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Floor-to-ceiling windows are a big selling point these days; the developers of The Cielo, a 28-story luxury condo building rising at 83rd Street and York Avenue, have taken that promise one better. They bought a five-story building that sits immediately to the west, to make sure that nothing taller gets built on that site and their new units will receive light from 360 degrees. The light and the space (studios in the building start at 626 square feet) are top attractions; there are also 10- to 11-foot ceilings and beech hardwood floors.

Of course, sunshine is pricey. Studios start at $700,000 and three-bedrooms, which go up to 3,221 square feet, can cost you around $5 million. The building itself offers a 24-hour doorman, paintings by artist Betsy Eby commissioned specifically for the lobby, a children's playroom, a 2,000-square foot-fitness center, and a 44-car garage. Kitchens will have stone countertops, larch wood cabinetry and Sub-Zero refrigerators. The limestone master bathrooms will come with oversized soaking tubs, glass-enclosed showers, polished nickel faucets and custom-black walnut cabinets. Perks like these were what induced health-care consultant Jin Pyun to buy a two-bedroom apartment in the building. "Number one, the amenities are top-notch," he says, listing his reasons for buying into the development. "High-end buildings in the last few years have taken the amenities to another level, and The Cielo definitely had that." Also important to Pyun , currently at The Impala on 76th Street and 1st Avenue, was the likelihood that his purchase would appreciate. He considered finding a new neighborhood, but in the end decided to stick with what he knew, considering the area's stolidity the mark of a good investment. "If you look at the stores and schools in this area, that's definitely a sign of stability," he observes. "You look at, say, TriBeCa, it's pretty trendy, but once they build the new Trade Center, things could get pretty chaotic down there."

Somewhat unusual for expensive new condos, the developers describe The Cielo as a family building. "It's a terrific New York-centric residential site," says Jules Demchick, the president of developer JD Carlisle. (That's the developer that built home-to-the-Olsen-twins Morton Square.) Demchick calls buildings like Time Warner Center and The Plaza "international" and says, "Can you picture someone at The Plaza waiting for a yellow school bus to pick up their kids?" Demchick notes that much of the interest in the building thus far has come from young families. And given the neighborhood's plentiful parks and proximity to some of the city's best schools, it's a trend that he expects to continue.

"People are just looking for space," agrees Jacky Teplitzky, a Prudential Douglas Elliman broker. "The area around First and York is more quiet, more of a neighborhood." Of course, as good as the neighborhood's prospects may seem, they could always be just a little bit better. "If the Second Avenue subway line could get built," Pyun says, citing that most enduring of East Sider pipe dreams, "that would help." www.cie



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