Inventory in the luxury Manhattan housing market—and all the other Manhattan housing markets, for that matter—continues to be low, swiftly and constantly as new luxe towers are rising in ever-further-flung corners of the city. Even so, Tricia Hayes Cole, executive managing director at Corcoran Sunshine, recently told the Observer that there are those buyers who eye their quarry for years, waiting for just the right moment to spring.
Manhattan House, a high-end condo conversion at 200 East 66th Street, has been the target of just this sort of stalking, she said. And now that the first two of the building’s Vicente Wolf-designed penthouses have officially hit the market, Ms. Cole expects long-time fans to leap into action.
“People have circled Manhattan House for many years,” she said. “They’ve either been waiting for a penthouse, or just something larger to come on the market. When buyers look here, they tend to keep it in mind, even if they don’t find what they’re looking for right away. So there’s a lot of pent-up interest.” (No pun intended.)
Rather than apply the same sort of renovations they’ve performed elsewhere in the building, Manhattan House developer O’Connor Capital Partners initially held the penthouse units—the result of two and three-apartment combinations—off the market, with an eye toward creating a more elevated product, Ms. Cole said.
It remains to be seen whether buyers will be willing to pay for such elevated product east of Third Avenue, but if anyone can convince them, we suppose it would be Mr. Wolf. Over the course of the last year, Mr. Wolf—who has been called one of the “10 most influential designers in the United States” by House Beautiful and been inducted into Interior Design Magazine‘s Designer Hall of Fame—worked with O’Connor and Corcoran Sunshine on every aspect of the penthouses’ layout and design.
“We thought that Vicente had a very interesting take on bringing together the building’s Gordon Bunshaft design with his vision,” Ms. Cole said. “He appreciated the modernist architecture and he wanted to be true to the simplicity of that while at the same time bringing his own sort of flair.”
The first two penthouses—two more are poised for imminent release, with a handful of additional ones due out in the next couple of years—are four bedroom affairs with wood-burning fireplaces, four-way exposures, wraparound terraces, and 4,056 square feet ($12.5 million) and 3,708 square feet ($11.3 million), respectively. They are full of white oak and stainless steel, Caesarstone counter tops and Hand-chiseled Mica. Radiant floor heating, which is these days more more or less compulsory in these sorts of properties, is naturally included, and the larger apartment has room for one more in the form of a staff room, even if that sort of thing has largely gone out of style.
“People who live in this building tend to stay there,” Ms. Cole said—a statement backed up by the many lawsuits filed by renters fighting to remain in their units.
“Many end up buying larger or additional residences,”she added.
Should the lucky owners-to-be of these premiere units decide in a few years that they would like to downsize, for example, they might opt for one of the two-bedroom penthouses yet to come. There will not, however, be anything smaller than that.
A studio penthouse? We think not.