400 East 56th Street, also known as Plaza 400, is a simple post-war white brick building that sits amidst the tranquility of Sutton Place. While this utilitarian tower may not have the glitz that today’s new towers may radiate, there is value and grace behind these walls.
A full service experience, hearty sized apartments, low monthly charges and a great Midtown location make this Sutton Place co-op a value proposition worth exploring. Thus, the latest edition of our “Buildings We Love” series.
Plaza 400 is located in Sutton Place, a true enclave neighborhood known for its sleepy city feel, older demographics, intimate parks and views of the East River and the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge.
The full service experience starts with one’s arrival. A port-a-cochere with a cobble-stoned circular drive, manicured plantings and a water fountain feature set a sophisticated tone. Greetings follow, first by a doorman and then by a concierge as you make your way toward the elevator bank. All visitors are announced.
There is a second entrance at the rear of the building on 55th Street. This entrance adjoins the garage and provides one with a convenient way to bring larger items and groceries in and out of the building. There is a manned security desk here as well.
The building’s palatial lobby offers two large seating areas on either side of a center passage. It feels like you’re standing in a sprawling lobby of a grand hotel. The vintage Baccarat chandelier is the focal point of the space and it comes with quite a tale.
Built in 1968 and converted to co-operative residences in 1981, Plaza 400 rises 38 floors and contains 604 apartments. When it was erected it was the second tallest residential building in the city. The building boasts a variety of apartment configurations, from large alcove studios to three-bedroom homes.
Plaza 400 was designed by accomplished architect Philip Birnbaum. For someone that designed over 35 buildings in New York City, Birnbaum is relatively unknown. He had a reputation for creating efficient apartment spaces and according to one New York Times article, he was “a champion of water fountains, chandeliers and rooftop swimming pools.” One does not have to look further than Plaza 400 to find this to be true.
As exemplified by the building’s front entrance and lobby, there is a lot of formality at Plaza 400. That formality extends to the individual apartments. The larger apartments have foyer areas, formal dining rooms, service entrances, split bedroom layouts and generous closet space.
Full-service amenities include a full-time doorman, an attended concierge desk, a Skytop club room, heated rooftop pool with sundeck, fitness center, 24/7 attended garage, resident’s lounge/events room and laundry room. There is a fully staffed on-site management office on the first floor.
The average price per square foot at Plaza 400 is significantly lower than newer condominiums in the neighborhood. Co-ops typically sell for significantly less, particularly vis-a-vis new construction. Over the last twelve months, there have been 32 closed sales at Plaza 400 with the bulk of the sales falling in the $800 to $1100 per square foot range. Due to the fact that this is a co-op the square footage for these apartments have not been verified.
Currently there are a number of availabilities at Plaza 400. Alcove studios start at $515,000. One-bedrooms start at $629,000. Two bedrooms at $1,175,000. There is one three-bedroom unit on the market with an ask of $2.3 million. Of course the condition of the particular apartment, the floor and the views all play a part in the pricing. The co-op allows 70% financing. Monthly maintenance charges include electricity, gas and air conditioning.
Pets are not allowed nor is subletting. However, one can use their apartment as a pied-a-terre. The lobby and the common hallways have all been recently refurbished.
To learn more about Plaza 400 and to view current availabilities, please visit Linecity.