The residents of Carnegie Hill are not particularly experienced in protest techniques—they are more likely to walk through throngs of the demonstrators than to walk among them. But a new Toll Brothers development on Park Avenue has inspired angry Upper East Siders to take up the picket.
In a vertical city like New York, simple signs on sticks do not do much good, so neighbors have resorted to a more high-flying technique for their “visual protest” this morning, unfurling homemade banners from one of their buildings that read “Save Our History.”
“We’re all rookies at this, not professional protesters,” said Lucinda Ballard, who lives in 1112 Park Avenue, right next to the two pre-Civil War townhouses that the Philadelphia-based Toll Brothers is almost certainly planning to replace with a tower, but has thus far refused to confirm.
Toll Brothers is still pulling a “no comment” when it comes to rumors of a Carnegie Hill tower, but plans for something are certainly moving apace on Park Avenue.
The same limited liability corporation—89 Park Avenue LLC—that purchased 1110 Park Avenue for $16.5 million (10 percent more than the $14.9 million ask) has also closed on 1108 Park Avenue for $13 million. And 1108 wasn’t even listed for sale!
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
It turns out that Carnegie Hill residents are not so thrilled about whatever plans Philadelphia-based McMansion builder Toll Brothers might have for their neighborhood.
Following news that the builders, who have slowly been expanding their Manhattan presence, had closed on the purchase of a townhouse at 1110 Park Avenue and also had their eye on neighboring 1108 Park Avenue, Tolls’ new neighbors are trying to stop them.
Toll Brothers, the Philadelphia-based McMansion builders, have been making a big play in New York over the past decade. Most of those projects were in Brooklyn, but in the fall, the firm’s New York office, Toll Brothers City Living, moved to Manhattan, and company president David Von Sprekelsen told The Real Deal he would be focusing more of his energy here.
Curbed recently heard rumors that Toll had closed on the purchase of 1110 Park Avenue, a 25-foot-wide redbrick townhouse, and might even have an eye on neighboring 1108 Park Avenue. The former indeed appears to be true, as the property just sold for $16.5 million, according to city records. That is a big premium on the $14.95 million ask, too.