AVA High Line Doesn’t Want Your Security Deposit, She Just Wants to Be Your Friend


Hey, have you met AVA? AVA wants you to live “eclectic.” To sit around the fire pit, to BBQ with friends. To live like you want. That’s literally AVA’s anthem: Live like you want.

AVA, we would like to clarify here. Are you merely a luxury rental in West Chelsea? Or are you, as your Facebook page claims, “in a relationship with West Chelsea”?

AVA High Line, as 282 Eleventh Avenue is officially known, also hopes to be in a relationship with hundreds of tenants, having started leasing this spring for her 710 units.

AVA says "our lobby is like nothing you've ever seen before!"
AVA says “our lobby is like nothing you’ve ever seen before!”

The other relationship AVA has, the slightly less cool one that does not involve so much fire-pit sitting or hanging together in the “chill lounge,” is with Avalon Bay Communities, her parent company and a national luxury developer and  property manager known in New York for utterly forgettable properties like Avalon Kips Bay and Avalon Midtown West. (The New York properties’ major claim to fame is that Avalon Bay was the first of several major New York City developments the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed suit against for not being disabled-accessible enough; the company eventually settled.) Of course, like most children, AVA is very much indebted to her parent, who went through a great deal of trouble to finagle development rights for the site on which she was built.

A few years ago, Avalon Bay decided to spin two distinct brands off from its urban luxury division, aimed at growing segments of the market: “AVA,” which was to appeal to hipsters, or rather, yuppies who wished they were hipsters, and “eaves,” a lower-cost product for suburbanites. AVA, as The Wall Street Journal reported at the time, would “make up 10%-to-20% of holdings,” targeting “younger renters who don’t mind smaller units or roommates and who want to live in urban areas.”

AVA High Line is the developer’s first attempt to woo the young and hip, or at least the formerly-young and would-be-hip, in New York, a bid that many a developer and tin-eared marketing team has gotten tragi-comically wrong in the past. Who could forget, for example, the the marketing of Karl Fischer-designed 101 Bedford, which featured a bearded, hoodie-wearing guy cooing to the terrier on his lap, “Toto… I have a feeling we’re not in Brooklyn anymore”? Was it trying to appeal to Brooklynites who wished they were Manhattanites? Manhattanites who wished they were Brooklynites? Certainly the out-of-touch consultants working on the project seemed clueless, though they clearly aimed to please with a smorgasbord of amenities that included a swimming pool, wine tasting room, golf course and massage parlor.

A model unit; the quintessence of cool, no?
A model unit; the quintessence of cool, no?

So what, you ask, is AVA using to lure the cool kids to its studios (in the high $2,885 and up), one-bedrooms (starting at $3,420) and two-bedrooms (from $5,015 to $8,225, according to Streeteasy)?

For starters, lines like these: “Our apartments are energized by this great city, personalized by you. Yep.”

The building also has a fitness center, and not just any fitness center, but an “awesome” fitness center, an Instagram account that features photos of pizza, dogs, donuts and the famous firepit (hey, they know what hipsters like!), as well as a twitter presence and a blog that ruminates on issues like how a lot of us got out of shape last winter:

“We get it. This winter was brutal! Endless cold and more snowstorms than you would wish upon your worst enemy, meant that most of us were bundled up inside for most of winter watching Netflix and eating pizza. It’s only natural that this harsh winter has meant that fitness has fallen by the wayside a bit (despite your New Year’s resolutions).”

The blog also talks about all the cool stuff you can do in West Chelsea, or “the ‘hood,” as they like to call it. (For example, you can get your hair styled at a boutique/art gallery or nosh on macarons—ever a favorite of “the ‘hood.”) And of course, there are also “social events exclusive to AVA friends” and promotional videos like this one to win over would-be residents with a marketing campaign that was “driven with the idea of activate social,” [sic] through which “the AVA experience became about self-expression and connectedness.”)

As for uncool things like security deposits? As long as your credit is good, don’t worry about it! After all, “where you live, is where you come alive.” We’re all friends here, right? AVA High Line Doesn’t Want Your Security Deposit, She Just Wants to Be Your Friend