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Rendering of 145 Central Park North credit of GRID Development Group / Gluck+ Architects via Nest Seekers Rendering of 145 Central Park North credit of GRID Development Group / Gluck+ Architects via Nest Seekers
Connecting people is a passion of Michael Fabbri, a leading agent at Nest Seekers who, with Ryan Serhant, is heading sales at 145 Central Park North. During the most isolating days of the pandemic, when opportunities for social connection were scarce, Michael put his matchmaking skills to work, developing an ad hoc friendship/relationship platform that would personally link compatible-minded people together after a one-on-one Zoom call and an incisive questionnaire. What started as a generous offering to lonely friends and former clients, quickly grew into something more formidable — soon receiving hundreds of matchmaking requests per week.

With the worst of the pandemic behind us (fingers crossed) and the Manhattan residential market at a high point, Michael is busy again understanding buyers' lifestyles in respect to finding them the right home. With roots dating back centuries in the metro region and an affinity for Manhattan's history, Michael brings his wealth of experience working with buyers and sellers at all price points, fully utilizing his passion for client services to provide an intelligent and strategic approach to marketing and sales. We caught up with Michael to chat about sales at 145 Central Park North — one of Harlem's premier condo developments — and receive insight into the local market, and the city's future.

NestSeekers All renderings and model home photos of 145 Central Park North courtesy of GRID Development Group via Nest Seekers

What is your role at 145 Central Park North and tell us a bit about the project.

MF: I lead sales at 145 Central Park North. We launched in 2020 and it's been the most exciting development I've been on so far. Selling a project in a dynamic neighborhood and speaking with the variety of people that come through the door and learning what they love about Harlem and the building have been truly enjoyable.
The project has been truly spectacular. The area hasn't seen this type of building until recently and people will always desire to live as close to Central Park as possible. While you pay a high premium to live on the Upper East and Upper West sides, Central Park North is an incredible deal. More people are recognizing that and are investing in the area. We sold a penthouse in the building with a private roof deck for just under $5 million. A similar parkside unit would go for three times as much further south.
New York City neighborhoods are always evolving and growing, and so much is going on in Harlem. The north side of Central Park is undergoing a restoration project and new restaurants have been coming in. For all those reasons it's been exciting to be on board here.

145 CPN is nearly 50% sold after opening its doors last year. What are the main draws of the building besides the proximity to the park?

MF: Considering the number of offers we've received, we would have been sold out already. But aside from the location, the main draw has been the high level of craftsmanship. It vastly surpasses anything nearby. The attention to detail in each unit: from the white oak flooring, and the wood framing around the windows, to the precision in the tile arrangement. And when you look out and see the park, it's like looking at a piece of artwork.

Every unit in the building has an exposure on the park so the design team specified an exterior glass partition so you can open your windows fully. Small details like this elevate the product; for buyers, it brings the apartment to life, making the park feel like an extension of your home. Even homes on the second or third floors share this experience.
NYC zoning The glass partitions placed outside of windows allows them to legally swing open inside.

Have the purchasers been New Yorkers/Harlemites, from the metro region, or foreigners/pied-à-terre buyers?

MF: It really has run the gamut. In the beginning, prior to the pandemic, it was a lot of locals, who have been watching the building go up. We had a waitlist of people who wanted to see it prior to the sales launch. The team really wanted this to be a high-quality development that would be an addition to the community, and understanding the neighborhood helped us sell it that much better.

That was the primary source in the beginning. Then later, into the pandemic, people who were tied to the Upper East and Upper West sides started to make their way up. We performed direct outreach to the brokers we know that sell this type of project. We told them you should bring your clients here and that paid off.

Now, compared to a year ago, the world has opened up so much more. Lots of money is coming to the city again, and we have some investors purchasing here as well. The building has been attractive for those looking for second homes since it is convenient to get in and out of, and Central Park North never gets too congested.
Vinateria (CityRealty)

How does the building interplay with Central Park?

MF: From the building's vantage point, you get a sense of the park's topography. Every unit has a different view: the west side units see more green while the ones on the east side have the skyline and Harlem Meer.

I love the north end of the park and the running paths in front of the building. There are beautiful rock formations that you can see from the units. The design team based the granite used on the countertops from these outcroppings.

Additionally, every unit looks out to the park, and almost every unit has outdoor space with really large balconies facing north. Higher floors have park-facing terraces, and penthouses have massive roof decks overlooking the park.
145-Central-Park-north-kitchen The granite color of kitchen islands pay homage to the rock outcroppings found in the park's North Woods
145-Central-Park-North-02 View from the upper-floor unit in the building

Do you have a favorite layout or line in the building?

MF: My favorite is the townhouse unit. We only have one of them. And as someone who loves townhouses, here you get the best of both worlds. The unit has the privacy of townhouse living, with two floors, a private entrance, and a massive outdoor garden; but comes with the ease and amenities of condo living. This unit also has a view of the park, has direct access to the parking garage, and the garden has an outdoor kitchen. It has four bedrooms and feels very private and secure. You can pull right into the building and walk to your front door.

↓ 145 Central Park North, #TH1

4 beds, 3.5 baths | 2,238 ft2

145 Central Park North, #TH1

Are there any features of 145 Central Park North you believe will become archetypal in high-end post-pandemic apartment construction?

MF: Private outdoor space coming with every unit. Also, for those working from home, providing some kind of space for a home office. Having a premium and purposeful amenity package has also become important. They must be private, personal, and intimate. I also foresee boutique condo buildings continuing to become more of the trend.
145 Central Park North's fitness center

Due to concerns about gentrification/displacement, Harlem has been one of the more controversial neighborhoods to develop in. Prices have steeply increased during pandemic months. What's your outlook for the neighborhood?

MF: I'm optimistic about the future of the development of Harlem. We're starting to see different areas becoming more appealing. However, new residents and investors must respect the locals who've been there. I recommend anyone considering a move to Harlem to fully experience and explore the neighborhood. I've become a regular at Melba's, and Morningside Park is really beautiful.
Central Park North area of Harlem

Public safety remains a concern for many New Yorkers. Do you believe this will subside as the city begins to recover from the pandemic?

MF: The increase in crime has not only affected the entire city but all over the country. Crime has been a concern post-pandemic for some buyers and I tell them to maintain a conscious understanding of risk. We live in a world that is changing and becoming more polarized. There's lots of unrest. I tell clients to take safety measures and consider what's important to their quality of life. At 145 Central Park North, we have a full-time doorman, attended lobby, and security cameras. It's not because we are scared, but to give a little bit more comfort to residents. Measures like this give you peace of mind.

Do you believe the city can address a housing shortage without sacking the city's history and uniqueness?

MF: Yes. There's a lot more to build in the city. The people just discovering Harlem feel it's a whole new city within a city — same for many areas in Brooklyn and Queens. There are some underutilized pockets of the city that could really build more housing.

However, landmarking historical areas maintains the city's integrity. The reason why places like the West Village are so valuable is because of the protections. But without additional supply, the prices have gone up. The people who lived there before can no longer afford to pay today's prices. Some relocate to new areas. Just south of the Village, Hudson Square has tons of development going up. That's the exciting part of New York City. Every year, things change.

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New Developments Editor Ondel Hylton Ondel is a lifelong New Yorker and comprehensive assessor of the city's dynamic urban landscape.