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The Belaire, 524 East 72nd Street: Review and Ratings

between York Avenue & East River Drive View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 524 East 72nd Street by Carter Horsley

This handsome, 50-story condominium tower at 524 East 72nd Street is one of the most attractive on the Upper East Side. 

Designed by Frank Williams and Associates for a development team headed by William Zeckendorf Jr., with Kumagai Gumi, a Japanese company, the tower's red-brick façade is a nicely modeled, slender slab. Its top culminates in several, terraced setbacks that give it a distinct and asymmetrical look. 

Completed in 1988, this offers the most unobstructed views of the group of high-rise towers that sprung up in the immediate vicinity following the move of Sotheby's, the auction house, from Madison Avenue in 1980 to an unattractive warehouse-like structure at the York Avenue corner of this block that was originally erected as a cigar warehouse for Lorillard Tobacco Company and was later occupied by Eastman Kodak before being redesigned for Sotheby’s by Lundquist & Stonehill. 

Sotheby's subsequently planned to erect a very large, medium-size tower on its avenue site designed by architect Michael Graves, but then abandoned the project in favor of a move to the redevelopment of the New York Coliseum at Columbus Circle. 

Sotheby's, however, eventually backed out of that plan and decided to build something modest in 1988 designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox at its existing site, which would mean that this tower's views to the west were not too compromised by the auction house. 

The lower 14-floors of the red-brick apartment building are used by the nearby Hospital for Special Surgery and designed for its use by Ulrich Franzen and entered from 71st Street from a sunken landscaped plaza with a fountain. 

The top of the tower originally had about 180 units and now has 147 condominium apartments.

Bottom Line

The most attractive high-rise apartment building of a cluster that went up near the East River in the 70’s after Sotheby’s moved from Madison Avenue to York Avenue and 72nd Street just to the north of Hospital Alley. 

It has great views, but this area is isolated from subways, boutiques and parks.


The building has a canopied entrance near the east end of a curved cul-de-sac across the street from a handsome row of black-painted low-rise residential buildings. 

The building has four terraced penthouse apartments at its distinctive, asymmetrical top.


The handsome tower has a revolving door entrance, a 24-hour doorman, a garage, a health club and pool, a yoga studio, a conference room and a live-in superintendent.


Apartment 22E has a 7-foot-wide entry foyer across from a 7-foot-long enclosed kitchen and a 14-foot-long living room and a 16-foot-long bedroom, all of which overlook a very large terrace. 

Apartment H on floors 24 to 26 has an 8-foot-wide enclosed kitchen and an 18-foot-long living/sleeping room. 

Apartment 34ABG is a four-bedroom unit that has a 10-foot-long entry foyer and a 14-foot-long gallery that leads to a 25-foot-long corner living room next to a 17-foot-long dining room adjacent to a 12-foot-long pass-through kitchen.  

Apartment 37C is a two-bedroom unit that has a small entry foyer that opens past a 7-foot-long enclosed kitchen onto a 22-foot-long living room with a large bay window. 

Penthouse 1A is a two-bedroom unit with an office that has a 39-foot-long living/dining room with a fireplace and a wetbar and a two-step-down corner entertainment area. The apartment has a 12-foot-long enclosed kitchen with an 11-foot-long breakfast room and a 55-foot-long terrace. 

Penthouse 3 is a two-bedroom unit that has an entry foyer that opens into a large south-facing space that includes a 39-foot-long living room with a fireplace, an 18-foot-long den and a 21-foot-long dining room with a 20-foot-long terrace and an 8-foot-long breakfast area with a 28-foot-long terrace that is adjacent to the 28-foot-long kitchen. The apartment has a 23-foot-long master bedroom with a wrap-around terrace and two other bedrooms. 


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 30 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 26 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 22 / 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
  • #21 Rated condo - Upper East Side
  • #8 Rated condo - Lenox Hill
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Key Details
between Madison Avenue & Park Avenue South
Murray Hill
Own the Lifestyle Private full-floor residences • Floor-to-ceiling windows • 360-degree Manhattan views
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30 E 31 | Exterior View 30 E 31 | Interior View 30 E 31 | Interior View 30 E 31 | Interior Living and Kitchen 30 E 31 | Bedroom