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Features

Two Fifty West 81st Street (right) and The Chamberlain (left) are both rising within the same Upper West Side micro-neighborhood.
In a city as busy as New York, a record-breaking tower tops out one day, only to be outdone by a new foundation poured the next day. In the spirit of some healthy competition, CityRealty has been monitoring the progress at two Upper West Side condominium towers, Two Fifty West 81st and The Chamberlain, both of which are nearing completion. Though they both share heights of 18 stories, the quintessential Manhattan zip code, and even kitchens by Smallbone of Devizes, the two luxury condominiums differ in more ways than one. We’re taking a peek at just where the two diverge and outdo one another!
The Lobbies
We’re starting off our contest in the most organic way, with the lobby. Situated at 269 West 87th Street, The Chamberlain’s elegant space is detailed with Shagreen paneling, white travertine flooring, a custom concierge desk, and a sculptural contemporary lighting installation. Extra points for the subtle ramped entry, which makes traveling with strollers, suitcases, and other everyday needs simple.
The elegant Chamberlain lobby features white travertine flooring and Shagreen paneling.
Not to be outdone, the lobby at Two Fifty West 81st features a 14-foot-high dome ceiling, a fireplace with imported marble surround, and a custom bronze-accented wood and marble reception desk. While both spaces are elegant to their core, you just can’t beat the sense of welcoming that a fireplace brings on a cold New York winter’s night, so Two Fifty takes this prize.
A welcoming fireplace in the lobby secures this round for Two Fifty.
The Amenities
Now to examine the amenity packages as a whole, the two match pretty evenly. Where Two Fifty 81st Street has a sky terrace with an outdoor grill and vistas beyond, The Chamberlain offers a garden courtyard with a living green wall and year-round flora. The latter also offers a library lounge, a fitness center, a multi-purpose sports court, and a children’s playroom. However, Two Fifty boasts all that plus a music recording and practicing studio, so the more southern tower takes the cake once again.
The music and recording studio at Two Fifty
The Chamberlain's courtyard garden
Two Fifty's sky terrace
The Residences and Prices
Price-wise, the Chamberlain’s 39 units are going for an average price per square foot of $2,012. Inside, there are currently nine residences for sale, with a two-bedroom for $2.45 million, 5 three-bedrooms starting from $3.55 million, 2 four-bedrooms starting from $4.84 million, and a five-bedroom penthouse for $10.4 million.
Meanwhile, there are currently seven residences for sale at Two Fifty, ranging from a two-bedroom for $3.925 million to a five-bedroom for $14.75 million. The building's average price per square foot of $2,969 yields this category to the slightly more reasonable Chamberlain.
The old adage rings true: you’re only as good as your townhouse. In this case, despite some mighty fine penthouses on both sides, only the Chamberlain offers the opportunity to live in near-complete privacy with an exclusive terrace and overlooks to the lush garden courtyard.
The Chamberlain's kitchen by Smallbone of Devizes
Two Fifty's kitchen, also by Smallbone of Devizes
Townhouses at The Chamberlain offer private terraces.
Exterior Design
To move on to exterior design, The Chamberlain now boasts a newly completed exterior, boasting detailed masonry and multiple setbacks – the masterful design of FXCollaborative. Not to be outdone, Two Fifty West 81st is the brainchild of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, punctuating its classic silhouette also with multiple setbacks and decorative window openings. Similar in their elegance and stature, we’ll give this round to the Chamberlain simply for completing its exterior first.
250-West-81st-Street-04 Two Fifty West 81st Street as of mid-May (CityRealty)
Two Fifty West 81st Street
Neighborhood-wise, The Chamberlain and Two Fifty West 81st both share a zip code, but the latter occupies a slightly busier intersection while its counterpart stands mid-block on a quieter street. That said, Two Fifty is just a block from Zabars and a subway station, and is just that much closer to the American Museum of Natural History. There’s no time to sleep on smoked fish and dinosaur exhibits, so Two Fifty wins this round.
That leaves us with a tie! It’s a tough feat to pick apart these graciously adorned collections of residences. Be sure to check out the remaining availabilities for yourself. In the meantime, explore more of the Riverside Drive/West End Avenue micro-neighborhood the two towers call home.
Looking up at the Chamberlain as of mid-May (CityRealty)
The Chamberlain's facade is now complete.
Contributing Writer Katy Cornell Katy Cornell is a Long Island native with a passion for writing about real estate in the big city. She recently graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in English and is a frequent contributor to CityRealty's Market Insight and NYC real estate blog 6sqft.
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