NYC developers push the envelope, justify high prices with new amenities
Developers attract NYC tenants with art studios, private parks and more unique amenities.
A few decades ago, doormen were a standard luxury building amenity, not gyms.
Today, gyms are a must-have for upscale tenants, but as New York City apartment prices continue to climb, they’re demanding more extras.
As developers try to push the envelope and attract luxury residents, more buildings are putting in unique amenities — from art spaces to private parks — providing not just a home, but a lifestyle.
“People appreciate amenities that are relevant,” said Dave Maundrell, executive VP of new development division for Brooklyn and Queens for Citi Habitats. The sales and rentals company began leasing 180 Franklin in Clinton Hill at the end of May.
The 118-unit rental building is “half art gallery, half boutique hotel,” according to Maundrell, featuring a work-from-home space, soundproof music rehearsal space, art studio and gallery.
With the proximity to art school Pratt and the neighborhood setting, those amenities seem “like a natural fit,” said Jason Muss, principal of Muss Development, which owns the building.
Muss sees these unique bells and whistles as part of the continuing “amenities race” in New York City —they’re just adapting them to a certain group of people who are looking for a separate space for their creative endeavors and to be around those with similar interests.
“You might find someone else painting next to you and exchange ideas,” Muss said.
“Rain or shine, it allows them to walk downstairs and take out their canvas and work,” he added.
The “amenities race” goes beyond artists in Brooklyn, according to Maundrell. In Prospect Heights, new rental building 670 Pacific boasts a roof deck with a running track, barbecue pits, a bocce ball court and an outdoor movie screening area — created for the “dramatic” backdrop.
Space also helped define the amenities at One Sixty Madison, a luxury residential building located in Midtown south. One Sixty Madison is following a recent trend that the New York Times called “Gramercy Park for the high-rise set.”
“Our style is to create amenities that people will actually use, rather than amenities that are just on the brochure,” said Evan Stein, president of J.D. Carlisle Development Corporation, One Sixty Madison’s developer.
The goal was to create a “significant roof space,” with a High Line feel, according to Stein. Everyone has a roof on their building, but they wanted One Sixty Madison to have a “true park” with benches, trees and leaves.
One Sixty Madison also has a “lifestyle coordinator,” who is “intimately involved in the details in your life,” and can arrange everything from a small dinner to private jet, according to Stein.
Like 180 Franklin, One Sixty Madison is trying to create a community with its lifestyle concierge through community classes and events for the residents to come together.
“Lifestyle is an unwritten amenity,” Stein said.
More buildings are trying to create a lifestyle where residents can find everything they need at their home base — and don’t need to escape the city to relax.
Tribeca’s111 Murray Street, currently under construction, will feature large amenity spaces with a 75-foot lap pool, children’s splash pool, spa with private treatment rooms, saunas and a fitness center with movement studio. There will also be a Drybar hair salon, teen arcade, children’s playroom, media room and patisserie by Baked Tribeca offering residents complimentary breakfast.
“Twenty-five years ago most buildings didn’t have fitness centers, now it’s a must,” Stein said, adding that more amenities will continue to become musts in the future.
But residents will be demanding less of a resort experience and more of a George Jetson one.
“If technology keeps advancing I think buildings have to react to it,” he said.