What Luxury Amenities Do New Yorkers Find Necessary And What Amenities Do They Crave?

For New Yorkers time is money, so they want everything to be available to them at a moment’s notice. Basic amenities such as a doorman are essential. A doorman will accept all their packages and dry cleaning, hail them a cab, help carry their luggage, walk their dog in a pinch, or even water their flowers. They will let residents know that their children arrived home from school. For those New Yorkers who don’t have huge spaces for their families, amenities such as a large children’s playroom or a teen room with a large screen TV are important so their children can have friends visit them in their building.

Luxury amenities don’t just exist in uber luxury buildings. There are “affordable luxury” condo buildings that offer a plethora of amenities. The one that instantly comes to mind is 515 East 72nd Street, where I recently sold a three-bedroom condo. The lifestyle provided by this condo is similar to that of a country club. 515 East 72nd Street is a full-service condo with a doorman, concierge, and garage. The condo has the largest private lawn in the city and many tables and chairs where you can sit, have a drink, and relax. There is a large resident’s lounge with an adjacent catering kitchen. The lounge that has a baby grand piano overlooks the private lawn; There is a Jody’s Gym located in the building with classes for children; A fully equipped professional gym that has a basketball court, squash court, and a large swimming pool with two hot tubs; There is an art room for the children and a large catering kitchen with cooking classes; There are multiple levels of terraces off the kitchen where residents can dine al fresco or even enjoy a cigar; There is a large dance/yoga studio with Peloton bikes; In addition, there is a full spa with treatment rooms where you can receive massages, facials, etc.

Luxury amenities for some New Yorkers mean living in a grand pre-war building near Central Park with a view. However, there has been a large number of younger luxury buyers who are passing up on owning a grand co-op near Central Park for a sleek new condo downtown. In 2017 for example, 57 percent of all condo sales were downtown. Condos made up 82 percent of the sales and co-ops only 18 percent. For those New Yorkers still coveting pre-war buildings near the Park the prices are now much gentler.

One of the new luxury amenities that has become a status symbol among the very affluent is “designer wellness.” Luxury real estate developers are curating holistic wellness amenities, hiring starchitects, fitness gurus, and branded spa chains. For the Greenwich Lane, an uber luxury condo in the West Village, the developers chose the Wright Fit to manage their state-of-the-art fitness center, which includes two training studios, a golf simulator, a swimming pool, and a spa and treatment room. The first Jay Wright celebrity trainer fitness center was at 15 Central Park West. Now they are also at 432 Park, 56 Leonard, and 50 UN Plaza. It is said that some buyers were very influenced to buy in these buildings because of the Jay Wright fitness center and specialized training.

Some more unusual luxury amenities that are in demand are private elevators that transport residents directly to the garage and their car. Also, safe rooms are a luxury that some wealthy buyers insist on.

Wealthy millennials are tech savvy and are focused more on “lifestyle experience” than material things. Luxury to this group means comfort and convenience. Millennials have different needs than the CEO of past years. Location is very important. In Manhattan that is often Tribeca, The West Village, Greenwich Village, or The Upper East Side. They want to be within walking distance of restaurants, cafes, and bars they frequent. They are willing to take on major renovations in order to make the space fit to their “own image.” Young buyers tend to like high ceilings and open spaces where they can hang their contemporary art collection.

There is a segment of luxury buyers who want “turnkey” homes, especially when it is a second or third home. Part of the reason that turnkey homes have been so successful is that they encourage the would-be buyer to imagine themselves living in such an elegantly turned-out lush space. This is why developers create a model apartment, so buyers can imagine themselves living in the space and the building. I sold an apartment recently in the Olympic Tower in midtown Manhattan that was beautifully renovated and furnished. It was sold with all the furnishings, the art, and even the cookware, dishes, silverware, and glassware!

Finally, we must not forget luxury amenities for our beloved dogs that play such an important role in many New Yorkers’ lives. Pet spas were introduced into buildings about a decade ago. They have evolved over the years to include areas for dogs to run, doggie treadmills, groomers, etc. Related Companies rolled out a program called “Dog City” on its properties. They offer day care, training, and weekly visits from groomers and vets. It is Related’s way of showing their residents that they understand their lifestyle. When it comes to deluxe pet amenities, there is “Throw Me A Bone” that provides on-site services such as dog walking, grooming, training seminars, and overnight care in top buildings such as 15 CPW, The Gotham, and Hotels like the Plaza, the Pierre, and the St. Regis.

As for me, the most important amenities are my great Central Park and reservoir views where I am presently writing this column. It is a such a luxury to work remotely from my library and be always inspired by the dramatic views of Central Park.

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