Moving In, Slowly, to ‘Billionaires’ Row’

(The New York Times) As soon as Linda Phillips and her husband heard about One57, a luxury 90-story skyscraper that is nearing completion on West 57th Street, they raced from the pied-à-terre they rented at the Time Warner Center across Columbus Circle to take a look.

The couple, empty-nesters who also own a home in Saddle River, N.J., eventually plunked down $30.4 million for a three-bedroom four-and-a-half-bath apartment, with floor-to-ceiling windows facing onto Central Park. Their lease at the Time Warner Center ends in September, and they may sell their New Jersey home to live full time in the building.

“With beautiful views and just a block from Bergdorf’s, I think it doesn’t get any better,” said Mrs. Phillips, an interior designer.

And some personal thoughts on the story...

So much has been written on the new condominiums that are taking shape along 57th Street--it even inspired an exhibit at the Skyscraper Museum. But most of the stories have had to do with policy, or architecture, or large-scale development. No one had written from the perspective of those actually living in these new narrow towers. That was in part because the buildings are so new, few people have yet to move in. That was why, when someone mentioned that the first residents HAD begun moving in their furniture to One57, I jumped at the chance to write about it. 

I was lucky enough to find a buyer willing to speak on the record--wealthy people are notoriously stringent about their privacy. I had a wonderful talk with Linda, the woman quoted in the piece, but when it came time to actually photographing her in her new home, she mentioned the photo session to someone at the building and word came down from the developer that it wouldn't be looked kindly upon. Since Linda is doing some renovations to her unit, she didn't want to risk ruffling the developers' feathers, and alas, our photo shoot was cancelled.