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5 Must Have Condo Amenities From Five Years Ago That Are No Longer In Vogue

The condo market has shifted. Ultra-luxury is over and developers are trimming their budgets with new amenities.

By Jeff Vasishta March 22, 2017

Five years is a long time in the world of amenities. Not too long ago, before New York embarked on a dizzying climb up the Mount Everest of construction booms, the inclusion ultra high end amenities was reflected in a sky high prices. Now developers are using technology to help cut costs without losing elegance.

Here are a list of 5 things that are now out of favor and the new amenities which have replaced them.

Related: “Limited Edition” Woolworth Building Debuts Luxury Condos

Space taking features.

Long hallways and corridors are out and in their place are elevators that open straight into a resident’s condo. Also out are large lobbies. Even older buildings are being retro fitted with extra storage room to account for all the packages that arrive each day, Stephen Kliegerman, president of Halstead Property Development Marketing in New York City told Mansion Global.

Some storage areas have refrigeration spaces for flower and prescription medication deliveries.

Costly, high maintenance amenities

Sorry but if you want a swimming pool in your building, you’ll have to pay big bucks. They’re  still a must for large developments of over 100 units but in smaller buildings no so much.  They cost a fortune for developers to install and a lot for a building to maintain. In fact, some smaller properties such as 175 West 10th St., tout the fact that they are apartments only, without all the accouterments found in other buildings.

“I lived in the West Village for many years and I know the vibe,” says über broker Frances Katzen with Douglas Elliman. “It’s brickwork and ivy, it’s tree-lined and bespoke, it’s quiet streets, restaurants and coffee shops and a neighborhood feel. People want a home, they don’t necessarily want a slick, glassy impersonal building with gyms, tennis courts and swimming pools. Most people don’t have them in their homes.”

Gas is so over

Both from an insurance and cost perspective gas cooking doesn’t make much sense for building owners and developers. Foodies may balk at the idea of cooking without it but plumbing in gas lines when you can have electricity powered induction cooktops makes no sense.

“Gas is starting to be potentially less used and perhaps obsolete in the future,” Mr. Kliegerman said.

Indeed, the new Sorting House building rising atop the Radio City Post Office on West 52nd Street in Manhattan, which has condos ranging in price from $895,000 to $2.895 million, has induction cooking only—and no gas.

“Buyers seem to love the technology and not having to worry about gas issues,” Mr. Kliegerman said. “We sold all 30 units in four months.”

Gone with the gas are microwave ovens. Once a must for any kitchen, they have now been combined with convection ovens as at Manhattan View on West 42nd Street which have high-tech Gaggenau speed ovens, which allows high speed roasting.

Granite is gone

Another must have only a few years ago, granite appears to be on the way out along with other costly natural stones. Taking their place engineered products like quartzite and Caesarstone. Also, shockingly taking an exit are hardwood floors. Yes, hard to believe — but engineered wood floors are now, apparently the new thing. Engineered hardwood is made of a core of hardwood or plywood with a layer of hardwood veneer affixed to the top surface. It’s more resistant to moisture and heat compared to solid hardwood.

Laundry rooms, basement gyms and docking stations — adios

It’s hardly surprising that for over a million dollars, or $3-4,000/month in rent, residents don’t wish to fold their underwear in front of their neighbors. All new buildings have washer & dryers in each apartment. Also, don’t expect to see communal Wifi ports anywhere. Everything is now wireless. Also gaining in popularity are co-work/business centers for people whose commute consists of an elevator ride out of their apartment. A few of the high end condo buildings offering this include 15 Hudson Yards, 111 Murray Street, as well as 50 Greenpoint.

Most of the  cost saving amenities fall into line with the current market which has dipped from a couple of years ago.

“People will line up around the corner for an apartment for under $1 million,” Elaine Diratz, senior vice president at Extell Marketing Group told the Times recently.

“Values dropped, but prices didn’t,” Jonathan J. Miller said. “We’re moving out of a market that’s solely focused on superluxury and for the developers who can get the formula right, demand for entry—and middle-income new development — the heralded $1 million to $3 million — can’t be satiated.” Good news for buyers, no so great for brokers.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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