Time was, if you weren’t in need of scented body oil or beaded, polyester lingerie, cut-rate hair extensions or a three-year-old Blackberry, you might well have steered clear of the retail strip on Broadway between 26th and 31st Streets. Called “Whodi”—for “Wholesale District”—by those in the know, the area had spent years in scruffy obscurity since its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the Ace Hotel opened in the old Breslin building in May 2009.
New York dubbed the Ace “a hotel for successful rock stars, and their emulators,” and its success invited the arrival of the NoMad, which the Times called “the Ace for grownups,” a hotel whose “name was coined in part to give some shine to the newly hyped triangle north of Madison Square Park.” Seeking to cash in, too, on that hype is Mocal Enterprises, the owner for 35 years of the Centurian Building at 1182 Broadway, which has lately been converted to luxury loft apartments. Leasing on the first 20 of the 39 total units opened this month through Douglas Elliman, with occupancy expected in March.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
“The project is now 10 years old, it’s time to build it!”
That was Andre Terzibachian’s response when The Observer emailed him about 400 Park Avenue South on Friday. A partner at Atelier Christian de Portzamparc, Mr. Terzibachian is responsible for many of the firm’s projects in New York, where the Pritzker Prize-winning Frenchman has had a number of surprising successes: the jagged LVMH North American headquarters on 57th Street; the skyline-redefining, outrageously priced One57 now rising a few blocks to the west; and beyond that, abutting the Hudson River, a daring complex of five towers at Riverside South.
All the while, 400 Park Avenue South was in the works the middle of Manhattan as a small-time developer tried, and eventually failed, to get an ambitious project off the ground. (Oddly enough, it is the only of Mr. de Portzamparc’s projects not somewhere on 57th Street.) Construction was set to begin after years of development and zoning approvals. Then the recession hit. In December, the site was sold to a partnership of two of the nation’s biggest builders, Toll Brothers and Sam Zell’s Equity Residential. It was not clear at the time what the fate of this crystalline castle would be, but it turns out Mr. de Portzamparc will be planting another shard in the New York skyline after all.
While long a cultural wasteland, the area now known as NoMad is enjoying it’s time in the sun. Landlords in the Northern Flatiron district have been courting cultural institutions and local joints in an effort to vivify the neighborhood, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Dubbed by its listing as “the superlative apartment in a building filled with apartments beyond compare,” the 17th-floor loft at 15 Madison Square North must indeed be something. Otherwise, it would be tough to explain the 2007-like bidding war.
According to city records, hedge funder Anand Desai and wife Erica recently paid Read More