Buy Curious

What you need to know about buying a NYC apartment with a private swimming pool

This five-bedroom, five-bath duplex at the Soori High Line has a heated saltwater swimming pool. 

Douglas Elliman

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What’s better than having a pool in your NYC building? Having a pool in your NYC apartment.

It may sound incredibly decadent, but that's just what you can get at a handful of New York City buildings these days. Of course, if you're used to suburban-style, outdoor swimming pools, the size of some private NYC pools may seem awkward and small, but you should know it's no small feat to engineer a swimming pool in a NYC building, especially when you're putting one (or multiple pools) on an upper floor.

In this week’s Buy Curious, Nicole Gary of Keller Williams Tribeca and Phillip Salem and Joan Kagan of Triplemint tell you everything you ever wanted to know about buying a Manhattan apartment with this ultra-luxe amenity so that you can get your Michael Phelps on at home whenever you damn well please.

The question:

I love the wow factor of an apartment or a townhouse in NYC with its own private pool. Where should I look?

The reality:

“Right now, the it building for private pools is the Soori High Line,” Salem says. Of the 31 homes in this 11-story West Chelsea condo building, 16 have private pools, including two triplex penthouses with rooftop pools.

Gary also suggests checking out Tribeca and the Upper East Side because the two areas “usually have larger townhouses that can fit indoor pools.” Indeed, Tribeca’s 11 Beach has three triplex townhouses that each have a private spa with a custom-designed stainless steel and glass 50-foot pool, as well as a steam room and a sauna. Also in Tribeca is 2 North Moore St., an 11,300-square-foot, six-story townhouse with a 50-foot heated indoor swimming pool. It is asking a cool $29,995,000.

Then there’s the three-story, five-bedroom penthouse at Carnegie Hill’s 1110 Park Ave., which is currently asking $21,900,000, and comes with a 1,443-square-foot, private rooftop with a swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen, a wood-burning fireplace, and open city views.

Lincoln Square’s One Riverside Park offers three units with private pools, as well as a 75-foot pool for all residents to share; and 18 Gramercy Park has a four-bedroom, duplex penthouse designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern with a private outdoor swimming pool and hot tub.

What types of buildings offer private pools?

Your best bets are new development condos and townhouses.

“Private pools are the next frontier in luxury amenities,” Kagan says, explaining that when a developer needs to distinguish his or her product from other luxury condos on the market, a private pool has become the thing to add.

Older co-op buildings wouldn’t be good candidates for private pools—their weight poses too much of an engineering challenge. "It would be very difficult to add the appropriate support needed into an older building,” she says.

How large are apartments with private pools?

At least 4,000 square feet if the pool is in the apartment itself, Gary says. They’re often found in duplexes and triplexes, but they exist in single-story units, too.

Private pools can also “fit on a rooftop balcony, the backyard of a townhome, or even be installed on the lower level of a townhome,” Salem says. So the size of the unit isn’t always a factor.

How much does a NYC apartment with a private pool cost?

It’ll vary, obviously, by the size of the unit itself, the neighborhood, and other factors, but it’ll definitely cost you a pretty penny. According to Salem, the majority of private pool apartments are priced over $5 million.

In Gary’s experience, they typically cost at least $8 million.

How much does a private pool add to the price of an apartment?

Gary believes it could add “anywhere from a few hundred thousand to over $1 million.”

As such, Kagan says, many of these apartments can stay on the market for years. 

What problems will you face with a private pool?

Leaks are obviously a major concern, so insurance won’t come cheap.

Safety is also a big issue—especially if you have kids or pets that need to be kept away from the water. 

Another potential problem is upkeep, Kagan says. Indoor pools will need to be maintained year-round, which can get expensive.

Finally, the smell of chlorine might be overwhelming for some—especially in the winter months when the windows are closed, so a saltwater pool can be less irritating.

Check out these units with private pools:

522 West 29th St., #7A, Chelsea

Priced at $8,998,000, this 3,586-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-bath duplex has a private elevator, a double-height living room, floor-to-ceiling windows, oak-paneled walls, a glass fireplace with a floating marble slab hearth, a chef’s kitchen with Bavarian Spessart oak and high-gloss lacquer cabinetry, a terrace off the master bedroom, and a second terrace on the upper floor. There’s also an enclosed and heated saltwater swimming pool (shown at top) surrounded by solid timber decking. It’s in the Soori High Line, a condo building with a full-time staff, a fitness and spa suite with on-demand services and yoga and Pilates studios, a residents’ lounge, storage facilities, and private parking. Common charges are $4,338 a month. Taxes are $7,164 a month.

60 Riverside Blvd., #2102, Lincoln Square

Listed for $19,995,000, this 5,847-square-foot, six-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bath terraced duplex has Hudson River and city views, a glass-walled great room, double-height ceilings, Castillian oak flooring, Calacatta Gold marble countertops and a dark-stained cherry-wood custom-built peninsula in the kitchen. There’s also a 3,852-square-foot terrace with a 37-by-15-foot private pool. It’s in The Aldyn, a condo building with a 24-hour doorman/concierge, an on-site parking garage, children’s playroom, entertainment room, and a La Palestra 40,000-square-foot athletic club and spa, offering a rock-climbing wall, basketball court,  bowling alley, squash court, and PGA golf simulator. Common charges are $6,251 a month. Taxes are $8,871 a month.

5 East 17th St., #PH, Flatiron

This 6,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bath penthouse, which spans an entire block from 17th to 18th streets, is listed for $15,500,000. It has two rooftop skydecks, a private pool area, a barbecue, and a fire pit. The apartment has two private keyed elevator entries, video surveillance, 20 large windows on four exposures, 16 skylights, a custom kitchen with an oversized island and two dishwashers, and a free-floating stairway to a private sky yard. It’s in a boutique loft building. Common charges are $2,977 a month. Taxes are $5,544 a month.

172 Madison Ave., NoMad

Listed for $14,000,000, this 2,958-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-and-half-bath residence has private elevator access, 18-foot ceilings, stone slab counters and a wine cooler in the kitchen, heated floors in the bathrooms, walk-in closets, and a large private swimming pool. It’s in a condo building with a full-time doorman, a live-in super, pet spa, spa, gym, 67-foot saltwater lap pool, a Jacuzzi, and a yoga room. Common charges are $5,236 a month. Taxes are $9,319 a month.

49 East 67th St., Upper East Side

Priced at $13,475,000, this 8,926-square-foot, six-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath townhouse has been completely renovated. It has high ceilings, original prewar architectural details, six wood-burning fireplaces, a skylight, an elevator, and six levels—five stories plus a finished basement with a 50-foot-long indoor swimming pool. Taxes are $11,574 a month.