Dog Yoga and Electric Guitars: Amenities, at a New Level

Dog Yoga and Electric Guitars: Amenities, at a New Level
From New York Times - September 15, 2017

Whether rock n roll rehearsal rooms, Imax theaters, bike-repair stations, stargazing sessions, woodworking shops, greenhouses for growing herbs, or those doga classes, out-there amenities are in some ways an attempt to compensate for shrinking apartments, according to amenity planners, developers and brokers.

Indeed, since the mid-1990s, the average size of rental units has dropped to about 900 square feet from more than 1,000 square feet, according to Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants.

Having these auxiliary spaces allows someone to think, I may not have this giant living room, but I do have a climbing wall and basketball court downstairs, said Collin Bond, an associate broker with the firm Triplemint.

Others seek wine cellars, like a client keen on storing a $25,000 collection of about 200 bottles that is currently stacked high in a bedroom, said Mr. Bond, who took this buyer to One Hundred Barclay TriBeCa, a condo in Lower Manhattan that offers a climate-controlled storage area. For $20,000, owners can purchase a locker with a 100-bottle capacity to hold their reds and whites.

This $500 million development, from Magnum Real Estate Group and the CIM Group, also has a sommelier from a nearby wine shop on call, to suggest which dishes and vintages go best together. One Hundred Barclay has sold 95 of its 156 units since 2015, at an average price of $2,300 a square foot, a project spokesman said.

Indulgent amenities like wine cellars are also something you can bring up at cocktail parties, Mr. Bond said. Theyre like a badge of honor.

Other times, parties themselves seem a focus, like at Henry Hall, a new red brick, 225-unit rental from Imperial Companies and Shorenstein Properties that opened this spring at 515 West 38th Street in the Hudson Yards neighborhood.

A slew of rooms that seem to be designed with night life in mind are reached from the lobby, where rattan chairs sit amid jars of candy and portraits of men in cravats. There is Legacy Records, a seafood-centric restaurant to open in November, and a separate sprawling as-yet-unnamed bar, as well as a liquor store and a graffiti-tagged music rehearsal space that offers use of a drum kit, karaoke machine and Fender electric guitar.

Tenants in the building, where studios start at $3,000 a month and one-bedrooms at $3,600, will mingle with the general public, who also have access to these multilevel common areas. On some nights, developers say, these areas might have the cocktail-fueled buzz of a scene-setting boutique hotel.

I was sitting in the Bowery Hotel one night thinking that if I was 30 years old, how cool would it be if I lived upstairs? And the thesis emerged from there, said Eric Birnbaum, 43, a founder of Imperial, which hired the designer Ken Fulk for the interiors.

We purposely didnt want to do screening rooms, because we didnt think people want that, Mr. Birnbaum added. They want to be anchored by food and beverage, in a very cool space.

He admitted though, that some may not like threading through wobbly crowds on their way to the elevator.

What sets the latest wave of amenities apart from their predecessors, developers say, is their emphasis on experiences instead of just how many gimmicky add-ons one can pack under one roof.

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