The Market

5 time-saving building perks

By Leigh Kamping-Carder  | December 12, 2014 - 11:59AM

It’s doubtful that you and a Russian oligarch are in the market for the same kind of real estate, but chances are, you both covet the same thing: time. “There’s only one thing we have in common, and that’s we’re all running out of time,” says Leonard Steinberg, president of brokerage Urban Compass.

Other panelists at a real estate and hospitality event in Midtown last week hosted by the Real Estate Board of New York and Related Management—guests included nightlife impresario Andrew Goldberg, celebrity chef Marc Murphy, Related's Jeffrey Brodsky and The Real Deal publisher Amir Korangy—pretty much agreed. It turns out, what we really want from our apartment living is a chance to gain precious few more minutes in the day through carefully curated building perks. Here, a short list of building extras—some of them “luxury,” some not—sure to free up space in the schedule. 


An Uber-like app and website that debuted in August, Valet Anywhere does just what its name suggests, letting a monthly user call up a driver to any location in Manhattan (so far), who arrives on a scooter, parks your car and retrieves it with two hours’ notice. The service costs $400 a month; an on-demand option is also available for $6 an hour, including parking.


It’s not flashy, but Building Link's property management software lets residents communicate with building staff through their website or mobile apps at any of the city-wide properties where it’s in use. Send a maintenance request, leave instructions for your doorman, see what neighbors are posting about. As someone who has spent countless hours haranguing her landlord to fix simple problems, I can attest to how much this will help your life. 


When I moved to New York, wash ‘n’ fold service seemed like the ultimate extravagance. Laundry service in the building, however, is the kind of practical luxury I can get behind: not only do you not have to step outdoors to deposit your dirty hamper, you also don’t have to do your laundry. If you, like me, are not lucky enough to have laundry service in your building, these wash 'n’ fold apps will pick up and deliver your clothes on your schedule.


Neighborhoods on the fringes, like the far east and west sides of Manhattan or the North Brooklyn waterfront, are cheaper than central areas, and may give you access to a host of distinctive perks. But convenient they are not. If you’re looking in these areas, it’s worth checking if a building offers free shuttle service--many of them do! After all, commuting time is the best kind of time to save.


This one isn’t exactly an amenity, but it’s something to watch out for if you’re apartment hunting. With more selection than a bodega and less noise than a restaurant, a grocery store on the first floor of your building means never having to go hungry (or lug a granny cart down the sidewalk). Too tired to make dinner? Ran out of milk? No worries. (Other useful neighbors: a Laundromat, a hardware store and, well, a bodega.)


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