Amenities Galore! 9 Lures for Brooklyn Apartment HuntersFrom a "jam room" to a science lab for kids, developers are rolling out clever new perks in a competitive marketplace
A rooftop infinity pool! Billiard tables! A science room for the kids! A “jam room” for playing out your inner Dave Matthews! These amenities may sound like come-ons for a Caribbean cruise liner, but in fact they’re some of the latest ways in which Brooklyn residential-apartment developers are luring buyers and tenants. In Downtown Brooklyn, thousands of new apartments have been built in recent years, which means that landlords are competing harder, especially in the luxury market.
One way to compete is to offer rent concessions, which have been increasing lately, causing Brooklyn rents to dip in recent months. Another way is to offer head-turning amenities that go beyond the standard exercise room or roof deck. The phenomenon isn’t confined to Brooklyn. In neighboring Long Island City, “People are being overwhelmed by the choices. There is an amenities war going on,” a broker told the Wall Street Journal.
Here’s what we found among the latest eye-catching apartment perks in Brooklyn:
Atop the roof of the 68-story Brooklyn Point building, a condo tower now under construction at 138 Willoughby St., will be a 27-foot saltwater pool, the highest residential infinity pool in the Western Hemisphere, say its developers. The building, scheduled for completion in 2020, will rank as Brooklyn’s tallest skyscraper, at least until the planned 73-story tower at 9 Dekalb Ave. is completed. The building’s other planned amenities include a cycling studio, wine room and game lounge.
The Lane, a new rental building at 415 Red Hook Lane near the Fulton Mall, will offer a children’s playroom designed by Brooklyn’s version of Bill Nye the Science Guy: Carmelo the Science Fellow, star of birthday parties and summer camps. The room will be filled with toys and games to ignite the minds of young scientists, along with an outdoor play area. Carmelo is scheduled to host a series of events in the space as well.
The Greenpoint, a 40-story condo building at 21 India St. scheduled for occupancy later this year, will offer 30,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor amenities, including the Hideaway Lounge & Pool Hall and the Grand Club Room. The two spaces are designed to provide residents with an “exclusive club-like vibe” and will be equipped with a ping-pong table, a pool table, billiards tables, and even shuffleboard.
The Standish, a renovated condo building at 171 Columbia Heights previously occupied by the Standish Arms Hotel, is situated within hailing distance of the harbor, which is likely what inspired its novel amenity: a boat valet. The building is offering its residents a handful of private boating experiences, one of which is sailing excursions with the ONE°15 Brooklyn Sail Club, not far from the building in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
33 Bond, a downtown rental building, is offering a fine-art installation in its lobby. The sculpture on display is Watching Machine, composed of mirrors of various sizes, by Brooklyn-based artist Graham Caldwell. “The multiplicity of mirrored surfaces reminds us that we are not only continually seeing, but being seen,” according to the curator of the installation, BRIC, the Brooklyn cultural organization. Coming later this year to 33 Bond: a sprawling outpost of Chelsea Piers Fitness.
550 Vanderbilt, a condo building in the Pacific Park development in Prospect Heights, was designed by the sustainability-oriented architectural firm COOKFOX with the intention of bringing its residents closer to nature to “increase their happiness and well-being,” the developer notes. The building allows residents to sign up for individual rooftop garden plots to cultivate their own vegetables, fruits and herbs. Among other amenities: a library and children’s play room.
If you’re a musician (or if you’re thinking about becoming one), this may be the perfect building for you. Austin Nichols House, a conversion of a 1915 warehouse designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert in the Egyptian Revival style, was once the home of grocery wholesaler Austin, Nichols & Co. and later a Wild Turkey whiskey distillery. Now the building at 184 Kent Ave. on the Williamsburg waterfront is a condo building offering such amenities as a “jam room,” a soundproof lair designed to give residents a space to play and record their music.
OK, plenty of New York City buildings have a tar beach with a grill, but 800 Union, a rental building in Park Slope, upgrades that concept considerably. To create a “backyard experience,” 800 Union has installed a green lawn on its roof so residents in the 28-unit building can just walk upstairs to enjoy the barbecue stations, outdoor showers, lounge areas, and a fireplace.
If you want the shortest possible commute to work, Glassworks Bushwick has an answer for you. The 63-unit rental building at 336 Himrod St. offers community work spaces and private study rooms. The building, once the home of the Dannenhoffer Opalescent Glassworks, retains enough of the original factory design to make a working resident feel suitably industrious.