How an SLCE partner scored a snazzy co-op in a single day

Fifth Avenue spurred James Davidson’s passion for architecture. Now, he lives there

SLCE Architects' James Davidson and 1 Fifth Avenue (Davidson by Emily Assiran, 1 Fifth Avenue via StreetEasy)
SLCE Architects' James Davidson and 1 Fifth Avenue (Davidson by Emily Assiran, 1 Fifth Avenue via StreetEasy)

UPDATED, Aug. 26, 2022, 10:45 a.m.: How do you get a $6 million apartment in a day? Bid $7 million.

That’s how SLCE Architects partner James Davidson scored his full-floor co-op at One Fifth Avenue, just a day after it was listed for just under $6 million, records show.

1 Fifth Avenue (1 Fifth Avenue via StreetEasy)

1 Fifth Avenue (1 Fifth Avenue via StreetEasy)

It also helps to have a broker who knows the property well: Davidson’s agent, Ann Weintraub, was previously the listing broker for the unit.

“We all thought it was a little underpriced … and we knew we’d have competition so we wanted to cut it off,” said Weintraub, an independent broker. “A high floor facing south, which is very hard to come by, will go quickly.”

Davidson is well qualified to spot a gem. His firm often serves as an executive architect on projects designed by so-called starchitects, like Bjark Ingels and Robert A.M. Stern.

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It’s fitting that Davidson now owns at One Fifth Avenue: The limestone Rosario Candela buildings on Fifth Avenue triggered the New York native’s initial interest in architecture. He also became fond of the Art Deco style of One Fifth Avenue, which was built in 1927 as a hotel for the wealthy.

“Architecture in the ’60s and ’70s was not a happy time in New York,” he told The Real Deal in a 2018 interview. “I yearned for the expressiveness of Art Deco architecture that was prominent in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s.”

Davidson’s perch on the 25th floor makes him neighbors with Emmy Award–winning actress Jessica Lange. Former residents include Keith Richards, Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton. Richards sold his apartment four years ago for $3 million below the ask.

Davidson’s unit, which spans the entire 25th floor, offers 360-degree views of the city, including the Empire State Building and Washington Square Park. It has an open floor plan, a stainless steel kitchen and two separate bedroom wings with en-suite bathrooms.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Ann Weintraub, was the building’s listing broker for over 20 years. She was previously the listing broker for the unit.