Take advantage of the recession and snap up a Fifth Avenue apartment. That’s a common goal amongst many high net worth clients. So what is Fifth Avenue and why is it so coveted? Fifth Avenue in Manhattan New York stretches from Washington Square Park to 142 St. The high end retail stores – Prada, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Saks – are lined on 5th Avenue between 49 Street and 60 St. At 60th Street, there’s a flagship Apple store, FAQ Schwartz toy store and across 5th Avenue, the former Plaza Hotel. The Trump Tower, made famous in The Apprentice on NBC, is on this stretch as well.
The New York Times quoted that Fifth Avenue combines the best of city, country (Central Park) and culture. Also that it feels like Paris at night because of how quiet it becomes. The most prestigious section of Fifth Avenue is the part facing Central Park in the Upper East Side. Within this section, the ones facing the Central Park reservoir are perhaps the most expensive.
In the late 19th and 20th century, mansions were built for the Astors, Vanderbilts, Post, Hutton and Carnegie. The Andrew Carnegie house at 2 East 91 Street was converted to the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Apartment living only became acceptable for the wealthy after 1910. That was when architects like Roasario Candela, Emery Roth and James Carpenter built grand apartments on Fifth Avenue. Apartments with high ceilings, fireplaces, grand stairs and huge rooms.
Most apartments on Fifth Avenue are pre-war coops. The most notable is perhaps 820 Fifth Avenue (picture) which only has 12 floors with one apartments per floor. Probably one of the grandest addresses in the world. The most recent transaction was the 12th floor which sold for $44 million in 2009. To be a resident at one of these ultra prestigious buildings often requires all cash purchase, social and business references and even liquid assets of $100 million.
Within the past few years, new condo buildings came up on Fifth Avenue in the 40s and 30s including 425 Fifth Avenue. Designed by Michael Graves, 425 Fifth currently has a 1 bedroom asking $1 million and a 2 bedroom asking $2.7 million with an average price of $1500 per square foot.
Trump Tower, the Apprentice building on 56 Street, ranges from $1.7 million for a 1 bedroom to $13.5 million for a 3 bedroom. Having a Fifth Avenue apartment is definitely a badge of pride. Doesn’t have to be a Rosario Candela building facing Central Park because outside of the Manhattan high end broker or elite circle, I doubt anyone would know. International clients ask for Fifth Avenue apartments because in most elite societies around the world, people will know the Fifth Avenue address and associate it with accomplishment, prestige and wealth.
Wei Min is a real estate broker and investor focused on investment property. He is Founder of Castle Avenue Partners in Manhattan, New York. Previously, Wei Min was VP at Citigroup responsible for a $500 million portfolio. He received Citigroup’s prestigious Chairman’s Award, a recognition awarded to the top 2% of managers. He was also Director of Travel Insurance at American Express where he managed a $180 million portfolio.
Wei Min has traveled to many cities to view thousands of properties. He speaks English, Cantonese Chinese, Malaysian and Mandarin Chinese. He graduated with an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BBA from Marshall University.