1491-1493 First Avenue Readies for Excavation on Manhattan’s Upper East Side

1491-1493 First Avenue. Developed by Carmel Partners

Demolition is complete at 1491-1493 First Avenue, the site of a 24-story residential building in the Lenox Hill section of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Designed by Hill West Architects and developed by Carmel Partners, which purchased the property for $73.5 million in early 2022 from local developer Robert Chou, the 209-foot-tall structure will yield 94 condominium units with an average scope of around 1,900 square feet, as well as 7,120 square feet of ground-floor retail space and cellar level. CP VII 78th Street Owner is the owner and Carmel Construction East is the general contractor for the project, which is located at the southwestern corner of First Avenue and East 78th Street.

Recent photos show the site cleared of the remnants of the low-rise buildings that formerly stood at the southern end of the site prior to their demolition last summer, and the trees, overgrown vegetation, and scrap removed from the vacant portion of the plot at the corner. Temporary bracing has been erected against the wall of the adjacent building to the south, and a lone excavator sits awaiting the start of work.

1491-1493 First Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

1491-1493 First Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

1491-1493 First Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

1491-1493 First Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

1491-1493 First Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

1491-1493 First Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

The below Google Maps Street View photos of 1491-1493 First Avenue from May 2009, July 2011, and July 2022 show the progression of demolition on the plot.

1491-1493 First Avenue in May 2009.

1491-1493 First Avenue in July 2011

1491-1493 First Avenue in July 2022.

Renderings of the new building depict the massing composed of a multi-story podium and a tower with multiple setbacks on the southern and eastern elevations. The façade is shown composed of a glass curtain wall with dark metal paneling forming a grid around the windows, with a tighter pattern on the southern end of the tower and the corners of the podium.

1491-1493 First Avenue. Developed by Carmel Partners

The closest subway to the site is the 6 train at 77th Street station along Lexington Avenue. Also nearby is the Q train at the 72nd Street station to the southwest on Second Avenue.

1491-1493 First Avenue’s completion date is scheduled for spring 2026.

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14 Comments on "1491-1493 First Avenue Readies for Excavation on Manhattan’s Upper East Side"

  1. 24 stories will likely be more than 209 feet –

    • Could be a Being John Malkovich situation:
      “Me own sister was tiny and then died. Therefore, I shall make ye me wife. And I shall build a floor in my building, between the 7th and 8th, which will be scaled down, so from now on there shall be at least one place on God’s green Earth that you and your accursed kind can live in peace…”

  2. I’m assuming those corner “triangle” condo units will be a challenge for furniture layouts?!

    And RIP to the windows on the adjacent low-rise buildings, as their tenants will enclosed in a perpetuity of total darkness!

    • Do you just not understand what an air shaft is? Those units never had much light to begin with. You constantly making this comment makes me think you don’t get that this is what it means to buikd to a lot line in NYC.

      • Yes, I know what an air shaft is, and about building up to the lot line, including right up against the windows, utility lines, plumbing pipes, exit doors, etc.
        But obviously you don’t seem to care about neighboring tenants, only about another giant tower being built!

        As for stupid comments, let’s start with “Heavenly David”, which I often wonder if “he” is a real person? I’m just voicing my opinion or criticism which is what 95% of the comments on this site are doing.

        • David : Sent From Heaven. | March 11, 2023 at 2:28 am | Reply

          The progression of demolition on the plot, construction site development until the empty space that these photos revealed to me. I’m not interested in commenting nonsense because I have enough manners, in the rest I would like to see a design with a tighter pattern on the southern end and corners of the podium so sharp-edged: Thanks to Michael Young.

      • NFA thinks he’s all knowing, with far superior knowledge than anyone else.
        All he has in AN OPINION just like everyone else here.
        That and a metro card will get you on the subway

    • the comments have reached a new level of stupidity….and are most annoying.

  3. When you are in a Manhattan neighborhood like this you will walk three or floor blocks out of your way to reach the block with old low rise buildings like this to do your shopping or to be enticed by a snack or cafe or a magazine or to buy a lottery ticket. When these blocks go that old neighborhood feel goes with them. The retail in the new high rise will be generic and boring.

  4. Looks great for the neighborhood! Love the sleek modern design and nice to see more density and use of land

  5. 4 low rise buildings , with their longtime tenants demolished for this piece of crap .
    so sad that more of NYC history and charming old buildings gone to build anther high rise.
    There are almost no neighborhoods left in the city , only generic high rises

    • You think of the buildings that were torn down as charming old buildings; I think of them as substandard housing. Many buildings of that size and vintage are walk-ups, which may be ok for tenants in their 20’s but not so good for 60’s and beyond (or for anyone with any degree of mobility impairment). They also tend to be very inefficient energy consumers and contributors to greenhouse gasses.

    • Guesser, try being a landlord for a decrepit 100+ year old building in this economy and see which piece of crap actually bodes well with that description.

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