Armed with a three-foot-long pair of giant gray safety scissors, North Hills Mayor Marvin Natiss cut the final ribbon on RXR Realty’s luxury condominium complex Ritz-Carlton Residences, North Hills at a ceremony on Monday, Sept. 9.
After years of building and anticipation, the series of swank apartments that were first announced more than a decade ago are now fully open for both business and pleasure, all frills attached. Before Natiss severed the red band, RXR Executive Vice President of Residential Development and Construction Joseph Graziose Sr. took time to look back on the challenges and doubts that accompanied the project for years.
“People used to ask me and Scott Rechler ‘what are you thinking building a facility such as the Ritz-Carlton in between two highways’,” Graziose said. “Well, I said to them ‘I think it’s a pretty good idea.’”
Graziose further commended the workers who raised the apartments, as well as the countless hours put in by RXR’s employees and partners to bring every aspect of the project to its final stage.
“We couldn’t do this without the help of a lot of people,” he said. “A lot of people that slave day in and day out, from the construction men and women, to the executives of our company, to the people in the health department and all the other government agencies that allow for things like this to happen. And we couldn’t do this without good partners.”
Real estate giants Douglas Elliman have partnered with RXR to exclusively handle the sales of the newly-minted homes through the firm’s Development Marketing team. Members of the star brokerage outfit, including Development Marketing President and CEO Susan DeFrança, top broker Maria Babaev and Chairman Howard M. Lorber, were on hand for the ceremony.
“Douglas Elliman is very pleased to embark on this new relationship with RXR,” Lorber said. “We bring a diverse network of sales agents to these exciting projects. Long Island means a lot to me, so I love the project.”
Construction of the residences was divided into two principal stages. The first, finished in May 2016, featured 124 units in the complex’s first two buildings, which were nearly all sold within a year. The final 120 units in phase two were finished this summer, about half of which are currently occupied, giving the complex a 75 percent occupancy rate at the time of the ribbon cutting.
The now-completed Ritz-Carlton Residences, North Hills boasts 244 multimillion-dollar condominium-style housing units that range in size from 1,500 to 4,500 square feet, often including spacious outdoor balconies where residents can relax and take in the scenes around the 17-acre complex. That complex contains a plethora of amenities outside the apartments themselves, including 24-hour doorman services, a playground for children and a palatial 25,000 square-foot clubhouse building that features a theater-style screening room, a fitness center, a billiards room and even simulated indoor golf, among many others.
The apartments themselves were designed by top-of-the-industry professionals and luxury firms like Ethan Allen and WHL Interiors, made move-in ready for residents whose eye for quality can’t be beat.
Once the ribbon was snipped, attendees filed through to a poolside cocktail bar around the back of the main building, where they enjoyed catered food and beverages while a jazz band played soothing music in the background. The atmosphere evoked a hint of the luxurious Gold Coast celebrations of a century ago in nearby Great Neck, the kind of glamor one can always expect from the name Ritz-Carlton.