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1280 Fifth Ave.: Where the Living is Easy

MISANI Special to the AmNews | 11/10/2011, 4:24 p.m.
1280 Fifth Ave.: Where the Living is Easy

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1280 Fifth Ave.: Where the Living is Easy

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Keep a Child Alive Ball brings out stars

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1280 Fifth Ave.: Where the Living is Easy

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1280 Fifth Ave.: Where the Living is Easy

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1280 Fifth Ave.: Where the Living is Easy

1280 Fifth Ave. is the new showpiece of the Upper East Side. Located between 109th and 110th streets, the Robert A. M. Stern Architects-designed building is across the street from Central Park, a few feet away from Duke Ellington Circle. Towering majestically like a Watusi guard, it stands at the gateway of Harlem to the north and, to the south, like a Picasso on Museum Mile.

The imaginative, high-end 19-story building sponsored by Brickman offers a range of condominiums in 116 residential units on floors 4 through 19. The first three floors are the highly anticipated new home of the Museum for African Art.

Presently under construction, the museum will, according to its website, "own and occupy approximately 90,000 square feet in a mixed-use joint development project." Recognized internationally as "the organizer of exhibitions and publisher of books devoted exclusively to contemporary and historical African art," the museum is expected to be completed in fall 2012.

The new construction will fulfill the museum's goal of bringing "exhibitions, public programs and educational initiatives" that will "increase public understanding and appreciation of the arts and cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora."

Some of the incredible amenities of the condominium development include a heated rooftop pool and roof deck with a barbecue station facing Central Park, fitness club, children's play room, teen room, catering kitchen and dining room, card room and residents' lounge with a fireplace facing Central Park. The building also a full staff, 24-hour doorman, handyman and multiple porters.

According to Patrick W. Smith, senior vice president and project manager at Brown, Harris, Stevens Project Marketing, "There's a very high level of service associated with living here."

"We have a 10-year abatement, so our taxes are roughly $50 per month," Smith disclosed about the newly constructed building.

As of this past August, 17 (or about 15 percent) of the building's units were in contract. When asked the estimated time to reach full capacity, Smith said, "I think it will be within the next 12-18 months, based upon our current sales. We already have people living here," he said, mentioning the diverse composition of unit owners that include people from the finance, legal and creative worlds. "Our units reflect that diversity."

Smith pointed out that the development consists of 20 percent one bedrooms and studios, 50 percent two bedrooms and 30 percent three bedrooms.

"The other major difference in our unit mix is park versus non-park. We have something for everyone," Smith said. "We have a wide selection of homes for people in terms of the price point-there's a park-facing price, which is more expensive than the non-park facing units, which have their own appeal: a city view.

"Our price range is up to around $1,700 per square foot, so a Central Park-facing buyer looks at us as a bargain. You're getting this view," he said pointing at the park. "This is a more beautiful view. It is more beautiful than the southern end of the park-the southern end of the park is much more touristy. This is more nature, more wild," he said of the off-the-beaten-path view. "You feel like you're in the country."

Commenting on the architecture, Smith said, "The layouts of the homes are gracious. They have numerous closets. The master bedrooms are as big as 18 feet by 14 feet --just massive master bedrooms, multiple walk-in closets, beautiful bathrooms. The interior designer is Andre Kikoski. He did a fabulous job."

In closing, Smith extended an invitation for those interested in 1280 Fifth Ave. "We are open and we are ready to accommodate anyone who wants to visit us." For sales queries, contact Patrick Smith at Brown Harris Stevens Project Marketing at (212) 508-7458.

For further information about the Museum for African Art, visit www.africanart.org.