A skinny townhouse at 27 East 61st Street on the Upper East Side is getting a modern revamp, and YIMBY has renderings that illustrate its transition to a taller brick-clad building.
The original four-story structure between Park and Madison Avenues was a Neo-Grec style brownstone, probably built around the turn of the century. Before it was gutted, the building had a boutique on the parlor floor and a Mexican restaurant on the garden level, just below the street. Plans reveal that a restaurant will remain on the basement and first floor, with offices on the second and third floors and one apartment each in the top two stories.
27 East 61st will gain a fifth floor, raising its roofline from 50 to 60 feet, and adding about 3,000 square feet of interior space. When construction finishes, there will be 6,000 square feet of commercial space on the first three floors, topped by 2,100 square feet of apartments. C3D Architecture is designing the renovation.
This little 15-foot-wide property also played a central role in the battle between two rival Italian restaurants in the neighborhood, Serafina and Nello. Nello scooped up Serafina’s building next door at 29 East 61st Street for $21 million in 2011, planning to tear it down and build a hotel. In response, Serafina owner Pasquale Granato, who already owned 31 East 61st, paid $8 million for No. 27. Zoning rules prevented Nello’s investors from expanding their building without agreement from their rivals on either side, ensuring it would be impossible to redevelop the property.
Ultimately, Granato sold No. 27 last year to Acadia Realty Trust for $19,250,000, pocketing $1,200 per buildable square foot.