See Inside the Rental-to-Condo Conversion at 88 and 90 Lexington Avenue

88 and 90 Lexington Avenue. all photos by Rebecca Baird-Remba, unless otherwise noted88 and 90 Lexington Avenue. all photos by Rebecca Baird-Remba, unless otherwise noted

88 and 90 Lexington Avenue were once office buildings—an Art Deco classic and a less attractive 1950s neighbor. Both became rental apartments in 1977, and now developer HFZ Capital is converting them to condos.

Under construction exterior of 90 Lexington Avenue

Under-construction exterior of 90 Lexington Avenue.

Another view of 90 Lexington Avenue

Another view of 90 Lexington Avenue.

Once renovations are complete, the two buildings will hold 120 condos, ranging from one- to four-bedrooms, plus penthouse and duplex townhouse units. The 19-story building at 88 Lexington Avenue, which dates to 1927, will include 71 condominiums. The 13-story, 1958 rental building at 90 Lexington Avenue will host 49 condominiums.

Restored 88 Lexington Avenue

Restored 88 Lexington Avenue.

Living room in a seventh floor model unit at 88 Lexington Avenue. photo via HFZ Capital

Living room in a seventh floor model unit at 88 Lexington Avenue. Photo via HFZ Capital.

Living room in a seventh floor model unit at 88 Lexington Avenue. photo via HFZ Capital

Living room in a seventh floor model unit at 88 Lexington Avenue. Photo via HFZ Capital.

The new condo dwellers will have access to a slew of amenities, including a 24-hour concierge, two-lane swimming pool, gym with private yoga studio, sauna, lounge with kitchen, screening room, children’s playroom, private deeded storage units and landscaped roof terrace.

More of the 88 Lexington Avenue model unit.

More of the 88 Lexington Avenue model unit. Photo via HFZ Capital.

88 Lexington Avenue’s elegant facade was restored and its interiors dramatically renovated. 90 Lexington was completely re-clad with a new, modern limestone facade and large windows.

We stripped the existing facade off, and put a new facade on, but the guts of the building are the same… Same floor plates, same slab locations,” explained Matt Berman of Workshop/APD Architecture, which handled the design and renovation. HFZ also installed new elevators, electrical wiring, plumbing, and a modern heating and air conditioning system—all the trappings of a major overhaul.

A kitchen at 88 Lexington Avenue. photo via HFZ Capital

A kitchen at 88 Lexington Avenue. Photo via HFZ Capital.

The penthouse units at no. 90 were originally an illegal addition, erected 30 or 40 years ago. The extra density and height were not allowed back then, but the structure was grandfathered in and legalized as the decades passed.

The view from the lower penthouse atop 90 Lexington Avenue.

The view from the lower penthouse atop 90 Lexington Avenue.

“In the renegade years of the ’70s, someone had added to the top of this in what can only be described as an unbelievably haphazard way,” said Berman. He added that no. 90 had been “very, very poorly built initially. You have floor slabs that are inches out of alignment, so when you try to plug a facade into that, it’s very hard to find a consistent language… We had to do a lot of shimming and adjusting.” 

With the modern facade, he added, people think no. 90 is a new construction building.

Residents began moving into 88 and 90 Lexington last spring. Sales kicked off in June 2015, and current asking prices start at $1,890,000. They’ll be topped by five penthouses—a duplex with an internal garden and two half-floor units in no. 90 and two duplexes in no. 88. Pricing for the penthouses, which are scheduled to hit the market later this year, has not yet been released. Fifty-one apartments have sold so far, according to public relations representatives for the project.

Tenants remain in 14 un-renovated apartments across both buildings, which held a mix of 177 stabilized and market-rate units before the conversion. HFZ is marketing the rent-stabilized units in 88 and 90 Lexington, along with similar apartments in several other buildings it owns, as part of a package deal. The full offering plan includes 109 apartments across six buildings, for an asking price of $125 million. If another developer buys the stabilized units in 88 and 90 Lexington, they may have the option to convert them market rate rentals or condos over time, according to the offering memorandum from Eastern Consolidated.

Construction has come a long way since YIMBY toured the project a year ago, and work is scheduled to be complete by this fall.

Under construction upper penthouse at 90 Lexington Avenue

Under-construction upper penthouse at 90 Lexington Avenue.

The living room in a seventh floor model unit at 90 Lexington Avenue. photo via HFZ Capital

The living room in a seventh floor model unit at 90 Lexington Avenue. Photo via HFZ Capital.

Living/dining at 90 Lexington Avenue. photo via HFZ Capital

Living/dining at 90 Lexington Avenue. Photo via HFZ Capital.

Model unit kitchen at 90 Lexington Avenue. photo via HFZ Capital

Model unit kitchen at 90 Lexington Avenue. Photo via HFZ Capital.

A bedroom in the model unit at 90 Lexington Avenue. photo via HFZ Capital

A bedroom in the model unit at 90 Lexington Avenue. Photo via HFZ Capital.

Second bedroom in the model unit at 90 Lexington Avenue. photo via HFZ Capital

Second bedroom in the model unit at 90 Lexington Avenue. Photo via HFZ Capital.

Rendering of 88 & 90 Lexington Avenue, post-conversion.

Rendering of 88 and 90 Lexington Avenue by Workshop/APD.

Rendering of 88 & 90 Lexington Avenue, post-conversion.

Night-time rendering of 88 and 90 Lexington Avenue, post-conversion.