Façade work is in progress at the base and crown of the 30-story The Kent at 200 East 95th Street (a.k.a. 1681 Third Avenue) in Yorkville. The 317,664-square-foot Extell development would split 237,030 square feet among 104 two-to-five bedroom condominiums, averaging 2,279 square feet per unit. Ground level and cellar commercial space would span 13,225 square feet. The traditionally-styled tower is crafted by Beyer Blinder Belle, with Alexandra Champalimaud behind interior design. West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture is designing the landscaping.
Unlike the building permits, the developer website indicates 83 units. The residences target an upmarket clientele. Currently available units range from $2.7 to $8.3 million, averaging $2,206 per square foot. Amenities include an attended, double-height lobby, a fitness center, music and drawing rooms, a children’s play center, and an indoor pool.
It took Extell over 10 years to assemble the site, which spans most of the block on the east side of the avenue between East 94th and 95th streets. The five-story walk-up at the corner of East 94th Street at 1679 Third Avenue, as well as an adjacent walk-up at 205 East 94th Street, contribute air rights that allowed a size increase from then originally-planned 23 stories, and ensure that south- and east-facing views remain unobstructed.
The Kent replaces seven pre-war tenements between 1681 and 1693 Third Avenue. The four-story buildings were erected around the start of the 20th century, when an elevated subway line ran above the avenue.
The buildings held 12 businesses at the ground level, which chiefly consisted of restaurants and cleaners. Narrow storefronts allowed for a high density of diverse retail spaces. Hopefully the commercial space within the new building engages the neighborhood with equal effectiveness.
The buildings, which were stripped of ornament years ago, were demolished in late 2014. The permit for the new tower was filed in November of that year, and the concrete structure began its ascent at the start of 2016. The building topped out in January.
The zoning diagram filed with the Department of Buildings indicates a height of 393 feet to the top of the bulkhead parapet measuring from Third Avenue. The residential lobby, which sits on 95th Street on the east side of the building, sits at a lower elevation, adding eight feet to the overall height.
The building size is average for Yorkville, Manhattan’s most densely populated neighborhood, where scores of residential towers were built over the past 40 years. Beyer Blinder Belle, noted for historical renovations and traditionally-inspired designs, fused the local typology of the brick-clad, Modernist residential skyscraper, with the neighborhood’s pre-war high-rises, such as those that line Park Avenue two blocks west. The Art Deco motifs echo a style more commonly seen in Midtown and on the Upper West Side.
The L-shaped footprint creates slight asymmetries in the design, which follows the classic base-shaft-crown division. Horizontal stone lintels soften the scale of the six-story podium, which follows the established street wall. The five-story south wing matches the height and materiality of the walk-up next door at 1679 Third Avenue. Stone cladding proposed for the ground level emulates pre-war apartment buildings, as do the large casement windows framed in rectangular mullion grids. Subtle window recesses provide façade depth.
A band of dark metal spandrels centered upon the tower shaft provides vertical thrust and lends a slimmer appearance to the bulky structure. Avenue-facing wrap-around windows provide unobstructed views by eliminating the corner column. Full-height notches along the south façade add extra bays of lucrative corner windows.
The setbacked crown, accented with metal spandrels and illuminated fins, adds Art Deco flair to the local skyline, which may grow taller in the near future as the recent opening of the Second Avenue subway a block east opens new development opportunities.