325 Fifth Avenue

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325 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY

325 Fifth Avenue
325FifthAvenue-NYC-Exterior.jpg

325 Fifth Avenue next to the Empire State Building[1]
Building Information
Developer Douglaston Development & Continental Properties
Architect Stephen B. Jacobs Group
Number of Units 250
Number of Floors 42
Year Built 2006
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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325 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C5-2
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

Renderings of 325 Fifth Avenue
325 Fifth Avenue is a recent addition to the New York City skyline with a striking light blue glass façade so different from its concrete and brick clad neighbors. It is a 42 floor luxury condominium building right across the street from the Empire State Building. That's about as "Mid-town" as one can get in New York City.

Apart from its prestigious address, the building was created with luxury in mind. After all, it is situated on one of the foremost retail areas in the world, Fifth Avenue, and Park Avenue a couple of blocks away. Mid-town Manhattan is the single busiest commercial district in the United States and has the highest demand for real estate. Many of the tallest buildings, both commercial and residential, are in Mid-town including 325 Fifth Avenue's nearest neighbor, the Empire State Building (ESB).

Mid-town continues to grow in importance as a major financial district second only to FiDi, the Financial District in Downtown Manhattan. Three of the four major television networks are headquartered in Midtown, as are many, many other corporate headquarters, like, JP Morgan Chase, Calvin Klein, Time Warner ... well the list is long.[1]

In good company
It seems everybody wants to be in Midtown, happy to exist in the shadow of one of the most impressive buildings in the world, the Empire State Building, although the nearby Chrysler Building is no slouch, either.

Retail, insurance, diplomatic missions, residential structures - which inspire a myriad of social amenities, like churches and schools and even more retail - foreign corporate presences, and of course, government buildings which explains the "State" in the "Empire State Building" - are all in the mix.

With so many things on the go in Midtown, it's easy to understand why about 750,000 cars make their way to Mid-town daily. Because Midtown covers such vast area, further break downs are used. NYPD have precincts in 'Midtown North' and 'Midtown South'. Ease of reference describes 'Midtown East' and 'Midtown West'. Further neighborhood break downs includes Murray Hill, Kips Bay, and Gramercy on the west side and Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen on the east.

And with everyone wanting to be there or at least be a part of Mid-town, it's no wonder the borders are somewhat nebulous. The general consensus, however, is that the area from 14th Street to 86th Street is roughly the center of Manhattan. The Central Business District (CBD) has a slightly different interpretation and the Real Estate industry also sees the area differently.

Nevertheless, 325 Fifth Avenue is in a prime location in New York City, no matter whose map one looks at.



Location

325 Fifth Avenue's Midtown location has just been discussed. But to be more specific, it really is in the heart of things. It's all a matter of choice, isn't it. People choose to live in an area that has 'choices' - sometimes many and sometimes few - that being a choice in itself.

For instance, if residents fancy eating out, there are over 30 choices within 500 feet of the door. Shopping? ... well, Midtown is a retail 'mecca'. All those businesses and offices in the area has encouraged the growth of bars and pubs. It will be sufficient to say, there are many - back to choices, again.

Coffee places are the fuel of business, according to those who like it. Choices range from "independents" to "franchise". The area generally attracts younger residents, singles and perhaps professional couples, but if a young family finds its way into Midtown, there are more choices to make on day care, preschools, and regular academia - still only half a mile from the door.,

For those residents who choose to park their car for a while, more than 100 public transit options surround the building. Choosing to drive west takes one to the Lincoln Tunnel on 39th Street for a quick trip to Newark Airport (depending on the time of day, of course). To the east, one can tie into the Queens Midtown Tunnel at around 37th Street for a trip to Brooklyn.[2]

A short stroll will bring residents of 325 Fifth Avenue to Madison Square Park to the south, maybe six 'short' blocks. Within New York City's grid system that's been mapped out since 1807, the 'short' blocks (traveling along the avenues) are about half the length of the 'long' blocks as one travels along a street.

Choices.


Construction

The setbacks near the top of 325 Fifth Avenue
A bird's eye view

325 Fifth Avenue is an elegant representation of a contemporary design envisioned by architects, Stephen B. Jacobs Group. From the landscaped sidewalk, offering a privately owned public space, to the balconies rising up the height of the building, 325 Fifth Avenue is a unique and shiny addition to a neighborhood of concrete, brick, and limestone.

It displays its modern architectural style boldly. Balconies begin at staggered heights and culminate in a couple of setbacks that provide terrace space for the penthouses. On the roof, there is a curved roof that slopes down to the north housing the water tank of the building.

Using a glass curtain as a building cladding creates a sparkling impression on all those who view the building. Additionally, it obviates the building from needing to conform to LL 11, or Local Law 11 which requires a building with a brick or masonry façade to have it physically inspected every five years - up close, not with a telephoto lens - to ensure that there are no failures of the façade whereby chunks of the masonry could plummet into the street.

An argument might be raised that 325 Fifth Avenue seems out of 'context' with its surroundings. Some may put forth that the "baby-blue" color of its façade is out of place. Others may counter that this may be the shape of things to come, a view of forthcoming design innovations.

Either viewpoint has merit within the visual cacophony that is New York City's skyline.


Layout and Features

A grand lobby is entered through an opulent entrance. Gleaming walls and floor tiles greet the eye. Part of the lobby is covered with glass allowing natural light to enter freely. This sunlight nourishes the growing trees in the lobby, a part of the interior deign.

Splashes of color come from purple accents in the ceiling glass panels and from a floral mural hanging in the lobby. Stylized modern, but spare furniture, sits in a seating area featuring a large colorful ottoman, remotely resembling a rather large cream-filled pastry. Residents or visitors may catch their breath in this area and be soothed by the sound created by a water-wall.

For the health and benefit of residents, designers included a very well equipped gym and fitness area. There is also a pool, a steam room, a sauna, and a yoga studio.

Most units have balconies and the penthouses have private terraces. Floor to ceiling windows gives everyone spectacular views, no matter what direction the unit faces.

Floor Plans

More than 150 floor plans are available for 325 Fifth Avenue suggesting that there are many variations on a theme.

Layouts include Studios, one, two, and three bedroom versions. Here are a few samples:

Penthouses in the building are duplexes. Here are a couple:

... And the upper level of that penthouse
Nice terrace
Lower part of a three bedroom, three bathroom penthouse ...

Amenities

325 Fifth Avenue has numerous amenities for its residents. Here are some highlights:


  • concierge
  • day spa, pool, sauna, steam room
  • hotel service
  • screening room
  • washer/dryer allowed
  • bike room and storage room
  • children's playroom
  • courtyard
  • doorman
  • fitness center, yoga studio, and health club
  • garden
  • laundry room and/or laundry service
  • parking and valet service
  • billiard room
  • business meeting room


Bylaws

325 Fifth Avenue Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No



  • Pets are allowed
  • Rentals, pied-a-terre, and sublets are permitted


Sustainability

325 Fifth Avenue is not officially designated as a "green building". No project listing exists for this address.[6]

However, modern municipal and State regulations require builders to conform to guidelines that cover some materials used and disposal of construction waste. Selected materials must fall within non-toxic categories that vary from product to product.

Disposal of construction wastes must conform to rules governing materials separation products destined either for landfills or to be recycled in some manner. These are common sense guidelines, now laws, that all builders must follow.

Double pane glass in the windows of this building improve the overall insulation. Tints in the glass help to lessen solar impact inside the units.

Low flow fixtures assist with water conservation and LED lighting reduces electricity use. Choosing Energy Star rated appliances is another way that residents are lessening their impact on the environment.

Trivia

Balconies covered with black mesh over plywood panels
  • In keeping with the motif of the building, the balconies in 325 Fifth Avenue are fitted with glass panels. Nice for the views, but tragic for a passerby if one of these panels should fall.
    • On July 17, 2007, one broke - and fell to the ground. Someone had thrown a ball at a panel and it broke. As it cascaded to the ground, it took out other glass panels on its way, contributing to the shower of glass.
    • The good fortune of this misfortune was that the mishap occurred on the back side of the building - away from the crowded streets of Fifth Avenue. All loose glass was removed and new glass panels replaced the temporary plywood panels.
    • Later that year - it happened again, also on the back side of the building. Repairs were once again made.
    • On July 1, 2009, the third one happened, but this time, showering onto Fifth Avenue. The whole street was shut by police as emergency services all responded. Thankfully, there were only two minor injuries, but it was decreed that apartment owners could not use their balconies until the Department of Buildings completed their forensic report of what went wrong. The 1300 glass panels of all the balconies have all been draped with mesh and bolstered with plywood.
    • Surprisingly, no litigation occurred.[7]


References

  1. Wikipedia - Mid-town Manhattan
  2. Walk Score
  3. Nest Seekers - Photo credit
  4. - lobby photo credit.
  5. - lobby photo credit.
  6. United States Green Building Council - Projects
  7. Habitat - Fixing a Condo Catastrophe Without Litigation: The Tale of 325 Fifth Avenue


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