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Every residence will feature the Osbee Smart Home system (All images via Solow Building Company/ Richard Meier & Partners Architects) Every residence will feature the Osbee Smart Home system (All images via Solow Building Company/ Richard Meier & Partners Architects)
Sales quietly launched in March at the Solow Building Company's first condominium, 685 First Avenue, a 43-story (460 ft) tower in Murray Hill that employs the firm's trademark reflective black glass facade. Mostly known for rental buildings, founder and CEO Sheldon Solow decided to stray from tradition and create the firm's first condo and rental combo, which typically allows developers to recoup investments faster.
148 one- to four-bedroom condominiums can be found on floors 27-42, which ensures each residence will get sweeping views of the East River and Manhattan skyline. Floors 3-26 will hold 408 rentals.
Views from the condominium residences
The building was designed by Richard Meier & Partners Architects (before the #MeToo scandal) and the lead designer for the building is Dukho Yeon, an associate partner at the firm. “Minimalistic in form, yet architecturally refined, the striking presence of 685 First Avenue is derived from its materiality of black glass and all its details. We look forward to the completion of this significant addition to the Manhattan skyline,” said Yeon, in a recent press release.
685 First Avenue facade
With a number of new condo listings now added to the market, today, we're taking a look at the one-of-a-kind feature that can only be found within the forthcoming building: a fully-integrated home automation system. This marks the first residential tower in NYC to use this technology.

Designed by Osbee and manufactured by Crestron, the built-in smart home system gives you control over temperature, lighting, audio, visual, and your motorized window shades, which come with every residence. The best part? Instead of downloading separate apps to control these different elements in your home, all can be controlled within a single app – called "Pyng" – on your iOS or Android, or verbally through Alexa. Wall-mounted touch screens and keypads are also strategically placed in the homes.
Osbee Smart Home system
Other smart home system perks include creating custom "scenes" that can be programmed to occur routinely or whenever you want. These scenes include preprogrammed music, lighting, temperature, and more. Imagine waking up to a "Morning" scene – your coffee starts brewing, the shades gradually rise, the temperature in your room gets warmer, and your alarm gets gradually louder.
Osbee also provides one-on-one service to each owner and can set up additional technologies that will work with your smart home system, including speakers, televisions, and security cameras. And matching the minimalistic exterior, Osbee will install these seamlessly into your home, resulting in rooms that are virtually free of electronic clutter (no wires to trip on!).
Open living and kitchen area with floor-to-ceiling windows
Marble kitchens
Master bedroom
Master bath
As for the condos themselves, they each feature open layouts, floor-to-ceiling windows, white oak flooring, and kitchens equipped with white Calacatta Lincoln marble counters, Dornbracht fixtures, and Gaggenau appliances. A first-of-its-kind heating system is hidden beneath the floorboards along the exterior of the walls to maintain the perfect temperature.
Luxurious amenities include a 70' indoor lap pool, sauna, steam room, fitness center with a private training studio, a screening room, a double-height lobby with a featured art wall, and a resident lounge and game room. 685 First Avenue also offers plenty of privacy with its private underground parking garage accessible through a private driveway.
The double-height lobby
Lap pool
685 First Avenue is located just south of the United Nations Headquarters and a few blocks away from Grand Central, the East River Ferry, and Midtown's best dining and shopping destinations. Current availabilities range from $1.52M for a one-bedroom, one-bath unit to $8.18M for an exceptional four-bedroom, four-bath spread that spans nearly 3,000 square feet. Occupancy is expected in early 2019.
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Additional Info About the Building

Content Specialist Sandra Herrera Sandra Herrera is a writer, editor, and graphic designer based in Brooklyn, NY.
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