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Fifth Avenue and Central Park from 667 Madison Avenue Fifth Avenue and Central Park from 667 Madison Avenue
Earlier this week, the Landmarks Preservation Commission ("Landmarks") approved Spitzer Enterprises’ plan to demolish the postwar rental at 985 Fifth Avenue and replace it with a new 19-story, 26-unit condominium. Landmarks concluded that the post-war rental currently on the site does not contribute to the Metropolitan Museum Historic District, and praised Studio Sofield and SLCE Architects' design for being more cohesive with its limestone facade and setbacks.

“This is a building that’s speaking to the prewars and history around it, but is also letting us know that, respectfully, this is a new building” – Commissioner Jeanne Lutfy on the new 985 Fifth Avenue

985 Fifth Avenue Rendering of the new 985 Fifth Avenue (Studio Sofield for Landmarks Preservation Commission)
The Landmarks presentation mentioned residential amenities like a package room, bike room, library, and a game room and lounge, both with access to a private garden. The new building will take shape in a prime Upper East Side area across from Central Park, down the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum Mile, and one block west of premium Madison Avenue shopping.
Indeed, an undeniable air of luxury is conferred on the building by virtue of its Fifth Avenue address. Fifth Avenue shopping is at the top of many tourists' wish lists, and to live on Fifth Avenue is to have truly made it in New York (not least because it means the buyer has the money to get in and the social standing to get past the infamous co-op board!). Certain Fifth Avenue buildings were instrumental in New York's initial embrace of multi-family living, and the rich architecture and sumptuous interiors continues to influence today's designers and buyers.
Between the Greenwich Village and Ladies Mile Historic Districts downtown, the Upper East Side Historic District uptown, and the aforementioned Metropolitan Museum Historic District to the north, Fifth Avenue is highly protected. However, parts of the avenue outside the historic districts are more open to building conversion and new construction. NoMad in particular has seen a building boom over the past few years; more recently, as office building owners throughout Manhattan toy with the idea of converting their commercial buildings to residential, Midtown could see a more mixed-use future that allows more people to realize a dream of living on Fifth Avenue. Demolition of the existing building at 985 Fifth Avenue is scheduled for next year, and completion is estimated for 2028. In the meantime, we look at Fifth Avenue's top 10 apartment buildings and consider how the new building will fit in.
Park-Regis-005 View from the Park Regis (Corcoran)

Top 10 Fifth Avenue Buildings
The crisp limestone facade of 927 Park Avenue was designed by Warren & Wetmore, the firm that designed Grand Central Terminal. The apartments average just one per floor and feature private elevator landings, sprawling layouts, and multiple fireplaces. Previous residents of note include Mary Tyler Moore, Kenneth Cole, and Harry Winston, not to mention Pale Male, a red-tailed hawk that nested in the building's palazzo-inspired facade.
927-Fifth-Avenue-02 927 Fifth Avenue, #9FL (Brown Harris Stevens)
From the listing: This extraordinary 14-room, 6-bedroom apartment offers grand proportions enhanced by a gracious layout spanning over 5,500 square feet. This spectacular prewar apartment has 55 feet fronting Central Park and features soaring 10’6" foot ceilings, original herringbone flooring, and impressive original plaster moldings throughout. Sunlight streams in through 27 oversized windows spanning all four exposures. See full details here.

Architecture critic Carter Horsley describes 820 Fifth Avenue as "one of the city's grandest apartment buildings." Dating back to 1916, the palazzo-style building only holds 12 full-floor apartments featuring private elevator landings, grand galleries, libraries, fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, and direct views of the Central Park Zoo across the street.
820-Fifth-Avenue-02 820 Fifth Avenue, #MAISONETTE (Brown Harris Stevens)
From the listing: Magnificent duplex designed by Bunny Williams and architect Nasser Nakib located in one of Fifth Avenue’s premier limestone co-ops. Soaring 11-foot ceilings, superb classical details, hardware, custom moldings and impeccable herringbone floors abound throughout this gracious home. See full details here.

730-Fifth-Avenue-01 All images of Aman New York Residences via Douglas Elliman
The Crown Building, an ornate office tower topped with an iconic copper-clad pyramid, has graced the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street since 1921. One hundred years later, the ornate edifice has been reborn as Aman New York Residences, a bespoke addition to Billionaires’ Row. The upper floors are dedicated to condos, and residents have access to the luxurious amenities and services of the hotel below. The five-level penthouse at the top of the building reportedly entered contract with an asking price of $180 million, and other units have regularly ranked among Manhattan's top sales.

1-Central-Park-South-01 All images of The Plaza via Douglas Elliman
Since 1907, the Plaza has reigned as the world’s most famous hotel. The French Renaissance-style building was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, whose work includes The Dakota. A century later, the upper floors were transformed into luxury condominiums, where residents can take advantage of the same Central Park views and sumptuous amenities hotel guests have enjoyed over the years.
1-Central-Park-South-02 The Plaza, #1601 (Serhant LLC)
From the listing: Spanning 2,656 square feet, this breathtaking home combines luxurious interiors with exclusive access to the world-class services and amenities of The Plaza Hotel. Oversized windows let in an abundance of natural light while framing majestic Central Park views for seasonal enjoyment. Beautiful herringbone oak floors sit beneath airy coffered ceilings and custom moldings add elegance and style. Doorknobs and bathroom hardware are adorned with embossed iconography exclusive to The Plaza. See full details here.

The Sherry Netherland, which rises 38 stories above the Grand Army Plaza and Central Park, channels elegance from the barrel-vaulted lobby to the tip of the copper spire. The ornate neo-Gothic building features a recently restored ceiling mural in the lobby based on Raphael's frescoes at the Vatican Palace, and has attracted the likes of Howard Hughes, Diana Ross, Francis Ford Coppola, Jim Henson, and Judith Sheindlin, also known as "Judge Judy."
781-Fifth-Avenue-02 The Sherry Netherland, #27 (Sotheby's International Realty)
From the listing: The light-filled, full floor, glamorous apartment showcases one-of-a-kind architectural significance and grandeur along with expansive views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. Enter through the private elevator landing to a gracious gallery with powder room. The grand, corner living room defines luxury with generous proportions and endless views, enhanced with architectural details, a decorative fireplace and a handsome bar with wine refrigerator. See full details here.

795-Fifth-Avenue-01 All images of The Pierre via Christie's International Real Estate
The Pierre's elegant design by Schultze & Weaver features a sophisticated Renaissance facade and iconic mansard roof to bring a touch of Parisian style to the Upper East Side. The hotel has been one of New York's finest since its opening in 1930, and the 1959 conversion of the upper floors to co-ops has further added to its cachet.
795-Fifth-Avenue-02 The Pierre, #2704 (Douglas Elliman)
From the listing: Residence 2704, located on a high floor of the mythical five-star Hotel Pierre, features south, west, and northern exposures which allows for breathtaking Central Park and legendary skyline views. Renovation and interior design by renowned English decorator Anouska Hempel complement and elevate this grand and gracious home to the highest level. See full details here.

A dream team of Rosario Candela and Warren & Wetmore is behind the limestone-clad edifice at 960 Fifth Avenue. An ornamental metal marquee adds gravitas to the attended Fifth Avenue entrance, and many of the apartments above soar to duplex heights, some with double-height living rooms and fireplaces.
960-Fifth-Avenue-02 Interiors via Compass

Ever since its opening in 1931, elites of all stripes have been drawn to the grand design and impressively proportioned apartments at the Rosario Candela-designed 834 Fifth Avenue. These have included Laurance Rockefeller, John Gutfreund, Rupert Murdoch, Bruce Wasserstein, and Jack and Suzy Welch. The smallest apartment measures 4,000 square feet, while the largest spans a whopping 12,000 square feet.

The arches, curves, and urns atop the limestone pinnacle of architect Rosario Candela’s 1040 Park Avenue leave an unmistakable mark on the Fifth Avenue skyline. Its 27 apartments feature spacious entrance galleries, fireplaces, and staff rooms in certain units. The co-op's front windows face the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where longtime resident Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis helped relocate the 2,000-year-old Temple of Dendur from Egypt during a dam-building project.
1040-Fifth-Avenue-02 Interiors via Douglas Elliman

The Italian Renaissance-style palazzo, designed by the esteemed firm of McKim, Mead, and White, rose at 998 Fifth Avenue across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1912 and was named a New York City Landmark in 1974. From the start, the expansive apartments inside included marble framed doorways, a central vacuum-cleaning system, refrigerated wine cellars, safes for jewelry and silver, laundries with steam-drying devices, basement storage rooms and ample servants’ quarters

Fifth Avenue runners-up
641-Fifth-Avenue-01 Olympic Tower via Sotheby's International Realty
Developed by Aristotle Onassis, Olympic Tower was Midtown's first major mixed-use tower was built in 1976. But even in the wake of flashier supertalls a few blocks north on Billionaires' Row, the building's history, address near St. Patrick's Cathedral, and upper-level apartments with spectacular skyline and Central Park views have held onto their glamour.

Commercial developers who may be considering converting their Fifth Avenue offices to residential use should be heartened by the success story at 212 Fifth Avenue: The Schwartz & Gross-designed building was constructed as an office building in 1913 and converted to a condominium in 2016. In 2019, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' $80 million purchase of the triplex penthouse and two units below it was the largest ever to close below 42nd Street; a year later, he purchased another unit in the building for $16 million.

1-Fifth-Avenue-01 1 Fifth Avenue (Ann Weintraub Ltd.)
Nearly 100 years after it was constructed, 1 Fifth Avenue is the tallest residential building in Greenwich Village. The building is celebrated for its views of Washington Square Park and the iconic Manhattan skyline; however, it is an architectural masterpiece in its own right with its bold Art Deco elements.

400-Fifth-Avenue-01 400 Fifth Avenue via The Corcoran Group
A newer addition to the local skyline, 400 Fifth Avenue's simple shape and metallic crown were inspired by surrounding architecture. The interiors include both the five-star Langham Hotel and 190 units on the upper floors. There is a separate residential entrance on East 36th Street, and all units were designed to make the most or Empire State Building and Manhattan skyline views. Residents have access to both exclusive amenities and the hotel's services.

On the corner of East 54th Street, a commercial tower once known as “the Gucci building” traded one luxury name for another when Mandarin Oriental signed on for its first standalone residences in the Americas. The super-luxe amenities include a rooftop pool and private restaurant by Daniel Boulud, and residences come fully furnished from art in the living areas to Frette linens in the bedrooms.

As the site of several protests during the Trump administration, Trump Tower's reputation has unquestionably taken a hit. However, the building's soaring height, game-changing glass facade, and high-floor apartments with panoramic skyline and Central Park views have made an indelible impression on the city as a whole.

Future Developments
520-Fifth-Avenue-01 Previous rendering of 520 Fifth Avenue via Handel Architects/Ceruzzi Holdings
The site of 520 Fifth Avenue has sat quiet for the past few years, but 2021 began with permits being filed for a 70-story tower expected to contain retail, a restaurant, office space on floors 4-28 and 98 condos on floors 31-68. Details on the upper-level amenities are not yet available, but one great perk will be its proximity to Bryant Park, Grand Central Terminal, and Times Square. Construction is well underway, and completion is estimated for early 2026.

262-Fifth-Avenue-01 Rendering of 262 Fifth Avenue via DBOX/Meganom
262 Fifth Avenue has generated as much attention for its ties to Russian oligarchs as its towering height, which will disrupt views of the Empire State Building from as far downtown as the Financial District. However, residents of the full-floor and multi-level units will enjoy far-reaching vistas.

572 Fifth Avenue — East 47th Street

11 stories

572-Fifth-Avenue-01 Possible rendering of 572 Fifth Avenue via BYENCORE
At the end of 2018, it was revealed that Extell Development paid $62.5 million to acquire 572 Fifth Avenue as part of the firm's plans for a massive hotel with several hundred guest rooms. Further details are unknown, including the architect, but it is possible that the project could include a pied-a-terre component.

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