A building to grace the city’s coffee tables

‘400 Fifth Avenue’ hits bookstores this fall

Aug.August 01, 2013 07:00 AM

400 Fifth AvenueThe Residence at 400 Fifth Avenue exemplifies all the best of the real estate world: an exquisite façade; luxury homes inside (including a Fendi-designed penthouse); and a five-star hotel — all at a storied location just a stone’s throw from the majestic Empire State Building.

Now the 60-story tower is making its mark in the literary world as the subject of a coffee table book that will hit the shelves in late October. The price: $85, with all proceeds going to the publisher, Rizzoli International Publications.

Titled “400 Fifth Avenue: A New Gwathmey Siegel Landmark,” the 77-page tome has images of the skyscraper, its homes and the neighborhood — all taken by noted real estate listings photographer Evan Joseph — along with an introduction by architecture critic Paul Goldberger and a foreword by architect Robert Siegel of Gwathmey Siegel, who designed the building with his late partner, Charles Gwathmey.

Siegel credits the site’s developer, Italy-based Bizzi & Partners Development, for the structure’s European-influenced aesthetic.

“It’s a beautifully detailed building,” Seigel told The Real Deal, pointing out the vertical bay windows that let residents walk up to a wall of glass and look out — and down.

Added Joseph: “It’s so unusual that it’s really like a sculpture.”

Siegel and Giuseppe Rossi, the executive vice president of Bizzi, acknowledge the book could help find buyers for the two dozen or so of the 162 homes that are still available since sales launched in November 2010 — the average sales price is $2,078 per square foot, according to CityRealty, a listings database. The tower’s 214 rooms in the Langham Hotel go for roughly $700 a night.

“Obviously, if people love architecture, it’s possible they [will] contact us to see if there’s some units available, but we really didn’t do it for that purpose,” Rossi told TRD.

Rizzoli approached Bizzi about doing the book — and didn’t have to do much to get the Milan-based firm to sign off on it, Rossi told TRD.

“[Rizzoli] believed it was a good opportunity — that this combination of an Italian developer doing an American building with American architects in New York was a great idea for a book,” he said. “We were immediately excited about it.”

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