When we get into heated debates about NYC being the greatest city on Earth, we like to cite the fact that our sophisticated, methodical street grid makes it impossible to get lost. But what happens when the entrance to 432 Park Avenue is not actually on Park Avenue? Our egos get a little bruised.
Known as “vanity addresses,” these luxury buildings choose to go by swanky street names like Park or Madison Avenues, but in reality their entrance is on a lowly side street. The front door for 432 Park, for example, will likely be on 56th Street, 150 feet from the Avenue. But how do developers skirt the traditional numbering system to create something that’s more of a brand than an address?
Rendering of 432 Park
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “the city allows building owners who provide cogent rationale and an $11,000 processing fee to obtain a vanity address,” and this steep cost trickles down to residents of the building. A building with a Park Avenue address is usually 5-10 percent pricier than a similar residence on a nearby side street. An even more confusing address change occurs when there’s no street name at all. Both residential and commercial buildings that border areas like Lincoln Center, Penn Station, or Times Square can also apply for an address change a la One Bryant Park. In some cases, it’s not even about the street name. Certain developers are aiming to have the number eight in the address, to appeal to Chinese buyers who see the number as lucky.
This year, five requests were granted, and in 2013, six. But under current Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer, these numbers will likely decrease. “It’s both a public safety issue and an issue of sheer logic that addresses on New York’s streetscapes make sense,” said Brewer on the subject of her office working on a better system.
[Via Bloomberg Businessweek]