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Carter's View

The handsome, 14-story, red-brick, Beth Israel Hospital Singer Division building at 170 East End Avenue that overlooked Carl Schurz Park across the avenue and the charming low-rise residential buildings of Henderson Place across 87th Street has been recently demolished and construction has started on a new 110-unit condominium apartment building on the site that extends from 87th to 88th Streets.

The new building will have a 19-story tower fronting on the avenue and two low-rise wings on the sidestreets with a large garden between them. The lower two floors of the complex will be faced with limestone and granite and the rest will be faced with limestone-colored pre-cast concrete. The center section of the tower on East Avenue above the entrance will be mostly glass.

Peter P. Marino + Associates is the architect.

In 2004, Beth Israel sold this building and two adjacent apartment buildings on 88th Street to Skyline Developers LLC, an affiliate of Garden Homes Development, which announced its intention to "create world-class, family-oriented luxury condominiums featuring spectacular views overlooking Carl Schurz, Gracie Mansion and the East River." The sales price was reported to be about $700 a buildable square foot, one of the highest on record for a residential project.

Skyline Developers LLC is the corporate umbrella investment vehicle for much of the principal activities of Orin Wilf. Mr. Wilf is a member of the Wilf organization whose business activities are known as Garden Homes and Garden Commercial Properties. In 1955, Harry and Joseph Wilf established Garden Homes to erect single-family houses in New Jersey and subsequently expanded to also develop condominium apartments, office buildings, shopping malls and hotels in the New York metropolitan region as well as in California, Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania and Delaware, Arizona and Israel.

Garden Homes Development is based in Short Hills, New Jersey and has operations in 37 states. Its other activities in New York City include condominium apartment conversions of properties at 280 Park South and 75 West Street. It is also converting 41 Broad Street for the Claremont Academy Preparatory School and converting 37 Wall Street to 350 rental apartments.

When completed late next year, the building will have a garage and a children's recreation zone that includes a toddler paint room, a computer area for preschoolers, and miniature golf, video games and billiards for older children. The building will also have a squash court and an interactive driving range.

The former hospital building was erected in 1929 as Doctors' Hospital and was acquired by Beth Israel Medical Center in 1987. Beth Israel is located on Stuyvesant Square at First Avenue and 16th Street and this facility was known as Beth Israel North and Beth Israel Herbert and Nell Singer Division and housed the Insall Scott Kelly Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and the Hyman-Newman Institute for Neurology & Neurosurgery. In 2001, the medical facility had about 210 beds and more than 800 employees. Beth Israel is operated by Continuum Health Care System, a conglomerate of hospitals that also includes Roosevelt Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, Long Island College Hospital and New York Eye & Ear Infirmary.

There is good cross-town bus service at 86th Street and First Avenue and two of the finest girls' schools in the city, Brearley and Chapin are a few blocks to the south.
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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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