The Real Deal New York

The anti-Billionaires’ Row project: Brazilian developer plans seven duplexes at 815 Fifth

JHSF sold 16 West 57th Street to Sheldon Solow last year for $128M
By E.B. Solomont | August 17, 2017 01:30PM

Rendering of 815 Fifth Avenue and José Auriemo Neto

The Brazilian developer who drew the ire of Fifth Avenue residents in 2013 with a proposal for a “contemporary” 15-story luxury condominium, is moving forward with plans for a Central Park-facing project. But the latest designs show a project that’s very much against the glass-and-steel grain of Billionaires’ Row.

Sao Paulo-based JHSF Participacoes S.A. filed plans for seven duplex apartments at 815 Fifth Avenue, according to an offering plan filed with the New York state Attorney General’s office. Prices have yet to be determined, but each apartment will span around 3,700 square feet each, filings show.

Plans for the 14-story, Art Deco-inspired building are contextual for the neighborhood, said Timothy Greer of TP Greer Architects, referencing initial pushback from neighbors who feared the building would be too “contemporary” and “incompatible.”

“It’s never easy when you’re used to living next to an open space that’s been there since 1871,” he said. But with backing from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the developers were able to convince neighbors that the limestone-and-brick building would fit the aesthetics of the block, he said.

Greer said the building will provide an alternative to “one of those tall 57th Street buildings.” Living rooms will span the width of the building, 25 feet and six inches wide, Greer said.

JHSF bought the building in 2012 from investor Robert Haskell for $32 million. Previous plans called for a dozen apartments across 15 stories.

Though prices aren’t yet set, the building faces Central Park between 62nd and 63rd streets. The most recent sale at 817 Fifth, 16-unit condo building, was a 5,500-square-foot maisonette that went for $18 million, or $3,272 per square foot, according to StreetEasy. At 812 Fifth, a three-bedroom co-op on the fifth floor sold for $5.5 million in March.

Last year, JHSF scrapped plans to build a Rafael Vinoly-designed luxury hotel at 16 West 57th Street, and instead sold the development site to Sheldon Solow for $128 million. JHSF bought the parcel in 2014 from Extell Development — which outbid Solow in 2011 and paid $80 million for the site. Solow has since hired Skidmore Owings & Merrill to design a 54-story hotel and condo tower.