White brick building. It's usually said with a sneer, or a condescending tone, which is about as close to a sneer as one gets on the Upper East Side on or west of Park Avenue. A multi-million dollar overhaul of 530 Park Avenue, however, may give the entire architectural shorthand for crappy modern apartment buildings a façade facelift. The Wall Street Journal reports that RFR Holding LLC is pouring $70 million in capital improvements into the 19-story building at 61st and Park Avenue, all to remake the building as a luxury address where condo-converted apartments will ask an average of $3,250 square foot, and the cheapest unit is a $1.65 million studio. You wish you could live in this white brick building.
There are 116 apartments at 530 Park Avenue, including 36 rental holdovers. RFR is doing the standard modernizing and condoizing work—brand new kitchens and bathrooms with modern appliances and fixtures—but altering the exterior is almost as important. The lobby entrance is being doubled in height and will feature more windows. And curved windows are being added to the building where the exterior bends.
Part of the conversion is the combination of units. The largest apartment will be a 4BR, asking $9.95 million. Buyers are expected to include a number of foreign buyers or out-of-towners looking for a place to stay when in New York. Stretching the concept of pied-a-terre to the breaking point, Aby Rosen of RFR Holdings said that many out-of-towners are looking for larger crash pads. "Pied-a-terre buyers now often want three and four bedrooms," he told the Journal.
· The Revenge of the White-Brick Apartment [WSJ]
· 530 Park Avenue [Curbed]