There are lots of reasons to buy a new condo in the city, especially if you’re searching in lower Manhattan. Location, for sure. Chelsea is very hot right now.
By Allen Clark
There are lots of reasons to buy a new condo in the city, especially if you’re searching in lower Manhattan. Location, for sure. Chelsea is very hot right now. Galleries all around, great eateries, and, of course, the High Line. And if money is no object, you can pretty much draw your own floor plan.
Take 200 Eleventh, at 11th Avenue and 24th Street, home to Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. Part of the appeal is the striking design by architect Annabelle Selldorf and developers Young Woo & Associates and Italian Glauco Lolli-Ghetti. Rumor has it Keith Richards has a place there also.
You really don’t even have to see it, once you know that the managing director of the real estate firm that helped sell the building when it came on the market seven years ago lives there. (It’s a bit like eating at diners where truck drivers eat.) “Everyone thinks it’s an art gallery,” he was quoted as saying, which helps explain the sign the condo board is reported to have slapped on the lobby door: “This is a residence. Please do not enter.”
Still, at $5,000 a square foot and up you may need a little something extra. Something like being able to drive your car right into your apartment. That’s right; whatever floor you’re on (the building is 19 stories tall), this property offers you en suite parking!
It’s called Sky Garage. It sits right alongside your condo. All you have to do is head your car into the special entrance bay on the ground floor, onto the 8,000-pound-capacity, “biometrically-controlled” freight elevator; the computer program knows who you are and where you’re headed. Once you get to 8D or 9B, you just drive off the elevator into your apartment, and shout, “Honey, I’m home.”
But this garage can’t be chock-a-block with old furniture, oilcans, recyclables, and the like. This garage is a showroom. You and your guests can see your car through a glass wall, replacing perhaps that recently acquired Jeff Koons balloon poodle. They don’t say this in the literature, but I bet you’ll want to make sure your car is spanking clean and shiny at all times. There’s nothing worse than looking over a glass of Château Haut-Brion at a spotted, dirty Lamborghini. One wonders what would happen if I drove up in my 11-year-old Saab. It might have some Scandinavian, maybe even retro cache, but still. It would take a whole lot of chutzpah.
Turns out this is the first and only drive-to (and into) your apartment in America, although there are signs that other cities (Miami, for one) will get on this garage-wagon. Sky Garage has been in the Far East for a while. At one place in Singapore, you can double-park legally – you’ve got two slots for two Lamborghinis (or one Lamborghini and an 11-year-old Saab), side by side, right off your living room, for all to ogle.
By the way, the Hong Kong building is 30 stories high, which by my research looks to be a Guinness Book of Records record for parking in the sky. It certainly gives new meaning to the expression “upwardly mobile.”
Back to Chelsea. The penthouse is for sale, if you’re interested. Originally at around $12 million, it’s been totally redesigned and can be yours for around $20 million. The views, of course, are pretty spectacular (I’m talking about the 80 feet of unobstructed river views, not the Lamborghini). But it’s the ride from the your flat to the lobby that justifies the price. In just 60 seconds you’re out on the street. Think of the savings in time, morning and evening, day after day, all year long!
There’s just one thing that bothers me. What happens, if you’re in your new penthouse and take off for work, but so does the guy living below you? And the guy below him, and so on all the way down? What if they all push the elevator button just before you do?