It’s ironic that the search for authenticity in Manhattan often takes superficial forms. A 212 area code, for example, is often seen as the hallmark of a true Manhattanite. So naturally, self-conscious transplants are willing to shell out hundreds — and occasionally thousands — to upgrade their phone numbers with those sought-after digits.
And when it comes to addresses, Fifth Avenue is the gold standard. Since 1862, when Caroline Schermerhorn Astor took a residence on the southwest corner of 34th Street and Fifth, Manhattan society has called the thoroughfare its own.
After all, “it is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon the Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the Park, and to sleep with his fathers in Green-Wood,” as the New York Times reported in 1866.
Now a new condo conversion along Madison Square Park hopes to combine those two coveted symbols and drum up sales by giving buyers a mailing address with impressive street cred.
That project is 212 Fifth Avenue, a 1913 building with new luxury units. Construction won’t wrap until next spring, but the building’s 48 apartments have hit the market, according to TOWN New Development, which is marketing the building.
Prices for homes in the building range from $2,500 to $4,500 per square foot — starting at $3.9 million for a two-bedroom, according to the New York Times. It seems $4 million is what it costs these days to convince your friends back home that you are, emphatically, a “New Yorker.”
Of course, beyond the marketing strategy of a highly desirable address, the development seems genuinely high end, boasting loft-style, column-free spaces, grand foyers with book-matched marble floors and chevron-patterned oak hardwood flooring elsewhere.
“Honestly, the address was 50 percent of the reason I bought the building,” Thor Equities’ Joseph Sitt, who is co-developing the building with Madison Equities’ Robert Gladstone, told the New York Daily News.
And in all likelihood, it will be the address, not the finishes that will bring the buyers.