Kid-friendly homes . . . in the city

Lisa Napoli Jan 24, 2007

Kid-friendly homes . . . in the city

Lisa Napoli Jan 24, 2007


BOB MOON: We’ve got another housing market story but it’s not another one about the air hissing out of the bubble. In fact, this is a story about a segment of the housing market that appears to be growing. In New York City, where real estate prices have never been low, families are clambering for space and Marketplace’s Lisa Napoli says they’re willing to pay for it — as long as ample provisions are made for junior.

LISA NAPOLI: Joseph Korff is showing off the new 20-story glass apartment tower he’s building just outside Manhattan.

JOSEPH KORFF: We are standing on the roof deck at Solaria. What you have here is the opportunity to obtain a 360-degree view.

A spectacular view, the kind you only see in the movies, from midtown Manhattan all the way up the Hudson River.

The positioning is so good Korff didn’t want to waste it on just a plain old deck. So he consulted with astronomers and decided to turn the rooftop into a private planetarium.

KORFF: Children can come and do their homework assignments on various celestial objects that they can now see and move the telescope to. They can get a sense of where it is in the solar system or beyond the solar system.

If you’ve never shopped for real estate in New York, the prices for this yet-to-open building may seem out of this world.

KORFF: You can get 3,100 square feet of residence for less than $2.5 million.

These days, the most expensive real estate in New York is all about the kids. Families are eager for the amenities of the suburbs without the commute.

That’s led developers to get creative. One new loft development in Brooklyn boasts a nanny concierge, who’ll set up play dates and will even find a therapist for your kid.

At The Element Condos near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, you can’t even move in for a year.

But developer Schlomi Reuveni says he’s already redrawn the building’s plans to accommodate.

SCHLOMI REUVENI: We thought we’d get about 20 percent of the building to be family apartments and that’s what we built. We’re getting so much response, so much demand from families that right now the balance in the building is 50-50.

Those families will get perks like a kid’s gym, with a full schedule of classes, outfitted by FAO Schwarz, a kid’s pool so children don’t have to splash around adults doing laps.

REUVENI: This could be a resort in Miami. This could be a very high-end building anywhere really in the United States.

But because it’s in Manhattan, a four-bedroom apartment will set you back $2.7 million.

And when the kids start to stress you out, there’s something for the parents, too. The building plans to offer yoga classes in the onsite meditation garden and a wine valet to help you choose the perfect bottle.

In New York, I’m Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.

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