When you’re shopping for a new apartment in the city, you’ve likely already been subjected to the horror stories of people fighting over units or having to bring cash to showings to secure something on the spot. It’s hard to imagine that buildings in New York have any difficulties around occupancy, or have to fight over tenants at all. Everyone’s just lucky to get in an apartment in the city that never sleeps, right?
That may seem logical and even possible in some buildings or neighborhoods, but you may be surprised by just how hard New York property owners are working to “keep up with the Joneses” in attracting tenants to their residences. While it’s unlikely the cost of living in a luxury apartment in NYC will go down any time soon, you can be certain that buildings will be ramping up their amenities to set them apart from the competition.
So, what does this mean for renters? It could mean private yoga studios, dog parks or art studios – for no extra cost to you. Nothing in life is truly free, though, right? You still have the hefty price tag that comes with the new apartment you’ve just rented – and often these buildings consider the excessive amenities justification for annual hikes in rent.
Impressive amenities have become especially important for older buildings competing for tenants as new high rises pop up across Manhattan, Long Island City and the New Jersey waterfront. These new buildings can boast central air, granite countertops, brand new appliances, vaulted ceilings, in-unit washers and dryers, and sound proofing of walls and floors. Unfortunately, the older yet more classic New York buildings are limited in the upgrades they can provide without changing the entire structure of these sometimes-historic residences.
It’s more than just the property managers taking note of the competitive landscape. Owners of apartments in co-ops across the city worry about their units maintaining value as transportation improves, development increases, and new buyers move farther out for the extra perks. Specific decisions and investments need to be made to attract the new market of buyers looking to make a lasting investment.
To hold their own against new development, older buildings are coming up with unconventional ways to turn dated interiors into dream amenities. An Upper East Side co-op purchased a doctor’s office just off the lobby to make it the building’s gym facility. Another co-op in the same area reduced the size of its laundry room to accommodate bike storage racks. Further downtown at Trump Plaza, the super’s once two-story apartment is now the building’s fitness room. The president of the building’s co-op board also mentioned that there were discussions of a wine cellar and more storage space.
Even the newer buildings are jumping on the amenity band wagon. A development in Brooklyn provides access to a music rehearsal space, art studio and art gallery. A new Manhattan high rise provides an NBA regulation-size basketball court and a pet spa for their residents. Other buildings are offering libraries, billiards, yoga studios, private tea pavilions, private pools, and movie theaters. While the older buildings are improving their amenities, the newer developments always seem to be a step ahead.
So, whether you’re looking for a new development or a classic New York apartment, this market is creating no shortage of amenities and perks. The exorbitant rent that comes with living in the city is an easier pill to swallow when you can brag about your in-building yoga studio. The amenity competition is a game where everyone wins!