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Rendering of 214 West 72nd Street via Cohen Commercial Properties; Photo via Dayton in Manhattan Rendering of 214 West 72nd Street via Cohen Commercial Properties; Photo via Dayton in Manhattan
Last January, SK Development filed plans to demolish a worn Queen Anne-style townhouse at 214 West 72nd Street on the Upper West Side. More recently, a trip to the site shows that the slim condominium replacing it has reached its full height of 21 stories and 219 feet tall. The stone facade looks to be well in place, and about half the enormous windows are in.
Situated between Broadway and West End Avenue, just outside the West End-Collegiate Historic District Extention, 214 West 72nd Street stands next to the 2010 rental The Corner, which has a popular Trader Joe's on its lower floors. According to the website DaytoninManhattan, the 25-foot wide home built in 1892 was the last survivor of a four-building row constructed by developer William Miller and designed by William H. Boylan. Faced with limestone, the townhomes between 208 and 214 West 72nd Street featured "sharply angled bays, rusticated banding, limestone bracketed cornices and a profusion of stained glass put them on the cutting edge of stylish domestic architecture," as per the architectural blogger.
214west72ndstreet-03 214 West 72nd Street is the townhouse building farthest to the left (Google streetview)
The house was the second home of the sharp-witted poet Dorothy Parker, who spent her early years there with her family from 1895 to about 1899. Parker's father, Jacob Henry Rothschild, earned his wealth through the garment business and purchased the house for his family and servants for $60,000 (about $1.8 million today). The Rothschild family vacated the house shortly after Dorothy's mother passed away, a tragedy that fractured the family, but the legendary Jazz Age writer called the Upper West Side home until her early twenties.
Over the years, the townhouse was split up into apartments, an incongruous addition was added to its front, and a nail salon and a massage studio occupied its lower two floors. In a 2011 story from DNAinfo, then-landlord Peggy Ma said the now multi-building was damaged during the construction of the Corner next door and that she had to substantially lower rents, noting several walls have cracks, plaster has fallen out of the ceilings, the basement floods frequently, and the entire structure leans almost 2 inches to the east.

According to city records, the building was sold to SK Development under the alias "AVENTIS 72 LLC" for $15.2 million in December 2017. The Dorothy Parker Society lamented the loss of the building, but one of her biographers observed that she might have been happy to see something new rise in its place, as her memories in the house were not happy ones.
214-West-72nd-Street-2 All photography circa December 2019 via CityRealty
214-West-72nd-Street-4 Street-level view of the site
According to building permits filed in December 2017, the new building will have 18 apartments and a design Greenberg Farrow, the architects behind the Zinc Building, One Ten 3rd, and 205 Water Street in DUMBO. The slender high-rise will be similar in height to the Corner, and its facade will also fit in with its nearest neighbor, if not its historic surroundings. The Dorothy Parker Society lobbied for a plaque commemorating the site's history, but no word yet on whether this will come to pass.

The ground floor will hold retail space, and the apartments above will all be full-floor spreads with the four uppermost floors accommodating two duplexes. There will be cellar-level bike parking, recreation space on the second and third floors, and a roof deck. The location is in earshot from the 72nd Street subway station, one block from Riverside Park and a short walk to Central Park and Lincoln Center. The project appears well on track for its estimated completion in spring 2020.
The-Corner-Upper-West-Side-condos The Trader Joe's-housing rental The Corner may be going condo (CityRealty)
With its tight zoning restrictions and most of its blocks under the purview of landmark protection, new construction on the Upper West Side has often been few and far between. However, the new building hits this milestone at a particularly busy time. At the beginning of the year, Centurion Property Investors purchased The Corner from TIAA's real estate investment branch for $227 million. Rumor has it that the rentals will be converted to condos, but there has been no offering plan or further news.

In the meantime, a Lincoln Center building boom has taken hold on surrounding streets in recent years. Closings just commenced at 350 West 71st Street, where current availabilities start at $1.75 million. This all takes place east of 200 Amsterdam, one of the tallest and most-discussed buildings on the Upper West Side.

According to CityRealty listings, there are 477 condos available on the Upper West Side coming to a median price of $1,825 per square foot. Down West 72nd Street, the similarly-scaled, LEED certified condominium Harsen House has a four-bedroom on the market for $5.99 million, or $1,887 per ft².
Upper West Side condo prices Average closing prices of condos located in buildings along the Upper West Side's Broadway Corridor (CityRealty)
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