HFZ Capital has brought on architecture bigwig Robert A.M. Stern to design the conversion of The Belnord on the Upper West Side into condos. HFZ purchased the massive, full-block apartment complex from Extell back in 2015 for $575 million, and revealed plans to convert it into condos the following year.
While filing condo plans in April last year, HFZ anticipated a sellout of $1.3 billion on the development. Plans called for the building’s 213 rentals to be converted into condos, meaning the average price of an apartment here would be just over $6 million.
With the announcement of Robert A.M. Stern as the architect, plans seem to have been scaled back just a little bit. While all of the units will be converted into condos, 95 of them will be brought to the market in the first phase and the rest will remain non-renovated rentals for varying amounts of time.
“We have a long history of success with thoughtful conversions that preserve and enhance irreplaceable pre-war structures, especially the magnificent properties that are the very fabric of the Upper West Side,” Ziel Feldman, the head of HFZ, said in a statement, pointing to the development firm’s work on the Chatsworth at 344 West 72nd Street, and The Astor at 235 West 75th Street, among others.
“Working with Bob Stern and his team at the Belnord ensures we will truly enrich the property and the experience of living in an historic building, blending the gracious early 20th Century era of design and space with every modern, elegant touch,” Feldman added.
Located between West 86th and 87th Streets, and Broadway and Amsterdam, the Belnord was designed by noted architecture firm Hiss and Weekes in 1908. The 14-story structure is notable for its landscaped interior courtyard and the porte-cochere used to access the building. The building was declared a New York City landmark in 1966.
The condos are likely to come on the market in the fall, at which time HFZ will release more details on the conversion.
“The Belnord has great bones and we're giving it a top-drawer restoration, preserving its original charm, but with a few nips and tucks for security and accessibility already approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission; creating a new fitness center; and then transforming the apartments to suit 21st-century living," Robert A.M. Stern, said in a statement, describing the conversion.