The New Upper East Side

The New Upper East Side

By W.A. Muller

With all eyes on Downtown Manhattan, a fresh generation of buyers has been quietly turning to the Upper East Side, where the long-anticipated opening of the Second Avenue Subway has sparked a renaissance. The tell-tale signs are there: new restaurants are opening, retail space along First Avenue is filling up (and at record-setting rents), New York City's biggest-name developers are assembling sites for future luxury residential, and existing properties are trading at higher prices.

For Adam Lipson, it was a "no-brainer" to purchase at Azure, the full-service luxury condominium tower located at 333 E 91st Street in Yorkville. "I was looking for new development with high-ceilings, views and amenities for under $1,000,000, and quickly realized it wasn't attainable downtown," he said. "So I went uptown and found all of my criteria at Azure."

Home to esteemed schools, from St. David's to Dalton, and hemmed with lush waterfront parks, the Upper East Side has always been considered a peaceful enclave, with Yorkville being one of its best-kept secrets – and the lifestyle it affords is only growing richer.

"Now is an exciting time to live and invest in Yorkville," Lipson said, adding that just a few months after closing on his one-bedroom home at Azure, he purchased the adjacent studio to combine and create a three-bedroom. "There was such great value in combining those units, I just couldn't pass it up."

Azure was developed by The Mattone Group and The DeMatteis Organizations, and today is attracting purchasers acquiring homes as their primary residence and savvy investors who, like Lipson, are seeking the value and promise of price appreciation as the Second Avenue Subway is completed in 2016. Now 85% sold, the 34-story tower has long been considered "a suburban home in the sky," a moniker surely linked to its spacious 2, 3 and 4BR layouts and abundant amenities, including a children's playroom, fully-equipped fitness center, resident's lounge, landscaped rooftop terraces, valet and 24-hour concierge and live-in resident manager.

Residences at Azure feature floor-to-ceiling windows with dramatic river and city views, spacious layouts with exceptional natural light, rich Brazilian Afromosia flooring, ceiling heights of up to 11 feet, and walk-in-closets. Windowed kitchens feature European designed cabinets with CaesarStone counters, a Viking refrigerator, range and microwave, Bosch wood paneled dishwasher, and Kohler stainless steel sinks. Master bathrooms have Italian marble floors, walls and vanity tops, oversized walk-in shower, a graphite oak vanity with Kohler undermount double sinks, and Kallista brushed nickel fixtures.

Among the available residences at Azure are the 34th-floor penthouses. Designed in collaboration with award-winning interior designers James Rixner and Bjorn Bjornsson, Penthouses A and B celebrate the unique blend of cosmopolitan sophistication and suburban comfort that is the epitome of Azure. Envisioned by Rixner and spanning 2,620 square feet, Penthouse A is a bold yet welcoming villa in the sky. Each of the home's regal living spaces are decorated with exquisite style and design. Bjornsson has transformed the 2,688-square-foot Penthouse B into a vision of contemporary elegance, drawing inspiration from the remarkable views of the George Washington Bridge, Yankee Stadium, East River, and RFK Bridge.

Prices start at $1,850,000 for a 1,212-square-foot 2 bedroom and go up to $13,250,000 for a 6,000-square-foot penthouse with two stunning terraces.

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