New York City’s Steven Kratchman Architect PC (SKAPC) recently completed the final phases of a four-year, multi-faceted renovation of a 30-story cooperative on New Jersey’s Gold Coast.
The project transformed Apogee in Cliffside Park into an ultra-modern high-rise featuring a dramatic entranceway, revitalized lobby and resort-style amenities. Built in 1972 and atop a hill at 250 Gorge St., the property has panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River waterfront.
The repositioning of the former Briarcliff co-op began in 2014 when the board of directors hired SKAPC to rebrand the 315-unit residential complex.
Steven Kratchman, SKAPC’s owner and founder, recognized that, “the property needed upscale aesthetics and a stylistic Manhattan feel to compete with the area’s newer luxury properties.” His firm served as master planner, architect and designer of the project, using a comprehensive design strategy focused on exterior curb appeal and interior amenities to enhance the resident experience and increase shareholder value.
SKAPC replaced the existing canopy with a glass, metal and wood marquis, and added exterior enhancements including a new driveway highlighted by modern pavers and updated landscaping. Inside the building’s revolving door, the lobby’s terrazzo floor was seamlessly integrated with new features like custom furniture scaled to fit the expansive space and a redesigned front desk, relocated to serve as a centerpiece and increase concierge visibility. Introducing a large, two-sided fireplace as a divider and seating and gathering arrangements in warm, vibrant-colored materials created a sense of intimacy.
The lobby’s most dramatic element is a four-sided, double-height living wall that is visible from inside and out. “We wanted to extend the beauty of the building’s exterior seasonal plantings into the lobby,” said Kratchman. “The wall has a sculptural feel, and each side changes to reflect the exposure and light condition as people walk around it.”
Further enhancements included lowering the lobby’s high window sills to afford views of the area’s cliffs, and a revamp of a hidden corner mail room that showcases the boxes like vintage library card catalogs. The fitness center was relocated and expanded, and a children’s playroom and management office were added.