Upper East Side

Top-shelf storage: Locals can stash wine and art at an upcoming, upscale facility

From left: a historic view of 305 East 61st Street and Adam Gordon
From left: a historic view of 305 East 61st Street and Adam Gordon

Boutique condo developer Adam Gordon — the man behind the luxury conversion of 54 Bond Street — made his fortune converting properties into self-storage units. Now, the investor is going back to his roots — sort of — by creating a high-end storage facility, designed for collectors of fine art and fine wine.

Gordon plans to convert an existing 11-story storage building at 305 East 61st Street into a high-end personal and art storage facility, tailored to well-heeled Upper East Siders as well as art galleries on the 57th Street corridor, he said.

“You could only pull this off with a unique piece of real estate on the Upper East Side,” he said. Indeed, the neighborhood was recently named the third-most expensive zip code in the country by Forbes, with a median home price of $4.86 million (not including co-ops).

“It’s going to be a totally revolutionary brand of storage that has never existed before,” said Gordon. “This will be an extension of a personal closet or gallery space or wine storage — [it’s necessary] especially after what happened with Winecare Storage and that whole debacle.” Winecare Storage, a Chelsea-based storage provider for owners of fine wine collections, went bankrupt last year and has so far been unable to return 27,000 cases of valuable wine to its clientele, according to news reports.

Neighborhood residents  will be able to swing by the facility during business hours without an appointment, whether to pick up a dress, a painting or a bottle of wine they’ve stored there. “If someone has a bottle of Lafite or a Mondrian, it would be as comfortable here as any place they might keep it in their apartment,” he said.

But does demand exist for such a facility? “Most of my clients really want the storage in their own building,” said Michelle Kleier, star of HGTV’s “Selling New York” and chief of boutique brokerage Kleier Residential. “Even storage in your own building is like the place of no return. Once it goes down there, you may never even look at it again. If it’s in another building all together, that’s worse.”

Other brokers, however, were on board. “I think it’s brilliant,” said Michael Graves, a luxury residential broker at Douglas Elliman. “A lot of people like to rotate their art collections, for example. Most of the storage facilities that come inside these Upper East Side co-ops cannot handle the scope of what these collectors keep, whether it’s wine, art or other valuables, like jewelry.

“If the facility were high-tech, high-security and engineered to protect the life span of specific valuables, there will be high demand,” he said. “But the security and service level will need to be extremely high.” — Katherine Clarke

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Average January rents

Studio         $2,310
1 bed           $2,650
2 beds         $6,038
3 beds         $11,248
> 3 beds      $31,249[/column]

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Average November sale price

Studio         $300,000
1 bed           $838,361
2 beds         $1,562,222
3 beds         $2,460,000
>3 beds      $8,245,148[/column]

Source: StreetEasy

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