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121-East-22nd-Street-03 121 E 22ND as of early October (CityRealty)
A once-unremarkable corner in Gramercy is giving way to the east side’s boldest condo addition in decades. 121 E 22ND is a two-wing development consisting of a black and brawny 18-floor building on 23rd Street and a more delicate 13-floor building on 22nd Street. Together, their designs respond to the prevailing realities of the Manhattan street grid, where corner conditions are golden, tree-lined side streets are respites, and hidden-away courtyards are private escapes.
The venture is being developed by the always busy Toll Brothers City Living who purchased the L-shaped lot from United Cerebral Palsy for $135 million in 2013. With more than a dozen projects under their belt in the metro area, this development is by far their most avant-garde. Tapping the world-renowned firm of OMA, who are working with INC Architecture & Design, SLCE and LDGN, the 140-unit project intends to create a landmark apartment house from a corner that the designers say previously lacked identity.
At a recent event at the condo sales office, the project’s lead designer, Shohei Shigematsu of OMA, explains that Cubism was his inspiration and he wanted to bring some instability to the perpendicular intersection. He explains, “The site’s zoning allowed for some flexibility on the corner so that this design could be conceived…The facade shows a bit of movement and the Art Deco-inspired detailing is based on the neighborhood’s history.”
The taller 23rd Street and Lexington building topped out earlier this summer and has received most of its corbelled, pre-cast concrete panels. Now being installed are full-height windows that lend views onto landmarks such as the Chrysler Building, New York Life Building and the Metropolitan Life Building (The New York Edition). Yet to be fitted are the corner windows which will be canted and skewed — framing interior views and bringing some prismatic 3-D flare to the intersection (a la Hearst Tower on Red Bull).
The smaller infill 22nd Street building crinkles and bends like unfolded origami. The warped façade may end up being even more ravishing than its big sister due to its juxtaposition between two stately pre-wars. This wing holds the main entrance and a travertine limestone lobby whose angles funnel towards the elevator banks, the courtyard, and amenities spaces.
The 140 apartments range in size from studios to five-bedrooms. Prices for available units begin at $1.7M for a one-bedroom, $2.915M for a two-bedroom, and $5.025M for a three-bedroom. All residences will have wide-plank white oak floors and high ceilings. Open kitchens will be fitted with polished black quartz counters and Gaggenau appliances that include gas cooktops and wine storage. Each master bath will have a Roman tub and will be sheathed in Paonazzo marble and Kenyan black quartz. Many master suites include balconies, and many larger spreads have exposures/outdoor space overlooking the street and the central courtyard.
Resident amenities include an attended lobby with hotel-style concierge, a landscaped courtyard, an indoor pool, an indoor/outdoor residents’ lounge, a rooftop terrace with fire pit and grill, a private dining room and catering kitchen, a screening room, a children’s playroom, bicycle storage, private storage, a fitness center and an automated indoor parking system for two-dozen vehicles. Completion is slated for Fall 2018.
 
 
 
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Toll Brothers One-bedrooms start at $1.7M (Floorplans via Toll Brothers City Living)
Two-bedrooms start at $2.915M
121-East-22nd-Street-3 Three-bedrooms start at $5.025M
New Developments Editor Ondel Hylton Ondel is a lifelong New Yorker and comprehensive assessor of the city's dynamic urban landscape.
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