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The O'Neill Building, 655 Sixth Avenue

Between 20th Street & 21st Street   |    Chelsea

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Key Details

  • Condo
  • Built in 1900
  • 49 Apartments
  • 8 Floors
  • Size From # avail
  • 2 Beds $2,995,000 1
  • 3 Beds $4,295,000 3
  • 4 Beds $12,500,000 1
  • Last updated May 25, 2018
  • View apartments for sale
$2,092 Avg. Price / Ft2
$82 Avg. Price / Ft2
  • Size Avg. Price # Sold
  • 1 BED $2,400,000 1
  • 2 BEDS $2,507,500 4
  • Avg. Price based on 5 closings during past 12 months Last updated May 26, 2018
  • View all recent sales
$1,842 Avg. Price / Ft2

Overview

84

The O'Neill Building, 655 Sixth Avenue has received a CityRealty Rating of 84, based on:

 
Architecture

Anything above 30 is remarkable, from 20-29 is distinguished and from 11-19 is average, while below 11 is below average.

 
Location

Anything above 27 is remarkable, from 18-26 is distinguished and from 9-17 is average, while below 9 is below average.

 
Features

Anything above 22 is remarkable, from 16-21 is distinguished and from 9-15 is average, while below 9 is below average.

Rating Summary

30
Out of 44
+
25
Out of 36
+
21
Out of 39
+
8
=
84
Out of 119
 

Architecture Rating: Points Breakdown

Exterior:
Architectural Masterpiece 8 out of 8 points
Retail Quality:
Attractive 4 out of 5 points
Canopy Entrance:
Dramatic 3 out of 3 points
Alterations:
Well Done 1 out of 2 points
Plaza Or Atrium:
None 0 out of 3 points
Contextual Design:
Yes and Good 2 out of 3 points
Skyline:
Highly Visible 2 out of 2 points
Local Visibility:
Highly Visible 2 out of 2 points
Watertank:
Attractively Enclosed 2 out of 2 points
Airconditioners:
Not Allowed 2 out of 2 points
Free Standing:
Corner 1 out of 2 points
Gargoyles:
None 0 out of 2 points
Garden:
None 0 out of 2 points
Fenestration:
Consistent 1 out of 1 points
Landmark:
Part of Historic District 1 out of 2 points
Unity:
Unified Design 1 out of 1 points
Illumination:
None 0 out of 1 points
Water Element:
None 0 out of 1 points

Location Rating: Points Breakdown

Street Ambience:
Outstanding 5 out of 5 points
Distance To Neighborhood Center:
Less than 40 blocks 2 out of 5 points
Views:
Impressive 3 out of 4 points
Neighborhood Ambience:
Very Attractive 3 out of 3 points
Traffic Noise:
A lot 0 out of 3 points
Protected Views:
Many 2 out of 2 points
Distance To Subway:
3-5 Short Blocks 1 out of 2 points
Firedepartment Noise:
No Noise 2 out of 2 points
Distance To Supermarket:
Less than 3 Short Blocks 2 out of 2 points
Distance To Park:
3-6 Short Blocks 1 out of 2 points
Distance To Water:
More than 6 Short Blocks 0 out of 2 points
Shopping:
5 or less Short Blocks 2 out of 2 points
Schools:
No Noise 1 out of 1 points
Noise From Nightlife:
None 1 out of 1 points

Features Rating: Points Breakdown

Lobby:
Spacious 4 out of 5 points
Units Per Floor:
3-4 3 out of 5 points
Ceiling:
9-11 Feet 2 out of 4 points
Balconies:
Some 1 out of 3 points
Health Club:
Yes 1 out of 2 points
Private Gardens:
None 0 out of 2 points
Storage Rooms:
Minimal 1 out of 2 points
Bay Windows:
Some 1 out of 1 points
Fireplaces:
None 0 out of 1 points
Door Person:
Yes 1 out of 1 points
Concierge:
Yes 1 out of 1 points
Elevator Person:
None 0 out of 1 points
Recreational Roof:
None 0 out of 1 points
Driveway:
None 0 out of 1 points
Maids Room:
None 0 out of 1 points
Catering:
None 0 out of 1 points
Garage:
None 0 out of 1 points
Mixed Use:
Yes 1 out of 1 points
Non Rectilinear Form:
Yes 1 out of 1 points
Unusual Layouts:
Some 1 out of 1 points
Prewar:
Yes 1 out of 1 points
Other Amenities:
Many 2 out of 2 points
  • #11 Rated condo - Chelsea
How was this building rated?

This very handsome cast-iron structure was erected in 1887 as the Hugh O'Neill Dry Goods Building and is one of the highlights of the city's "Ladies Mile" retail stretch along the Avenue of the Americas south of 23rd Street that flourished at the end of the 19th Century.

Designed by Mortimer C. Merritt, it originally had tall, beehive-style domes atop the almost cylindrical towers at the corners of 20th and 21st Streets. The domes were eventually removed but its conversion to 49 condominium apartments, completed in 2007, included their restoration.

The building's name is emblazoned in relief on its pediment.

It is the oldest and most handsome of the major department store buildings along Ladies' Mile and was complemented in scale and grandeur by the Siegel-Cooper Dry Goods Store at 616-632 Avenue of the Americas, which was designed by DeLemos & Cordes and erected in 1897, and by the Simpson Crawford & Simpson dry goods store at 641 Avenue of the Americas, which was designed by William H. Hume & Son and erected in 1900.

This building has a five-story base topped by a one-story pediment story in the center of the frontage along the avenue.

In an article in The New York Times, Christopher Gray noted that the building originally had four floors and that the fifth story was added in 1895, adding that "in 1906, the O'Neill store merged with Adams Dry Goods, a one-time competitor on the block to the north....But the merged company closed in 1907, as garment-manufacturing firms invaded the side streets and drove out retail patronage."

"By the 1920s all the giant stories had been converted to lofts and manufacturing. A 1940's photograph shows the old O'Neill store occupied by the Central Time Clock Company, a machinery exchange and similar businesses. By that time, the domes had been demolished," Mr. Gray wrote.

The condo conversion by Miki Naftali of Elad Properties included a two-story roof addition and was designed by Cetra/Ruddy and the plan was approved by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission as the building falls within the Ladies' Mile Historic District, which was created in 1989. The property was acquired by Elad in 2003 for about $37 million.

The building's façade is highly articulated with Corinthian columns and pilasters and the cast-iron façade was painted white to have the appearance of stone.

O'Neill came from Belfast and opened a dry-goods store on Broadway north of Union Square after the Civil War and in 1870 moved his store to its present location, eight years before the elevated train appeared on the avenue. Demolition of the "El" began in 1938.

His new store occupied several modest buildings on the site that he had painted yellow with black lines and brown trimmings, according to Mr. Gray.

The restoration of the domes pleased many preservationists but their large bulbous forms in fact are more quaint than beautiful and the domeless building had a very appealing and modern affect. One could almost compare it to the purity and strength and good design of projects by architect Richard Meier.

The lower three floors of the building have taller and broader windows than those on the higher floors.

The addition of two penthouse floors, setback from the street wall, to the existing building results from a zoning lot merger and easement agreement with the Congregation of Shearith Israel, the owners of the Shearith Israel Cemetery on 21st Street.

The building is across the avenue from the landmarked Church of the Holy Communion complex, which is occupied by a nightclub.

This neighborhood is convenient to Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and the Flatiron District and abounds in restaurants. The area has undergone significant upgrading and several new residential towers have sprouted above 23rd Street in the former flower district along the avenue.

The area has good public transportation.

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Nearby Subway Stations

  1. M
  2. F
at 6th Ave 0.12 miles
  1. 1
at 7th Ave 0.19 miles
  1. 2
  2. 3
  3. L
at 6th Ave and 16th 0.25 miles
  1. N
  2. R
at Broadway 0.26 miles
  1. C
  2. E
at 8th Ave and 25th 0.37 miles
  1. A
at 8th Ave and 16th 0.39 miles
  1. 6
at Park Ave 0.41 miles
  1. Q
  2. 4
  3. 5
at Broadway and 16th 0.44 miles

Carter Horsley's Review

The O'Neill Building, 655 Sixth Avenue Carter Horsley's Building Review
"This very handsome cast-iron structure was erected in 1887 as the Hugh O'Neill Dry Goods Building and is one of the highlights of the city's "Ladies Mile" retail stretch along the Avenue of the Americas south of 23rd Street that flourished at the end of the 19th Century." Read Carter's Full Review

The pros & cons

Pros
  • Interesting architecture
  • Convenient to Flatiron District- Chelsea and Greenwich Village
  • Excellent local shopping
  • Concierge
  • Large apartments
  • High ceilings
  • Close to Subway
  • Renovation replaced missing corner domes
  • Within historic district
  • Convenient public transportation
Cons
  • Within historic district
  • No sidewalk landscaping
  • No balconies
  • No garage
  • Considerable traffic
  • No roof deck
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Famous Residents at The O'Neill Building, 655 Sixth Avenue

 

Pricing Comparison of Similar Buildings

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The O'Neill Building, 655 Sixth Avenue - 10 year Sales History

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The O'Neill Building, 655 Sixth Avenue 12 Month Sales Summary

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Past 12 Months
$1,842
AVG Price / ft2, based on 5 Sales
 

Loading Recent Closings Table

The O'Neill Building, 655 Sixth Avenue Alternate Addresses

  • 655 Avenue of the Americas
  • Hugh ONeill Building

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In the Neighborhood: What’s Available & Sales Stats

Not enough data available to generate chart.
  • 320 Available for Sale
  • $2,129 Avg. Price / Ft2
  • $4,087,417 Avg. Price
  • $2,850,000 Median Price
  1. Most Expensive Walker Tower Apt PENTHOUSE1 | $45,000,000
    Price / ft2 $7,557
  2. Least Expensive Louis Philippe Condo Apt 4B | $615,000
Not enough data available to generate chart.
  • 120 Available for Rent
  • $83 Avg. Price / Ft2
  • $9,250 Avg. Price
  • $7,000 Median Price
  1. Most Expensive 456 West 19th Street Apt PHH | $40,000
  2. Least Expensive Louis Philippe Condo Apt 3N | $2,400
Data is based on sales from past 12 months and only transactions for which we have approximate square footage information available are included above
Not enough data available to generate chart.
  • 318 Total Sales
  • $1,930 Avg. Price / Ft2
  • $3,229,655 Avg. Price
  • $2,223,250 Median Price
  1. Most Expensive The Getty Apt PH | $59,058,500
    Price / ft2 $5,826
  2. Least Expensive 555W23 Apt N8M | $480,000
    Price / ft2 $694

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