The Big OH: A look at Flatiron’s newest, most luxurious building and its crowning penthouse

Forget the Puck Building and One57: Our heart now lies with 212 Fifth Avenue.

The building sits on the western side of Madison Square Park and although it is currently buffered by bollards and barriers, its splendor is unmistakable.

212 Fifth Avenue began life in 1912 as a manufacturing building, but with the combined efforts of developers Madison Equities and Thor Equities, plus architect David Helpern and interior design firm Pembrooke & Ives, it has been meticulously gut renovated, restored and turned into a opulent 48-unit condo building.

The resulting tower is one so swanky that even its address is luxurious; last November, LLNYC reported that the building was using two coveted symbols of the “true” Manhattanite – the 212 area code and the Fifth Avenue address — to drum up sales.

“It is the ultimate New York address. You can’t make that up. It has incredible appeal to it,” Shlomi Reuveni, managing director of TOWN New Development, who is marketing the project told LLNYC at the time. “I can’t say that people buy because of the address, but it adds a certain cache.”

For our latest installment of our Big Open House series we got a look behind its neo-Gothic façade in a tour led by Robert Gladstone, the owner of Madison Equities.

Inside, construction workers are still hard at work, and the unfinished lobby is a hive of activity. When completed, the lobby will have three entrances, marble floors and a whole lot of charm.

Much like 21 East 12th Street, the same materials and finishes are used in all residential units, from the two bedrooms to the penthouse (though the penthouse is obviously more lavish).

Up on the completed 11th floor, we got a peek at one of the building’s three-bedroom units.

Apartment 11A was last on the market for $11.7 million (it is currently off the market), and spans 3,008 square feet. It comes with an oh-so-grand marble foyer — a feature enjoyed by all units — a sprawling open-plan living and kitchen area designed by Pembrooke & Ives, and Gaggenau appliances. We suspect Gaggenau might be the appliance du jour seeing as they’ve been in every luxury development we’ve toured recently.

Then there’s the sizable master suite, which has a marble filled bathroom, while the secondary bathrooms are decked out in hand-cut glass slabs.

The building’s industrial past came with unexpected benefits like stronger floors and bigger windows that offer impressive views of the neighborhood.

212 Fifth Avenue’s real crowning glory though, is its $68.5 million penthouse apartment. From the exterior of the building, the arched windows on the top floor signal the start of the triplex spread, and the two floors above that are tucked away out of sight.

Unlike the units on the 11th floor, the penthouse is still a work-in-progress, and it’ll likely be roughly six weeks until it’s completed. The bones of the pad however, are already present, and there’s no doubt they’re flawless.

The space is huge, over 10,000 square feet, and when finished it will come with five bedrooms, a private elevator, a great room with a fireplace and park views, a gourmet kitchen, a grand atrium stairway, skylights and a master bedroom suite with a bar, sitting room and two walk-in closets.

The unit also has 5,730 square feet of outdoor space on two levels. Hidden away behind a towering parapet, the private 23rd floor terrace extends the full length of the building, and comes with enough space for trees, plants, art installations and a swimming pool should its future owner want to add one. Up on the 24th floor is the outdoor observatory, which boasts impressive views uptown, downtown and across the Madison Square Park treetops.

Unlike some other new developments, 212 Fifth has just one penthouse. After all, as Gladstone says, “why would you want to share the glory?”