These NYC buildings have 'hidden' amenities including wine tastings, poolside barbecues, and astronomy hours
New developments throughout the city are vying for the attention of moneyed buyers and renters by offering ever more hip and high-end amenities, from a garden with a farmer-in-residence at rental complex Urby on Staten Island to a basketball court and bowling alley at condo 1 Manhattan Square.
There are some amenities, though, that are just as alluring, but remain under-the-radar, not necessarily turning up on listings but nevertheless fostering a sense of community among residents. We asked brokers and property managers to share their favorite "hidden perks" at rentals, condos, and co-ops throughout the city.
Food and drink tastings
15 Cliff St., Financial District: Residents can sip drinks at this rental's "Wine Down Wednesdays," when a bar cart is set up in the lobby with whites, reds, rose wines, and chocolates, according to Mirador Real Estate broker Racquel Popovic.
60 West 23rd St., Flatiron: The Caroline, a rental building, invites residents to roof deck barbecues and Sunday brunches, which building manager John DiPaola says help to foster a sense of community. Mirador Real Estate lists a two bedroom, two bath there for $5,718 a month.
137 East 36th St., Murray Hill: The Carlton Regency, a co-op building, hosts monthly wine tastings in warm weather, this takes place in the back gardens. Stribling lists a two-bedroom, two-bath rental in the building for $5,200 a month and a one bedroom, one bath for $3,900 a month.
170 East End Ave., Yorkville: Breakfast is served to residents each morning in the condo's library. A three bedroom is listed by Stribling for $3.45 million.
21 West End Ave., Upper West Side: There's an on-site restaurant at this luxury rental called Café 21, serving organic, global cuisine, from banh mi to tortellini. A one-bedroom, one-bath penthouse is listed by Citi Habitats for $4,545 a month.
145 West 67th St., Upper West Side: Residents partake in ice cream parties with build-your-own-sundae bars at this rental building near Lincoln Center. Mirador Real Estate lists a one bedroom for $3,715 a month.
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385 Grand St., Lower East Side: This co-op benefits from having a famous resident: Costume designer Patricia Fields lives here and serves as costume judge at the annual Halloween party. There's also a Summerfest barbecue and an LGBTQ group that hosts events. Corcoran lists a one-bedroom, one-bath co-op for $875,000.
440 East 56th St., Sutton Place: Green thumbs in residence at this co-op can join planting parties in the building's common garden areas. A studio is listed by Corcoran for $385,000.
Classes and activities
50 West St., Financial District: This condo and rental complex boasts a 64th-floor observatory and a stargazing program, led by Marcelo Cabrera, former president of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York.
305 Second Ave., Gramercy Park: Rutherford Place, a condo, takes advantage of nearby Stuyvesant Park by holding biweekly gardening club meetings there. Residents can also take part in tango dancing and outdoor concerts, which are open to the public.
225 East 39th St., Murray Hill: House39, a new rental building, employs a lifestyle director who organizes tenant mixology classes, drink and draw nights, media training workshops, and more.
525 West 52nd St., Hell's Kitchen: Join your neighbors for a book club meeting, a group outing to Storm King Art Center, a film series in the screening room, or a rooftop Oktoberfest celebration in this luxury rental building.
515 East 72nd St., Yorkville: This building offers both condos and rentals, and a monthly calendar packed with events for residents, including cooking and yoga classes. A two bedroom, two bath is currently listed by Corcoran for $8,000 a month.
425 West 50th St., Hell's Kitchen: Stella Tower, which has condos and rentals, makes the most of its proximity to the Theater District with its "Stella Series," featuring live performances of piano, musical theater, and more; wine and cheese is served. Corcoran broker Pacey Barron says the events are well-attended by residents and word has even spread around the neighborhood. Currently on the market in the building: a one bedroom, one-and-a-half bath for $1.925 million and a one bedroom, two bath for $2.498 million, both listed by Corcoran.
Programming for seniors
Concord Village (several buildings on Adams and Jay Streets, in Brooklyn Heights): This co-op and rental complex hosts social events for its senior citizen residents, as well as fitness classes for all, and annual resident art and photography shows. A one bedroom, one bath co-op is currently listed by Corcoran for $649,000.
62 Beach St., Tribeca: Plenty of NYC buildings have screening rooms these days, but this one is a bit unusual: Corcoran agent Tami Shaoul recalls that residents made the most of the condo's U-shape and would project movies onto one of its walls.
"Residents would watch from their connecting balconies and pass food and snacks from balcony to balcony while they watched," she remembers.
A private mews
421 Hudston St., West Village: This West Village condo boasts a block-long, gated mews where residents can relax. A four-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath townhouse is listed for $10.85 million.
A little bit of everything
363 Bond St., Gowanus: Jason Hill, senior marketing director for Douglas Elliman, says that perks abound in this rental building. They include free continental breakfasts; activities and parties like Halloween costume competitions, wine and cheese tastings, and free wellness classes; screenings of football games and shows such as Game of Thrones; and in the warm weather, barbecues and shuffleboard matches on the rooftop. There's also a pool up top.
"There's a sense of community and engagement," Hill says. "This is a place for someone who really cares about having a neighbor."
40-50 East 10th St., Greenwich Village: Halstead agent Debra Pendleton has lived in this co-op for 20 years, and says there is a true community within the building. That's probably thanks to perks like rooftop potluck dinners, and "Neighbor to Neighbor," a program a resident began to support residents who want to age in place.
The East 10th Street block is an amenity itself, she adds, with an event called On Ten in which antique dealers and galleries open their doors to guests and serve champagne.
"It's one of the best streets in New York," Pendleton says.
See her blog for a day in the life of the block.
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