Though it has been abundantly clear that Toll Brothers was planning a condo tower at 1110 Park Avenue for some time—it was, in fact, rumored immediately after mysterious entity 89 Park Avenue LLC closed on the townhouse at 1110 Park Avenue for 10 percent more than the $14.9 million ask. (While townhouse bidding wars are not unheard of, the city was just emerging from the throes of recession and Park Avenue is not exactly an ideal location for a townhouse.) When the same LLC closed on the unlisted townhouse next door—1108 Park Avenue, also for a generous price—the rumor was all but confirmed. By everyone, that is, except for Toll Brothers, which maintained a “no comment” long after the deal to buy the lots had closed and building permits were filed.
Now, however, there’s no denying it: the developer has debuted a teaser site for the development, first spotted by BuzzBuzzHome, promising that sales will start in mid-2014. Which, though the units are asking $10 million and up, will probably move briskly, if the other new developments between Fifth and Lexington are any indication. Toll Brothers may have built their reputation with suburban McMansions, but it has increasingly focused on creating housing for the hoitiest of the toity, homing in on Gramercy and the Upper East Side.
The new development looks to be no exception, with some units poised to be priced in the $35 million-plus range, according to BuzzBuzz. It also looks about as Park Avenue as you can get; more Park Avenue, in fact, that the diminutive pair of townhouses that it replaced. (Then again, from their earliest days of suburban cul-de-sacs with English Manor names, the Toll Brothers has always excelled at harnessing the desires and aspirations of homebuyers.) Of course, as preservationists argued, the townhouses—while they had become thoroughly upscale by the time they sold—offered a window into a time when upper Park Avenue was a working class community.
But the battle to stop the condo tower is, in any event, now a very lost cause. Though denizens of the neighboring buildings did put up a valiant fight to stop the development from moving forward—hanging painted sheets out their windows, threatening to march with placards and adopting similarly unfamiliar protest tactics. Some neighbors may be appeased by the uber-traditional design of the condo tower, but others will likely remain unhappy about the lost views and light.
When reached by phone this evening, protest organizer Lucinda Ballard pronounced herself resigned to her intrusive new neighbor. Asked is she had any comment on the impending start of sales, she sighed. “None, absolutely none. It is what it is. We did everything we could and now we’ve moved on.”