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213 West 23rd Street: Review and Ratings

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Carter Horsley
Review of 213 West 23rd Street by Carter Horsley

One of Chelsea's landmark buildings, this 9-story structure for many decades housed the McBurney Branch of the YMCA until the 100-year-old building was converted to condominium apartments in 2004.

The YMCA of Greater New York sold this building to Time Equities Inc., which is headed by Francis Greenburger, and its former residential annex at 206 West 24th Street to Common Ground Community, a non-profit organization, in 2000 for $17,150,000 so that it could move to new quarters at 125 West 14th Street on the ground and lower levels of a former Armory site.

Time Equities converted the handsome structure on 23rd Street into condominium apartments while Common Ground refurbished the property's residential annex structure on 24th Street as a supportive residence for homeless and low-income single individuals and for a "Foyer" program for 40 young people aged 18-24 who have left the foster care system, or are otherwise at risk of homelessness.

The McBurney building had been named for Robert Ross McBurney, the first chief executive of the YMCA. The McBurney branch was first constructed on 23rd Street at Fourth Avenue in 1869 but moved to this located in 1904.

In 1999, the YMCA started a $3 million renovation of the McBurney building but discovered that renovation would cost much more and decided to sell the building. At the time of the building's sale, it still had about a dozen low-income residents who will stay on in the Common Ground facility.

Mr. Greenburger has been quoted as saying that where the two buildings were connected, "they were severed," adding that "I was only interested in the 23rd Street building…The exterior is very rich and historic, the ceiling heights are good and we think it's a wonderful location."

The building is adjacent to the handsome Muhlenberg branch of the New York Public Library designed by Carrere & Hastings in 1906, and across the street from the fabled Chelsea Hotel at 222 West 23rd Street that was designed by Hubert, Pirsson & Co., in 1885.

According to an November 8, 2002 article by Rachelle Garbarine in The New York Times, Time Equities hoped to find "an athletic buyer for a quadruplex apartment that would come with its own indoor basketball court, running track, swimming pool, steam room and sauna." "Or three energetic buyers who could choose from seven projected layouts that would income some of those amenities."

"The apartments with their own athletic facilities," the article continued, "would be carved from the top three floors, and would have approximately 6,125 to 20,515 square feet and cost an estimated $5 million to $12.5 million. A rooftop tennis court could also be built....The plan also calls for the lower floors to be divided into 13 apartments with about 775 to 2,680 square feet, priced from $540,000 to $2 million."

K Square Designs of Manhattan is the architect for the condominium conversions.

A David Barton gym occupies the building s lower three floors.

Apartments feature a Sub-Zero refrigerator and wine cooler, a Wolf range, a Miele dishwasher, marble baths, and wide plank wood floors.

The building, which has a handsome portico with large columns and a step-up-entrance, has a doorman and a concierge.


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 28 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 21 / 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
  • #50 Rated condo - Chelsea
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One Manhattan Square
between Pike Slip & Rutgers Slip
Lower East Side
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