15 CPW borrows from the Upper East Side

By Jonathan Stern | November 30, 2007 10:02AM

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but what if it had a number? The prestigious buildings on Central Park West are traditionally known by their names and not by their addresses — who calls the San Remo “145 Central Park West,” or the Beresford “211 Central Park West”? Using addresses and only addresses is a haute Upper East Side convention — just think of “740 Park” (dubbed “the world’s richest apartment building” in an eponymous book by Michael Gross) or the Edgar Bronfman, Jr.-housing “1040 Fifth.”

“These places are exclusive, and being known by just an address makes the building harder to identify,” says Kathryn Steinberg, an Edward Lee Cave real estate agent who caters to a posh clientele. Going a step further, it’s an East Side convention to refer to buildings as quietly as possible. “People who lived at 856 Fifth Avenue would say they lived at 2 East 67th Street,” Steinberg notes.

Now, Robert A.M. Stern’s 15 Central Park West, a high-end West Side condominium which is having its first residents move in this month, is taking a page from East Side old money’s book. While there are eight entrances into the complex, the signage is very understated, with just the number 15 on the front door.

“We’re analogous to 740 Park and some of The Other Fifth Avenue apartments,” says sales manager Michael Wallgren. “We liked the sound [of 15 Central Park West] in context to those names. Many of our residents have come from pre-war co-ops, so we’re bridging the city from East to West.”

The fact that all 202 of 15 CPW’s apartments are done deals, netting brothers Arthur and William Zeckendorf and their partners over $1.8 billion in the biggest residential windfall the city has ever seen, indicates that the strategy is a success.

Celebrity residents will include actor Denzel Washington, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and Sting, as well as Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and hedge fund wizard Dan Loeb — who purchased the largest penthouse unit for $45 million.

Ironically, some could argue the ultimate name cachet is right next door at the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

“I think it’s the art of understatement. You don’t need a flourish when your address says it all,” rebuffs Wallgren.