


    It's a very very strange building. Is it a horizontal banded building, is it a gridded facade, is it a stepped building? And what's up with the weird wooden trellises?

    I assume this will dominate the neigborhood.
    Last edited by finnman69; January 22nd, 2007 at 10:48 PM.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Forum Veteran macreator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    East Midtown


    Looks kind of like some of the stuff that went up on Broadway just north of Lincoln Center in the 90's.

  9. #9
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    Quote Originally Posted by macreator View Post
    Looks kind of like some of the stuff that went up on Broadway just north of Lincoln Center in the 90's.
    Yes I was thinking the same thing. I don't think I like that crown too much. The rest of the building seems blah-ok. Hopefully more building are built along Park Avenue in the vicinity.

  10. #10


    The Times has a piece on this today (but you saw news of this building here first).

    March 11, 2007

    Big Deal

    Harlem’s Newest Beacon


    GENTRIFICATION in Harlem has taken many forms, as the neighborhood has revived and celebrated its past, and last week it reached a new milestone: its first Upper East Side-style high-rise condominium tower, to rise 30 stories above the low-rise brownstones for which the nearby Mount Morris Park Historic District is known.

    The site is now a large hole in the ground. But the glass-and-brick tower will soon rise 310 feet on the edge of central Harlem, with 147 condos, 47 rental apartments, a 55-foot lap pool and a four-story church sanctuary with seating for more than 1,800 worshipers — and a very tall reminder that Harlem is becoming more like the rest of Manhattan.

    The building, at Fifth Avenue and East 120th Street, facing the 20-acre Marcus Garvey Park, is to be known as Fifth on Park.

    It has been greeted with some consternation and surprise by local preservationists, because it was built “as of right” with no required public review. But the developers say it will be a beacon to bring back the black middle class to the cultural heart of black New York.

    Joseph Holland, a former state housing commissioner who is developing the site with a partner, Lew Futterman, said he wanted to make a statement with the design of the building, about the resurgence of Harlem and its welcome to middle-class black New Yorkers, after its decades of decline. “I believe it is important for middle-class blacks to take a stake in the community,” he said.

    At a reception last week at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where details of the project were unveiled, Mr. Holland said, he pressed black professionals to consider Harlem and offered his guests a 5 percent rebate if they bought before the formal marketing campaign begins in April.

    The building will tower over most of central Harlem, including the 19-story Harlem State Office Building on West 125th Street, and will be by far the tallest unsubsidized building in the area. It will be rivaled in height by only a handful of city housing projects and state-subsidized projects in Harlem and East Harlem.

    “The scale of such a thing is absolutely appalling,” said Michael Henry Adams, an architectural historian and co-author of “Harlem: Lost and Found” (Monacelli, 2001). “The irony is that what makes Harlem attractive to so many people is that unlike most other parts of the city you can look up and see the sky.” To reach 30 stories, the developers bought development rights to a full square block of land owned by the church next door, the Bethel Gospel Assembly Church. That gave the developers the right to build a far taller building than would otherwise have been allowed.

    In 1983, the church, in what must be considered in retrospect a brilliant real estate move, bought the block between Fifth and Madison Avenues and extending down to 119th Street, including a fairly modern surplus school building, for only $300,000, and conducted services in the school auditorium.

    The church had once housed the James Fenimore Cooper Junior High School, and the building is still adorned with a large relief sculpture of Cooper and has the Board of Education seal and the city and state seals carved into the green marble entrance. The building was opened in 1936 at a cost of $12 million (about 40 times what the church paid for it) but was closed in the 1970s.

    Over the last few years, the church, at the urging of its pastor, Carlton T. Brown, decided to raise money for a new sanctuary and for the church’s missions abroad, by selling what had been the school’s playground to the developers along with all of the air rights to the entire lot, in exchange for $12 million, according to city records, and space for the auditorium and 47 rental units, which would provide income for the church.

    Vincent Williams, a church trustee who heads the building committee, said that the church was exploring the option of offering a mix of market rate and affordable rental units but that a final decision had not been reached.

    THE zoning in the area was created to encourage medium-density construction, similar to that used in a number of recent condo developments, including the Lenox, a 12-story building put up by Mr. Holland and Mr. Futterman on Lenox Avenue and 129th Street.

    But the code allows higher density for churches and doctors’ offices, and makes an exception to encourage tall towers on large plots with open space. The developers were also able to use the open space around the church in their calculations of open space.

    The developers said they planned to offer apartments for about two-thirds the going rate in the rest of Manhattan, with many of the same amenities, including valet services, communal roof terraces and high ceilings. Prices range from $346,000 for smaller studios to $2.67 million for three-bedroom duplexes with terraces. (The developers list the top story at 28, but their construction documents show 30 stories, including some space for mechanical systems atop the building.)

    There is some evidence, brokers say, that new condominium construction raises market values in older condominiums, even where the neighbors rally to try to stop a project.

    But in the new project’s surrounding neighborhood, feelings are frayed. Valerie Jo Bradley, a longtime resident who is active in the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, said she was worried that the building would block the southern exposure of the park and cast long shadows over basketball courts and a playground. “There is nothing that tall on Fifth Avenue,” she said.

  11. #11
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    From the a somewhat recent visit to the top of Mount Morris / Marcus Garvey Park the folks who take the upper floors in this new building will have a bird's eye view of some very interesting activity up top there. Those sights, however, might not be what they're bargaining for.

    Perhaps the construction of this building will compel the city to get off it's butt and restore the upper plaza -- formerly a very grand but simple public space that has been allowed to deteriorate to a shameful state.

  12. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by TheInterloafer View Post
    But the code allows higher density for churches and doctors’ offices, and makes an exception to encourage tall towers on large plots with open space.
    In other words, the code encourages blockbusters; you can build higher if you assemble a huge footprint.

    In fact, the code should encourage the exact opposite; it should reward small-increment development, which deserves encouragement because it preserves fine-grained scale (not height!), and needs bonuses because it's inherently a bit inefficient.

  13. #13

    Default it's fabulous

    You guys are on crack, which is what used to be the main currency for this area. To see major development that's market rate in this area is a great sign for the future of New York City. I think you guys are contriving reasons that at the end of the day would stop Harlem from prospering if anyone listened to the endless regulatory maze you would create for anyone trying to invest there.

    By the way, they launched a website:

    I'm especially fond of the indoor pool - this is a real genuine luxury building right in the heart of Harlem. Excellent!

  14. #14
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    It's an ugly pile of crap. Real luxury items come in an attractive package.

  15. #15


    Well compared to the Extell twins on the UWS this is wonderful. Let's be thankful no mirrored glass (at least if the renderings are true), no balconies sticking out, no airconditioner openings, the trellises might be nice. Coulda been worse.

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