… HIPSTER ENCLAVE
The word’s been out on Bed-Stuy’s brownstones for awhile, but in the past year the neighborhood has been attracting the asymmetric-haircut set. That’s largely thanks to a spate of competitively priced new construction, like the Mynt, a 72-unit rental where one-bedrooms start at $1,700 per month. “They’re feeding off of what happened in Clinton Hill, which is a completely different world now,” says David Maundrell of aptsandlofts.com. Indeed, that’s where many of the new Bed-Stuy residents are coming from, cranked out by the hipster factory that is Pratt Institute. Proximity to the G train (which gets those indie kids to and from Williamsburg and Cobble Hill) is key, as is the “rugged and sort of bad-ass feeling” that remains, despite vastly lower crime rates. The indie rapper M.I.A. moved here last year, and she could be to Bed-Stuy what Mos Def was to Dumbo.
… SUPERFLUOUS LUXE CONDO AMENITY
The cinema room
Yes, they’re theoretically great for Oscar parties and Super Bowl bashes, but honestly, does anyone ever actually book that screening room? “It’s useless,” declares Maundrell, who says his firm, which has consulted on dozens of projects in Brooklyn and Queens, no longer recommends them to developers. (Buyers haven’t really been tempted by them, anyway.) “If someone’s going to watch TV or a movie, I don’t know why they’d want to get up and go downstairs and sit in a place with lots of empty seats,” he adds, noting that any couch potato worth his remote control has DVR these days.
… LUXE CONDO AMENITY YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY WANT
When roof decks, wine cellars, and Sub-Zero everything have become de rigueur, it’s easy to forget that luxury is not just what’s glamorous but what’s useful. To wit: Two new buildings in the city, 141 Fifth Avenue and 995 Fifth Avenue (the old Stanhope), have fully tricked-out custom closets. “When I see a developer who’s taken the time to think about living in the apartment, it makes such a difference,” says Harriet Weintraub, who markets those buildings. These beautifully finished spaces are designed like mini-boutiques, with cubbyholes, drawers, shoe racks, and spaces tall enough for eveningwear—and, most important, they’re ready at move-in. Shaun Osher, who’s working on 141 Fifth, says buyers notice the difference fast. “It’s one less thing they have to do when they come in,” he says, noting that adding such closets later can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Other buildings have caught on, giving clients the opportunity to work with customizing companies; the developer at 100 Eleventh Avenue works with Clos-ette, and Transform will do the spaces at Arris Lofts.