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(l-r) Saint Marks Place via Grain London; sales gallery photo via Katherine Marks (l-r) Saint Marks Place via Grain London; sales gallery photo via Katherine Marks
Luxury residential developers are in a constant search for the newest and most appealing amenities to attract buyers in a competitive market. From curated libraries to in-home IV drips, it seems that there couldn't possibly be more for buildings to offer. However, the most forward-thinking developers recognize that a successful amenities package is not just a checklist of must-haves, but a way of cultivating a sense of well-being and community both inside the building and out.
URBN Playground, an amenity management firm, has long recognized that a residential amenities package can help make a building feel like a true home. Not only does the start-up offer predevelopment consulting and design services in the early stages of a building, but it works with the buildings to offer personalized service and software for the various amenity offerings. Once the buildings are open and residents can enjoy the amenities, URBN Playground uses the spaces as the settings for creative programming that sets buildings apart and brings residents together.
Grain London Residents library at Saint Marks Place (Grain London)
Some buildings were caught off-guard when the coronavirus pandemic forced indoor amenities to close or limit attendance, but URBN Playground was undeterred. Not only does its technology allow residents to schedule time in amenities that might be restricted in response to social distancing requirements, but the company seamlessly transitioned its signature URBN BURN fitness program to at-home workouts and expanded the virtual programming to include a Careers & Cocktails professional development session, food and cocktail classes by a chef and sommelier, comedy events, and talks from stylists, organization experts, and life coaches.
In addition to enhancing the experience inside the buildings, savvy developers are connecting to buyers by connecting to their communities. From free memberships to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to partnerships with artists, developers are using the neighborhoods’ cultural offerings to bolster their buildings’ cachet. Not only does this meet the needs of a new wave of buyers that prioritizes experiences over things, but it shows faith in artists and cultural institutions at a time when these sectors took such a severe hit.

200-Amsterdam-Avenue-01 Rendering of 200 Amsterdam Avenue via Binyan Studios
When it was thought that 200 Amsterdam Avenue would have to remove floors from the top of the building to meet zoning requirements, many wondered what this would mean for the apartments and three floors of amenities inside. These include a 75' saltwater pool and spa area, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a library, a Club Room with billiards table and attached terrace, a "Little Composers" music-themed playroom, and soundproof rehearsal room.

For all these offerings, the most highly coveted perk at 200 Amsterdam Avenue is not found at the building: Residences come with an exclusive, complimentary year membership to Lincoln Center, which features presale access, complimentary festival tickets, and opportunities for special events and backstage access. And just days after sales relaunched at 200 Amsterdam Avenue, Restart Stages began outdoor performances at Lincoln Center.

53-West-53rd-Street-01 53W53 via Corcoran
The Jean Nouvel-designed 53W53 is described by some as "the MoMA tower" for its address above the Museum of Modern Art, but residents get much much than bragging rights: They get access to a luxurious amenities package that includes a fitness center, squash court, 65' lap pool, double-height lounge, wine room, library, screening room, and dining room. Moreover, the building makes the most of its address by offering a Perpetual Benefactor membership to the MoMA.

58-Saint-Marks-Place-01 Saint Marks Place rendering via Grain London
Saint Marks Place, a new residential development in Boerum Hill, recently announced a partnership with Arts Gowanus, a non-profit that has supported artists within the Brooklyn community. The condo’s sales gallery, which is currently open by appointment only, is featuring 21 works by local artists David Samuel Stern, Natale Adgnot, Ai Campbell, Sonjie Feliciano Solomon, Hannah Robinett, Michael Watson, Susana Aldanondo, and Liza Domingues. The partnership allows Saint Marks Place to show its commitment to the creative community, and Arts Gowanus executive director Johnny Thornton said in a statement, “The venue gives artists an opportunity to showcase their work to potential buyers at a time when it is difficult to visit galleries and museums.”

For those who have been enticed to buy, Saint Marks Place offers approximately 19,000 square feet of amenities spread over four distinct areas. The Foundation is dedicated to wellness with a gym, separate studios for boxing, yoga, and Pilates, meditation rooms, and sauna and steam rooms. The Club is more socially oriented and offers a game room, children's playroom, music room, karaoke room, club room, and chef's kitchen. The Garden has a central courtyard, library with garden views, and art studio. The Canopy is a roof deck with outdoor cinema, lounge seating, and grilling and dining areas.
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22-18-Jackson-Avenue-01 GALERIE via Brown Harris Stevens
Luxury condominium Galerie took shape in a section of Long Island City that once attracted artists, and this history has not been forgotten. The building's indoor pool and residents' lounge open up to an outdoor sculpture garden with a centerpiece by Allen Glatter, the library is stocked with art books, and the children's playroom features a crafts center. Additional amenity spaces include a fitness center and landscaped roof deck.

The amenities are exclusive to residents, but the building operates Art Box, a street-level exhibition space dedicated to showing art by local artists, for all Long Island City residents to enjoy. Participating artists have included Dede and Nitzan Mintz, Preston Trombly, Fei Li, Monica Delgado, and Cara Lynch.
22-18-Jackson-Avenue-02 GALERIE with Art Box via Binyan Studio

543-West-122nd-Street-1 Vandewater's Morningside Heights neighborhood via Halstead
Vandewater may not be the tallest building in Morningside Heights once the nearby 100 Claremont Avenue is complete, but its eye-catching architecture and luxurious amenities will remain powerful lures. A double-height lobby beautifully sets the tone and acts as a natural meeting place, and three floors of amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, a lap pool, a music practice room, a children's playroom, a teen lounge, a club/media room, and an outdoor dining area with grilling stations and gardens.

In addition to connecting residents of all ages inside the building, Vandewater connects its residents to galleries, artists and under-the-radar art events throughout the city. The “Vandewater Arts Pass program” is open to all buyers and connects the residents with off-the-radar side of New York's art and culture scene.

180-East-88th-Street-01 180 East 88th Street via DDG
Situated in Carnegie Hill, DDG and partner Global Holdings’ 180 East 88th Street is one of the Upper East Side's tallest and most amenity-rich apartment buildings. Residents are greeted by a lobby with a fireplace, and eight floors of amenities include a fitness center and yoga studio, an indoor basketball court and adjacent soccer pitch, a game room, a lounge with catering kitchen, and a wine room.

180 East 88th Street also has a special collaboration with the nearby 92nd Street Y, providing residents with priority access to the 92Y’s iconic arts and cultural programming. The 92nd Street Y will also occupy the retail component at the base of the building. Additionally, connecting to its proximity to Museum Mile, the development features a custom playroom designed in partnership with the Children's Museum of the Arts, complete with a bespoke diorama designed in partnership with the American Museum of Natural History. Art appreciation extends to the building's 48 expansive residences, which are outfitted with a picture rail system similar to one used in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
180-East-88th-Street-1 Playroom designed in partnership with Children's Museum of Arts via March Made for DDG

110-Charlton-Street-1 Greenwich West, neighbor to Children's Museum of the Arts, via Loci Anima
Greenwich West is one of the tallest new buildings in the Hudson Square neighborhood, but seeks to integrate into the community rather than disrupt it. That same sense applied to its amenities; the rooftop garden terrace was designed with a dining area and shady alcoves to encourage gatherings, and the Viewing Garden off the attended lobby cultivates a sense of calm in a vibrant city. Additional common spaces include a lounge, entertainment room, and fitness center.

To further this sense of community, Greenwich West partnered with The Children’s Museum of the Arts, one of the lead non-profit institutions in New York City, to program and design the children’s playroom, as well as get residents out within the community itself and go to the museum. Buyers get a year-long membership to the museum, which is just steps from the front door.

111-Montgomery-Street-1 111 Montgomery Street via Creative Soldier
111 Montgomery Street is the first full-service newly built condominium in Crown Heights, just steps away from the Brooklyn Museum and overlooking the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Prospect Park, which is known throughout the five boroughs for its picturesque specialty gardens and cherry blossom trees. This inspired such botanically themed amenities as a lobby with a moss wall, a lounge with lush plantings and incredible natural light, a nature-themed children's playroom, and a roof deck with views of Prospect Park. Additionally, buyers in 111 Montgomery Street will enjoy a free one-year membership to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the 52-acre landmark that attracts over 900,000 visitors per year.

242-Broome-Street-1 242 Broome Street, a condominium in the heart of Essex Crossing, via Field Condition
242 Broome Street is both the first condo building within Essex Crossing and the first condo in the mega-development to sell out. Its prime Lower East Side address was a key factor, as were luxurious apartments with access to amenities like a fitness center, entertainment lounge with billiards table and kitchen, and rooftop terrace with outdoor dining.

To sweeten the deal in the early days of sales, 242 Broome Street offered “The Essex Crossing Pass” to new buyers of three-bedroom condos. The pass is a $25,000 incentive is to encourage new buyers to spend that money locally and enjoy the Essex Crossing community, which includes Essex Market, Regal Essex Crossing, the Market Line, and the Gutter bowling alley. Moreover, residents of all units at 242 Broome Street received complimentary one-year memberships to the International Center of Photography, which made its new home in the building.
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