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Ventana, 150 East 85th Street: Review and Ratings

at The Southeast corner of Lexington Avenue View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 150 East 85th Street by Carter Horsley

This 15-story condominium apartment building was built as a rental in 1988 when it was erected on the former site of Jaeger House, perhaps the most famous German restaurant in the Yorkville section of the Upper East Side.

Jaeger House was an handsome, dark red brick structure that over the decades served as a meeting hall for Nazi sympathizers prior to World War II and in its later years as a disco. Next to the larger and more celebrated Luchow's on West 14th Street, it was the most famous German restaurant in the city.

The transformation of Yorkville, which was New York City's largest German neighborhood, has seen most of its German restaurants closed and replaced by high-rise apartment buildings. In its heyday in the 1960s and early 1970s, 86th Street between Lexington and Second Avenues was one of the city's most gregarious streets, filled with pastry shops, restaurants, taverns and dance halls and singles.

In the early 21st Century, however, the area is much quieter and more sedate. Yorkville has been substantially gentrified and the western portion of it is now known as Carnegie Hill, one of the city's most desirable residential neighborhoods. 86th Street between Lexington and Second Avenue is still a busy place most of the time for shopping but not primarily for its nightlife. A large branch of Gimbel's Department Store was converted to a luxury apartment house on the northwest corner of Lexington Avenue and 86th Street, one block north of this beige-brick apartment house that sports a rather complex façade in the tradition of several nearby towers of about the same generation on 86th Street between Third and Second Avenues.

This beige-brick building has 102 apartments and a very handsome and large wood-paneled lobby with a canopied entrance with double automatic sliding glass entrance doors and a concierge. It has no sidewalk landscaping and is retail space along the avenue is occupied by Blockbusters.

The building is distinguished by its many bay windows of dark glass. Piers of the bay windows have angled windows at their tops and bottoms and the piers are separated by curved balconies divided by thin protruding piers. The building s corner at Lexington Avenue is rounded. The variety of curves and angles might seem as a geometric jig-saw puzzle to some but the overall composition of the building holds together quite well and energetically.

Some of that energy no doubt comes from the fact that further to the east on the same block is a fire station. Also further down the block at the Third Avenue corner is 185 East 85th Street, a high-rise apartment building with many almost-circular balconies that perhaps explain the context of this building's curved balconies.

There is a lot of bustle at this location as an express subway station is at 86th Street along and within a block or so are Radio Shack, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and Staples stores as well the Ramaz School. There is excellent cross-town bus service on 86th Street and this building is not far from many other private schools and cultural institutions.

The building has 11 studio apartments, 68 one-bedroom apartments, 22 two-bedroom apartments and one three-bedroom apartment. It was acquired by Laurence Gluck of Stellar Management for $28,500,000 in 2003 from Epurio N.V., an overseas partnership. Mr. Gluck also owns Independence Plaza, the very handsome 1,340-unit complex in TriBeCa. In January, 2000, he was one of the purchasers from Leona Helmsley for a reported $120 million of the older three-building residential complex known as Park West Village on Central Park West at 96th Street. The previous year he and Arthur Wrubel bought the 37-story building at 14 Wall Street for about $100 million from GE Investments.


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 22 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 16 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 16 / 39


CityRealty Rating Reference

  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #37 Rated condo - Carnegie Hill
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Key Details
One Manhattan Square
between Pike Slip & Rutgers Slip
Lower East Side
Enjoy breathtaking views and unparalleled amenities, including spa with 75-foot saltwater pool, hot tub, sauna and a tranquility garden.
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