Taken purely on its merits -- which include a prime Manhattan location at the foot of Madison Square Park, a unique and appealing look, and some of the most luxurious condos for sale in Gramercy -- the new luxury condo One Madison Park is one of the more impressive new condo listings in Manhattan. But taking One Madison Park on its merits misses one very important point: despite being a pretty exceptional Manhattan condominium, One Madison Park is an exceptionally troubled Manhattan condominium. One Madison Park is currently the subject of several ongoing lawsuits and other controversies, which have conspired to bring the final construction on the building's amenities -- the wine cellar, the swimming pool, stuff like that -- to a halt. We wrote about this at the New Construction Manhattan blog back in March, and it remains true today. Of course, all that other stuff we just wrote about One Madison Park -- prime Manhattan location, good looks, stunning condos for sale -- holds true as well. Since New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff's job is to write about a building's aesthetics, it's not surprising that he delivered a very positive review of One Madison Park in today's Times. It seems kind of surprising all the same, though, simply because it has been so long since we've had good news to report about One Madison Park.
"Even in its current state, their new home, with its stack of multistory glass cubes plugged into one side of a bronze-colored shaft, is a dazzling addition to a street that includes two of the city’s most celebrated skyscrapers: Pierre LeBrun’s 1909 Metropolitan Life tower, across the street, and Daniel Burnham’s 1903 Flatiron building, a half block west. It jolts the neighborhood into the present," Ouroussoff writes. "And once you are inside, One Madison Park is pretty much what you would expect: views, views and more views. Because of the tiny footprint, even some of the smaller apartments take up half a floor. And since the developer has used up all the remaining air rights on lots to the south, east and west of the building, and it faces the corridor of Madison Avenue to the north, the sweeping views should never be obstructed by another tower."
All those very positive and very true things about One Madison Park are reason enough to hope that the building can shake its troubles and get back to doing what it seemed destined to do a year or so ago: become one of the finest luxury condo listings in Manhattan. Until then, well, at least it looks pretty great from the outside, while you're waiting in line at Shake Shack.