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Vu.

Amenities Gone Wild!

Putting greens, celebrity catering, private wine cellars: Developers will do anything to make buyers look twice.

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Courtesy of Two Trees Management  

Rooftop cabanas
Location and Prices
70 Washington Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn; $615,000 for a one-bedroom to $2.2 million for a two-bedroom
Description
Condo buyers can spend an extra $135,000 to $250,000 for a 300-to-622-square-foot private roof deck atop David Walentas’s cardboard factory turned luxury residence. Half covered and half open to the sky, the plots have electrical and water service—meaning that you can install a wet bar and a fridge. Start planning that Fourth of July party.
Great or Gimmick?
Eminently covetable—some of these decks are bigger than studio apartments. (And nearly as expensive.)

GPS-tracked water-taxi service
Location and Prices
Schaefer Landing, 450 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; $450,000 for a one-bedroom to $2 million for a three-bedroom penthouse
Description
This waterfront behemoth hopes to lure Manhattanites across the river with subsidized New York Water Taxi service. Catch the downriver ferry and you’re at Wall Street in seven minutes; the upriver route takes you to 34th Street in ten. Since you’re an overachiever who cares about those extra three minutes, you can follow your ferry’s GPS-tracked location in real time, on the Web and even on a news ticker in the elevator, which counts down the minutes until the next arrival.
Great or Gimmick?
It’s great to trim every wasted second from your schedule. But the 15 percent discount is small beer—75 cents a day—and come blustery February, the J-M-Z trains are going to look a lot better.


Celebrity-chef room service
Location and Prices
76 Madison Avenue; $995,000 for a one-bedroom to $5 million for a three-bedroom penthouse
Description
This fall, Town’s Geoffrey Zakarian will open Country, his second restaurant, up the street, and from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., the waiters will bring his cooking to your door. New buyers also get a Zakarian-stocked pantry as an extra little fillip on moving-in day (no ordering the traditional pizza!), and the chance to claim a bona fide celebrity chef as a kitchen consultant. He’ll critique your amateur recipes, menus, and wine pairings over e-mail.
Great or Gimmick?
A tasty idea, and Zakarian’s a great cook. As for reservations, your condo comes with a special secret direct-dial number that helps you wangle a table.

Breakfast bar
Location and Prices
Orion Condominium, 350 West 42nd Street; $465,000 for a one-bedroom to $1.9 million for a two-bedroom penthouse
Description
Every morning, residents will be able to head up to the 29th-floor lounge for a breakfast spread of hot food and coffee. When the weather’s good, they can choose from three outdoor seating options: the loggia on 29, the poolside sundeck on 30, or the rooftop terrace on 31. You’ve come a long way from the Ramada’s continental breakfast, baby.
Great or Gimmick?
Worth it if you genuinely like to speak with your neighbors (and are sociable in the morning).

Bowling alley (and swimming pool, basketball court, theater, fitness center, and sports lounge)
Location and Prices
Downtown by Philippe Starck, 15 Broad Street; $410,000 for a studio to $3.5 million for a three-bedroom duplex
Description
Starck’s reimagining of Wall Street’s stately J. P. Morgan Bank as an urban biosphere is fitted with active-lifestyle extras, free to all residents, that are almost comical in scope. The basement bank vaults are being reborn as a children’s playroom and a yoga-ballet studio, and the bowling lane occupies the old shooting range where Mr. Morgan’s guards practiced taking down would-be bank robbers.
Great or Gimmick?
Certainly the real deal for sporty types (or bowlers). You, the buyer, get to puzzle over whether anything that usually involves rented footwear can truly be luxe.


Courtesy of FAO Schwarz  

FAO Schwarz–branded playroom
Location and Prices
Element, 555 West 59th Street; no prices available yet
Description
A 197-unit building just off the Hudson River, Element is hoping to attract kid-centric buyers to the bottom edge of the Upper West Side. The playroom comes loaded with FAO Schwarz’s best goodies: a giant interactive wall map with Velcro pieces; Thomas the Tank Engine train tracks; and, of course, FAO’s signature pups, Patrick and Penelope.
Great or Gimmick?
A clever way to one-up the other Bugaboo-owning parents in your play group: Invite their kids over, and let ’em go nuts.


Courtesy of Quinn & Co.  

Putting green, greenhouse lounge
Location and Prices
Clinton West, 516 West 47th Street; $362,500 for a studio to $957,400 for a two-bedroom
Description
With pulsing electronic music that sounds lifted from Lost in Translation, the Website aggressively targets the young and comely seeking same. The lure? Dorm-style common spaces for mingling, including a glassed-in lounge with plasma-screen TV and wet bar, and an outdoor terrace with practice green. The “On the Green” package includes silly add-ons like a Clinton West putter and golf balls, but also a year of golf-specific concierge services ($250 extra, free the first year) so someone else can book your next trip to Torrey Pines.
Great or Gimmick?
Pretty much what you think: priceless if you’re mad for the game, and faintly annoying for everyone else.


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