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Scaasi Branches Out

NEW YORK — Arnold Scaasi, fashion designer, Fashion Institute of Technology professor and now gardener?<br><br>Scaasi is in the midst of creating a 702-square-foot garden retreat for Grand Beekman, a luxury condominium residence that opened this...

NEW YORK — Arnold Scaasi, fashion designer, Fashion Institute of Technology professor and now gardener?

Scaasi is in the midst of creating a 702-square-foot garden retreat for Grand Beekman, a luxury condominium residence that opened this week at 400 East 51st Street here. He will design a tranquil oasis for the residents of the 32-story condominium that will feature lush greenery with floral accents.

“It’s my new career,” said Scaasi, a longtime resident of Beekman Place. “I’m always adding something.” Just last month, Scaasi taught an hour-long course at FIT here, as reported.

An avid gardener, Scaasi said he has a “wonderful garden on Long Island” that he has been cultivating for 20 years, as well as “a spectacular garden in my house in Palm Beach.” This is his first professional garden design assignment.

“It will look like a corner in Paris,” said Scaasi, who expects to unveil the garden between late May and early June.

“We’ve taken a terrible little enclave of bricks and stones, and it looks marvelous. It will have a smoked mirror at one end of it covered in ivy, which gives another dimension to the garden.” Most of the walls will be covered with vines and ivy, and the garden will have containers holding trees that will be changed each season. For spring, there will be orange trees. “It’s an ongoing project that will keep changing. We’ll be planting all the time. In the winter, we’ll bring in Christmas trees,” said Scaasi.

The Grand Beekman, whose condos range in price from $1.4 million to $5.2 million, was designed by residential architect Costas Kondylis, and developed by Izak Senbahar and Simon Elias. Scaasi, who didn’t buy a condo in the new building, lives in the neighborhood.