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30-Year-Old High Rise Rentals to Get Modern Makeovers

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New York City is full of high rise rental buildings built in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, and today's Journal takes a look at how developers are spending millions to revamp these modernist pads into apartments a little more suited to the tastes of discerning New York renters. Most of these buildings, like the Clarendon at 501 Second Avenue, have prime locations, but are outfitted with the styles of their original era: parquet floors, Formica countertops, and popcorn ceilings. To attract a new type of renter, described by the Journal as "people who are waiting well into middle-age before buying and thus expect condo-level finishes in their rental apartments," Silverstone Property Group is slowly emptying the 128-unit Clarendon and gutting the apartments.

By completely renovating the apartments, Silverstone plans to raise rents about 10 to 40 percent, bringing them up to market value for the neighborhood, which averages about $4000 for a one bedroom. The latest reports show that rents are rising in Manhattan, so it's to landlords' advantage to renovate for higher rents. From the one rendering available, it's clear that the white Formica kitchen aesthetic is being replaced with natural finishings and stainless steel appliances. Silverstone is also adding a courtyard with wifi, a shared sun deck, and a lounge with pool tables and flat screen TVs. To ensure that the new building is not confused with its former self (or the other Clarendon uptown), they're even changing the name to the Grayson.

· Makeover Time for Rentals of a Certain Age [WSJ]
· 501 Second Avenue [Streeteasy]
· April Showers Cash on Landlords With Record Rentals [Curbed]