Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row is spreading south.
At least three new luxury condominium towers are in development on 53rd Street, following the lead of the residential skyscrapers dotting 57th Street near Central Park that are setting height and price records. They’re part of a wave of projects designed to appeal to ultra-wealthy buyers seeking the investment haven of New York real estate.
A model apartment is opening this week at the Baccarat Hotel and Residences, a 50-story tower under development on West 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue, across from the Museum of Modern Art. Singapore-based Pontiac Land Group is joining with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Hines to construct a 72-story condo tower on the same block. Farther east, China Vanke Co., China’s biggest publicly traded developer, is working with Aby Rosen’s RFR Holding LLC on a 61-story building on Lexington Avenue.
“The width of the 57th Street corridor has extended” two blocks north to Central Park South, and at least to 53rd Street,’’ said Jonathan Miller, president of New York-based appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. “It’s core midtown Manhattan, the center of the business district, and it continues to be morphed into this high-end residential neighborhood.”
Luxury condos on 53rd Street are poised to bring more wealthy residents to an area known for corporate offices, restaurants and tourist destinations. To the east, at 53rd Street on Park Avenue is the Seagram Building, where Wells Fargo & Co. is a major tenant. The 21 Club restaurant is on 52nd Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, two blocks north of Rockefeller Center. To the west, the Ed Sullivan Theater, home to the “Late Show with David Letterman,” is off 53rd and Broadway.
Additional development on the street and in the area will enhance the neighborhood’s appeal, said Mark Gordon, a managing partner of Tribeca Associates LLC, which is backing the Baccarat project with Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group LLC.
More than 60 percent of the 60 condos at the Baccarat have sold since sales began in March 2013, Gordon said. Several buyers have upgraded to larger units or purchased second apartments at the tower, where prices range from $3.95 million for a one-bedroom to $60 million for the two-floor penthouse, he said.
“Not everybody wants to live in the tallest building in Midtown,” Gordon said. “Buyers love that they only have to share the building with 59 families.”