Amenities in New York City co-ops and condos jumped the shark a while back. Golf simulators, wine cellars, recording studios, valet parking for baby strollers – there seems to be no end in sight. Now developers are tailoring amenities to the tastes and demands of specific nationalities and religions.
In Flushing, Queens, for example, the New York Times reports that the Grand at SkyView Parc, a 750-unit condominium, has appealed to Asian buyers with a park designed according to the principles of feng shui and brokers who speak fluent Mandarin. Corte, an 85-unit condominium under construction in Long Island City, is geared to South American buyers with a low-rise design of stacked forms inspired by the architecture of Buenos Aires.
Today, as Rosh Hashanah is being observed, the Times reports that the developer of a new luxury co-op on the Upper West Side called in a “kosher consultant” to ensure that the building would be attuned to the needs of observant Jews. At the Chamberlain, a 17-story, 39-unit co-op at 269 West 87th Street, the kosher infrastructure was built in, including double kitchen sinks and space for two dishwashers, so that meat and dairy can be kept separate, in keeping with kosher rules.
An elevator can run on “Sabbath mode” Friday night and Saturday – stopping at every floor so that observant Jews need not push a button, a violation of a prohibition against creating sparks and fires. The Chamberlain’s large front doors to the building have a power assist that can be deactivated, for the same reason.
In the larger apartments, under-counter kitchen cabinets can easily be pulled out so a second dishwasher can slide in. Subzero refrigerators can be programmed to operate on Sabbath mode – so the light doesn’t come on when the door is opened. Because Orthodox families tend to be large, laundry closets are commodious enough for two washers and two dryers, to handle heaps of clothes.
Of course, in keeping with the Fair Housing Act, the Chamberlain welcomes all buyers, regardless of religious affiliation – provided they can afford $2.4 million to over $10 million for the two- to five-bedroom apartments.
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