The Modern
©Evan Joseph
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
WallcoveringMDC Wallcoverings
Wall @ stairForms+Surfaces
Entry paving (exterior)Unilock
Avante Ashlar
Massage room carpetChilewich
Powder room accent wallHirsch Glass Corp
Sophisticated Funk
Wall behind concierge deskMajilite

Product Spec Sheet
Esquire, Fiddleback by MDC Wallcoverings
Wall @ stair
ViviGraphix, Scape by Forms+Surfaces
Entry paving (exterior)
Avante Ashlar, Hollandstone by Unilock
Massage room carpet
Ribweave by Chilewich
Powder room accent wall
Sophisticated Funk by Hirsch Glass Corp
Wall behind concierge desk
Novasuede by Majilite

The Modern

Elkus Manfredi Architects as Master Planning, Building Design, Interior Architecture

Project Overview
The Modern is a mixed-use residential development at the foot of the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey. It is a major landmark for Fort Lee and a catalyst for significant future growth in the surrounding area.

Located on a site totaling 7.7 acres in downtown Fort Lee, The Modern’s two 47-story glass towers contain a total of 900 luxury rental apartments. Rising from a podium above the Palisades and the Hudson River and clad in sleek glass curtainwall, the two structures make a striking statement, clearly identifiable from Manhattan and the west, that speaks of the clean, classic lines of timeless design and the drama of their natural setting. Magnificent views and the promise of a cosmopolitan lifestyle in a mix of residences with unmatched private amenities, in combination with easy access to Manhattan, make The Modern a highly desirable destination along New Jersey’s Hudson River waterfront.

Ranging in size from studios to three-bedroom units, the apartments are each a warm, sophisticated home with floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, the Hudson River, and the monumental George Washington Bridge. In both buildings, amenities for tenants become each resident's extended "living room." These include indoor/outdoor dining, entertainment, and fitness venues, plus large outdoor pools, spas, private barbeque areas, and more.

At ground level, the parking structure of each tower is buffered by the lush park plantings of the Central Green, a 1.75-acre park located between the two towers. The roof of each parking structure is a landscaped deck overlooking the Central Green. Providing a park landscape for all of Fort Lee to enjoy, the Green features a central pond, rain garden, and pedestrian walkways. A signature restaurant with outdoor dining terraces is an architectural focal point and destination on the Central Green at Park Avenue. 


Project Components

The project consists of:

  • Two residential towers, the North and South Towers (800 and 100 Park Avenue), with a total of 900 apartments and four levels of structured parking, ancillary facilities, and amenities related to residential use in each building
  • Exterior and interior materials used in each tower are the same, with only slight variations
  • A 1.75-acre Central Green located between the towers
  • A 7,000-sf restaurant located at the Central Green on Park Avenue
  • An 11,000-sf combined museum and specialty theater named The John Barrymore Theater located at the corner of Park Avenue and Main Street for use by the public. Many of the earliest silent movies were made by Barrymore in studios in Fort Lee, and the new theater commemorates Fort Lee’s role as the birthplace of American film.

Design Relevance
The 47-story Modern towers including 900 luxury rental apartments with an unprecedented array of indoor and outdoor lifestyle amenities, and incomparable views of New York City, the Hudson River, and the George Washington Bridge, The Modern is truly a stand-out residential development positioned to compete not only with properties on New Jersey's “Gold Coast,” but in Manhattan itself.


Project Background
The development of the site of The Modern is the culmination of one of the longest and most storied sagas in the history of New York-area real estate. Many high-profile developers vied for the opportunity to develop the site, including a zealous group in the 1970s who enlisted an organized crime representative to try to bribe the borough’s Mayor. But the Mayor wore a wire, the developers went to prison, and the episode was immortalized in the 1976 book “The Bribe” by Philip Ross. Developer Harry Helmsley later purchased the parcel, but his vision for a complex he hoped to call Helmsley Palisades never materialized after his wife, Leona Helmsley, was sent to jail in 1989 for tax evasion. In 2005, Town and Country Developers bought the tract from Helmsley’s estate, but its plans for a hotel and condo complex were abandoned during the 2008-2009 economic downturn. Ultimately, SJP Properties, developer of The Modern and also developer of the eastern half of the site won the rights to develop the land.


Design Challenges

  • Selection of curtainwall vision and spandrel glass to create uniform monolithic appearance
  • Difficult foundation design/construction due to high elevation and challenging quality of ledge across site
  • Creation of sufficient open surface area of parking garage to satisfy natural ventilation requirements while minimizing floor heights
  • Creation of “seamless” transitions across six-inch seismic joint between tower and garage/amenity deck.

Design Details
800 Park Avenue, the North Tower, contains 808,193 gross square feet (gsf), 226,177 gsf of which comprise the parking structure. The tower rises 47 stories to a height of 471.75 feet, above which the building façade rises an additional 26 feet to screen the mechanical penthouse and equipment located at the roof level. The lower portion of the tower is partially wrapped with a low-rise podium structure containing the building service functions and four levels of parking with exclusive parking for residents as well as patrons of the restaurant. To provide a visual buffer for the south side of the parking garage, a portion of the Central Green landscape work was included in the North Phase of the project.


Public Spaces:
The paved entry court off of Park Avenue, with its feature fountain, serves as the main residential entrance to the North Tower. A dramatic canopy covers the drop-off area and entry to the building lobby. Within the lobby, indoor and outdoor spaces flow together in the double-height lounge with its own infinity-edge fountain. The material palette of stone, metals, and glass creates an overall experience of quiet elegance. Discreetly positioned behind the 24/7 concierge desk and easily accessible from the building service areas are residential support spaces, a refrigerated package room, and storage rooms. The residential leasing and building management offices overlook the lobby from the second floor. Other building service spaces on the second and third floor include tenant storage rooms and a laundry room. A free shuttle service takes residents to and from the express subway to Manhattan.


Occupying the entire fifth and partial fourth floors, the tower supports 14,700 gsf of indoor amenities: 12,200 gsf on the fifth floor and 2,500 gsf on the fourth floor. The fifth floor contains a variety of active and passive amenities, including a large, flexible lounge space, dining area, computer café, children’s playroom, suite of fitness rooms that include a yoga room, exercise room, weight training space, and a spa with a massage room, sauna, and locker shower rooms. An open stair leads down to the fourth floor, which contains the simulated golf room, screening room, and tween lounge.The fifth-floor amenities open to the expansive landscaped roof deck with 57,616 gsf of outdoor amenity space exclusively for residents’ use. The great lawn area is a gathering space equipped with a Megatron movie screen and an outdoor fire pit. A multi-sport court is in the northeast corner, while the southeast offers a swimming pool with a large deck area. To the west, family dining and barbeque areas are separated with landscaping and walkways from individual private barbeque spaces. The outdoor game deck and children’s play area connect back to the indoor amenities.


Rising above the deck, the tower floors contain 450 luxury rental apartments. The tower offers every residence floor-to-ceiling panoramic views.

Each residence is characterized by an open floor plan, energy-efficient stainless steel appliances, its own washer and dryer, and water-conserving plumbing fixtures. Living rooms and bedrooms have engineered natural wood floors. Kitchens feature sleek lacquer-finished cabinets, quartz solid-surface counters, and artist-glass backsplashes, all in a modern palette of white, beige, and black. Finishes in the bathrooms continue the sophisticated look with porcelain tile walls and floors, custom dark wood vanities, full-length medicine cabinets, Kohler fixtures, and Grohe faucets.


Design Details
The South Tower contains 811,245 gsf, 694 gsf, 223, 551 gsf of which comprise the separate parking structure.The height of the tower isthe same as the North Tower at 471.75 feet. Similar to the North Tower lobby in materials and feel, the South Tower lobby features an aquarium instead of a fountain. 

The South Tower features its own amenities, which total 16,600 gsf and are located on the fourth and fifth floors for its residents. Like the North Tower, the fifth is the main amenity floor with 12,400 gsf, and connects to a fourth-floor amenity deck of 4,200 gsf. The South Tower’s amenities that are similar to those in the North Tower include extensive fitness areas, spa, a screening room, computer café, children’s playroom, and a game lounge that can be leased out for parties by residents. Different from the North Tower are a two-lane bowling alley and two golf simulators, one wide-screen. The South Tower’s outdoor amenities include 53,239 gsf and offer residents the same features as the North Tower’s outdoor spaces, including a large lawn with a Megatron, a pool with views to Manhattan, private landscaped barbeque niches, sports courts, play areas, and a variety of lounge seating.


Material Used :
Selected Exterior Materials: 
1. Curtainwall: Permasteelisa
2. Glass: Viracon VRE1-46 with #V908 Gray spandrel
3. Composite metal panels: BAMCO
4. Stone base: Caledonia Granite (honed) – Venture Stone & Tile (NJ)
5. Parking garage precast concrete columns/spandrels/tees: High Concrete
6. Entry paving (exterior): Unilock “Avante Ashlar” and “Hollandstone”; Oakville Natural Stone “Bronte Sandstone”; Hanover Prest Brick and Granite Cobbles
7. Amenity deck paving: Tile tech Pavers Ipe Wood Tiles on adjustable pedestals
8. Sports court: Sport Court “PowerGame”

Selected Lobby Materials:
1. Lobby floor tile: Stone Source “Flor Gres-Stone Tech”
2. Column stone cladding: Jerusalem Bone (honed)
3. Feature wall stone: saw-tooth plan section: honed with rough vertical edge: Jerusalem Bone (Stone Source)
4. Concierge desk: Champagne Leaf laminated glass (Tony Davlin Glass)
5. Wall behind concierge desk: Majilite “Novasuede”
6. Mailroom walls: Quartered Fiddleback Anigre; Glass panels: UL Madagascar (Galaxy)
7. Mailroom tables: Paperstone solid surface (Chocolate)
8. Elevator cab walls: Galaxy “UL” with line-up wicker image
9. Elevator cab interior doors/wainscot: Contrarian Metal Resources “Vibration” (Nickel Silver Neves) +FG3

Selected Amenity Materials:
1. Carpet: Mohawk “Timber Thread” KC197 
2. Millwork: Quartered Fiddleback Anigre; Cerused Oak (H&H Woodworking)
3. Computer Café table surface: Galaxy “Mirror” (Teal)
4. Spa bathroom tile: Elements for Design “Selezione Chioara” with S&S “French Tan Pebble” (accent walls)
5. Massage room carpet: Chilewich “Ribweave” tiles
6. Massage rooms counter: Caesar Stone solid surface (Mocha)
7. Massage room wallcovering: MDC “Esquire Collection” (Allerton Treasure)
8. Fitness center flooring: Mondo “Sport Impact”
9. Yoga studio flooring: PLAE System “Eco E-10 Strand Bamboo
10. Wall @ stair: Forms + Surfaces “Vivagraphix” (“Switch Grass” pattern; mirror backed) @ top; Forms + Surfaces “Scape” (stainless steel) @ bottom

Selected Residence Materials:
1. Corridor wallcovering: MDC “Fiddle Back Reel”
2. Corridor carpet: Axminster wave pattern HQ 11712-2 (custom color) – Steven King
3. Wood flooring: Par-ky “Sound” (Snow White)
4. Kitchen cabinets: Laminate (Spazzi) with 9”x1.375”x0.5” dia. Nickel Bar Pulls (Richelieu) – Direct Cabinet Sales
5. Kitchen counters: Quarry Tile solid surface (Dream White)
6. Kitchen backsplash: S&S “Baroque Bronze”
7. Kitchen appliances: GE Café Series; Bosch Washer/Dryer
8. Master bath wall/floor tile: S&S “White Wave” (matte/textured) with D37 ½” Pencil Glass Tile trim. Accent wall: S&S “Glossy”
9. Guest bath/powder room wall tile: S&S “Superior”
10. Powder room accent wall: Hirsch “Sophisticated Funk Collection”
11. Vanities: Quarry Tile solid surface (Snow White)

Project Credits
Master Planning, Building Design, Interior Architecture
General Contractor
Mechanical Engineering
Interior Furnishings of Model Units and Resident Amenity Rooms
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