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2024-04-09 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine Is Madison Avenue the Hot New Place to Live?

Is Madison Avenue the Hot New Place to Live?

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD The entrance to the new Giorgio Armani Residences on Madison Avenue
Photo by DBox

Madison Avenue is back in a big way. Just a few years ago, the iconic row, long home to some of the most prestigious fashion houses and jewelers, as well as museums and high-end hotels, suffered in the wake of the pandemic, with 55 empty storefronts on the golden stretch between 57th and 72nd Street. But now all that has changed and the boulevard is at the center of some of the city’s chicest new real estate projects, including the new Giorgio Armani Residences, the Surrey hotel, and the Plaza Athénée Nobu Hotel & Spa New York.

“Madison has always evoked a European elegance and charm that rivals streets in Paris or Florence, and there is an intimate scale to many of its buildings,” observes Susan de França, president and CEO of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing. “It’s very much a walking avenue where you can go into world-class boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.”

One of fashion’s biggest names, Giorgio Armani will not only bring his store to Madison Avenue this summer, he will also offer 10 bespoke luxury residences upstairs. The bronze-accented fluted limestone facade alone has been stopping New Yorkers in their tracks already.

Located at 760 Madison, on 65th Street, and currently under development in partnership with SL Green Realty, these are the first residences where Armani has personally shepherded the design, which he is doing in collaboration with the architecture firm Cook Fox and renowned interior designer Victoria Hagan. There are four-bedroom apartments that sprawl over 4,500 square feet, along with a few two- and three-bedroom units, and a fifth-floor home with an oversized terrace and two balconies off the bedrooms. Bronze detailing is brought inside on fixtures to mimic the building’s front. There is, of course, that unmistakable classic, understated Armani neutral palate. Primary bathrooms are elevated with rosa aurora marble. The homes are as luxurious and statuesque as an Armani Privé couture gown, with 10-foot ceilings and eight-foot windows, many of them rounded to give a more expansive vista. “The light is just gorgeous; you have amazing views up and down the avenue and on the upper floors you can see the park,” gushes Sabrina Saltiel of Douglas Elliman, who is heading the sales team and has only four remaining apartments on the market. The building will have a tea lounge, library, spa treatment room, and an Armani restaurant.

HAUTE LIVING The apartments at the Giorgio Armani Residences are already selling out
Photo by DBox

In the face of so many over-the-top amenities in new buildings — from dog spas to virtual golf gaming rooms — these residences rest more on their elegance and prime location.

“People asked if we have a golf simulator,” sighs Saltiel. “No! This is for the buyer who wants privacy.”

The Surrey’s much anticipated renaissance in its longtime home at 20 East 76th Street will be the first Corinthia hotel in the U.S. — a combination of 70 guest rooms, 30 suites, and 14 residences. It is due to be unveiled this summer. Its development is in partnership with the Reuben Brothers, who are also behind the former iconic Chesterfield in Palm Beach, to be rebranded as the Vineta Hotel this year.

The history of the 16-story Surrey, originally built in 1926 and host to such glamorous guests as JFK and Bette Davis, contributes to the hotel’s appeal. “The Surrey has been part of the Upper East Side for nearly 100 years, and the community in the neighborhood is a piece of what drew Corinthia to the hotel,” explains Pradeep Raman, the hotel’s managing director.

SEE YOU AT THE SURREY Luxe living at the Surrey, a Corinthia hotel
Photo courtesy of The Surrey, a Corinthia Hotel

Designer Martin Brudnizki will oversee its new incarnation, including four signature suites inspired by Central Park’s bridges. Gone is the much-loved Café Boulud from the Surrey, but Corinthia has brought in buzzy Casa Tua, the hot hospitality group that started in Miami with a stylish Italian dining and gathering spot, before branching out to Aspen and Paris. It will also open a restaurant, lounge, and members’ club on the property.

Nobu, which began in New York as a restaurant before expanding to hotels from Marbella to Marrakesh, will return, partnering with Asset World Corporation to transform the former Plaza Athénée’s nearly century-old building off Madison into its first hotel in this city. Due in 2026, the Plaza Athénée Nobu Hotel & Spa New York will encompass 145 rooms, as well as suites with indoor and outdoor glassed terraces and gazebos. It will, of course, have an omakase dining offering, along with a Japanese wellness center and rooftop with spectacular views for private parties.

De França says that despite a setback from escalated interest rates, the Upper East Side has been gaining momentum over the last 12 months. “There are all these new projects coming up, and many of the younger generation wanted to be downtown but now you see a lot of them who want to be back where they grew up — in a safe, convenient environment. Uptown is cool again.”

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