Amazon behemoth and richest person in the world Jeff Bezos has been making headlines in recent weeks for his $100 million donation to U.S. food banks. He’s also become $24 billion richer since the coronavirus crisis sent Amazon’s stocks surging. And it looks like he’s taking a very small percentage of that fortune and expanding his real estate investment in NYC. The Post reports that Bezos just dropped $16 million on an apartment in the Flatiron condo 212 Fifth Avenue. Last June, he bought three units in the building totaling $80 million, making it the largest deal to ever close in New York south of 42nd Street. Now he can create a mega-mansion in the sky.
212 Fifth Avenue
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos is closing on three apartments at 212 Fifth Avenue, next to Madison Square Park. Bezos is scooping up a penthouse and two units that are right under it for approximately $80 million, though the precise numbers haven’t been made public yet. Combined, the apartments add up to over 17,000 square feet. The deal is reportedly the largest to ever close in New York south of 42nd Street, and the second largest deal of the year, second to Ken Griffin’s now-infamous $240 million penthouse at 220 Central Park South.
The architect Morris Adjmi looks to trends in art, more than in architecture, to inspire his work. “Art is more stimulating to me than the latest trends in architecture. Art is visceral and topical, it is much more immediate and it allows you to get into the zeitgeist of the time. In art, we see what is happening now, in architecture it takes a few years to show up.” More and more architects, developers, designers, and brokers believe in the powerful relationship between art and real estate. So much so, it is now understood that art sells real estate and real estate sells art.
James Cavello, owner of Westwood Gallery, curated an art exhibit at 212 Fifth Avenue’s $73.8 million “Crown” penthouse with a multimillion-dollar collection of art, with works by Warhol, Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Robert Indiana, Charles Hinman, and Douglas Kirkland. On the relationship between art and real estate, Cavello says, “We share the same similar high net worth clients so developers and brokers look to individuals like me and my company to propose alternatives to staging the areas with furniture and drapes and, instead, work with the light and space and utilize the art as staging.”
The Sotheby’s team behind 212 Fifth added that having Westwood Gallery stage art in the three-story, 10,000-square-foot unit, “Helped generate powerful awareness for Westwood Gallery with a level of visibility that is often unattainable for a stand-alone gallery.” Clearly, art and real estate have a very symbiotic relationship.
As 6sqft previously reported, sales prices in Nomad rose 43 percent over the past five years, a fact that the developers of 212 Fifth Avenue very likely had in mind when they put a $68.5 million price tag on their building’s penthouse. If the sprawling apartment sells for anywhere near its asking price, it will set a record as the most expensive sale in Nomad. This newly-minted trophy triplex atop 212 Fifth Avenue is the crown (as the listing calls it) that occupies the 22nd, 23rd, 24th floors of a recently converted 1912 condominium building. There are five bedrooms and 5,730 exterior square feet including (at least one) pool.
L to R: 212 Fifth Avenue; The Whitman; 10 Madison Square West
Prices in Nomad shot up a whopping 43 percent over the past five years, according to a new index from CityRealty, a marked increase that the developers of 212 Fifth Avenue may have been aware of when they put a $68.5 million price tag on their building’s triplex. If the sprawling apartment sells for anywhere near its asking price, it will set a record as the most expensive sale in the neighborhood, where other new developments have already raised the ceiling on the area’s sale records.
It’s been just 10 days since Alec and Hilaria Baldwin welcomed their third child together into the world, but they’re wasting no time continuing the hunt for a larger home to accommodate their growing brood. After touring a $16.5 million Chelsea penthouse at the beginning of the month, they’ve now set their sites on a similarly-sized, $16.6 million spread at Nomad’s 212 Fifth Avenue, reports the Post. The 1912 neo-Gothic buiding sits at the northwest corner of Madison Square Park, and the four-bedroom unit that caught the couple’s eyes boasts soaring ceilings, three exposures with views south to the Flatiron building and Freedom Tower, a marble-floored entry foyer, and a twelve-foot-long Calacatta gold marble kitchen island.
Though sales began a few weeks ago, listings are up for 212 Fifth Avenue, the highly-anticipated in-progress Nomad condo conversion by NYC-based firm Helpern consisting of 48 two-, three- and four-bedroom residences in a landmarked 1912 neo-Gothic building at the northwest corner of Madison Square Park. Listings with Town Residential–16 currently–range from 5C, a $3.9 million fifth-floor two-bedroom home, to $16.1 million for one of the building’s 4,000-square-foot+ four-bedroom residences on the 15th floor.
Floors 3-13 of the 24-story building offer three units per floor while floors 14-19 offer two; two immense triplex penthouses with Empire State Building and city skyline views are still to come. All homes boast multi-zoned heat and air, vented kitchens and bathrooms and smart home technology. Interior finishes were created by renowned designers Pembrooke & Ives and include eight-foot doors, book-matched marble, solid oak floors and custom cabinetry.
*** Update via the development team: Interior renderings from ASJNY are only conceptual and do not represent the actual project moving forward.
Here’s our first look at what the residences of a highly anticipated condo conversion at 212 Fifth Avenue could look like. In March we revealed a set of whimsical renderings for a conceptual design whipped up by the visualization artists ASJNY.
The actual plan going forward, approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission this past April, calls for a more sensitive touch. In addition to carving out 48 homes, the 1913 neo-gothic building’s ground-level storefronts will be renovated, its parapets reconstructed, and the tower’s stately limestone, terra-cotta and brick exterior will be restored, which may entail creating some additional windows.
Last month we posed the question, “Is 212 Fifth Avenue the ultimate Manhattan address?” Developers of a new condo at the location are hoping that the prestige of Fifth Avenue coupled with the synonymy of 212 with Manhattan (it served as the borough’s sole area code for 45 years) will make their new residence the New York-iest address in town. But the 212 fanfare goes far deeper than a real estate marketing tactic.
Just as “Seinfeld”‘s Elaine stole her dead neighbor’s 212 phone number after hers got changed to a 646 area code, real New Yorkers are going to great lengths to secure a phone number beginning with those three coveted digits. Today, the New York Times delves into the hype surrounding the 212 area code, looking at those who buy the phone numbers from “brokers” who sell them for upwards of $1,000, as well as the mathematics behind the area code system.
With the debut of their newly-sharpened website, the visual-realization whizzes at AJSNY are seeking to steal some Apple Watch buzz with this stunningly whimsical rooftop addition atop the now-under-conversion 212 Fifth Avenue in Nomad.
The conceptual vision, designed by the rendering team themselves, shows a bronze-clad, multi-story addition wrapped with sinuous ribbons framing an enormous south-facing clock. Below the steampunk-esque penthouse, AJSNY depicts a standard condo-conversion affair of open layouts and double-height spaces for the 1913 neo-medieval tower. The team’s images also give us an idea of what the official owners–Madison Equities, Thor Equities, and Building and Land Technology–have in mind for this quintessential Manhattan address. The scheme is not official or approved, but it certainly is creative.