Sorry for the slow posting. Just delivered a manuscript to St. Martin's. In the meantime, check out this article in the NYT, which points, yet again, to a group of people who shatter the suburban/urban dichotomy. That is, these are people living in 5,000 square-foot homes. In the middle of Manhattan.
Other developers say they have found that apartments sell faster when combined into larger spaces. Orin Wilf, the president of Skyline Developers, said he had buyers coming into the sales office at 170 East End Avenue for about six months saying that they liked the apartments but wanted more space.
So he combined about a dozen apartments into larger units and sold them within a month. In the end, 16 buyers bought two units and two buyers bought three units for combinations. The combined apartments range in size from 4,500 to 7,000 square feet, and what had started out as a 110-unit building now has 90 apartments. Mr. Wilf and his wife, Lisa, who had originally bought one apartment, decided to combine two into a 6,500-square-foot home for themselves and their two children.
“I thought 3,600-square-foot apartments for the Upper East Side would be perfect when we first started designing the building,” Mr. Wilf said. “We came to realize people wanted 4,000 square feet, 5,000, 6,000.”
Sure. They commute less. But aren't they just as guilty of all the other sins people charge the McMansion crowd with? Imagine the carbon footprint! The greed! And think what they are doing to he DENSITY of a city when they combine eight apartments into one!
People like space. Even people who like cities. I know that seems obvious. But sometimes it seems like people forget it. And it's not like rich New Yorkers always had palatial digs:
Denise LeFrak Calicchio, a member of a New York real estate family and a longtime real estate broker familiar with the ways of Manhattan wealth, is author of “High Rise Low Down” (Barricade Books, 2007). She says the original Classic 6 typically ranges from about 1,700 square feet to as much as 2,800 square feet.
“Three bedrooms and staff quarters were considered grand apartments in the old days,” Ms. Calicchio said. “The families are larger, the egos are larger and the competition is bigger.”
... “It becomes a suburban home in the sky,” she said. “Going part and parcel with the four kids is a bigger apartment. I never grew up with a playroom.”
...Ms. Forbes understands first-hand why demand is growing. She and her husband, Christopher, combined two apartments into a 3,000-square-foot home for their sons, Douglas, 4, and Kenneth, 20 months.
She now sells town houses or apartments with more than nine rooms once or twice a month, she said, compared with once or twice a year six years ago. She said these clients all want “mega-mansions” because “my contemporaries, their families and their wealth have expanded.”