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.
Recent reports show that NoMad has taken over the top spot for priciest neighborhood in the city in which to rent, with a one-bedroom unit going for an average of $4,270/month. For most real estate aficionados this isn’t shocking, as the neighborhood has been growing into one of the city’s hottest spots for the past several years, but few know of the area’s fascinating past.
Named for our fourth president, James Madison, the 6.2-acre Madison Square Park was first used as a potter’s field, then an army arsenal, then a military parade ground and finally as the New York House of Refuge children’s shelter, until it was destroyed by a fire in 1839. After the fire, the land between 23rd and 26th Streets from Fifth to Madison Avenues was established as a public park enclosed by a cast-iron fence in 1847. The redesign included pedestrian walkways, lush shrubbery, open lawns, fountains, benches and monuments and is actually similar to the park that exists today.
Apartment dwellers are famous for turning their fire escapes into extensions of the home. From serving as a relaxing spot to enjoy a morning cup of coffee to drying wet laundry, the fire escape does it all. One of its most common makeshift uses is as a garden, since many New Yorkers don’t have a backyard. But growing plants and herbs out there can be a bit challenging, especially when your upstairs neighbor insists on dropping cigarette butts or when you have to climb over the couch and out the window just to get a piece of basil.
That’s where Nomad comes in. A clever creation of the Garden Apartment, the portable herb planter was designed with the urbanite in mind. It can hang indoors from the ceiling or on a wall and can even attach to bicycle handlebars.
When it comes to New York City real estate, many people liken fluctuating prices to the chicken-or-egg phenomenon: does a building transform a neighborhood or does construction follow the most up-and-coming areas?
In the case of One Madison, the super sleek 60-story, high-rise tower that is home to a media mogul, a supermodel, and star quarterback, gentrification had already taken hold in the larger NoMad area when construction began on the building in 2006.
The Rembrandt at 152 West 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues was built as Manhattan’s first co-op in 1881. Apartment ownership was already in fashion across the pond, particularly in France and Britain, but the concept of a resident-owned building was still an unknown to most of us. Developed by a syndicate led by Jared B. Flagg, a clergyman with an avid interest in real estate, and built by the notable architectural firm of Hubert & Pirsson, the group had come to the conclusion that potential buyers would be drawn to a building where they would have control over expenses. For instance, buying coal and ice in bulk in order to keep prices down, and hiring a full-time communal staff to take care of the owners’ laundry, cooking and the running the elevators.
Built as a brick and brownstone building with terra-cotta trim and jerkin-head gable windows at the top, the unit mix—a result of an interlocking system of staggered floor heights to allow for very tall art studio spaces—included a few duplex apartments with as many as 12 rooms. Original brochure prices reportedly ranged between $4,000 and $5,000, with monthly maintenance as low as $50. Confident in the ultimate success of co-operative living, Mr. Flagg with Hubert & Pirsson continued to develop another six co-op projects that very same year.
New York’s ever-changing culture is reflected in the surge of new neighborhood names that have sprung up recently — LeDel (below Delancey Street), RAMBO (right around the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), or, one of the most inventive, BoCoCa (the area that is intersected by Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens). Fortunately or unfortunately, none of these creative monikers have stuck. One that has, though, is NoMad (north of Madison Square Park), bound by 25th Street, 30th Street, Avenue of the Americas, and Lexington Avenue.
NoMad has become a go-to place for culture, food, business, and residential opportunities. During the last five years, the neighborhood has seen price-per-square-foot averages rise by 40 percent; the average price per square foot for a condo is now $1,791 compared with $1,279 in 2010.
Two blocks north of Madison Square Park in Manhattan’s increasingly trendy NoMad (north of Madison Square, if you’re not up on your neighborhood acronyms) neighborhood is 241 Fifth Avenue, a 20-story boutique residential glass tower. Part of the Madison Avenue North Historic District, the building was designed by Perkins Eastman Architects and received landmarks approval in 2007. It was completed in 2013, and according to public records, its penthouse unit just sold for $8 million. Core originally held the listing at $9.75 million.