Along its most institutional stretch between the East Village and Murray Hill, the condos First Avenue is best known for are medical, not residential. From Bellevue to NYU, it’s a place where people want their stays to be as brief as possible.
But with Manhattan’s residential market coming roaring back to life, developers are setting their sights on the island’s less-developed fringes. New York’s first modern micro-apartments are going up on a city-owned site at 335 East 27th Street and Michael Stern’s JDS Development is nipping at the heels of Kips Bay, with a two-tower, 800-unit project set to break ground this summer at an old ConEd site at First Avenue between East 35th and 36th Streets.
“The neighborhood is crying out for something modern and upscale,” he told the Wall Street Journal in March.
And now 40 North, a press-shy wealth management firm with offices on the 30th floor of the ultra-prime Solow Building, is plunging straight into the heart of the hospital district. The firm just picked up a $32 million chunk of land on the southeast corner of First Avenue and East 24th Street.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Kips Bay, the East Side enclave pocked with post-war towers, has been largely protected from many of the changes that have transformed other sections of Manhattan. Neither particularly posh nor particularly gritty, nor particularly beautiful, the neighborhood is known as a good place to raise a family or fade into senescence.
But now the cloistered area is getting an unwelcome shot of vigor in the form of new micro-unit apartments. The local community board is terrified that the diminutive middle-class housing units will draw undesirable elements, bad seeds, transients.
Dominated by the towers on Second Avenue (rezoned in anticipation of the subway decades ago—speaking of which, how’s that coming along?), Kips Bay has never been the coolest neighborhood. But perhaps Rashid Johnson can turn that ho-hum image around: the post-black, as he calls himself, mixed-media artist and his wife, fellow artist Sheree Hovsepian, just bought a townhouse at 139 Lexington Avenue for $3.7 million, according to city records—a healthy discount off the $4.25 million ask.
The four-story brownstone straddles the border of Kips Bay and NoMad, lying in the dead center of another made-up micro-neighborhood: Rose Hill (the seller was listed only as Rose Hill LLC).
A Good Deal
People have been known to fall in love at weddings, but how often do they wind up buying a home because of one?
“The apartment was owned by Alexandra Schlesinger and she was the widow of Arthur Schlesinger. Alexandra was first married to my father before she married Arthur Schlesinger,” Catherine Allan told The Observer over the phone earlier this week. As we were trying to map a mental family tree, the voice continued. “We had gone, in fact, to a family wedding and that’s when we became aware of the apartment.”
Hunter College is getting into the real-estate business.
Former city landmarks chief and Hunter College President Jennifer Raab wants to sell off the school’s 3.5-acre Kips Bay nursing campus, near the recently sold Peter Cooper Village at 25th Street and the F.D.R. Drive, and build a 16-story building for science and health-professions programs at 67th Read More
Hunter’s Jennifer Raab
Hunter College jumps into real estate
Hunter College is getting into the real-estate business. College President Jennifer Raab wants to sell off the school’s 3.5-acre Kips Bay nursing campus, near the recently sold Peter Cooper Village at 25th Street and the F.D.R. Drive, and build a 16-story building for science Read More
March 28, 2006
7 pounds, 8 ounces
Lenox Hill Hospital
When Margit Ragland looked up her firstborn’s pet moniker, Kessie, she found out that it meant “chubby baby” in Ashanti (not just a pop star, but a region in Ghana!). “So far, she’s living up to her nickname,” said Ms. Read More
4 East 75th Street.
Recently, the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club announced that the 50-foot-wide mansion at 4 East 75th would be the location of the organization’s next showhouse.
Currently on the market for $55 million, The Observer has been closely tracking this residence–still widely known as the Harkness Read More
“You’re sitting in the Beverly Hills of Harlem. Don’t be afraid,” laughed interior designer Roderick Shade on Wednesday, June 3, from one of the finely turned out rooms of 459 West 141st Street in the Hamilton Heights Landmark Historic District. The 1906 Beaux Arts town house is the site of the first ever African-American interior Read More