The Real Deal New York

Calling wealthy New Yorkers: storage for Picassos and van Goghs coming to UES

February 01, 2014
By Katherine Clarke

305 East 61st Street

305 East 61st Street

Developer Adam Gordon, whose Madison Development is behind condominium project 54 Bond Street, made his fortune converting old properties into self-storage units.

Now he’s going back to his roots in a move to capitalize on the boom in luxury property prices.

Gordon plans to convert an existing 11-story storage building at 305 East 61st Street into a high-end personal and art storage facility tailored to Upper East Side residents in luxury buildings like 432 Park Avenue and One57, and to art galleries on the 57th Street corridor, he told The Real Deal.

He is partnering with investment firm EMS Capital on the project. EMS bought the 72,000-square-foot building, on the corner of Second Avenue, for $28 million in December 2012.

Gordon said it will be a “totally revolutionary” facility. “You could only pull this off with a unique piece of real estate on the Upper East Side.”

Some brokers were skeptical there would be demand for such a facility.

“Most of my clients really want the storage in their own building,” said Michelle Kleier, star of “Selling New York” and chief of boutique brokerage Kleier Residential. “Even storage in your own building is like the place of no return.”

Others are on board.

“I think it’s brilliant,” said Michael Graves, a luxury residential broker at Douglas Elliman. “A lot of people like to rotate their art collections, for example. Most of the storage facilities that come inside these Upper East Side co-ops cannot handle the scope of what these collectors keep, whether it be wine, art or other valuables like jewelry.

“But the security and service level will need to be extremely high,” he said.

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