NYC’s Evolution Inspires its Residence of the Future
Residential development in NYC is in full heyday mode. Manhattan is red-hot. Ultra-luxe rules. Desirable neighborhoods are found across the city. And the Brooklyn market keeps getting hotter the cooler its culture gets. On July 28 Bisnow's 3rd Annual NYC Residence of the Future event will bring together an array of expert panelists to discuss what buyers and renters will be looking for in an evolving market.
One of those panelists will be Megalith Capital founder and CEO Sam Sidhu. Recent news like Boston Properties and Rudin Management’s Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a tech firm-centric office space that will be anchored by WeWork, showed that the residential market's not the only thing on the rise in Brooklyn. And Sam says an expanding office market will increase the borough’s residential appeal. At 200 Water St (rendered above) and 181 Front St, projects Megalith is building in Dumbo and expects to deliver next year, the emphasis has been on catering to different types of buyers. At 200 Water, most of the units are three-bedroom. "We are seeing strong interest from young professionals and young families that are looking for more space as their families grow," Sam tells us. "Many buyers are from the Dumbo/Brooklyn area, but we are also seeing a lot of interested buyers from TriBeCa, SoHo and other parts of Manhattan." He said buyers are drawn to "the uniqueness of our project," specifically the building's design, high ceilings, expansive windows that enhance East River/Manhattan views, and public and private outdoor space. Uber and CitiBike should help drive demand in some areas that aren’t as convenient to the mass transit system, he says, but developments that are close to subway stations will always have an advantage.
Demand is clearly doing just fine in Brooklyn and Queens, despite the shortcomings of the transit system. A Douglas Elliman report last week pegged the median home sale price last quarter in Brooklyn at $789k and the median condo sale price in Queens at $486k—both records. Across the river in Manhattan, Gale International is developing 21W20, a mid-rise ultra-luxe condo project in the Flatiron District with occupancy starting this fall. VP Stan Gale Jr., who will also be a panelist, said amenities are a central focus, along with an eye to detail that aims to provide the right blend of health, wellness and fitness. "Buyers today are incredibly discerning, and look for the highest quality detail in a residence, no matter how small that feature might be," he said. Hence the development will use a home automation system to control lighting, climate, entertainment and security through a single app that every resident will have access to. They are also pushing for LEED and WELL certification. Outdoor space, when it's available, is something Stan says high-end buyers crave these days. "People now seek the option to be able to entertain at home," Stan says. He explained that 21W20 will have four penthouses (priced between $10M and $14M). Number 4, a glassed duplex on the building's top two floors, will have an indoor/outdoor space ratio of nearly 2 to 1 (2,710 SF indoor, 1,218 SF outdoor). Penthouse 4 includes two private terraces and an 870 SF private deck that will feature an outdoor kitchen and shower as well as a six-person hot tub. The other three penthouses feature 100 feet of southern exposure—"extremely rare in Manhattan," Stan says.
In the rental market, where in-unit space tends to be tighter, Slate Property Group principal David Schwartz (snapped at a Bisnow event this spring with Megalith principal Philip Watkins) says units are being laid out in ways that are totally different from what we saw in the past. The digital age has freed up space. The living room or den isn't always the central part of the residence. David, who will join Stan and Sam on our event panel, said that since many units are shared among a group of younger residents, Slate’s been putting more emphasis on bedroom design. At Slate's family-oriented project at 535 4th Ave in Park Slope, you’ll find amenities like a golf simulator and shared outdoor play areas for kids, so parents don't always have to trek to Prospect Park. In some cases, David said, it's about providing the right amenities, because too many can translate into a unit that is too expensive for the end user. "I’m very focused on designing a good product at the right price point for people, as opposed to being overly amenitized," David said. "The amenity of Brooklyn is Brooklyn."