Spacious, Gracious on the Upper West Side
BY LAUREN PRICE | Loosely framed by the Hudson River and Central Park, from West 59th Street to 110th Street, the Upper West Side was, from the 1940s until the 1970s, regarded as a bastion of middle-class families, bookish intellectuals, and politically active liberals raising families in prewar apartment buildings (think the Ansonia, the Beresford, and the Dakota) or inside brownstones dotting tree-lined streets.
Admired as a family-friendly neighborhood, every November it wins the hearts of kids and tourists alike as the starting point for Macy’s magical Thanksgiving Day Parade (social.macys.com/parade/). The night before, Central Park West near 81st Street plays host to the gargantuan Balloon Blow Up.
As easily accessed as Central Park, Riverside Park stretches from West 72nd to 158th Streets along the Hudson River, offering a range of courts and fields, plus a skate park for all ages. Kayaking, canoeing, and sailing begin at the marina at 79th Street, where the al fresco Boat Basin Café (boatbasincafe.com) is terrific for burgers and fireworks (at least when the Hudson River is given its turn to play host).
A symbol of prewar elegance and New York intellectual life retains its allure
Yes, the American Museum of Natural History/ Rose Center for Earth and Space (amnh.org/) and Lincoln Center (lc.lincolncenter.org) are famous worldwide, but locals consider Symphony Space at 95th and Broadway (sympathyspace.org) the neighborhood darling — particularly for its Selected Shorts program of new works of fiction read by marquee names from stage and screen.
Shopping traditionalists can still browse the aisles at mom & pop stores on Broadway such as the Town Shop (opened in 1888), Citarella (since 1912), Harry’s Shoes, Fairway Market, and Zabars (each around since the 1930s), but also enjoy the convenience of big box newcomers like Bed, Bath & Beyond, the Apple Store, and Marshalls — along with smaller new entries like Baked by Melissa.
What’s on the Market
The Upper West Side is considered one of the more expensive parts of town, especially along West End Avenue, Riverside Drive, and Central Park West, with a plethora of sprawling pre-war residences stacked high inside co-op and condo buildings. Multi-unit as well as single-family brownstones are also plentiful and often feature wood-burning fireplaces and gardens.
And for some years now, well-known developers have been rolling out the welcome mat for buyers seeking new buildings with top-to-bottom services.
According to the Corcoran Group’s Second Quarter Market Report 2014, median prices were up 14 percent relative to a year ago. Average prices per square foot grew 28 percent during the second quarter, due largely to a higher volume of co-op trades along Central Park West than second quarter 2013.
Compared to the year’s first quarter, median price was up 10 percent and prices per square foot gained 17 percent.
Similar to the East Side, larger West Side units had the biggest year-over-year median price increases, with three bedrooms gaining 22 percent.
Resale condos had substantial year-over-year price growth. Median price increased 13 percent to $1.355 million. Average prices increased 23 percent to $1,714 per square foot, due in part to a large penthouse sale at 15 Central Park West.
Larger units showed higher price gains; the median price of studios fell by two percent while three bedrooms increased by 33 percent.
There was some cooling, however, in resale coop levels from the first to the second quarter of this year, with median prices down nine percent and average price per square foot down one percent. (corcoran.com)
According to Douglas Elliman’s Second Quarter Report 2014, this brokerage is seeing Manhattan’s rental market tighten up a bit. Rental prices have increased to their second highest level in more than five years, with rents up for two consecutive month after six months of decline. The use of concessions by landlords has fallen by half since the beginning of the year and marketing times are faster than they were a year ago.
Tight credit and rising city employment have continued to keep the pressure on rents, and Elliman anticipates similar conditions through the summer months. (elliman.com)
Space continues to be a bountiful luxury on the Upper West Side. Douglas Elliman is now listing a four-bedroom duplex penthouse with oversized windows, high ceilings, pocket doors, and hardwood floors at the landmarked Apple Bank Building at 2112 Broadway and 73rd Street. Coming in at more than 4,000 square feet of indoor living space, there’s an additional 382 square feet for outdoor enjoyments.
Redesigned and renovated by well-known architect David Abelow as an open and light-filled loft-like condo, the grand room with a separate wet bar has a beautiful custom-designed open kitchen overlooking the dining area. The library features an en suite bathroom and built-in bookshelves. There is also a media area and a laundry room.
The master suite has three California Closets walk-ins, a changing area, a changing island, and an en suite bathroom decked out in marble with a double-sink vanity, a separate glass shower, and a soaking tub. Owner extras include a fitness center inside the bank’s vault, a canine shower for grooming pets, a landscaped patio, and round-the-clock doorman/ concierge services.
Priced at $9.75 million. (elliman.com/new-york-city/apple-bank-building-2112-broadway-manhattan)
Extell Development Company has officially launched sales for One Riverside Park at 50 Riverside Boulevard at 62nd Street overlooking the Hudson River. The offerings include one- to seven-bedroom units, including five full-floor penthouses, two duplexes, and another high-floor unit with private pools. With interiors by designer Shamir Shah, square footage ranges from 850 to 6,000. Many of the homes feature floor-to-ceiling windows with endless views of the Hudson River, Riverside Park, and the Manhattan skyline, and all showcase wide-plank white oak floors and washer/ dryers.
“The penthouses, with nearly 100 feet of frontage directly on the river, offer spectacular 360-degree views,” said Beth Fisher, senior managing director of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group.
Kitchens options are a light package with white polished lacquer cabinetry and Montclair Danby Striato countertops or a dark package with stained oak millwork with charcoal high-gloss polished lacquer cabinetry coupled with Basalt marble countertops. All kitchens are equipped with premium Miele appliances. A select number have Sub-Zero wine storage.
Marbled master bathrooms boast Zuma soaking tubs, separate glass showers, and dark stained rift cut lacquered oak vanities. Some have bidets.
The owner amenity list is long and includes the 40,000-square-foot La Palestra Athletic Club with a pool, rock-climbing wall, full-size basketball and squash courts, a two-lane bowling alley, a game room, a screening room, an indoor playground by Kidville, a function room with a catering kitchen, and a garden courtyard. Round-the-clock doorman and concierge services are on tap as is on-site parking.
Prices start at $1 million and occupancy is slated for 2015. (oneriversidepark.com)
A two-bedroom, pre-war co-op with one full bathroom is now for sale through Halstead Realty at 204 West 78th Street. It features exposed brick walls, a decorative fireplace, great closet and storage space, high ceilings, oversized windows, and hardwood floors. The generously sized open kitchen with a dining bar is outfitted with cherry cabinets, some of which are glass-fronted, granite countertops, and appliances from the likes of Sub-Zero.
Because the floor plan has split bedrooms, the second bedroom is a great option for setting up a home office, media room, or, perhaps, a formal dining room. Set inside a 1920s townhouse-style building with a laundry room, this unit is one flight up and is priced at $750,000. (halstead.com/sale/ny/manhattan/upper-west-side/204-west-78th-street/coop/10338564)