Former Catholic School on West End Set to Become Ultra-Luxury Condo Apartments


Rendering via 555 WEA teaser site.

The former St. Agnes Catholic school at 555 West End Avenue on the corner of 87th Street has been sitting empty for several years now as a developer has been working to turn it into a condo development.

Now, developer Tamarkin Co. has launched a teaser site for the development and begun discussing its plans for selling the apartments. Cary Tamarkin told Curbed that the condos will be unique, because of the buidling’s historic character and details like oversized windows. There will be just 13 apartments. with three to five bedrooms each, and the cheapest one will go for $7.9 million, Curbed reports. The apartments are expected to go on sale this fall.

“Building amenities are set to include a 24-hour doorman, fitness center, recreation room, stroller valet, private individual storage rooms, and bike storage,” the site says. Sheesh, for $7.9 million there’d better be bike storage.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 56 comments | permalink
    1. Rob G. says:

      This is pretty spectacular. I live in a cookie-cutter but would love to upgrade. Do you hear me, New York State Lottery? Hey, ya never know.

      Anyway, welcome new residents – enjoy the historic details and the neighborhood!

      • Harold says:

        As God answered the person praying daily for a win at the lottery:

        “So, when are you going to buy a ticket already?”

    2. Glitter says:

      Trust me… the bike storage will cost additional and the private storage will probably cost you around 25k. That’s not included in the $7.9

    3. CJ says:

      Fantastic! I’m so excited to welcome the new residents to WEA! (Cue eyeroll) I live at 562 WEA, directly diagonal to this development, I work from home a majority of days, and it has been a complete shit show of filth and noise for a couple of years now. Thanks for nothing, new neighbors. Enjoy your luxury pads and stroller valet.

    4. Sue Epler says:

      Taking a tax exempt Catholic School and turning the property into taxable condominiums can be a very good outcome in my opinion.

      • YoungSally says:

        But at $7.9M to start – how many of those owners will be paying their full share of taxes….and how long is the abatement.

        Better choices could have been made if you are interested in increasing tax revenues.

      • B.B. says:

        That was how the Rudin family thought when they bought Saint Vincent’s.

    5. MJ says:

      Awesome. All the arguments over school space and we get another condo. What’s so luxury about a neighborhood with over crowded schools and empty stores?

      Developers are so short sighted.

      • dannyboy says:

        Luxury is in the eye of the beholder.

        These residents don’t even use neighborhood stores or schools. They demand “private everything”. I think that the private amenities speak for that (“Building amenities are set to include a 24-hour doorman, fitness center, recreation room, stroller valet, private individual storage rooms, and bike storage,”) They DO NOT WANT PUBLIC SPACES FILLED WITH THE PUBLIC.

        So goes the neighborhood.

        • Rob G. says:

          Come on, Dannyboy, even you can do better than this.

          Do have a lock on your door, or is your living room open to the public? Do you have storage space? If so, do you allow the public to store their belongings there too? Does your building have a doorman? If not, the lobby or vestibule can only be accessed by someone who has a key, yes?

          What residential building, luxury or not, is open for “the public” to simply walk in and enjoy for their own use? Even public housing projects have measures of privacy and security.

          I don’t know if it’s jealousy at work here or something else, but perhaps you should try to get to know your new neighbors instead of writing them off as being even snootier than you.

          • dannyboy says:

            Rob, I do know my neighbors and also get to know more each day. I enjoy our public spaces and the folks I share them with. So that should settle that insulting misrepresentation.

            Now on to your second insulting misrepresentation; that I am somehow jealous of the amenities such as private fitness center and recreation room. Well, as you can see from the above, I enjoy taking my fitness and recreation in our shared public spaces. I get to know plenty of very interesting people and enjoy their company.

            Rob G. I can see the lengths that you have gone to misrepresent my words, because you just don’t see the point of my comment, but calling me ‘snooty’ kind of exposes you as a name-caller and lousy neighbor.

            • Rob G. says:

              Dannyboy,

              You just insulted folks you haven’t even met and refuse to get to know, for having amenities that YOU disdain, in a building they haven’t even moved into yet. Then you made an unprovable claim that they won’t use neighborhood stores or schools.

              I think it’s hysterical that you’re calling me or anyone else a “bad neighbor”.

        • KirkD says:

          I assume you have a source that these residents don’t use neighborhood stores?

      • robert says:

        Developers are so short sighted??????????
        The de Blaz admin did not even try to get the school. They did not put in a bid even when the Archdioceses made it clear before bids where taken from anyone else that the city could have it for a price below what it was expected to and did fetch in an open bidding process. de Blax & Co don’t really care, but they love having the “overcrowding” issue to rally support

    6. Leon says:

      What is a stroller valet?

      I think they are trying to compete with 535 WEA a block south. Seems like a stretch to me, but I don’t have that kind of money so what do I know.

      Too bad that building wasn’t used for its original purpose as a school, because that is what the neighborhood really could have used. The Catholic church must have made a fortune selling it off.

    7. Puzzled says:

      Stroller valet? That’s a new one on me. Is that a person who accompanies you as you walk about the neighborhood?

    8. young man! says:

      OK I’ll start the ball rolling….

      OMG! 13 more families, the subway is already too crowded! We need a moratorium on new apartments!

    9. Big Earl says:

      “Stroller valet”. Just when I think I’ve heard it all.

    10. Sherman says:

      I keep reading that ultra-high end apartments are not selling. Developers and apartment owners are lowering their prices when they try to sell.

      I’m not sure how many people out there can afford $7.9M for an apartment. I doubt there’s a bottomless pit of wealthy foreigners to buy these kind of homes.

      • Cato says:

        — “I doubt there’s a bottomless pit of wealthy foreigners to buy these kind of homes.”

        Perhaps, but these developers need only 13.

    11. Mary Ensley says:

      Disgusting!?#!

    12. Yael says:

      I grew up on this block. I remember when the Catholic Boy’s School’s “moats’ were filled with trash and homeless people slept down there. IThis renovation is an improvement from having an empty building, but not what the UWS needed. We need affordable housing, not glitzy mansions for the super wealthy.

      • Jay says:

        You are free to buy a building and turn it into affordable housing whenever you want.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          this reply from Jay is designed to stifle debate.

          No one can say anything about the homeless issue without some wealth-worshipper and free market fanatic writing “why don’t you bring a homeless man into your apartment to live.”

          now, we can’t say anything about NYC’s affordable housing crisis without a wealth-worshipper saying, “You are free to buy a building and turn it into affordable housing.”

          this is an appalling attitude. it shows a total lack of understanding of how a democracy is supposed to work.

          Yael was expressing a PREFERENCE on PUBLIC POLICY. this is not only his right but his responsibility. Jay seems to prefer that public preferences and public policy be reserved for the decisions of private wealthy people, such as developers.

          late capitalism seems to be devolve to feudalism; we are all serfs. or at least some want us to be.

          • Jay says:

            You are so thoroughly predictable, Bruce. Put the hammer and sickle down for a moment and start reading some books on how our economy works.

            It’s funny how some regular commenters are communists until it’s their own money involved and then they become raging capitalists. At least some of us recognize the hypocrisy.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              I’m sorry i’m a little too “predictable” for you, Jay. Maybe some would call it consistent.

              Be that as it may, all you’re doing is shallow name-calling and attempting to intimidate anyone with progressive viewpoints who posts.

              It won’t work.

              And by the way, i am very confident i know a lot more about “how our economy works” than you and your wing-man Sherman.

            • Been There says:

              Here’s how the economy works, Jay:

              For someone to be able to make a million dollars a year in a nice midtown office, people have to be around to run the trains, sweep the roads, sell the coffee and newspapers, clean said nice office, and show up with a defibrillator when the when the guy has a heart attack in said nice office.

              Those people need places to sleep.

              That’s why your answer about “you” being free to build affordable housing is inadequate.

              You’re welcome.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              We’re raising substantive points, Jay. Instead of refuting those points (hard to do, since the need for affordable housing in NYC is obvious), you’re simply engaging in name calling (“hammer and sickle”) and assertions that you “know” things that we don’t.

              In fact, it’s obvious you DON’T know about the history of the post-war housing market in NYC, as huge tracts of affordable housing were built through non-market efforts. these include the massive public housing developments (175,000 units); the Mitchell Lama program; “restricted sale” (limits on resale profits) coops using union pension fund moneys (Penn South, for example); and other similar efforts. And then there was the rent stabilization system, which, while not a perfect system, in its heyday kept well over a million units affordable, and to this day still keeps many hundreds of thousands of units affordable.

              When these efforts were in full force, NYC was a much more affordable and less plutocratic place.

              So i suggest that you might want to read some books about “how the economy works.” I can make some suggestions, if it would be helpful.

          • Juan says:

            If it makes you feel better, in exchange for their millions, the residents of this building will have priceless views of the homeless people who sleep on the steps of the church across the street on the NW corner of 86 and WEA.

    13. dannyboy says:

      Does the Stroller Valet have a uniform?

      Is it their full-time work?

      Are they unionized?

      Wait until Mary Poppins hears about this!

      (Also, can they just take the child on their way down? They’re going that way anyway.)

      Can they wait with the baby, in cases where the Nanny is late?

      Just askin’

    14. Sally Sacks says:

      Memories! When I was a little girl, my grandparents lived next door, at 545 West End. It was a girls’ school then. My grandmother and I could see into the school from one of her windows, and we used to watch the girls baking cakes in their cooking class.

    15. Bonnierapaport says:

      Will the rats which are running rampant around the building site included??? It is disgusting for those living on 87 street!!

    16. kitty H. says:

      What is a sroller valet?

    17. wombatNYC says:

      If I could move into any building on UWS this might be the one . Fantastic renovation and reuse

    18. Nan Lowe says:

      Not enough schools. Too many luxury apts. no one can afford. How about some rental housing that someone can afford?

    19. Nancy L says:

      More schools. UWS is filled with baby strollers. Where are they going to go to school? How about some affordable rental apartments!

    20. Wendy says:

      Too many luxury condo apartments in N.Y.C.. ARe there any : lodging houses ? Are the convent cells as tiny as : some Studio apts. in some social housing; a jail cell : some S.R.O. rooms ? What of hidden homeless citizens in N.Y.C. ? Condo conversion is s’osedly the leading cause of homelessness in N.Y.C.. How’re the ex-tenants of Williams House ? Shaloha.

    21. Sarah says:

      Exterior is handsome, but, boy, they spared no effort to make the insides anodyne.

    22. jezbel says:

      Just real the real estate section of the Wall Street which said the super-expensive high end apartments are not selling/renting as well as they had been. They lowering prices all over the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side. So, sure bring another not-need high end apartment to the neighborhood and be prepared to lower your prices. The City is running out of rich people who still want to live on over-crowded streets, find more nannies to push their valeted strollers and park their SUVs.

    23. lapofluxury says:

      None of you can figure what a stroller valet is? You drop your stroller off with the valet and they store it for you instead of you having to wheel it up to your pie in the sky and god forbid store it in your expansive apartment. Your closets are already overflowing with your designer suits and shoes. Personally I’d rather have a poop valet for my dog.

    24. Hambone says:

      How can anyone not know what a stroller valet is? Are you THAT stupid? You leave your strollers on the first floor and don’t have to bring them in elevators or keep them in your apt. If you weren’t bemoaning your ignorance out load, you’d realize this is generally a good idea.

      • Leon says:

        Thanks for the snark, Einstein. I think the question (which you didn’t answer) is whether the stroller valet refers to a dedicated space for housing strollers (the logical answer) or if there is actually a person whose full time job is managing these strollers.

        The term “valet” usually refers to a person, not a place, which is why there is this uncertainty. Because it would make very little sense to have a full time person managing strollers in a building with only 13 units – one would think the doorman could handle that task.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          it’s just some marketing BS to sell rich people. they’ll fall for it, it makes them feel superior.

    25. Chuck D says:

      stroller valet = inadequate elevator space. maybe even no elevator?

    26. Tom says:

      Lot of money for the convenience of living close to all the empty storefronts along that stretch of Broadway.

    27. Great commentary: What we need is more affordable not more luxury housing, the grand exterior but insipid interior, wealthy foreigners who never show up, the money laundering, the bought violence… Actually, it’s the Treasury Dept’s recent investigating of opaque and foreign real estate deals that caused this decline in the market. To what extent will such that “develop” further?

    28. B.B. says:

      Just to put some of you in the picture; a “stroller valet” is the latest big thing amenity wise for “luxury” apartments.

      http://gothamist.com/2016/03/20/park_slope_luxury_condo_finally_bre.php

      https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/realestate/stroller-valet-service-at-a-park-slope-condo.html

      Basically stroller valets are nothing more than space set aside to store, you guessed it strollers. Very much like bike and other such areas being offered up for secured storage.

      Instead of parking a pram in lobby or hallways (as was or still is the usual custom for space challenged NYC apartments), parents now have a proper dedicated and secure area to park their Mima Xaris.

      This is just as well since strollers today can go for one thousand dollars or more.

      https://strolleria.com/collections/luxury-strollers

      • dannyboy says:

        B.B.,

        I think it is the “valet” part of the stroller valet that people are reacting to. Not the valet “storage”.

    29. Peter Brandt says:

      Beautiful old building with; ” its guts to be torn out”! Why not keep interior architecture to match the exterior details, with modern unseen items like wiring, plumbing, paint and high-lite new efficient appliances ?

      • dannyboy says:

        “Why not keep interior architecture…?”

        Because residents think it’s too old-looking?

        Because residents want this apartment to looks like all the other apartments they own?

        Because money doesn’t improve taste?

        Because they can?

    30. peter brandt says:

      another interior gutted of its charm!

      • dannyboy says:

        another interior gutted of its charm!

        another neighborhood guttend of its charm!

        another city gutted of its charm!

        But Money makes people do that.

    31. Been There says:

      Isn’t the interesting part of the “stroller valet” thingy the fact that relatively young families can afford 8 Million dollar condos?

      • dannyboy says:

        Yes.

        The subtext to this story is that the creation of laws protecting generational wealth and power has consequences. The obvious consequences felt nationally is inequality in wealth, and power over our government. But locally, we get to examine it firsthand.

      • David says:

        Perhaps they can afford the apartment, but then there’s no money left for private school. The public schools are already overcrowded with regular income kids (the kids in this new building will probably speak with fake British upper class accents, like Madonna).