Playing to the Audience

Forget the pet spa: If developers want to lure buyers, it’s their kids they should be courting. Just ask Debra Malloy, a physical therapist who vowed not to be seduced by showy amenities while condo-shopping for her family. When she stopped by the sales office for Element, a project on the western edge of 59th Street, she laughed off extras like the wine cellar and cold storage. She ended up buying there, though, largely at the urging of her kids—who were impressed by the basketball half-court, the children’s swimming pool and the FAO Schwarz–branded playroom (pictured).

Until recently, buildings could be billed “child friendly” if they had a windowless room painted in Crayola hues and furnished with indestructible plastic playthings—a “perk” that loses its charm as the toys get grubby. But with condos flooding the market, many in family neighborhoods like the Upper East and West sides, developers must up the ante. And that they have. At Apollo Real Estate Advisors’ 10 West End Avenue—next to Element—little ones can amuse themselves in an abridged version of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s fall exhibit “Playworks,” with a “challenge course” for crawlers, an “imagination area,” and possibly some classes by museum staff. At 170 East End Avenue, architect Peter Marino is designing 12,000 square feet of amenities, more than half of which target kids up to age 16, including an art studio, a game center, and a wi-fi lounge. (According to one broker, a recent concert for buyers featuring Laurie Berkner, the preschool set’s Madonna, was the “event of the year.”) Extell Development’s Rushmore, at Riverside Boulevard and 64th Street, and a yet-unnamed tower on Lexington Avenue will feature a playspace co-designed by Kidville, which has two uptown locations. And at Brooklyn’s Court Street Lofts, developer Jane Gladstein has hired a “nanny concierge” who arranges everything from classes to playdates.

Malloy says she and her family intend to make the most of the facilities, but even if they don’t, they bring a “social aspect” to the building that she appreciates. “That I’m in a building catering to families and that [increases] the odds that my daughters will find playmates definitely appealed to me,” she says. Next: Blythe Danner Moving Again

Danner Doesn’t Settle
Just seven months after we reported Blythe Danner’s purchase of a two-bedroom, two-bath co-op with a view of Washington Square Park, the actress appears to be moving again. Danner, who won an Emmy in 2005 (and is nominated again this year) for her role in Showtime’s Huff, has put the apartment on sale for $1.8 million—up from an initial price of $1.625 million—and seems to have a buyer already, since the listing, which is being handled by Corcoran’s Carter Wilcox, is marked as being “in contract.” (Wilcox didn’t return calls asking for details.) She’ll be leaving Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard, her upstairs neighbors; no word on whether she’ll follow her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, down to Tribeca.

Also downtown, NY1’s society reporter George Whipple—he of the high-energy manner and monumental eyebrows—was spotted looking at a condo at Rutherford Place, near Stuyvesant Square Park on Second Avenue. Next: Prospective Buyers on a Broadway One-Bedroom

2025 Broadway, Apartment 23F
One-bedroom, one-bath, 670-square-foot co-op.
Asking Price: $529,000.
Maintenance: $1,300 per month.
Broker: Elizabeth Butler, Mark David & Co.

Who: Robert Nuzzolese (pictured), managing director, Nuzzolese Brothers Ice Corporation.
What are you shopping for? A studio or one-bedroom. I live on Long Island, we’re expanding to Manhattan, and I want a base in the city.
What do you think? It’s kind of small, but since I’ve been looking at houses on Long Island, I think I have to get used to the lack of space. I like the marble bathroom, but I’d get into the next millennium with the appliances. If I can keep the plasma TV, that’d be great!

Who: Patrick Brown, banker.
What are you shopping for? I definitely want a doorman—I get lots of packages, and I entertain a lot. I’ve been looking for a month, but I haven’t been happy with what I’ve seen.
What do you think? I like the floors. I hate parquet … and every time I walk into a prewar—bam, parquet!

Who: Barbara Roston, IT manager.
What are you shopping for? A one-bedroom uptown, below 86th Street preferably.
What do you think? The view’s beautiful—it truly is—but it only gets you so far. I have four grown-up kids I make Thanksgiving dinner for, and that kitchen’s questionable.

Playing to the Audience