Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What does it cost to live on Madison Square Park, and what do you get for the money?

The Grand Madison, 225 Fifth Avenue

The building:

225 Fifth, a 12 story landmarked Renaissance Revival-style building at the northwest corner of the park, was built in 1906.  Not quite a century later, in 2005, it was converted to condominiums.  193 of them.

Currently there are five active sales listings plus four in contract and one available for rent.  According to PropertyShark, 153 of the 193 units are owner-occupied.

The building is still on its way to a permanent certificate of occupancy, but it has been diligent about renewing its temporary certificates of occupancy (the current one expires August 25, 2011).

What it costs to live there:

Average sale price per square foot for the last 12 months has been $1,451.  A 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment of 1290 s.f. without a park view would have set you back about $1,700,000, or $1318 per square foot. 

Average monthlies, including real estate tax, are $1.64 per square foot..  There is no tax abatement.  While tax rates, and thus taxes, will no doubt increase, there won't be a sudden lurch upward when an abatement expires.

The highest sale price in the building to date, according to Streeteasy, was $5,294,900 for Penthouse N, which closed on April 6 of this year.  It’s a 1756 square foot 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment with a 573 s.f. terrace.

Rents in the past year have averaged $5.50/s.f. per month.  For a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment of 1290 s.f., that's $6,450 per month.

What you get:

A large staff  of doormen and porters, a concierge, resident manager, valet service, impressive fitness center and landscaped interior courtyard. 

An unusually spacious apartment with very high ceilings by today’s standards.  The average size of a two bedroom is almost 1500 s.f.  One bedrooms are about 945 s.f.  

Ceilings are approximately 10’, which is almost two feet higher than those in buildings built in the 80s and more than a foot higher than those in most prewar apartments.  (A disadvantage is that there are as many as 11 apartments on a floor, a relic of the building’s early days as the Hotel Brunswick.)

Maybe a park view.  Five of the 22 “Penthouses” (not all have outdoor space) and the J, K, L and M lines have park views.  Some apartments face into the landscaped courtyard, which means they are extremely quiet but on the lower floors do not get much light.  The north exposure faces a tall building, and the apartments on that side don't get much light either.

And of course, the park itself, with its children's playground, wonderful dog run, Art in the Park, the Shake Shack, stunning landscaping, overarching trees, and on and on and on.   People come from the farthest reaches of Chelsea, Murray Hill, Gramercy and the Flatiron district to enjoy the park.  People who live in The Grand Madison cross the street.
More buildings will be profiled soon.


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