Luxury New York residential real estate developers are betting that over-the-top indoor swimming pools are the new must-have amenity and a tipping point for buyers. Several years ago, I was helping a friend look for a luxury condo in New York. Outdoor space and a luxe lobby were mandatory. A high-end indoor pool was also on the wish list. At that time, though, we could not find all three must-haves in the location he wanted. That’s changed. Today there are several options around town.
Elysa Goldman, vice president of Development for Extell, a major New York-based development company, looks at the trend and shares her views. “A fitness center is what many buildings have and what buyers expect today,” she said. “We have set the bar higher by putting in luxury indoor pools in several of our new projects. You don’t find many developments with indoor pools. “Our pools are salt-water and also lap pools which we see as a big amenity that sets us apart.”
Not only is Extell penciling pools into their new properties, but they are also adding programming including swim lessons for both kids and adults. “This is an amenity that can be used year-round unlike rooftop outdoor space,” Goldman continues. “We do see these pools as an important tipping point for buyers,” she adds. The Kent, on the Upper East Side at 95th Street and Third Avenue boasts a 55-foot-long indoor pool with sculpted backlit glass wall. In West Soho is Extell’s 70 Charlton with 92 luxury residences ranging in price from $1,695,000 to $1,815,000 for a one-bedroom unit from 824 to 831 square feet. The saltwater pool is a design statement.
Head to Long Island City where luxury condo development continues despite Amazon dropping the locale for its HQ2 headquarters. The 75-foot long indoor swimming pool at Skyline Tower, soon to be Long Island City’s tallest condominium building, has a 30-foot sky lit ceiling with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Manhattan. Price points currently go from $660,400 for a 405-square-foot studio to a 1,326-square-foot three-bedroom at $2,325,610.
United Construction & Development Group developed Skyline Tower as the company’s “marquee project,” according to William Xu, vice president of United. The land was purchased in 2014 and the building is expected to top off this October. “Today’s buyers are looking for more than just a condominium. They look deeply into amenities,” said Xu. “We thought long and hard about adding a pool and decided it was very important for our project. We needed one that would stand the test of time.”
Tomer Yogev is head of development at Adam America Real Estate, developer of two luxury condominiums with indoor pools; GALERIE in Long Island City and Brooklyn Grove, a new 27-story condominium on Nevins Street in downtown Brooklyn. “We are seeing a lot of demand for indoor pools as an extension of fitness plans,” Yogev explains. At GALERIE, the pool connects to an outdoor terrace. “These luxury pools have become a great sales driver for us. It’s the perfect family amenity,” he adds. A family size two-bedroom at 1,059 square feet is available at GALERIE for $1.42 million. At Brooklyn Grove, you can enjoy the 40-foot pool complete with a large skylight in a 467 square foot studio for $590,000.
Luxury indoor pools in and around New York apparently make sense for both developers and today’s buyers.