299 West 12th Street
|299 West 12th Street|
On Abingdon Square Park
|Architectural style||Art Deco|
|Town or city||299 West 12th Street, New York, New York 10014|
|Current tenants||183 apartments|
|Inaugurated||July 30, 1931|
|Floor count||18 including two penthouse floors|
|Design and construction|
|Developer||Bing & Bing|
The building was granted an occupancy license on July 30, 1931, opening initially as an "apartment hotel" with a kitchen on the ground floor. In 1986, 299 West 12th Street and its sister building, 302 West 12th Street, were converted into condominiums, containing mainly studio and one bedroom units.
It houses 183 condominium apartments.
299 West 12th Street was part of a simultaneous development of five buildings in the area.
Prior to the erection of 299 and 302 West 12th Street, the northern side of Abingdon Square Park was the site of several well regarded five-story row houses. “[C]onstructed of red brick and with artistic wrought iron balcony railings,” notes a New York Times article of the day, “the houses have not only always been well kept, but have been occupied by many prominent residents of the ninth ward.” The destruction of the houses and their replacement with a 16-story high rise were cited by local residents as changing the demographic of the neighborhood in what can be seen as an early case of gentrification in New York City. Since 1969, designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District has helped restrict other such developments in the area.
Rivaling Central Park West
Leo Bing, announced on April 1, 1929 that his firm had quietly acquired 75 small lots and old buildings largely around Abingdon Square, Sheridan Square and Jackson Square Park. And the lots would be combined to allow for a set of larger-scale, 17-story apartment buildings.
He said his goal was to "recreate the entire district as a modern counterpart of the high-class residential section it once was" saying it would "rival Central Park West and the fashionable east side within a few years." He cited the goal of neighborhood reinvention as the reason for the simultaneous building, saying his hope was that "complete transformation of the section may be achieved as quickly as possible.”
Also, in more practical terms, he mentioned the "imminent" IND Eighth Avenue Line, and recent completion of the West Side Elevated Highway and even the Holland Tunnel as increasing accessibility to—and demand for—the area.
Despite the start of the Great Depression just months after Leo Bing's announcement, by September 1931 Bing & Bing reported that the "five new buildings on Christopher, Horatio and West Twelfth Streets are proving among the most popular of all the Bing & Bing apartment properties. Callers have been numerous...and a high percentage of the space has been leased.”
Recent Real Estate Trends
In recent years, units in the building have been priced higher than average for the area partly because of restrictions on new construction in the West Village and the resulting dearth of condo options. In 2006, a listing for the building’s penthouse caused a stir for what was then viewed as an exorbitant asking price of $3.5 million. In 2011, after a well-publicized apartment search, Jennifer Anniston purchased both the penthouse and a one bedroom unit beneath it for a combined $7.9 million with the intention of converting them into a duplex. The actress abandoned her plans in 2012 after less than a year of ownership and the units were sold to another owner within the building. They have since been incorporated into a triplex that was listed for $30 million in July, 2012.
- "New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee maps" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Columbia University Libraries, New York Real Estate Brochure Collection "299 W. 12 St." "
- "City of New York Certificate of Occupancy 1931" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- "299 West 12th St. in West Village - Sales, Rentals, Floorplans". StreetEasy. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Columbia University Libraries, New York Real Estate Brochure Collection "59-69 W. 12 St." 
- Columbia University Libraries, New York Real Estate Brochure Collection "302 W. 12 St."
- Columbia University Libraries, New York Real Estate Brochure Collection "45 Christopher St."
- Columbia University Libraries, New York Real Estate Brochure Collection "2 Horatio St." 
- , This Day in History Abingdon Square Becomes a Public Park
- "ABINGDON SQUARE LOSES LANDMARK - ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2010) - ProQuest". Retrieved 2013-12-03. (subscription required (. ))
- "Bing & Bing Plan $40,000,000 Apartment Development on Lower West Side," New York Times, April 2, 1929 
- [ Displaying Abstract ] (2012-06-10). ""Bing & Bing start building campaign." New York Times, Nov. 30, 1930". Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- "Tall apartments in Village centre. Presents rental problem."New York Times, Sept. 27, 1931 
- Tuesday, October 3, 2006, by Joey Arak (2006-10-03). "PriceChopper: 299 West 12th Street, Already - Curbed NY". Ny.curbed.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Tuesday, May 24, 2011, by Sara Polsky (2011-05-24). "Jennifer Aniston Closes on Second West Village Apartment - Celebrity Real Estate - Curbed NY". Ny.curbed.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Sunday, July 8, 2012, by Jeremiah Budin (2012-07-08). "$30M PH in Jennifer Aniston's Old Building on the Market - Blockbusters - Curbed NY". Ny.curbed.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.