For real estate broker, Julia Boland, work and life meet seamlessly in Harlem. After some 15 years of selling real estate with a focus on new developments, and making the neighborhood she loves her home for much of that time, she has become an expert. “There’s great access to private schools, Central Park without hordes of tourists and such a nice community feel,” she says.
Given Boland’s personal and professional experiences there, she was a natural fit to work on this exciting new project, 1399 Park Avenue . Originally, the plans called for the building to become rentals, but the developers (Heritage Real Estate Partners), decided to pivot towards luxury condos. “It is a broker’s dream,” Boland says. “They have a great location and want to do everything at the highest quality. The area between East Harlem and Upper Carnegie Hill has nothing like this.”
Boland was matched with Lyon Porter, also an associate broker at Corcoran and a pioneering hotelier and designer. Together, the team worked with the experts at Corcoran Group New Development to thoughtfully rework the layouts and enhance the design. The team knew what would resonate with potential buyers of the 72-unit, 23-story development. Porter is also the owner and developer of the highly stylized Urban Cowboy B&B, which has locations in Brooklyn and Nashville, Tenn. “We were brought in early enough so that we were involved in a million different decisions, from floor plans to shower heads,” Porter says.
Instead of trying to mimic a “Classic Six,” they set out to design with contemporary living in mind, from wide-plank oak flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows to soaking tubs. “People love those classic Upper East Side apartments, but they’re not really built for how people live today,” Boland says. “Buyers look for modern conveniences such as ensuite Master Bathrooms and walk-in closets, which can be found here.”
The building’s exterior designed by Goldstein, Hill & West Architects, is clad in glass and exposed architectural concrete which is extended and defined by cantilevered spaces, and inspired the interiors. Traditional materials in contemporary applications give off a warm, and modern feel.
Boland and Porter knew that certain upscale amenities were essential, and focused their efforts on daily conveniences such as the in-house fitness center and a bike room for eco-conscious commuters. They made sure the gym and other inviting communal spaces, including an outdoor deck with built-in grills, a residents lounge and a library complete with a fireplace, fit in with the building’s aesthetics.
Aware that 1399 Park would be catering to buyers with many different lifestyles, they also put some thought into what young New Yorkers would want: a world-class playroom. A trip with Porter’s young son inspired the design. “We went to Chuck-E-Cheese, and I was shocked to find the ball-pits were gone. That was the best part,” Porter says. The playroom now features a climbing wall with a ball-pit beneath it. When Boland’s nine-year-old son saw that in the brochure, he asked if they could move in.
Working with Whitehall Interiors, the team made sure the building appealed to all types of buyers by offering studios to four bedrooms. One particularly impressive residence, is a sprawling 3,000+ sq ft duplex that “provides a true sense of home,” according to Boland.
The communal spaces (living, dining, and kitchen), are on the main floor, while upstairs features three bedrooms plus a study which could become a fourth. The views are exquisite from the private 584 sq. ft. terrace.
Even the studios are thoughtfully designed, including sizable walk-in closets, and exceptional light. A number of them also boast additional alcove space. No matter their size, all of the apartments offer the same high-end fixtures. In the kitchens, Porter pushed for warm finishes in order to emphasize the sunlight glowing through the floor to ceiling windows. The master bathrooms feature honed vanilla marble and eagle grey limestone with custom brass fixtures. In a sea of East Harlem condos, this attention to detail and modern sophistication, make 1399 Park Avenue the perfect place to call home.