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260 Park Avenue South: Review and Ratings

between East 20th Street & East 21st Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 260 Park Avenue South by Carter Horsley

The handsome 8-story building at 260 Park Avenue South on the southwest corner at 21st Street served as the headquarters of the United Federation of Teachers for about 30 years until it was sold in 2003 along with an adjoining 12-story building at 48 West 21st Street, also owned by the federation, to Max Capital, led by principal Adam Hochfelder, and developer Yitzchak Tessler of Linjan Associates LLC, and the co-investment division of Insignia Financial Group.

260 Park Avenue South was an 8-story building that dates to about 1917 with about 82,200 square feet and 48 East 21st Street is a 12-story building with about 123,000 square feet.

While the developers added four floors to the eight-story neo-Classical façade on Park Avenue South, they carved a 12-story niche from the back of the building on 21st Street to provide more "light and air" to rear apartments and to create a rock garden.

The new owners converted the buildings to 86 condominium apartments in 2004.

Karl Fischer Architects was the architect for the conversion.

Bottom Line

Slicing and dicing is part of the art of residential development in the city and it’s a lot easier when, like here, the location in the heart of the Flatiron District of Midtown South has become very desirable.

Description

The building on Park Avenue South has a two-story limestone base with broad windows beneath a stringcourse with five bays of three-narrow and tall windows each. There is another stringcourse above the 7th floor.  The 21st Street building has a different fenestration pattern and its floors are not aligned with those in the Park Avenue South building.

The building has no sidewalk landscaping.

 

Amenities

This development has a 24-hour concierge service and a health club and there are laundry facilities on each floor. The two buildings now share a lobby on 21st Street that overlooks a rock garden and three elevator shafts permit no more than five units on a landing. 

There is parking for about 100 cars and there is also a live-in superintendent and a bicycle room and a roof deck. 

Pets are permitted.

Apartments

Many ceilings are 13 feet high and most bathrooms have two sinks and a six-foot bathtub. 

One of the penthouses has a swimming pool. 

Apartment 10D is a three-bedroom unit with a 15-foot-wide foyer that leads to a 24-foot-long living/dining room with a 12-foot-long open kitchen with an island. 

Apartment 10I is a two-bedroom unit that has a 17-foot-long living room that opens onto a 9-foot-long dining room with a 10-foot-long kitchen. 

Apartment 11G is a two-bedroom unit that has a 24-foot-long living/dining room with an open, pass-through kitchen. 

Apartment 2E is a duplex apartment with a 9-foot-wide entry foyer on the lower level that opens to a double-height, 21-foot-long living/dining room with a 9-foot-long open kitchen and an 11-foot-long home office.  The upper level has an 18-foot-long loft mezzanine. 

Penthouse A is a three-bedroom unit that has a 10-foot-wide entry foyer that leads to a 15-foot-wide office/bedroom and then to a long hallway that leads to a 37-foot-wide living room that opens onto a 20-foot-long dining room next to a 15-side open, windowed kitchen with an island. 

History

Mr. Tessler's other projects include 240 Park Avenue South, 150 Nassau Street and 66 Leonard Street. 

This neighborhood abounds in restaurants and stores and is convenient to movie theaters and Union Square Park. There is excellent public transportation nearby although traffic is heavy in this area. 

Park Avenue South is distinguished by numerous attractive, mid-rise, commercial buildings that were erected in the first third of the 20th Century. Many were renovated during the renaissance of the "Flatiron" district in the 1980s and 1990s. That "Midtown South" renaissance was spurred by the district's lower office rents and large retail spaces that were taken over by many restaurants that became very popular. 

The area has always had a good residential base because of the proximity of Gramercy Park and Madison Square Park. 

The Federation represents about 140,000 teachers, guidance counselors, school librarians, secretaries and other educators in the New York City public school system. 

The federation decided in 2002 to relocate to Lower Manhattan and bought 50 Broadway and leased 52 Broadway. 

According to a January 16, 2002 article in a Dow Jones Newswire Real Estate Report by Janet Morrissey, "The new sites, which include a 37-story building at 50 Broadway and a 19-story adjoining building at 52 Broadway, will offer 740,000 square feet of space, more than double its current space ... The union expects to purchase the one site and lease the second site for roughly the same amount of money it fetches from selling its current properties ... 'When we moved in 30 years ago, this was not a fashionable neighborhood. It was, how should I say, dingy,'...[Randi Weingarten, president of the union] said. 'Now the sidewalks are awash in yuppies' and the neighborhood is trendy, she said."

Rating

24
Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 24 / 44

+
26
Out of 36

Location Rating: 26 / 36

+
19
Out of 39

Features Rating: 19 / 39

+
8
=
77

CityRealty Rating Reference

 
Architecture
  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
 
Location
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
 
Features
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #20 Rated condo - Flatiron/Union Square
 
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