PERRY STREET, the ultra-cool, chic + sleek, Thomas Juul Hansen-designed West Village Jean Georges restaurant, re-opened tonight after undergoing extensive renovations and repairs as a result of SANDY, the hurricane that caused flooding in lower Manhattan in late 2012. The place looked exceptional and the food was pitch-perfect. The crowd was as good as it gets full of locals and New York regulars who have established a special bond with this landmark located in the middle Richard Meier designed tower that set the tone for the West Village real estate renaissance.
Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Juul Hansen’
There is rumor that the prime minister of Qatar is ready to pay nearly $100 million for the city’s most expensive penthouse — a super-slick, Thomas Juul-Hansen designed, two-story showplace atop the One57 condominium across the street from Carnegie Hall, The New York Post reports this morning (is this the same apartment they reported sold for $ 90 million earlier this year or another unit?)….almost triple the cost of the apartment he had wanted to buy where the co-op board rejected him.
Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani was turned down by the Fifth Avenue co-op board where he wanted to spend $31.5 million on two apartments owned by the late Huguette Clark, an eccentric American copper heiress according to reliable sources.
In this morning’s Financial Times an article addresses how the Danish believe that good design improves lives. I see this trend more and more in New York real estate: the growth of consumer’s esthetic awareness has literally exploded in the past 10 years and their understanding of the benefits of good design keeps improving and accelerating.
While some may argue that the appreciation for good design is something only for the very wealthy, they are wrong: a revolution is taking place in the democratization of design, and great, well designed products can be found at almost any price point.
I do think we have a long way to go in Manhattan residential real estate, but it amazes me how enthused and captivated people are when they witness or visit well designed properties. And there are a few in New york for sure. I have seen this so many times at 200 Eleventh Avenue, the Annabelle Selldorf designed building known by many as the Sky Garage building. While it is true most of the buyers were excited by the ability to park alongside your apartment in a garage accessed by a car elevator, I have found the bulk of buyers were really captivated by the exceptionally designed spaces, with their soaring ceilings, large windows, well proportioned rooms and no hideous mechanical intake grills that litter so many so-called high end properties.
I have seen first hand how a beautifully designed apartment sells for more (and quicker) than an identical, but poorly designed apartment…..even if the poorly designed unit was on a higher floor with better light and views! It’s almost unbelievable, but yes, people’s senses are highly impacted by the feel and mood (and design) of a living space. At 130 West 12th Street, gorgeous design, furnishings and art masked low ceilings that would otherwise have de-valued the entire building. I have seen ‘ugly basements’ transformed to great living spaces (without windows), view-less apartmnents that felt good because the cleverly designed window treatments made the lack of a view not an issue. And while some may not have the budget for a world class interior designer or architect, HGTV and a host of other magazines show how you can practically embrace good design on a shoestring budget.
In Denmark, this year marks the 10th anniversary of Index: Design to Improve Life, a non-profit organisation that promotes the idea that interior design as a decisive factor in creating a better world. Now internationally recognised it offers the world’s largest monetary prize for design at about $650,000.00. There are 400 furniture companies in Denmark producing about $ 2 billion worth of goods: 80% are exported, making homewares the country’s fifth most important export industry. Much of this furniture is still influenced by those original designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, Verner Panton and Poul Henningsen, items seen regularly in Manhattan apartments.
In New York, Danish born super-star acrhitect, Thomas Juul Hansen, has become most famous recently for his exceptional, thoughtful interior design of Extell’s One57, New York’s tallest resdiential tower. His work is best known in the Jean Georges restaurants as well as One York, HL23 and One Madison Park, which is planned to re-launch this Fall. His sleek, modernist design is especially loved by those who have lived with it, a style of design that doesn’t compete with your life, yet compliments it and allows individuality too.
At 54 Bond Street and several other propeties since, I have learned the genius of Steven Harris, whose spaces enthuse, calm and inspire all those that visit it. And those who live in a Steven Harris designed property will espouse on the value good design has had on their lives.
I have lived in a Selldorf designed apartment for the past 2 years, and I have to say the sophistication in each of the decisions made, the balance, the proportion, have all truly impacted my quality of life. Esthetics please everyone it seems, and its a potent message to developers not to underestimate its power in the value of a new building. As a large stream of new buildings comes to market over the course of the next 18 months, I strongly believe the esthetic bar in New York real estate will have been raised quite notably…..and about time too!
As news broke this week that the Thomas Juul Hansen designed penthouse at One 57 (157 West 5th Street) sold for around $ 90 million, a new record for New York City real estate pricing, I am in California observing other markets. And all I can hear is how the real estate markets around the country, especially on the high end, have come roaring back to life in prime locations. In Boston, Montecito, Miami, Bel Air, London, Monaco, new pricing records are being achieved. A friend of mine recently completed a renovation of a house in Boston: within days they had multiple bids, over the asking price.
I did find it amusing how Gary Barnett announced blatantly in the New York Times this morning that the buyer of the penthouse at One 57 was NOT Russian, as if having Russian buyers in a building would somehow de-value the building? Is it possible that the Russian selling his MAJOR apartment at Time Warner is indeed this buyer? Or is it democratically-elected-president-for-life Vladimir Putin who was simply too busy buying real estate to attend the G8 conference? Is it Borat, or just the dictator he plays in his latest movie?
I have heard similar sentiments from brokers and owners from St. Jean Cap Ferrat to Santa Barbara. Some buyers actually ask the question: Are there many Russians in the building/neighborhood? I thought that was illegal….. Russian buyers have certainly been a potent force in the Manhattan market in the past few years: In New York, might sentiments of this nature spark the re-surgence of the tough, secretive co-op board that could prevent the sale of an apartment to a Russian without providing any reasoning for a turn-down?
Yesterday was one of those rare and wonderful days where I could take off some time in the afternoon to enjoy a CITY DAY: I met a good friend for lunch at Jean Georges (exquisitely renovated in ONE week – all contractors and designers take note – by the inimitable Thomas Juul Hansen). Then it was a leisurely walk past the stores of Time Warner to the Museum of Arts and Design, one of my favorites.
After taking in some rather remarkable works involving dust, dirt, glass, ceramics and more, we strolled along Central Park South, and thats when things turned ugly…… firstly we stopped into an ‘Art Gallery’, presumably one catering to the new-rich-lottery-winner or tourist-with-big-cash: several of the garish works of ‘art’ appeared to have been constructed with the same sparkly Michael’s MJ Designs puff paint that the ‘artist’s’ Mom’s had used on her home made T-shirts. It made me yearn for my wonderful West Chelsea 24th Street block jam-packed with some truly great art. Then it was on to the Plaza, where a new Men’s boutique has opened, Angelo Galasso. Does this exquisitely appointed store only cater to super-rich fat Russians or any tacky Guido who wishes to differentiate themselves from the masses with layers of Alligator and excessively detailed fine Milanese tailoring? The excess was blinding.
Exiting the Plaza, walking past the layers of glitzy Bentley’s, Ferraris and the kind of cars people notice, we walked past Bergdorf Goodman. The windows at Van Cleef & Arpels were littered with large, abrasive watches embellished with diamonds, colored stones, snakeskin and possibly every other deign thought all planned to be caked onto the wrist of whom…..Snooki? It was at that moment that I realized the world is being Snookified. After that it had become obvious how so much of the retail world was showcasing product whose design teams were obviously in some way beholding to the JERSEY SHORE ESTHETIC, something that has seeped into design culture in the most horrible way. Some of the most refined stores were definitely being influenced by these new Kardashianesque Reality TV ‘style icons’. UGH!
We settled at the Peninsula for tea, a wonderful haven from the throngs of tourists who obviously came to our little town to buy a piece of Snookiville, whether on Fifth Avenue or Canal Street (they are beginning to look rather similar!). Picking up the Financial Times, I read a story how the BRIC countries’ esthetic may start influencing the West. They have already, but lots of the jazzy, flashy, tacky, massive-wrist-watch-culture we are seeing can proudly be attributed to our own cultural icons. And how will this impact New York real estate? My friend pointed out how a good volume of the people buying this tacky crap usually don’t save their pennies and rather buy things they can easily display such as watches and cars….
Just like a virus, Snooki is in our system and I’m afraid, she ain’t leaving soon.
The other night I was invited to the launch of EXTELL’s newest addition to the New York skyline, One 57, the Christian de Portzamparc-designed 90 story, 1,000ft tall Tower located at 157 West 57th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. Towering above the Time Warner Center, Trump’s One Central Park West, and certainly looking down on the neighborhood icon 15 Central Park West, the 135 residential units will rise above a 210-room Park Hyatt Hotel, offering un-obstructed panoramic views of Central Park and the entire tri-state region.
The occasion was a grand one indeed: Manhattan Brokerage Royalty came out in full force, immaculately attired in Prada, Louboutin’s, sequins and all. A string quartet greeted guests as they embarked from the elevators and led them through palatial double doors into the sales office/showroom. No expense has been spared in creating certainly one of the most dramatic showrooms ever, resplendent with floor to ceiling screens showcasing a movie of the building and environment, two mock-up kitchens and a master bathroom. Severely chic black, white and deep wood tones featured. The interior design is the responsibility of uber-chic Thomas Juul Hansen, one of New York’s premiere designer architects responsible for projects such as One Madison Park, One York, Jean Georges and Perry street to name a few. The quality of the Smallbone kitchens is immediately apparent, vastly superior to most of the designer name kitchens one sees regularly. I thought the floorplans were particularly strong, the perfect take on a classic apartment with a very modern, purist sensibility. The well proportioned, squared off rooms are reminiscent of One Beacon Court, another building many considered to be in a less-than-stellar location that has been hugely successful.
I thought the bathroom was rather beautiful and especially grandly scaled for highrise living. Architecturally, the look of the building is one of Severe Gotham Chic with definite Art Deco-inspired undertones, and should definitely appeal to many foreign buyers seeking a glossy New York experience.
Several brokers muttered that there are not enough Russian buyers to buy all these units: I suspect that sales will start to take off mostly once buyers have the ability to witness the views on site, and it may be challenging at the $ 5,000+/sf pricing not being directly on Central Park: 57th Street is not exactly Fifth Avenue. I also believe the true value of these apartments may only be realized once the building is completed and buyers have the ability to walk through the spaces, getting a feeling not only for the bathrooms and kitchens, but also the light, views, volume of space and the other finishes so critical to this price point. Hopefully the finish quality takes its cues from One Hyde Park, where this profile of buyer was willing to spend the extra dollars knowing the apartments did not have to be gutted. This building is for those that love super-highrise living, want spectacular views, grand spaces, full services, tight security, a central location, sleek, modernist design (the opposite of the Plaza or 15 Central Park West) and do not want to renovate.
It was heartening to see luxury Manhattan New Development spring back to life: this will be one of several new modernist buildings for the uber-rich coming to the market over the next year or so, including Macklowe’s 1,300ft + tall Drake building on Park Avenue at 57th Street and One Madison Park. Other, more humanly scaled buildings are coming too, so the mix and variety will be outstanding, bringing an end to the very limited inventory of top-notch apartments currently available. I believe the quality bar will be raised dramatically by this level of competition, and it will be an exciting time in New York real estate for sure.