A decade (or two) ago it might have been adventurous for an upper-middle-class brood to move downtown, but now going south is about as edgy as a pair of Tori Burch flats. Gone are the days when artistic sorts divvied up Tribeca lofts or crammed themselves into Chelsea walk-ups —now well-to-do clans simply plunk down a few million for a three or four-bedroom condo in a new development, put in an application at Avenues and call it a day. “Downtown” is no longer a lifestyle descriptor, but a geographic one.
Reflective of this shift, many of the new downtown developments now coming to market are far from daring in their design choices. While every so often a condo like Blue comes along and pushes the envelope, more often than not, new construction and conversions display the “classic,” very vanilla stylings that, not incidentally, tend to sell very well.
The most recent of this tasteful, family-friendly breed to come to market is 10 Madison Square West, formerly known as the Toy Building, a 125-unit conversion at 1107 Broadway. As a recent preview of the under-construction building revealed—with its sales gallery featuring a fully built-out bathroom and kitchen—the new units will be both large (one-bedrooms to five-bedrooms, plus penthouses—no studios,) and unobjectionably styled. The interiors and finishes by Alan Wanzenberg were described, aptly, by one attendee, as “very safe.”
“The building straddles the uptown and downtown markets,” explained a spokesperson.
Mr. Wanzenberg also designed the interiors of the very popular 150 Charles Street, which like 10 Madison Square West, is being developed by the Witkoff Group. Carrara marble, white porcelain tile, stainless steel fittings and wide-plan oak can be expected in abundance. The kitchens will have both gas and induction burners—a belt and suspenders approach to a stove top if we ever saw one. Man can live on Seamless alone, but it’s nice to at least pretend that he doesn’t.
Sales aren’t slated to start for another few weeks yet—prices are expected to range from approximately $1.5 million to $25 million—but the number of prospective purchasers who have registered on the site is reportedly quite high. And if 150 Charles is any indication, sales will be brisk. Not to mention that another building on Madison Square Park—the Whitman—has used a similarly classic, similarly anodyne design with great success—it’s where Chelsea Clinton just bought a condo.