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Inside the sales gallery for DDG's Upper East Side condo, 180 East 88th Street

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This towering handmade brick-clad condo will come with just 48 apartments

Photos by Will Femia

Last summer, DDG’s planned 521-foot condo at 180 East 88th Street was at the center of a zoning controversy. Local residents and elected officials argued that the developer had carved out a four-foot lot to circumvent the existing height limitations. The city’s Department of Buildings agreed and slapped the project with a stop work order.

It took another six months for the city and the developer to come to an agreement, and that they did by extending the four-foot lot to 10 feet. Upper East Siders of course were not impressed by this compromise. “I am not sure what kind of building you can build on a 10-by-22-foot lot but I sure wouldn’t want to live there,” is what City Councilman Ben Kallos, had to say shortly after the agreement.

Regardless DGG has decided to put that controversy behind then and turn a new leaf. On a recent tour of the building’s sales gallery, which is located over 20 blocks south from the construction site, DDG’s CEO, Joe McMillan, would only say that DDG had complied with all of the city’s requests, and were looking forward to construction making progress at the site.

When you enter the sales gallery you’re immediately struck by the recreation of the building’s facade. This will be created using handmade Kolumba brick made in Denmark by Petersen Tegl—you can see and feel the thumbprints in the grayish facade. Adjacent to it, the large window has been created by Albertini from Italy.

The handmade Kolumba brick in lobby of the sales gallery.

This European influence continues throughout the building, and McMillan said his firm was inspired by Art Deco architecture while thinking about their Upper East Side project.

The sales gallery has been fitted out with what a typical condo’s living room, dining area, kitchen and master bathroom will look like. In these living rooms, or great rooms as they’re being called by DDG, ceiling heights will vary from 14’-2″ feet to an astonishing 28′-8″feet in some duplexes, and the windows will be up to nine-feet tall.

The kitchen carries on that European influence with this area being designed by Molteni&C Dada of the Italian company, the Molteni Group. The kitchen will come fitted with a Gaggenau appliance package and Italian Statuario marble slab countertops. Master bathrooms will come fitted with silver travertine and natural brass fixtures by Fantini, also from Italy.

Building lobbies are where developers and architects often love to make the boldest statements, and so too is case with DDG’s tower. A hand-sculpted plaster creation by German artist Jan Hooss can be seen in the sales office. Once the building is complete this work will be transported to the lobby of the tower and fitted above a fireplace.

We didn’t really get a sense of the amenities in the sales office, save for its depiction in the model of the building. However when the condo is complete, it will offer residents a basketball court, a children’s playroom, a fitness center, and a wine room for private wine tastings.

A close up of the plasterwork that will hang in the lobby.
A model of the building.

Sales on the tower’s 48 apartments got underway early last year with prices starting at $3.2 million for a two-bedroom (though the building will feature a mix of studios through triplex apartments). All the units haven’t appeared on the market yet, but of the ones currently available prices range from $3.45 million for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit, and go up to $6.875 million for a four-bedroom home on the 24th floor of the building.

McMillan said that sales hadn’t really been impacted by the stop-work order, and that the firm is confident about the condo’s success. Construction on the project is expected to wrap sometime next year.