At one point awhile back, rental buildings were easy to distinguish from co-ops and condos—a little bit less well cared for, perhaps, older, devoid of many conveniences. But that’s all changed in the past decade. Now rental buildings boast a laundry list of amenities as a way of commanding a premium.
“There is a certain expectation now with amenity space. It’s not so much as they require it, but it’s kind of automatically assumed that it exists,” says Scott Kochman, an agent with the Level Group. “Roof decks and gyms are considered standard now. And lounges and child playrooms are an added bonus.”
For many, renting is the best compromise: it’s affordable in the short term—no large down payment necessary—yet provides flexibility and a high standard of living. “Although they aren’t building anything in terms of equity for the future, they are living the N.Y. dream one month at a time,” noted Mr. Kochman.
605 West 42nd Street
The Rockwell Group designed Sky’s 1,175 apartments and 71 stories make it one of the city’s largest residential buildings. Units range from studios to two-bedrooms, with five floors of exclusive penthouses (all with ceiling heights of over 11 feet). Features include porcelain-tiled bathrooms, in-home washer and dryer, custom closets, and an in-house concierge system for anything from dinner reservations to tech support.
Amenities: NBA-size basketball court, pet spa, private dining rooms, indoor lap pool, two zero-edge outdoor pools, and a putting green.
Rent: $3,000 (studio) to $6,175 (two-bedroom)
239 N. 9th, Brooklyn
These buildings are modeled after the massive warehouses that once lined Williamsburg’s streets. The 120 loft-like units boast white oak floors in the living areas, high ceilings, Caesarstone kitchen countertops, and a video intercom. The adjacent brick buildings share a fitness center with movement studio, and lounge areas on each floor.
Amenities: Panoramic roof deck, entertaining kitchen, furnished courtyard.
Rent: $2,610 (studio) to $5,725 (two-bedrooms)
81 Fleet Place, Brooklyn
A stone’s throw from Fort Greene Park, the Giovanni was developed by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Groupdesign and is marketed by Corcoran Group. The 15-story building boasts 205 units, some with private access to landscaped terraces outfitted with barbecue equipment. Opening is slated for this fall.
Amenities: Private gym and yoga studio, residents’ club, media room with surround sound, indoor parking, private storage
Rent: $1,900 (studio) to $4,200 (two-bedrooms)
1 N. 4th
The 40-story 1 N. 4th is Douglaston Development’s newest Williamsburg property, with spectacular East River views (it was built nearer to the river than its neighbors) and prime access to East River ferries. Each of the 510 units boasts details like solar shades to fit the floor-to-ceiling windows and custom lighting.
Amenities: Bosch appliances, free lobby WiFi, sun deck movie screen, and onsite dry cleaning, pet care, and housekeeping.
Rent: $2,805 (studio) to $8,450 (three-bedroom)
480 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
One subway (or tram) stop from the Upper East Side, Related’s Riverwalk Point offers 266 studio, one- and two-bedroom units on its 22 floors. All have in-home washers and dryers, customized closets and bathrooms, and gourmet kitchens. In addition to the building’s private gym, residents are offered an exclusive partnership with Equinox, which includes a special membership opportunity and spa services.
Amenities: Landscaped rooftop terrace, penthouse lounge, children’s playroom.
Rent: $2,675 (studio) to $4,875 (two-bedrooms)
41-42 24th Street, Long Island City
This 21-story tower prioritizes energy efficiency, with eco-friendly fixes that include “green roofs” and regenerative elevator brakes, which use less energy than traditional elevators. The building’s 421 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments boast oversized closets and custom Italian bath cabinetry.
Amenities: Rooftop pool, game room, landscaped roof deck with open-air theater, media lounge
Rent: $2,170 (studio) – $4,607 (three-bedrooms)
Enclave at the Cathedral
400 West 113th Street
Developed by Brodsky and designed by Handel Architects, Enclave at the Cathedral might be among the city’s most holy real estate: The development’s two towers (housing studio, one, and two bedroom homes) sit on the grounds of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and overlook the cathedral and its gardens. The structure’s 15-story design will mimic the muted tones of the holy building next door, and contain 430 units with more than 10,000 square feet of amenities, as if the offerings in the neighborhood (Columbia, Barnard and Morningside Park, to name just a few) aren’t enough. Opening is scheduled for this winter.
Amenities: Landscaped terrace, skylit art gallery, and access to the transcept and cathedral nave
Rent: $2,400 (studio) to $4,200 (two-bedroom)
10 City Point
Downtown Brooklyn’s new City Point development is getting its first high-rise, with the 48-story City Tower’s expected completion this fall. The building has 440 apartments, a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units, as part of City Point’s “luxury community,” a new mixed-use development with boutiques, dining, and a movie theater as well as residences.
Amenities: Fitness center, basketball court, resident lounge, and terraces on the 6th and 30th floors.
Rent: $2,450 (studio) to $4,500 (two-bedroom)