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One Carnegie Hill, 215 East 96th Street: Review and Ratings

between Third Avenue & Second Avenue View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 215 East 96th Street by Carter Horsley

The Related Companies broke ground for the 41-story tower, which is known as One Carnegie Hill, in 2004. It topped out in the summer of 2005. 

The Related Companies have been one of the city's most active developers in recent years, and their projects have included the twin-towered Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle. 

They ventured to create an important gateway to East Harlem at The Monterey, a rental apartment building at 175 East 96th Street that is noted for its huge, curved corner façade at Third Avenue and its very large and handsome mid-block garden on 96th Street. 

The Monterey is directly across Third Avenue from the Islamic Cultural Center at 201 East 96th Street that was designed in 1991 by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and whose minaret was designed by Swanke Hayden Connell. The handsome mosque is oriented toward Mecca. 

This huge tower, whose address is 215 East 96th Street, reinforces the neighborhood and the Monterey. 

Related acquired a 99-year ground lease from the Islamic Cultural Center of New York and has incorporated a 63,000-square foot community facility for the Islamic Cultural Center in the new building. The community facility has its own entrance on 97th Street. 

Related's tower, which is the tallest on East 96th Street, has 479 apartments, of which 200 are cooperative units with condominium rules, which are known as "condops." They start at the 23rd floor while the rental apartments are below. 

Both the rental and "condop" units share a common lobby. There are separate elevator banks, however, for the rentals and the condops. 

HLW International is the architect for the new tower and Ismael Leyva is the designer of the interiors and David Rockwell is the designer of the lobby and amenity floors.

Bottom Line

A rental and condominium apartment tower sharing a common lobby, this tower is just to the east of the handsome Islamic Cultural Center of New York and across the street from a small park. It has many amenities and excellent public transportation at the north end of the very desirable Carnegie Hill neighborhood.


This asymmetrical tower combines orange masonry with large swaths of glass façades placed seemingly at random, which gives this building an unusual dynamic.  

The through-block building has a lobby with a copper-leaf, barrel vaulted ceiling and Swarovski crystal lighting with rosewood walls and a line of gold-leafed glass times with Ambarino marble floors.


The building has a full-time doorman, a health club, a 50-foot lap pool with two skylights, a yoga studio, a landscaped terrace area for residents with barbecues, a business center, a pet spa, a children's playroom as well as a rooftop entertainment lounge and sun terrace, a garage, storage space and a bicycle room.


Apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows and individually controlled heating and air-conditioning. Kitchens have stainless steel Kitchen Aid appliances, Kohler sinks, Luca de Luna granite countertops and Australian walnut wood cabinetry. Bathrooms have Botticino Fiorito marble floors and vanities and marble wall tiles. 

Apartment 37H is a three-bedroom unit with a foyer and large entry gallery that leads to a 22-foot-wide living room adjacent to a 16-foot-long eat-in kitchen. 

Apartment 31C is a four-bedroom unit with a very long entry gallery that leads to a dining room next to a 16-foot-long kitchen and a 26-foot-long living room.  The apartment also has a 23-foot-long family room, a small office and a very long terrace with a gas barbecue unit. 

Apartment 23L is a one-bedroom unit with a long entry foyer that leads to a 16-foot-long living room with a 8-foot-long den/dining room and an enclosed kitchen. 

Apartment 23A is a two-bedroom unit with a 10-foot-long foyer that leads to a 16-foot-long living room with a pass-through kitchen.


Occasionally an individual developer can make a significant impact on a neighborhood.

William Zeckendorf Jr., for example, pioneered the redevelopment of the Union Square area with his four-towered Zeckendorf Towers, the westward expansion of midtown with his World Wide Plaza at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street, and the northward gentrification of the Upper West Side with his Columbia apartment tower at Broadway and 96th Street. 

For decades, 96th Street was the traditional northern boundary of the Upper East Side, but Related's two projects on the block as well as the Milstein large apartment complex on the south side of 96th Street were influential in encouraging new development projects north of 96th Street in East Harlem. 

In their great book, "The A. I. A. Guide to New York City, Fourth Edition," (Three Rivers Press, 2000), Norval White and Elliot Willensky observed that the garden at Related’s Monterey development on the northwest corner of Third Avenue and 96th Street, designed by Weintraub & di Domenico, was "French formalism compressed into this urban landscape," adding that "The building built it to gain zoning credits and hence more floors. The payback to the neighborhood is substantial (usually not the case with zoning bonuses.)" 


One Carnegie Hill is about equidistant from Central Park to the west and the entrances to the FDR Drive along the East River to the east. It is one block west of a subway station and is convenient to the Carnegie Hill neighborhood and its many schools and cultural institutions. 


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 25 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 26 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 15 / 39


CityRealty Rating Reference

  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
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Key Details
1289 Lexington Avenue
at The Northeast corner of East 86th Street
Carnegie Hill
Refined Residences that Redefine life on Lexington Avenue.
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