Let the Sanford Weills and Stings flock to 15 Central Park West or the Plaza. For certain high-end buyers, behemoth luxury buildings won’t do. Even though it might cost just as much, and have fewer amenities, they prefer a smaller (under twenty units) building. Which may explain why so many of these buildings have hit the market lately, most downtown. Boutique condos are nothing new, of course: There’s 50 Gramercy Park, 40 Bond, and Richard Meier’s glass trio on the West Side Highway. Over the years, however, the term boutique has become “about as overused as bistro and luxury,” says appraiser Jonathan Miller. A true micro-luxury building, for one thing, has unique (never glitzy) finishes. “For instance, you can’t mass-produce bathtubs carved from a sheet of granite,” says Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Leonard Steinberg, whose 200 Eleventh Avenue has sixteen units, each one equipped with its own “sky garage” that lifts the owner’s car to his apartment floor. Monthly charges tend to be high, though they usually only cover must-haves such as doormen and gyms; costs are shared by a smaller pool, after all. And as evidenced by Julian Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi, a successful micro-luxe needs a good personality.
397 West 12th Street
What it looks like: The five apartments in architect-developer Carey Tamarkin’s newest all have different layouts. The exterior is hand-laid Roman brinks, with limestone sills. Spaces come raw, albeit with river views, storage, and a doorman.
Cost: $11.5 million and $14 million for the two 6,166-square-foot residences still available; $5.5 million will get you a 3,613-foot full floor.
What it looks like: Eleven apartments— some duplexes, others full-floor—in architect Neil Denari’s buzz-heavy High Line entry. Two are in contract, four are available, and five more will be on the market in five months.
Cost: A two-bedroom on the fourth floor is $2.75 million. The three-bedroom penthouse with a wood-burning fireplace and terrace is $11.5 million.
11 Spring Street
What it looks like: This was Lachlan Murdoch’s almost-mansion on the corner of the Bowery; it now contains three finished houselike residences, to be unveiled this fall.
Cost: Prices start at $6.7 million for a 2,085- square-foot space that spans the third floor; $15.2 million for a 4,205-square-foot triplex-townhouse with garage; and $18 million for the triplex penthouse.
350 West Broadway
What it looks like: Eight full-floor units conceived by 40 Bond’s Aby Rosen. The Website calls it “a limited collection of storied homes.” (It also pokes snobby fun at large buildings: “How exclusive can it be if there’s 75 units?”)
Cost: Five layouts are left, with prices starting at $9.575 million for a 2,902-square-foot two-bedroom-plus-study to $12.2 million for the similarly sized penthouse (with 1,381 square feet of outdoor space).
607 Hudson Street
What it looks like: The former home of the Village Center for Care will become One Abingdon Square, courtesy of architect-developer firm Flank. The façade stays; behind it will be ten apartments from 3,500 to 10,000 square feet.
Cost: The building’s debut is months away, so it’s early to talk pricing, but high-end condos in this neighborhood get $2,000 per square foot, or more.
211 Elizabeth Street
What it looks like: Fifteen apartments in Nolita that shun the glass curtain in favor of old-school opulence: walnut herringbone parquet, wood-burning fireplaces, Calacatta gold marble.
Cost: For the five remaining apartments, from $1.55 million for a one-bedroom to $3.9 million for a two-bedroom with a 978- square-foot terrace.