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Morgan Lofts at 11 East 36th Street: Review and Ratings

Carter Horsley
Review of 11 East 36th Street by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

This handsome, 12-story building at 11 East 36th Street in Murray Hill is distinguished by its very tall open colonnade on its roof.

The building, which is known as Morgan Lofts and also as 10 East 37th Street, is half a block away from The Morgan Library on Madison Avenue.

The building has 68 condominium apartments, a fitness center, a doorman, a roof terrace, a concierge, central air-conditioning and very high ceilings.

Apartments have SubZero refrigerators, Bosch dishwashers, wine coolers, and limestone floors in the bathrooms.

The building was erected in 1911 and designed by Pilcher & Jachan. It was converted in 2005 by The Bobker Group, which had acquired it for about $17 million from LH Charney & Associates.

It has three commercial condominiums and houses The Ginger Man restaurant.

Steven Kratchman was the architect for the conversion.

The building has arched windows on the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th floors and a polished red granite entrance surround.

Unbuilt condominium apartments in buildings whose plans have been approved by the state attorney general may still be taxed, according to an article by Josh Barbanel in the May 19, 2011 edition of The Wall Street Journal about the woes of Morgan Lofts at 11 East 36th street, Lee Gardens at 24 Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Gateway II on Frederick Douglas Boulevard and 114th Street in Harlem.

The article said that two penthouse apartments beneath the tall arches atop Morgan Lofts were never built but are billed $30,000 each yearly in property taxes "plus thousands of dollars more in common charges."

"There are among a number of phantom condominiums in at least three projects in Manhattan and Brooklyn caught up in the maze of city and state rules for condominium development. The Morgan Lofts penthouses were included in plans filed with the state attorney general, but not built. Year in and year out, they are still charged property taxes by the city, and asked to pay common charges as if they actually existed. 'This is like living in never-never land,' said Joe Bobker, a real estate develop and consultant to his two sons who are the developers of Morgan Lofts. City records show the two condominiums, now little more than a windswept rooftop, owe a total of $212,302.22 in city property taxes."

"Owen Stone, a spokesman for the Department of Finance, which levies taxes, said the department as aware the phantom condominiums are sometimes charged taxes. 'It's not unheard of, but rare,' he said," the article said.

Gaetano & Associates, the sponsor of Gateway II, was billed for taxes on a six-story tower it planned to build atop a row of existing five-story buildings," the article said, adding that "the tower was delayed for years during the downturn because of financing issues after the failure of its lender, Washington Mutual Bank. It is now nearing completion" and the sponsor sued the law firm that prepared the plan to recover common charge payment but lost in a jury trial earlier this month.

Lee Gardens, a low-rise condominium that dates to 1998, is only two stories with never-built condominium units on the third and fourth floors. Taxes accumulated ever since on the units, and liens on the phantom units were sold in 2004 and 2009 to investors.

A solution according to Mr. Stone would be for the sponsors to submit revised plan eliminating the units, but that would mean that other condo owners would have to pay higher common charges.

Rating

25
Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 25 / 44

+
21
Out of 36

Location Rating: 21 / 36

+
16
Out of 39

Features Rating: 16 / 39

+
7
=
69

CityRealty Rating Reference

 
Architecture
  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
 
Location
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
 
Features
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #22 Rated condo - Murray Hill
 
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Dahlia
between Amsterdam Avenue & Broadway
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Forward-thinking and elegant homes on the Upper West Side. 2-4 bedroom residences | Occupancy Q3 2020.
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