Neighborhood Intel

New condos let you work from a home office — but not in your apartment

By Leigh Kamping-Carder  | July 7, 2014 - 11:59AM

Home offices are a blessing and a curse. The commute can't be beat, yes, but the distractions can be endless. 

If you're in the market for a new apartment, however, 50 West Street, a curved-glass condo tower rising in Battery Park City, may offer the perfect compromise. The third floor of the 64-story building will have 15 office spaces, a conference room and a pantry—all reachable via their own entrance and elevator bank, as in a real office building. Unlike communal workspaces in typical new developments, though, you can own your office outright; these are commercial condos available for residents (and only residents) to purchase along with their units in the building.

As the building's brochure enthuses, “get work done without putting on a coat, missing dinner, or forsaking a workout—a home office without the interruptions.” 

Above, the third floor of 50 West will have 15 office condos available for residents to buy (Photo credit: DBOX)

The smallest space measures 280 square feet and will set you back $470,400, while the largest one is 831 square feet and costs just under $1.4 million, according to Javier Lattanzio, the sales manager at 50 West and a broker at Time Equities, which is developing the tower.

At about $1,680 per square foot, that's actually more expensive than some of the cheaper condos in the building. And by comparison, the average Manhattan office condo sold for $579 per square foot in the second half of 2013, according to a report from commercial brokerage the Rudder Property Group, though that was based on only 31 sales since this type of property is pretty rare. 

Also, when it comes time to sell your apartment, it seems that you could unload the office condo to someone who isn't also buying in the building. "There are no legal restrictions on the resale of condos," a representative for the building tells us. Lattanzio recently took us on a tour of the tricked-out sales center, where he told us that five of the office condos have already been snapped up. 

Fifty West isn’t the first building in the city to offer this type of perk. Buyers at 432 Park Avenue in Midtown can purchase an “office suite” or a studio-sized apartment to use for staff. In the mid-2000’s, 15 Central Park West offered a similar deal, with 29 “suites” earmarked for residents to use for domestic employees, guests, storage or as a home office. 

The kitchen counters are brushed Zimbabwe granite, which doesn't show fingerprints (Photo credit: DBOX)

But unlike those ultra-expensive developments, you can buy a one-bedroom at 50 West starting at just over $1.6 million—not cheap, of course, but not an insane number for a Manhattan condo. Prices go up to about $6.8 million for a four-bedroom, though Lattanzio tells us that the developer expects to raise prices soon. 

All told, the tower will have 191 apartments, ranging from one-bedrooms to five-bedrooms, and will feature things like brushed Zimbabwe granite countertops—a rough black material that doesn’t get fingerprints on it—and Toto toilet-bidet combos with heated seats.

A residents-only observatory on the top floor has views of the river and city (Photo credit: DBOX)

The building also comes with four floors of amenities, including a “Water Club” level with a 60-foot indoor pool and “experiential showers” that emanate different relaxing sounds and colors; a fitness level with a gym, spinning studio, golf simulator and massage room; an entertainment level with an 18-seat screening room and a library; and another floor with several kids’ playrooms and a demonstration kitchen. Residents will also get access to a private observation deck atop the roughly 780-foot tower. 

About 30 percent of the apartments were in contract as of today, the developer says.


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