Event: Celebration of closings at the Baccarat Hotel & Residences at 20 West 53rd Street.
In the house: Developer Mark Gordon of Tribeca Associates, interior designer Tony Ingrao, the brokers, Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, and the PR people from Susan Magrino Agency.
Menu: Cheese, pate, bread, breadsticks, and champagne.
Overheard: Broker to new broker: "What do you think, for the end of your first day?"
It seems like the Baccarat Hotel & Residences in Midtown, a new venture from Starwood Capital and Tribeca Associates, has been in the works for eons (really only 2011), but the crystal palace is finally nearing completion. Closings are underway, and the team hosted a party in the building to mark the occasion, giving a peek inside the 60 condos. The first 17 floors of the 50-story tower hold the hotel, which will open mid-December, while the rest of the floors host the condos. They range from one-to four-bedrooms, and include three three-bedroom duplexes and a five-bedroom duplex penthouse, billed as a "grand chateau in the sky."
The homes are large, with the smallest one-bedrooms measuring 932 square feet, and all units have ceilings over 10 feet high. Floors 46 and 47 will have 14-foot ceilings while the duplexes will have 20-foot ceilings, and units on the 18th floor, as well as the penthouse units, have terraces. Of the 40 listings (13 active, 27 in contract) on StreetEasy, sizes for non-penthouse units range from 1,194 to 4,545 square feet. The least expensive one-bedrooms have been spoken for, but for still available units, the cheapest option is a $5.15 million one-bedroom. Remaining two-bedroom units range from $5.925 million to $6.3 million; three-bedrooms from $9.75 to $13.9 million; and four-bedrooms from $19.75 to $24 million. The 7,381-square-foot penthouse is listed at an even $60 million. The building is approximately 70 percent sold, and the first move-ins will take place at the owners' convenience, as closings are already under way.
The higher up you go, the more impressive the views are. The party was held in a 2,525-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-and-half-bath unit on the 36th floor. Its kitchen comes with a cappuccino maker, wine refrigerator, and double oven, which is standard in all units. We traveled up to the 47th floor during the party, but as it's still very much a construction site, photos of the apartment were not permitted.
Developer Mark Gordon said that what makes the building special is that you have all of the comforts of home with all of the conveniences of a hotel. That means room service, 24 hours a day. If you suddenly decided you want your kitchen cleaned at the end of a dinner party, the maid will come up and do that. If you need dinner reservations or theater tickets, the concierge is at your disposal. You'll also have access to the pool and spa. Plus, a Crestron system will control your apartment and be accessible by smartphone app. So, if it's February and you've just landed at LaGuardia and want the apartment to be toasty before you get home, you'll be able to make that happen.
The building itself is a Skidmore, Owings & Merrill creation while the residential interiors were designed by Tony Ingrao with the model having been staged by Stephen Sills. There are a lot of shiny surfaces, both in the lobby and the residences, and the entrance doors will feature Baccarat crystal handles.
—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.
· Baccarat Hotel & Residences [Official]
· Listings: Baccarat Hotel & Residences [StreetEasy]
· All Baccarat Hotel and Residences coverage [Curbed]