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A $4 Million Condo Across the Street From Carnegie Hall

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Event: Open house at The Briarcliffe for Apt. 4C
In The House: Real estate people, the developer and his architect, as well as a few curious neighbors
Dress Code: Heat-wave-with-a-chance-of-hailstrom casual
Menu: Shrimp aeoli, asparagus and egg canapes, prosciutto and pickle, biscotti, chocolate cookies with walnuts, and chocolate-vanilla swirl cookies. Prosecco and sparking water.
Music: People seemed free to use the grand piano in the living room, so the evening's soundtrack ranged from classical pieces to a medley that included "Isn't She Lovely" and "Just the Two of Us"
Overheard: "I kept punching the elevator button for the penthouse, but it wouldn't take me up."
In contrast to its taller, flashier neighbor a few doors down, The Briarcliffe at 171 West 57th Street is an exercise in how to keep an immense low profile. The building was built in 1922, and when someone asks how to get to Carnegie Hall, residents can pre-empt the punchline by pointing out their living room windows to the famed concert hall and answering "Cross the street." Apartment 4C has 3BR/3.5BA, and at 2,600 square feet is the second-largest unit in the building. Developer Mark Fessel of JAMES Development is selling the apartment for just under $4 million. Fessel makes a business of buying apartments during rental-to-condo conversions and continuing to rent to long-time tenants until they vacate and he can renovate and sell the property. Architect Jeff Fuquay was on hand to explain some of the renovations that took six months to complete in 4C. Plans were constrained by the existence of load-bearing and infrastructure-containing walls throughout the floor plan, but the kitchen was redesigned, the formal dining room was opened up to the entrance way, and a large coat closet was replaced with a more open entrance way and a powder room.
· 171 West 57th Street, 4C []