Eliot Spitzer plans high-end condo on Fifth Ave

Former governor’s firm files permits to replace luxury UES rental with 26 condos

Eliot Spitzer with 985 Fifth Avenue
Eliot Spitzer with 985 Fifth Avenue (Getty)

Eliot Spitzer wants to build New York’s next ultra-luxury condo on the Upper East Side.

The former governor’s development firm, Spitzer Enterprises, filed plans for a 26-unit condominium building at 985 Fifth Avenue, between East 79th and East 80th streets. The 19-story, SLCE-designed project will replace a 46-unit rental built by Spitzer’s late father, Bernard Spitzer, in 1969.

The 106,000-square-foot building will feature two setbacks and a limestone-colored façade, according to a rendering shared with The Real Deal. A source close to the project said that while pricing has not been determined, the firm is targeting the highest echelon of the market.

Spitzer Enterprises’ Charles Morisi is listed as the project owner on the filing, and SLCE’s Luigi Russo as the architect of record.

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While the 50-year-old rental building at 985 Fifth Avenue is not landmarked, it lies within the Metropolitan Museum Historic District, meaning the city’s landmarks commission will need to approve its demolition. The planned project can be built as-of-right, allowing the developer to avoid a costly rezoning.

The firm would forsake substantial rental income to build its project. A 20th-floor unit in the existing building with views of Central Park asks $17,000 a month, according to a listing, and a 1,900-square-foot penthouse rented earlier this year for $30,000 a month.

The Spitzer family has a long history in New York real estate. In 2014, the Spitzers sold the Crown Building to Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties and General Growth Properties — now owned by Brookfield — for $1.75 billion, a record sum at the time and still one of the most expensive office sales in city history.

For decades, Bernard Spitzer built rentals and high-end condos, including the 57-story Corinthian in Murray Hill, which was the city’s largest apartment building upon its completion in 1988.

While new development sales have flagged from their pandemic highs, ultra-wealthy buyers, who are typically less affected by rising mortgage rates, have continued to snap up the city’s most expensive homes.

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