Iconic Upper East Wales hotel to be reborn as condos
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
An iconic old hotel in the conservative, co-coated Carnegie Hill section of the Upper East Side is about to become (gasp!) condos.
But never fear, the building attracts the same well-heeled old characters it has always attracted.
Dating from 1899 and located at 1295 Madison Ave. at 92nd Street, Wales never had the momentum of, say, the Carlyle or Mark hotels. But, for more than a century, it has quietly attracted and hosted entertainers, the pre-Met Gala crowd, affluent Europeans and South Americans and, above all, locals who shone at dinners at the hotel’s restaurant. , the Sarabeth’s.
“It’s the best part of New York,” Australian artist and mid-century “it” girl Vali Myers told The New York Times of the hotel, where she stayed in 1984 (she died in 2003). “I look out my window and I feel like it’s London… At night, the old Hungarian ballerinas who live here put on their diamond earrings and go out.
Now – after selling to DLJ Manhattan Real Estate, a subsidiary of DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners, for $35 million in August 2017 and then to Matthew Adell’s Adellco – the Renaissance Revival-style hotel’s 87 rooms and suites of 10 floors will become just 21 posh residences.
Today, Adell told the Post exclusively that he was listing the crown jewel of the conversion: a 4,179-square-foot penthouse on a full floor with five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a wrap-around terrace and a rooftop. -terrace, offering stunning views of Central Park and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. It’ll cost you $23 million — a far cry from the $30 to $65 a day the hotel charged for rooms (many of which had kitchens) in 1982.
The two-, three-, and four-bedroom residences cost $3.85 million, $5.75 million, and $7.42 million, respectively. The move-ins are planned for the end of 2022.
“The opportunity is extremely rare,” Adell said. “We were fortunate enough to completely renovate the interiors within the magnificent shell of an iconic property in this idyllic neighborhood.”
He can still say it. Condos are still rare in the area known for its elite private schools like Dalton, world-class cultural institutions like the Guggenheim — and snub noses.
But Adell acknowledged the shift in real estate market demand for new inventory, following the 2019 launch of 27 E. 79th St., its newly constructed eight-unit boutique condominium.
“The Upper East Side has never been out of style,” Adell said. “But now it’s trending for a whole new audience.”
He says many newcomers leave downtown for the family-friendly appeal of the area: those aforementioned private schools, proximity to the park, and “sophisticated atmosphere.”
“Carnegie Hill is an enclave of who’s who,” said Leslie Singer, a Brown Harris Stevens broker who lives in the neighborhood. “People stay here forever. With limited availability, inventory changes quickly. »
For those drawn to the region’s elegant architecture, The Wales is particularly distinct.
Its ornate historic facade is restored to its former glory by HQ Preservation architects to include a scaled-down reproduction of the original cornice, with its bold, classic flourishes.
“Early 20th century Beaux-Arts style hotels are rare in Carnegie Hill, especially at this level of architectural quality,” said Bill Higgins, head office manager.
Rarer still is life in a “penthouse” in chic neighborhoods. In most cooperatives and historic hotels, the upper floors are smaller and reserved for staff. But in New Wales, a 3,000 square foot party play area will be built behind the ledge.
The rooftop space will feature a wraparound terrace with an outdoor kitchen, wet bar, fireplace, and butler’s pantry. Meanwhile, penthouse interiors by Parisian design firm Pinto include a great room with southwest exposures with coffered ceilings, a fireplace, kitchen with dining area, and white lacquer cabinetry.
Drawing inspiration from the building’s original facade, Pinto also designed the Wales common areas and residences in a marble, classic and contemporary aesthetic.
The residences have herringbone oak floors and custom kitchens with Bianco Carrara and Grigio Nicole marble bathrooms.
Amenities include a fitness center, pet spa, bicycle storage, and private storage, as well as a 24-hour doorman and concierge.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” said JP Forbes, sales manager of The Wales and estate agent at Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. “You have the elegance of a pre-war building and the luxury of new construction. They don’t build buildings like this anymore.
These are the people in your neighborhood
In 1919, Mrs. Henry Prince was residing in Wales when she reported to police detectives that her jewelery worth $20,000 (about $328,000 in today’s lettuce) had been stolen!
Ms Prince had boarded a bus with the gems in her bag as she returned from a Riverside Drive party and when she got to her room she found her bling was missing, the New York Tribune reported .
It was a hair puller for detectives who couldn’t find a trace of Mrs. Prince’s sparklers. Depressed Dicks called the lady to report the bad news only to discover a bewildered Mrs. Prince at the door. “Jewels? Oh, those jewels?” Why were they still looking for it? It wasn’t missing. It was where she left it, under her pillow. She found it a few days ago.
More than 100 years later, Carnegie Hill is still home to the rich and eccentric.
Bordered by 86th Street to the south, 96th Street to the north, Central Park to the west and Lexington Avenue to the east, the nabe is named after Andrew Carnegie, who built his sprawling mansion on Fifth Avenue and the 92nd Street at the turn of the 20th century.
Since then, celebrities and industry titans have called the neighborhood home, including David Rockefeller, Bette Midler, Gwyneth Paltrow and Woody Allen.
The area is also a tourist hub thanks to the Neue Galerie, the Guggenheim, the Cooper Hewitt Museum (former home of Carnegie) and the Jewish Museum.
Lined with chic restaurants and outdoor cafes like Island, Pascalou, Sfoglia and Vicolina, as well as long-time retailers, like the Corner Bookstore, BHS broker Leslie Singer says Carnegie Hill “looks like Paris in summer.”
And for those looking to buy in the good life downtown – known for its limestone mansions and pre-war apartment buildings by architects like Rosario Candela and JER Carpenter – know that if you have to ask what it costs, you can’t afford it.
In 2021, apartments sold in Carnegie Hill were 40% more expensive and 27% larger compared to the Upper East Side as a whole, according to data from Corcoran Group Market Research.
There are currently only 16 new development sponsor units at Carnegie Hill, spread across just three buildings – Wales, 180 E. 88th St. and 1228 Madison Ave. – with an average asking price of $8.2 million, according to data from Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing. (The Bellemont at 1165 Madison Ave. and a redevelopment at 1143 Fifth Ave. are in pre-development and have not yet launched sales.) This represents 29% of all actively marketed new inventory on the Upper East Side where a total of 56 units are available with an average listing price of $7.35 million.
“With few development sites available and minimal product in the pipeline, these coveted new buildings are poised to meet buyer demands and exceed pricing,” said Laura Tomana, vice president of research and data. market at Brown Harris.
“Carnegie Hill offers an opportunity to live along Park or Madison Avenues a bit further north than buyers previously sought, but attracts those who want more space, services and amenities who are willing to spend.”