No homes too lux­u­ri­ous for Man­hat­tan su­per-rich


In­fin­ity pools, cli­mate-con­trolled wine cel­lars and golf sim­u­la­tors — it’s the lit­tle things that count in the boom­ing mar­ket of luxury real es­tate cov­eted by the su­per­rich in New York.

This year, record prices crossed the thresh­old of US$100 mil­lion for a sin­gle apart­ment, and agents are in­vest­ing more time and trou­ble than ever be­fore in tai­lor-mak­ing res­i­den­tial build­ings for bil­lion­aires.

A per­fect ex­am­ple is the du­plex at the top of a 43-story tower near the United Na­tions — more than 900 square me­ters with an in­fin­ity pool on the ter­race, a pri­vate el­e­va­tor and spec­tac­u­lar views. It’s on of­fer for US$70 mil­lion. The build­ing, 50 United Na­tions Plaza, taps into the lat­est trend of go­ing above and be­yond in the com­pet­i­tive world of luxury living.

It has a state-of-the-art gym, sauna, a shared in­door pool and a rare luxury in Man­hat­tan — a “pri­vate mo­tor court” where cars can drop pas­sen­gers. Of course, each apart­ment has a park­ing space, and there is even valet park­ing.

Over the years, 24-hour door­men, laun­dry ser­vices, gyms, bas­ket­ball courts and swim­ming pools have be­come com­mon­place in New York.

Dis­tin­guish­ing Fea­tures

At the up­per ech­e­lon, yoga and dance stu­dios, golf sim­u­la­tors, bowl­ing al­leys, movie screen­ing rooms, ken­nels and enor­mous re­cep­tion ar­eas with spec­tac­u­lar views are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­mon.

At 443 Green­wich in Tribeca, a for­mer fac­tory con­verted into 52 enor­mous apart­ments, the most ex­pen­sive costs US$53 mil­lion.

Res­i­dents have ac­cess to a steam room, an in­te­rior court­yard, land­scaped roof deck, wine cel­lar, a chil­dren’s play­room ... and an un­der­ground garage in 1930s style which guar­an­tees “ab­so­lute pri­vacy,” says Nathan Ber­man, founder of Metro Loft de­vel­op­ers.

In the same area, the 19th cen­tury Cast Iron House has been re­fash­ioned into luxury apart­ments, of­fer­ing a “hy­drother­apy spa mod­eled af­ter a Turk­ish-style ham­mam,” plunge pool and rain­for­est shower.

The con­cept is pushed to the hilt at 45 East 22nd Street, a 65-story tower not far from the Flat­iron Build­ing with five floors ded­i­cated to re­lax­ation: a li­brary, a fit­ness cen­ter with boxing equip­ment, golf sim­u­la­tor, bas­ket­ball court, a chil­dren’s play­room, a bil­liards room and a card room.

On the 54th floor, there is a huge re­cep­tion space with breath­tak­ing views and two kitchens.

“It is not only five floors of ameni­ties, but it’s also this un­usual con­cept that I had, to cre­ate a club on the 54th floor,” said 45 East 22 de­vel­oper Ian

Bruce Eich­ner.

US$850,000 for Park­ing

Eich­ner says he made a “cal­cu­lated de­ci­sion” to sac­ri­fice very ex­pen­sive real es­tate at the top of the build­ing to al­low res­i­dents buy­ing less ex­pen­sive units to have ac­cess to the same kind of luxury.

He ex­plains that it is an op­por­tu­nity for them “to ba­si­cally en­joy the same views and the same ex­pe­ri­ence as some­one who is buy­ing a full floor apart­ment, for US$25 mil­lion.”

In­stead of a swim­ming pool, which he says risks be­com­ing crowded, he prefers a “fully au­to­mated garage,” where res­i­dents can park a car on a plat­form that then de­scends un­der­ground.

Near Cen­tral Park, there is 520 Park Av­enue where a triplex of about 12,400 square feet costs US$130 mil­lion and also of­fers a sauna, steam room, chil­dren’s play­room and cli­mate-con­trolled wine cel­lar.

Lux­u­ries are also on of­fer in the rental mar­ket.

In­di­vid­ual cli­mate-con­trolled wine cel­lars cost US$50,000 to US$75,000 at 50 U.N. Plaza, and some­times as much as US$200,000.

Ac­tiv­i­ties at “Dog City” at MiMA can eas­ily cost US$500 a month.

In the land of the su­per-rich, even the un­der­ground stor­age units can cost US$25,000 to US$75,000 depend­ing on their size.

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