Grand Beekman

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400 East 51st Street, New York City, NY

Grand Beekman

The Grand Beekman in Turtle Bay
Building Information
Developer Alexico Group
Architect Costas Kondylis & Partners
Management Company Douglas Elliman Property Management
Number of Units 89
Number of Floors 32
Year Built 2003
Construction Method Concrete
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400 East 51st Street, New York City, NY, United States
Distance to Public Transit One block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R10
Title of Land Condominium



The Grand Beekman is the a new addition to the enclave of the Beekman area in the neighborhood of Turtle Bay. Not much in the way of residential development has been added for several decades.

Great views are available from the Grand Beekman
Turtle Bay - around 1853
It grew into a 32 floor tower set upon a seven story limestone pedestal accented with a royal blue entrance canopy. One of the retail tenants in this mixed-use building is a branch of the Chase Manhattan Bank.

The neighborhood of Turtle Bay began its existence, at least as far as the western world is concerned, in the 17th century when a parcel of land was given to two Englishmen by the then Dutch colonial governor, in 1639. The East River had spates of very bad weather and Turtle Bay became a safe haven. It soon became a site for ship-building.

As the grid system in Manhattan was developing, the land around Turtle Bay was graded as development moved in. And move in, it did. By 1868, industrial and commercial over development jammed the area with slaughterhouses, gas works, tanneries, breweries, coal yards and railroad piers.

Squalid tenements endured about 150 tons of soot-fall per square mile annually. It was quite a blight. But in 1918, Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan saw a glimmer of hope in the area. She purchased and renovated 11 brownstone row houses, faced them with lighter colored material, rearranged the interiors, developed a common garden away from the noisy street, and named the enclave Turtle Bay Gardens. She then sold the units to friends at cost and so began the gentrification of Turtle Bay.

Celebrity residents over the years have included Katharine Hepburn, Ricardo Montalban, Tyrone Power, and E.B. White, the author of the popular Charlotte's Web.

Once the slaughterhouses were cleared from the 18 acres between 42nd Street and 49th Street, work began on the United Nations buildings along the East River. This work was largely completed around 1952.[1]

Turtle Bay has evolved into a tree lined neighborhood with somewhat quiet streets with the bulk of traffic being diverted using FDR Drive along the river bank.


Grand Beekman's royal blue canopy
The Grand Beekman is nestled comfortably into the neighborhood of Turtle Bay which extends from East 43rd Street at the south (with a little jog up to East 44th Street) and goes to East 59th Street on the north end, right about where the Queensboro Bridge makes landfall from Brooklyn. It extends inland to Lexington Avenue from the East River, its other natural boundary.

Even though the Grand Beekman is some distance from the nearest subway line (two long blocks), the bus service in the immediate area is more than adequate to connect residents with the rest of Manhattan and beyond.

Attractions within walking distance of the Grand Beekman include McArthur Park, the United Nations Building, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, and Rockefeller Center. Locally, some five star meals can be had at restaurants like Lutece, Le Cirque, Lespinasse and the Four Seasons.

Designer coffees and groceries are not exactly at the doorstep, but certainly within a 5 minute walk. Over half a dozen schools are also in the area all within a 20 minute walk.[2]


The Grand Beekman, a mixed-use building
The technical data for the Grand Beekman states that it is 115.22m high - just under 380 feet. The price tag to build the structure is published at $138 million.

The 32 floor structure is setback and sits atop a seven story base trimmed with similar beige brick as the accents in the tower part. The base also features limestone quoins and on the front façade.

As well, the first two floors of the base, house the retail spaces and is faced entirely with limestone separated by a string course between floors two and three. The architectural style of the base differs from the tower in a couple of ways.

The base corners are sharp 90 degree angles whereas the tower corners are beveled glass panels forming bay windows up the height of one corner of the tower and from half was up on the other corner. Also, the fenestration is different giving giving the appearance of two buildings, a short one in front and a taller neighbor standing guard over it.

The apartments are spacious in this slab construction with no more than about four suites per floor. The roof of the building has several articulations giving the overall image of a sophisticated post-modern styling.[3]

Layout and Features

There are many features at the Grand Beekman to entice and attract residents. There is a conservatory, along with The Garden Court and gardens.

Finishes within the apartments have such things as mahogany flooring, marble counter tops and lavish baths. Some of the units have Juliet balconies and yet others have private terrace space.

The fitness center is equipped with state-of-the art equipment and the onsite concierge is there to help with residents needs. There is also a play area for the children.

  • [4] - The developer has created an informative video presentation about the features and services of the Grand Beekman. The clip can be viewed in the References section of this page, a little further down.

Floor Plans

The Grand Beekman offers more than 40 different floor plans comprised of variations of one, two, and three bedroom plans. Some larger units may be configured to have four bedrooms, if the owners do not feel a library is necessary.

Here's a taste:


Roosevelt Island and Brooklyn beyond

There is a pretty roster of amenities for Grand Beekman.

  • Concierge
  • Full time doorman
  • Health Club
  • Garden
  • Landscaped conservatory with fountains
  • Basement Storage
  • Valet service
  • Mahogany floors, crown moldings
  • Full service garage
  • Close to the United Nations and its park
  • Close to the East River
  • Good crosstown bus service


  • Considerable traffic
  • No balconies
  • No garage
  • No roof deck
  • Not close to subways


Grand Beekman Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues No

  • Pet friendly
  • Rentals are permitted
  • Pied-à-terre and sublets are also allowed
  • No balconies so barbecues would not be practical

The building is managed by Douglas Elliman Property Management phone: (212) 350-2800.


The Grand Beekman is not designated as a "green building". Although more and more structures are being built following LEED Certification guidelines for sustainable construction practices and operations, The designers and builders of this building opted out of that aspect of the design phase.

However, modern building codes and standards assure that certain steps need to be taken by builders and suppliers that will ultimately lessen the building's impact on the environment. Newer and safer building products are used and safety codes dictate safer, more efficient electrical systems and water management.

Additionally, a New York City bylaw has been enacted requiring all citizens and visitors of New York to recycle using the comprehensive programs in place.


The Grand Beekman advertising and promotional literature describes a garden courtyard as part of the amenity list. Oddly, research was unable to disclose any images of this obviously desirable perk.

However, some other hidden "green" treasures abound in the immediate area of the building. They are described as "The Secret Gardens Of Midtown Manhattan". These green spaces are all close to the Grand Beekman, the farthest being only 15 minutes walk. Grab a book and a coffee, kick back and enjoy these images:[5]

Figure 1.

also 47th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues - a secluded prayer garden.
48th Street and 1st Avenue - benches, trees, plants, and lots of water features
47th Street - between 1st and 2nd Avenues - features fountains, gardens and benches all decorating the park.

... and some more ...

48th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues - a little farther, perhaps, but the water sounds like a gentle rainfall
43rd Street and 2nd Avenue - an indoor garden in the Ford Foundation building. Open to the public Monday to Friday - 8AM to 4PM
40th Street and 3rd Avenue - a sunny roof top in the middle of the city


  1. Wikipedia - Turtle Bay, Manhattan
  2. Walk Score
  3. City Realty - Review
  4. Video about Grand Beekman - Layout and Features
  5. Secret Gardens Of Midtown Manhattan

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