A while ago, I wrote an article about the benefits of living close to the ground, and how single-family mansions are becoming the new rage in New York. However, with these past months’ launch of the new ultra-luxury 117 West 57 and 217 West 57 Street super-tall tower, I thought I would write about all the benefits about having a place in the sky. The difference between life near the streets and a cloud palace can be broken down in the most primal of terms. Lifestyle, at its core, revolves around the five senses. In real estate, it revolves around three of those – hearing, sight, and smell.
First off, there is the sense of hearing. Construction crews can be noisy. The sounds of taxi horns, fire engines and ambulances, however, are faint from the 60th story of a luxury building. Trucks backing up late at night and rowdy revelers spilling out of nightclubs at 3:00 AM can hardly be heard from up above. In contrast, life near the street can be a cacophony of noisy cats, clanging cans, sirens, and honking horns.
Second, there is the sense of smell. While Manhattan may have a sterling reputation, it is not without its human truths. One of the problems of living near to the street is the proximity to unpleasant smells. Trash is picked up every day, and the streets are very clean, but you can’t ignore the fact that it sometimes emits a bad odor, regardless of how much you spent on your townhome.
Smell is rarely discussed in real estate, but it is the most important sense that the brain uses to determine if something is luxurious or not, something imparted to me by the head of the Wynn Hotel and Casino in Macau. A bad smell in an expensive home will make the experience anything but luxurious.
Then there is the sense of sight. What do you see when you look out the window of a second-story building? Another building! In Manhattan, the odds are high that you will see just a brick wall. Maybe a tree, but they are pretty scarce in Manhattan these days unless you are living at 15 CPW. When you are living on the 60th floor, you have more daylight and privacy (if you are above neighboring buildings). It can also be very entertaining to watch, day after day, the landscape below change with clouds rolling in and out. That multi-million view is simply priceless and in Miami Beach, an apartment at the newest Renzo Piano's Eighty Seven Park may be the best option for someone in the market for an oceanfront.
How does it feel to be above it all? They say that nothing tastes sweeter than success. For the self-made man or woman, it doesn’t get better than sitting above it all, knowing that you finally made it.