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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

The owner of 241 Fifth Avenue, a 52-foot-wide, mid-block property between 27th and 28th Streets, has retained Peter Ashe Real Estate to market it with a sales price of $26,500,000.

On June 13, the Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved a certificate of appropriateness for a planned 19-story residential condominium development on the site, which is now occupied by a four-story, pink-granite-and-reflective-glass commerecial building that was erected in 1968.

The owner of the site is 241 5th Ave., LLC, of which Avraham Sibony is a principal.

The proposed building is planned to have 76 apartments and the sale includes the plans for it by Perkins Eastman.

The quite bold design for the building employs four materials: a "rainscreen" terracotta system, an opaque baked and painted glass, clear glass and silver-colored metal panel coping. The building has a symmetrical facade on the avenue but an asymmetrical facade 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 at an earlier hearing as "Cubist."

The plan was revised by Eran Chen of Perkins Eastman to meet some of the suggestions voiced by the commission.

The revised design now calls for a "stronger" base that is now 3 stories rather two stories high to create "a more humanized, personalized scale to the bottom of the building," according to Mr. Chen. The base is now demarcated by a similar "floating" recess that occurs higher in the building, he said, adding that other changes include use of a more textured terracotta facing, a deeper articulation of the facades.

Vice chairman of the commission Pablo E. Vengoechea said that the revised design "was very responsive to our concerns, very subtle but significant," adding that it is an "excellent building."

The design attempted 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.

The property falls within the Madison Avenue North Historic District.

The building rises 14-stories, then has a setback for one floor and the remainder of the top of the building is cantilevered 6 feet forward towards 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 design by Perkins Eastman has its most adventurous design on its "party" wall, which faces south, whereas its "primary" facade, fronting on Fifth Avenue, is more conventional, albeit quite modern.

Many of the most famous commercial buildings in the area are in the process of being converted to residential uses such as the MetLife Tower at 1 Madison Avenue, the International Toy Center at 200 Fifth Avenue and 1107 Broadway, and the Gift Building at 225 Fifth Avenue and there are several conversions also progressing nearby on Madison Avenue.

Perkins Eastman is the architect on several other current projects in Manhattan including the Centria, the Cielo and the Grand Madison.
Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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