A broker friend of mine mentioned the other day that there was a broker open house tour near Columbus Circle at the southern end of the Upper West Side. She thought the apartments on view might well interest me.
Most brokers, including me, are little different from most consumers in that the most expensive and lavish properties hold a particular fascination. High on the list of such properties are apartments in the Time Warner Center. (I’ve written about them in past newsletters.)
On the tour were two condos in the Time Warner Center. A three-bedroom duplex on the 70th floor is listed at $15.7 million with monthly common charges and real estate taxes totaling close to $10,000. The other apartment, on “only” the 53rd floor, is a three-bedroom unit that has an asking price of $7.95 million, reduced (!) in April from $8.5 million; monthly costs are a bit more than $5,700.
Hearing about the tour, I rolled my eyes and suppressed a yawn.
I’ve looked at available apartments in the complex several times, and, frankly, I cannot keep them apart in my mind. Each has white walls, interior kitchens with white-marble countertops and the same top-end appliances, floor-to-ceiling windows with mostly breathtaking views, hardwood floors, designer baths and a sameness that is soporific.
At the risk of offending past and future clients, let me say that condos in new developments have come to bore me. Details may differ, but virtually all of them are indistinguishable from the others.
You can expect stainless-steel appliances, stone countertops of one type or another, seamless cabinetry of the highest quality, hardwood floors, expanses of glass, stylish baths with glass or stone tiles and memorable fixtures, and a high proportion of baths to bedrooms. The lobbies are unfailingly tony, and the doorman almost uniformly white-gloved.
When I write about such properties, words tend to fail me. Unfortunately, they don’t fail me because I don’t have a reservoir of descriptors. They fail me because I have had to use the same words over and again to portray the same apartments, which generally are overpriced.
To me, the implication is that anyone who wishes to preserve the investment portion of a purchase ought to look elsewhere for a place to live.
Cookie cutters don’t shape merely the Chips Ahoy in those suburbs burdened with ticky-tack housing. They also are employed to replicate Mrs. Fields cookies and other expensive desserts in urban towers.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022