There is a new addition to the Manhattan skyline dominated by the Chrysler Building and the General Motors Building. The style of the building is different but the name continues the series of automakers as it is called Mercedes House. When completed, it will be an 850-unit apartment complex at 53rd Street and 11th Avenue in Clinton. It is a thirty storey structure which was initially named Clinton Park as a reference to the green space across the street. But the building will house a Mercedes showroom and service centre on the bottom floors and so it was decided that since people will call it the Mercedes building because of the dealership it will be better to name it the same officially. The building being developed by Two Trees Management will have the auto dealership functional by May. David C. Walentas, the founder Two Trees believes that this building will stand out in a crowded field of new luxury apartment buildings on the West Side.
It is an ambitious project that will cost a total of $550 million. The rental and condominium project is going up in two phases. 250 of the rental units that have been taken up in the first phase will be ready in May. The units range from 460 square foot studios to two bedroom apartments measuring 1,000 square feet. Oak floors are a standard for all units. All apartments with 10 foot ceiling will have washers and dryers. Many of the units will have terraces as well. Enrique Norten, the principal of TEN Arquitectos and the designer of the building highlighted the fact that the design of the building is such that it looks like a ‘Z’ in reverse if seen from above. It has not been designed that way just for the particular look but there is a specific purpose to design the building that way as it provided westward view for a lot many units. Verizon switching tower blocks the view in the East but the West-facing windows will look out over De Witt Clinton Park, and beyond, to the Hudson River.
The marketing effort for the rental units started in the beginning of April. The results have been somewhat encouraging as by mid April Two Trees Management had finalized the lease for 18 units. Initially the rents have been fixed at $2,800 a month for the studios and $5,900 a month for the two bedroom sets. Since the building is still under construction, one month’s rent is being waived off as compensation or incentive whichever way you want to look at it. The work on the second phase will also begin this summer and the entire project will be completed in a year’s time. The second phase will have 600 units out of which 400 will be rentals 200 will be condos which will have roomier layouts than the rentals. Mr. Walentas’ strategy is to price twenty percent of the rentals below the market rate. The decision on the pricing of the condos has not been taken as yet. There will be 45,000 square feet of amenity space, both indoors and out including an amphitheater and a community garden. There might ultimately be a 22 horse on site stable in the building.