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241 FIFTH, 241 Fifth Avenue

Between East 27th Street & East 28th Street

Carter Horsley
Reviewed by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

The 20-story building at 241 Fifth Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets in the Madison Square North neighborhood began as a 76-unit residential condominium project and then was changed to a 100-unit hotel and finally back to a 46-unit residential condominium development.

Dan Shavolian and Jack Hazan acquired the property for $26.5 million in 2007 from Avraham Sibony and they planned a hotel for the site.  Mr. Sibony had bought the property, a four-story building that had been erected in 1968, in 2005 for $10.8 million.

Mr. Shavolian and Mr. Hazan retained the original plans for Mr. Sibony that had been made by Eran Chan of Perkins Eastman Architects and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as the property is within the Madison Avenue North Historic District.

It was completed in 2013 by Victor Homes, a unit of Eclogue Management of Israel, which paid $20 million for the property in 2011.

Bottom Line

This attractive, mid-block building reinforces the Fifth Avenue corridor in Midtown South between Madison Square Park and 34th Street.

Description

The building’s design had been described by many of the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s members as “intriguing” and “interesting” and it employed four materials: a “rainscreen” terracotta system, an opaque baked and painted glass, clear glass and silver-colored metal panel coping. It has a symmetrical façade on the avenue but an asymmetrical façade on its south “party” wall, which has considerable exposure. In addition, it “floats” its setback upper floors in a form that a couple of commissioners described by “Cubist.”

Eran Chen of Perkins Eastman, the building’s architect, said that the design attempts to make a meaningful transition between a higher building just to its north and the 7-story building just to its south and the 5-story Museum of Sex on the northeast corner at 27th Street. Mr. Chen subsequently became a partner of ODA Architects, which finished designing the project.

Commissioner Richard Olcott said at the commission’s hearing that he found the design “quite intriguing” and “lively” and that “it seems like the building wishes it was not standing at mid-block.”  Commissioner Stephen Byrnes added that he found the “vaporization” of windows on the south façade “provocative.”

The top of the building is cantilevered 6 feet forward toward Fifth Avenue. The building is 210 feet tall, not counting an elevator and staircase housing on the roof that adds an additional 8 feet or so.

The Fifth Avenue façade is “regular,” he continued, but the south façade has a staggered fenestration pattern in part reflecting regulations about “lot-line windows” that limit the number of windows above adjoining buildings on a gradual basis.

The building has a marquee over its revolving door entrance.

Lower floor units with southern exposures front on an interior courtyard.

The lobby has wire-brushed, white-oak walls and a polished concrete floor.

Amenities

The building has a concierge, a full-time doorman, a roof deck and a fitness center on the second floor.

Apartments

Ceilings are between 9 and 10 feet high but in some kitchens are 8 feet.

Apartment C on the 10th through the 14th floors is a one-bedroom unit with 593 square feet of space.

Apartment B on the 10th through the 14th floors is a three-bedroom unit with 1,368 square feet of space.

Apartments have rift and quartered solid white oak flooring.

Kitchens have reverse-painted glass cabinetry, Basaltina stone slab countertops with a textured porcelain tile backsplash and a suite of Miele appliances.

Bathrooms have fixtures from the Zucchetti-Kos Faraway Collection.

Penthouse 20 is a 3-bedroom unit with 3,080 square feet of interior space and a 958-square foot terrace.

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