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The Sycamore in Murray Hill: Review and Ratings | CityRealty

Carter Horsley
Review 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

This pleasant and attractive, pale red-brick condominium apartment building at 250 East 30th Street on the southwest corner at Second Avenue was erected in 2003.

It has 80 apartments.

The 14-story building was developed by Kennelly Development Company LLC and Metropolitan Housing Partners, which also developed about the same time a sleek new residential condominium project at 505 Greenwich Street and another new residential condominium project at 25 West Houston Street.

This building was designed by H. Thomas O'Hara. It features numerous corner windows and several setbacks that give it an interesting silhouette.

The lead article in the Sunday New York Times Real Estate Section July 20, 2003 by Dennis Hevesi was devoted to James P. Kennelly, a New York City fireman who was the developer of this building.

Mr. Kennelly, who was cited five times for bravery by the Fire Department, was quoted in the story as stating that "making a rescue is more satisfying than anything I've ever done," adding "it definitely outweighs standing on the corner and looking at my building." Mr. Kennelly, who is stationed with Ladder Company 16 and Engine Company 39 on East 67th Street in Manhattan, learned about this property when a fellow fireman, James Carroll, was interested in acquiring an open-air fruit stand and an adjacent walk-up building with one rent-controlled tenant at this location. When Mr. Carroll's plans did not advance, Mr. Kennelly asked if he could try and he was advanced money to purchase an apartment off-site for the tenant by James Buckley, for whom he had once worked as a dishwasher.

In return, Mr. Buckley became a partner in the project and also introduced Mr. Kennelly to Robert Trump, the head of Trump Management, who gave him advice and introduced him to William Procida of the Palisades Financial Corporation. Mr. Procida liked the proposed project, which then called for a new building with about 30 apartments, but suggested it be larger. Mr. Kennelly then bought about 60,000 square feet of air rights from adjoining properties that enable him to build a larger project with 80 apartments. Mr. Procida then brought in Manhattan Housing Partners as joint venturers and they provided more equity.

Mr. Buckley also knew Alphonso DeMatteis, the president of DeMatteis International and his sons, Kevin and Keith, who were partners in Calakar Construction Services Corporation that, Mr. Hevesi continued, "came on board as builders."

Part of the building is cantilevered over adjacent low-rise structures.

The building has a 24-hour concierge, a residents lounge with entertainment system and wet bar, a fitness center, a landscaped roof garden with outdoor shower. Laundry facilities are on floors 3 though 10 and in all units above the 10th floor. The kitchens have granite countertops, General Electric Profile stainless steel appliances and maple cabinetry.

This location has considerable light and air because it is across the avenue from Kips Bay Plaza, the huge and handsome apartment buildings that are classic "towers-in-a-park" and were designed by I. M. Pei & Associates and completed in 1965. A movie theater complex is nearby and the sidestreet here is very attractive and this location is not far from Murray Hill and the United Nations complex is also not far to the north and east. The area around the Queens-Midtown Tunnel nearby was developed in the mid-1980s with numerous major luxury high-rise apartment towers.

The building has a revolving-door entrance.

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30 E 31 | Exterior View 30 E 31 | Kitchen View 30 E 31 | living Room 30 E 31 | Living Room 2 30 E 31 | Bedroom