A Unique Perspective: A Look at Some Unique Residential Amenities and Services

Resident MediaDecember 15, 2011
Show us a luxury residential building or townhouse that doesn’t offer what has become basic amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, in-house concierge or even bicycle storage - they are easy to come by. Marble counter tops are always expected along with common area party or gathering spaces and billiard/entertainment communal areas. As we searched around for properties we came across some surprising amenities that offer that “dare-to-be-different” twist to NYC living.

According to Maggie Kent a top producing agent with CORE a brokerage here in Manhattan, special features and unique amenities can appeal to a wide range of people but, for one townhouse she is currently selling, she believes that it will take a very specific buyer. Located in Chelsea, this 5,000 sq ft property features an 8ft deep 26 ft long in ground swimming pool that opens into a 16-foot high solarium sanctuary. Amenities are so important today to buyers whether they are looking at some of the newer luxury buildings that have been built or re-constructed recently to townhouses that beg to be the recipient of upgrades. “One townhouse I am currently marketing at 232 West 15th Street in Chelsea has so many unique features from the in ground swimming pool to the solarium to the back garden and roof deck it is going to appeal to a very particular buyer which could be a celebrity or an athlete - I can even see one of the Google Executives really enjoying this property especially since it is about a block and a half from their NYC headquarters” says Kent.

If swimming in your own townhouse isn’t your thing then maybe another very unique townhouse listed by Paula Del Nunzio with Brown Harris Stevens is. At 170 East 80th Street Paula is marketing a townhouse that features the tallest indoor waterfall in New York City. The townhouse has been renovated over the last three years into an exquisite 13,000-squarefoot mansion by Kate Shin, president of WEmi:t LLC, the developer of the property. The home includes a one-of-a-kind 20-foot wide and 22-foot high indoor cascading waterfall and pond. It also features an art gallery on the main floor for private or commercial use, a 2,300-squarefoot private spa lounge with a Jacuzzi and sauna, and a 1,000-bottle wine cellar. The five-floor mansion boasts eight rooms, eight bathrooms, an elevator, and a roof sky garden with real green grass. Both of these townhouses are truly one of a kind properties that exude opulence from the entrance to the intimate details. Although not a new amenity or special perk we still have to include the Ian Schrager designed 50 Gramercy Park North in our library of high regards. Not only do residents of some of the properties surrounding Gramercy Park have the ability of obtaining a key that allows them access to the park but, at 50 Gramercy they can as well enjoy 24 hour room service from the Gramercy Park Hotel. Accordingto Wassim Serhan an agent with TOWN, a residential brokerage in Manhattan his listing at 50 Gramercy Park North #10A provides these amenities plus direct park views and a full private floor. “This is a rare find for the discerning buyer waiting to own at the coveted 50 Gramercy Park North” he said. Wassim added, “housekeeping, room service, butler service, valet service, event planning/ catering, personal shopping, delivery and car wash service, even access to the state of the art fitness center and spa at the Gramercy Park Hotel is available”.

Luxury buildings such as MiMA which is a 63-story glass tower at 450 West 42nd St. between 9th and 10th Avenues offer tenants all the joys of amenity heaven. Named after its location in the middle of Manhattan, MiMA features M Club, a sprawling 44,000 square foot health, recreation and entertainment amenities. In addition to the city’s first resident-only, on site Equinox fitness club, the building offers a full court basketball court and a 60-foot glass enclosed lap pool. Another first is Dog City, a full service grooming and day care center for pets. The residents-only professionally staffed pet spa with indoor and outdoor play areas offers grooming and training facilities, in-home feeding, walking services, scheduled play dates, and more. In all there are three lushly landscaped outdoor terraces with private dining pods and barbecue facilities encompassing over 14,000 square feet of outdoor space, two party rooms and catering kitchens, outdoor and indoor screening rooms, and an Internet café and business center equipped with iMac computers and a coffee bar. In addition, there is a club room and residents’ lounge with a cozy island fireplace, a fully equipped game room with billiards and card tables and electronic gaming.

One other luxury building that needs to be mentioned is The Aldyn a 40 story condo building developed by Extell Development Company over in the Riverside South neighborhood. Residents have access to one of New York City’s largest residential fitness and activity centers, with over 40,000-squarefeet. The unrivaled amenities, powered by LA PALESTRA, offer a state-of-the-art fitness center with both cardio and weight training and separate studios for yoga, Pilates, and Kinesis. The building has a 75-foot swimming pool, two-level rock climbing wall, full size basketball and squash courts, and a golf driving range simulator. Spa facilities include private treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms and men’s and women’s locker rooms.

A community environment is further fostered thanks to a game room, bowling alley, café, entertainment room and a Kidville USA indoor playground. Yes, we came across some unique additions to make one really think about what they would want in a luxury rental or condo or in townhouse ownership. With construction renovations slowly ramping up and many buildings planned, we wonder what the next luxury amenity will be to attract buyers and renters and to stay competitive in a challenging NYC real estate market.

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