The rental boom is heading into its third year. Even as real estate pundits anticipate a slowdown in demand for luxury condos in 2015, the appetite for new rentals is voracious, from small boutique-type projects to multi-building complexes.
The last quarter of 2014 saw a 31.5 percent uptick in leases signed in Manhattan buildings constructed within the last five years. Brooklyn’s new development leases shot up by 67.8 percent over 2013’s final quarter, based on a Douglas Elliman report compiled by Jonathan Miller, the president and CEO of Miller Samuel appraisers.
Top-quality rental developments in the “once under-appreciated neighborhoods” of Bushwick, Crown Heights and Windsor Terrace are fueling Brooklyn’s boom, said Stephen Kliegerman, the president of Terra Development. “The amount of parks and cultural offerings are endless—and a number of insightful developers saw the boroughs under development as an opportunity—and purchased land prior to the recovery of the economy and housing market.”
Sky-high land prices in Manhattan and tight financing for condo buyers are also contributing to the rental boom, particularly in Brooklyn, noted Dottie Herman, the president and CEO of Douglas Elliman. “In the outer boroughs, land is cheaper and again, due to limited financing, people are looking to rent, especially in the new buildings. Developers do make more money with condos,” she said. But in rentals, “costs for finishes and fixtures, when compared to those in a luxury condo, are substantially less.”
With so many units either under construction or already leasing, there are some standouts. Here are the selects in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The Allen House, 201 East 71st Street, Upper East Side
This four-story boutique development slated for June occupancy features a select collection of lofts to four-bedroom apartments with the height of luxury amenities: Large rooftop terraces, white oak wood floors, smart HVAC systems that can be controlled from iPhones or Androids, 10- to 14-foot-high ceilings and washer/dryers. Kitchen brands include Tabu, Sub-Zero, Wolf and Bosch. Marble baths have custom fixtures, wet rooms, rain showers and claw-foot soaking tubs.
Amenities: Security system and virtual doorman.
Rents: $3,500 to $20,000
170 Amsterdam, Upper West Side
Developed and leased by Equity Residential, this unique exoskeleton-designed tower is leasing studios to three-bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors and washer/dryers. Kitchens feature custom cabinetry topped with quartz and stainless steel appliances.
Amenities: Rooftop terrace, a resident-only lounge overlooking a private garden, a private dining room, fitness center, yoga room, music practice room, playroom, on-site Boule et Cherie bakery and café and 24-hour doorman and concierge services.
Web: firstname.lastname@example.org, equityapartments.com
60 Water Street, DUMBO
Developed and leased by Two Trees Management Company, this building has introduced a full-service rental complex made up of studios to two-bedroom apartments (some with home offices and/or private outdoor space) with 20 percent of the total units considered affordable housing. With the Brooklyn Bridge so close, (some homes are about 85 feet away), expect million-dollar views. All units offer floor-to-ceiling windows, wide-plank oak wood floors and washer/dryers. Kitchen brands include Caesarstone, Leibherr and Bosch. All bathrooms are dressed from head to toe in large ceramic tiles.
Amenities: Landscaped roof deck, fitness facility, 24-hour doormen. On-site parking available.
Rents: $2,880 to $6,678 (no fee)
Perks: Two free months on one- to two-year leases.
393 West End Avenue, Upper West Side
On one of the prettiest streets on the Upper West Side, Simon Baron Development and Cube Capital have made over a classic but centrally air-conditioned 1927 prewar at 79th Street and West End. The Marketing Directors are the exclusive agent for the one- to four-bedroom apartments, featuring beamed high ceilings, hardwood floors and washer/dryers. Brands in the kitchens include Caesarstone, Liebherr, Bertazzoni and Bosch, with wine coolers by Electrolux. Bathrooms have hand-laid Rockface and mosaic tile floors and Corian-topped sinks. Fixtures are from Kohler and Signature.
Amenities: Landscaped courtyard, gym, yoga studio, resident lounge with catering kitchen, playroom, 24-hour doormen and elevator attendants.
Rents: $5,250 to $23,000
Two Sutton Place North, 1113 York Avenue and 61st Street, Upper East Side
In what is often considered one of the most coveted neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Solow Building Company has partnered with Citi Habitats New Developments to lease units at Two Sutton Place North. Homes range from studios to three-bedrooms (including five duplex penthouses) with formal entries, oak wood floors, the floor-to-ceiling windows (some overlooking the East River), solar-paneled windows with custom Levolor treatments, and washer/dryers. Open kitchens are done up in custom cabinetry with white stone countertops and top-drawer stainless steel appliances. Baths are finished with glass tile and Greek marble.
Amenities: Health club with a large sky-lit indoor pool, landscaped park, on-site parking, 24-hour doorman, concierge and shuttle service to public transportation.
Rents: $3,020 to $9,760
The Kestrel, 33 Caton Place, Windsor Terrace
Ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments, most units in this new rental building, leased by Halstead Property Development Marketing (HPDM), have private outdoor space, with some overlooking Prospect Park. In-home finishes and fixtures include white oak flooring, oversized windows, washers/dryers and open kitchens. Master baths feature deep soaking tubs and wenge oak vanities with stone tops.
Amenities: Fitness center and yoga room, lounge, media room, a rooftop decked out with private cabanas and BBQ areas, indoor playroom and pet spa, 24-hour doormen and concierge services, private storage and an on-site parking space.
Rents: $2,350 to $5,331 (no fee)
388 Bridge Street, Downtown Brooklyn
Downtown Brooklyn’s tallest residential building—at least for now—is a hybrid of condos and rentals currently being developed by the Stahl Organization and marketed by HPDM. This amenity-filled tower between has out-of-this-world views of our city’s most iconic buildings and cityscapes. Studios to two-bedroom homes include wide-plank oak doors, high ceilings, walls of windows and washer/dryers.
Amenities: Gym, a rooftop terrace with BBQ areas, a resident’s lounge with a media room, an indoor playroom, outdoor playground, a half-court for basketball, and a 24-hour doorman.
Rents: $2,540 to $6,290 (no fee)
500 Sterling Place, Crown Heights
Providing studios to two-bedroom apartments, the unit mix in this MPDM marketed building, includes duplexes, some with private outdoor space. All come with washer/dryers. Kitchen brands include Caesarstone, Fisher & Paykel, KitchenAid, Bosch and Sharp. Tiled bathrooms have custom walnut vanities.
Amenities: Fitness center and rooftop deck with BBQ area, a movie screen and misting wall. Part-time doormen services are also offered, as are rentable on-site parking spaces.
Rents: Starting at $3,230 (no fee)
The Arthur, 245 West 25th Street, Chelsea
Developed by the Naftali Group and exclusively leased through Urban Compass, this Manhattan building has been fully renovated with generously proportioned one- and two-bedroom apartments. Units feature hardwood floors, nine-foot-high ceilings and sunken living rooms. Kitchens have lacquer cabinetry, Caesarstone worktops and stainless appliances. Porcelain-tiled bathrooms feature glass-enclosed rain showers and custom vanities.
Amenities: Fitness center, landscaped garden with outdoor shower, washer/dryers in units, 24-hour doorman.
Rents: $4,000 to $6,500
Perks: One month free
1N4, 1 North 4th Place, Williamsburg
The neighborhood’s tallest building is a luxury rental developed and leased by Douglaston Development. Made up of everything from studios to three-bedroom homes (some with private outdoor space), the tower soars above the East River, which makes for spectacular panoramic viewing. Finishes and appointments include brushed gray oak floors, custom solar shades on floor-to-ceiling corner windows—and washer/dryers. Kitchens brands include Caesarstone and Whirlpool. Pietra d’Italia Grigio porcelain-tiled bathrooms boast three-panel medicine cabinets with lock boxes and Caesarstone-topped vanities.
Amenities: Outdoor swimming pool, outdoor movie screen, business center, media lounge, party room, playroom, a fitness center and naturally, 24/7 lobby services and rentable on-site parking.
Rents: $2,200 to $8,500