The office-to-apartment conversion trend has become increasingly popular as the demand for new luxury condominiums continues to soar in New York City. Chief among these exciting projects currently underway is 212 Fifth Avenue, an iconic neo-gothic tower formerly home to numerous manufacturing companies. When its conversion is complete, the 24-story building will house 48 two- to four-bedroom luxury condos as well as world-class amenity spaces. In addition to a children’s playroom, teen game room, screening room, lounge, and catering kitchen, residents will also have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center, designed by The Wright Fit, with an adjourning yoga studio and private treatment room.
Built in 1912, the former office structure has an original design that will provide most of its new residences with two or three exposures, allowing for sun-drenched homes and spectacular views of surrounding architecture and parks. Also intact from the original building is a spacious lobby that is being transformed from its original function as a professional entryway to its future status as a waiting area for guests and a welcoming place for residents. The decorators at Pembrooke and Ives have taken advantage of the unique space presented by the lobby at 212 Fifth Avenue to create a compelling introduction to the building with a design inspired by early 20th-century jewelry boxes.
So what makes this 104-year-old office building the perfect foundation for Manhattan’s next luxury condominium project? Its open floor plan, which is typical of office buildings, lends itself to spacious loft-like living spaces that appeal to modern homebuyers, many of whom appreciate airy communal rooms paired with contemporary interior designs that promote the natural flow of foot traffic. The soaring ceiling heights also contribute to this trendy aesthetic, giving foyers, living rooms, kitchens, and master bedrooms and bathrooms a fullness that’s harder to come by in most buildings originally intended for residential use.
The layouts of former office buildings are also known to spark architectural creativity. Floor plans with unusual dimensions can provide opportunities for extra storage space, walk-in closets, and separate alcoves that may be used as attractive studies or intimate hangouts. Today’s architects embrace the challenges posed by such unconventional designs to create truly innovative residences. This is apparent at 212 Fifth Avenue, where the sheer dimensions of the living spaces are unlike anything else currently available in Manhattan, leading Pembrooke and Ives to create exceptional interiors designed for homes of epic proportions, some of which exceed 4,000 square feet in size. Homes overlooking Madison Square Park on the 15th through 21st floors of 212 Fifth Avenue will feature expansive 56-foot living spaces complete with sun-filled rooms offering spectacular views of the New York skyline, and some of the city’s iconic buildings.
Office-to-apartment conversions aren’t the same as large converted industrial spaces. While industrial buildings like open garages and sprawling factories come with their own intriguing architectural elements, office buildings have the added advantage of functional service components like elevators, fire stairs, and restrooms that can be remodeled for use within a converted condominium project.
As the demand for city condominiums continues to drive conversions, Manhattan homebuyers can expect to see more office buildings modified in compelling and creative ways into modern homes. It’s safe to say this trend is set to influence New York City’s luxury residential market for a long time to come.