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Grand Madison, 225 Fifth Avenue

Between West 26th Street & West 27th 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.
 

This very handsome Renaissance Revival-style building at 225 Fifth Avenue was acquired in 2004 for about $125 million by Elad Properties and converted to 192 condominium apartments and renamed the Grand Madison.

It occupies the entire blockfront on the avenue between 25th and 26th streets and its south side overlooks Madison Square Park.

For several decades, the building had extremely elegant and lavish showrooms for the “gift” industry.

The building was originally designed by Francis H. Kimball and Harry E. Donnell as the Brunswick Hotel. Mr. Kimball’s other projects include the Montauk Club in Brooklyn and 111 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

Gal Nauer Architects and Perkins Eastman designed the residential conversion.

Bottom Line

This building was good enough to showcase for years some of the world’s most expensive giftware, so it’s not surprising that given the renaissance of the Madison Square Park district it is a very attractive and dignified residential building.

Description

The red-brick building has a handsome cornice, a limestone base and numerous balconies.

Amenities

The building has 24-hour doormen and concierges, a roof deck, individual storage units, video security and a landscaped courtyard.

The first Derek Jeter-branded gym opened in the building in 2008. The 28,000-square-foot gym, part of the 24 Hour Fitness chain, has extensive cardio equipment and free weights, plus a Derek Jeter pro shop, group exercise classes, a sauna, locker room with laundry service, and Starbucks coffee. However, it does not have batting cages.

The building also has a live-in supintendent, a package room, central air-conditioning, a library, cold storage and a laundry.

The building has no garage.

Apartments

Many of the apartments have 10-foot-high ceilings.

Apartment 10D is a one-bedroom unit that has an 18-foot entrance gallery that leads past 10-foot-long home office to a 29-foot-long living/dining room with an open kitchen with an island.

Apartment 7E is a two-bedroom unit with a 33-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 26-foot-long living/dining room with an open kitchen with an island.  The unit also has a 11-foot-long home office.

Apartment 7J is a three-bedroom unit is a three-bedroom unit that has a 12-foot-wide gallery that opens onto a 37-foot-long living room with an open kitchen with an island.

Penthouse S has a foyer that opens onto a 24-foot-long living/dining room with an open kitchen and a wet-bar alcove and a master bedroom on the lower level and a three bedrooms on the upper level with a 33-foot-long north terrace, a 50-foot-long south terrace and a 26-foot-long library on the upper level.

Penthouse R has a 29-foot-long living/dining room with an open kitchen and two bedrooms on the lower level and a 21-foot-long master bedroom and 15-foot-long terrace on the upper level.

History

Built in 1906 as the Brunswick Hotel, the building was then the home of the Coaching Club, which held carriage parades up 5th Avenue.

Formerly known as the Gift Building, it overlooks Madison Square Park.

In an August 22, 2004 article in The New York Times by Dennis Hevesi, Miki Naftali, the president of Elad Properties, was quoted as crediting the renovation of Madison Square Park with the new interest in the residential development. In 1997, business leaders in the area including Danny Meyer, the owner of 11 Madison Park and Tabla restaurants in the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Annex building, as well as Shake Shack in the heart of Madison Square Park, created the Campaign for the New Madison Square Park, which raised $5 million for renovations and a $6 million endowment.

"The park restoration upgraded the whole area," Mr. Naftali was quoted as stating in the article, adding that "without it, I would not have been as flexible in paying what I paid for the building."

The article reported that prices at 225 Fifth Avenue, which was renamed Grand Madison, "will range from $1.6 million for a one-bedroom unit to $5 million for the penthouse."

At about the same time that it was converting this property, Elad also bought the Plaza Hotel further up Fifth Avenue and converted many of the hotel rooms into condominiums. The Plaza reopened in 2008.

Location

The Grand Madison is surrounded by many of the city's finest buildings such as the Flatiron Building on 23rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower at 24th Street and Madison Avenue, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Annex on Madison Avenue between 24th and 25th Streets, the New York State Appellate Division Courthouse on Madison Avenue at 25th Street, and the New York Life Insurance Company tower on Madison Avenue at 26th Street.

The area is well service by public transportation and there are many restaurants in the area including the impressive Eataly in the former Toy Building at 200 Fifth Avenue.

 

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