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NEW YORK CITY-The Ascend Group LLC has broken ground on a new luxury residential tower called the Georgica at 305 E. 85th St., near the northeast corner of Second Avenue. A source close to the development tells GlobeSt.com that the total cost for the Upper East Side project is about $90 million.

The Georgica’s name was inspired by the Georgica Pond in East Hampton Village. The 20-story, 134,000-sf building will feature 58 units including gourmet kitchens and amenities such as a children’s playroom, a fitness center and a landscaped rooftop deck with a playground. The all-glass tower will include two- to four-bedroom units, some with home offices and fireplaces, and will range in size from 1,298 sf to nearly 3,000 sf.

Site work for the Georgica is well under way, with demolition having started in August 2007 after the company shelled out $45 million for the 6,300-sf parcel of land, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. Construction is slated for completion in 2009.

Sales are set to begin by March through Prudential Douglas Elliman Development Marketing Group, the source explains. Residences at Georgica will range from $2 million to $5 million, the source adds.

“This residential tower will bring about a fresh and innovative alternative for those looking for new construction in this incredibly desirable and safe family-friendly neighborhood,” notes Rob Kaliner, principal of the Ascend Group LLC, in a prepared statement. “The Georgica’s stellar location, its top-notch amenities and smart design are expected to attract buyers who appreciate a cosmopolitan vibe with spacious apartments that feel like private homes.”

Kaliner continues that “we’ve assembled the best team in real estate, engineering, architecture and design to bring this inspiring residential project to fruition. It will be an intellectually crafted development that is meant to attract style-conscious buyers who want all that the Upper East Side has to offer with an intimate floor plan of only two units on many floors.”

Architecture and design firm of Cetra/Ruddy has been retained as the architect and interior designer. And Cantor Seinuk Group Inc., which is working on the Freedom Tower being built at the World Trade Center site, is the engineering firm.

The Ascend Group also has recently developed the “A Building” at 425 E. 13th St., an eight-story condo project also designed by Cetra/Ruddy, which is 99% sold out; and 133 W. 22nd St. with 99 residential units, which has been nearly 70% sold.

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