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Grand Palais renamed "The Mondrian" in contest.

Six winners who were inspired by the multi-colored exterior details, shared the prize for renaming 250 East 54th Street "The Mondrian." They were presented with their cash prizes at a packed penthouse party at the luxury condominium last week on a night the glorious 360 degree views enhanced the event.

Kirkpatrick MacDonald, managing partner of Cie & MacDonald, who represents the European investors who purchased the property at auction two months ago for $50.1 million, presented the winners with $2,500 prizes during a balcony ceremony.

The number of entries paying homage to the late artist, best known for his linear paintings with cubes of primary colors, convinced MacDonald it was the appropriate name. Designed by Fox & Fowle architects, the never occupied building was completed in 1992 by the HRH Construction Company and was known as The Grand Palais.

The winners are: Jean Marie Echemendia and a joint entry from John Arbuckle and William Barton, all of Halstead Properties; Victoria Ghilaga of Elizabeth Stribling & Associates; Alexander Kalkman of Griffen Realty; and Felix van Dijk of Feathered Nest.

MacDonald was quite elated to hear the offering plan was accepted for filing by the Attorney General's office last week, a few days after the party.

"We're ready to go," he said. The building will now begin rentals as well as sales of the 179 apartments.

Rentals are expected to fetch about $37 a square foot, with studio rentals starting all $1,140. Sales are expected to be made between $300 and $400 per square foot. Some full-floor penthouse units have dramatic balconies, separate shower stalls and bidets, among other amenities.

A 40-foot lap pool, and an exercise and health club with golf driving range and putting green will also be available to residents.

Brokers examining the granite kitchen countertops with brass rails and the virtual glass window walls that run down to the edge of bathtubs set into marble floor were confident the luxury hi-rise would be successful. Many observed there is a lack of new quality product on the market.

Nancy Packes, president of Feathered Nest, predicts the building will be a total success. "The floor plans and finishes are lovely," she said, "the health club is beautiful and its priced to the market. The owner is very reasonable and pro-tenant," she added.

The 43-story tower is expected to appeal to upscale mid-town executives who want to walk to work and also be attractive to foreign dignitaries who work at the United Nations, a short hop down Second Avenue.

MacDonald said he has offers for bulk sales from several foreign missions but is waiting on those for the moment.

The actual operation, management and marketing is being handled by W&M Properties, which comprises the Malkin group and the Zeckendorf Company. Anthony E. Malkin and William Lie Zeckendorf are spearheading these efforts on behalf of the company.
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Title Annotation:luxury condominium at 250 East 54th Street, New York, New York
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Nov 3, 1993
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