Movin’ On Up
With the real estate market cooling and countless condominiums on the boards and under construction, there’s bound to be a glut. Starchitect hype—Calatrava in Chicago!, Libeskind in Sacramento!, Starck in Dallas!—won’t be enough to move these high-end units. As buyers’ thoughts turn from lifestyle fantasies toward the more mundane realities of investing, tangible amenities—no matter how fanciful—will take on added importance. To wit, developer André Balazs, the man behind the Mercer and the Standard hotels, is bringing the best of his hospitality experience to the William Beaver House, a 47-story condominium in Lower Manhattan that includes a 24/7 doorman and concierge service, a glass-bottomed Jacuzzi, and a private nightclub and theater (with “cinema beds” for 44).
Residents uptown at One Beacon Court get the use of Quintessentially, an exclusive concierge service that will do anything from booking front-row Madonna tickets to arranging an African safari. And on a particularly promising note, upcoming projects like Touzet Studio’s Lime Tree Bay, in Florida, and Richard Meier’s 9900 Wilshire condominiums, in Beverly Hills, California, count environmental design among their assets. Here we focus on top-of-the-line products and features (often custom designs) that are being specified to add value to kitchens, bathrooms, and public areas.