Dream Builder: The Centurion

By Erin Massey, Multifamily Executive

The legendary Peis sign on for a Manhattan project.

For two Manhattan-based developers, The Centurion condominium project has been a waking dream. Their ardor stems from convincing legendary architect I.M. Pei and his son L.C. (Sandi) Pei to design it as their first ground-up, residential condominium building.

“I sometimes pinched myself that I am in a room with I.M Pei and Sandi,” says Roy Stillman, president of Stillman Development International. I.M. Pei is best known for creating The Pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He joined his son to create other projects such as the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan.

That’s why Robbie Antonio, managing director of Antonio Development, called The Centurion—now under construction—“the highlight of my career.” But enlisting a legend meant that The Centurion had to make history of its own. “Since it is the first ground-up condo project by Pei, it had to be globally known,” Antonio says. “It is also the first residential community in two decades in the vicinity. We knew we had to differentiate our project from the tall, glass edifices close by.”

When faced with local zoning rules that affected the building’s setbacks, the Peis solved the problem with angled setbacks instead of the more traditional “wedding cake” style. “The angled setback is the most distinguishing feature,” Stillman adds.

The building will also stand apart for its material—exclusive French limestone from a specific quarry favored by the Peis. “We describe The Centurion as a bespoke tailor describes his art: a balanced composition of exquisite materials and richly crafted details that will never look old or dated,” Sandi Pei said in a statement.

The 48 one- to-four-bedroom homes are expected to cost between $1.9 million and more than $10 million when completed in early 2009.

  • American Campus Communities is developing 4,000 on-campus beds at the University of California, Irvine. The multi-phase project, designed by KTGY Group, will be located on up to five separate land parcels on the East Campus. The first phase is expected to commence construction in 2008. The project will target a silver or higher certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.
  • Novare Group has opened TWELVE Centennial Park in Atlanta, the newest offering in the TWELVE Hotels & Residences brand. The development includes 517 one- and two-bedroom condo units in a 39-story tower adjacent to a hotel tower featuring 102 one- and two-bedroom suites. Both hotel and condo units offer floor-to-ceiling windows with views of downtown Atlanta; kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops; 10-foot ceilings; and balconies. Residents can enjoy the hotel services, which include housekeeping, car valet, and a 24-hour concierge. A second residential tower is planned for the site for a total of 1,002 condo units.
  • POKO Partners is developing Delany Lofts, a 24-unit for-sale community in Harlem. The one-bedroom units feature 9- to 10- foot ceilings, washers and dryers, and open kitchens with granite countertops, stainless steel, and Energy Star-rated appliances. The units range from $420,000 to $1 million. —Listings compiled by Rachel Z. Azoff





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