What better to blog about on a hot and sticky Manhattan day than the increase in the number of condominium projects with swimming pools (via The New York Sun). As I walked to the office this morning sipping my hot coffee (not so brilliant) it was no big surprise that I arrived with a sweat soaked shirt. A dip in a pool sure would be nice right now. Well if you’re one of the many new condo buyers at projects like 20 Pine, One York, or Sheffield57, an afternoon dip in the pool is a luxurious reality. So what are people willing to pay for a swimming pool?
A recent Sheffield57 buyer, Joel Ehrlich, said the open-air pool with a 16-foot retractable glass door to facilitate winter use was a major factor in his decision to spend more than $1.5 million on a two-bedroom apartment in that building. "Moving from Scarsdale, I was concerned about what I’d be giving up," Mr. Ehrlich, a married father of three grown children, said. "When I saw the rendering of the pool, I realized that it would be like having a beach and a country club — and all I would have to do is take an elevator."
Mr. Ehrlich said he was willing to pay a 10% premium for an apartment in a building with a pool, and surmised that the amenity, located on the building’s 58th floor, would boost the unit’s resale value, though he has no plans to sell it.
I can tell you first hand as the owner of a condominium at The Bromley on the Upper West Side, our swimming pool is invaluable both in the heat of the summer and during the blistering cold winter months. With 2 kids, it provides hours of fun and relaxation when the elements outside aren’t as favorable. In fact, my wife and I purchased our current apartment in large part because of the pool and the other amenities in the building and it seems we are not alone as the lifestyle that these condominium amenities provide makes living anywhere else seem mundane.
The founder and chief executive of the Shvo Group, Michael Shvo, said the value of a pool depends entirely on the profile of the target buyer. He said his firm is now marketing a property at 225 Rector Place in Battery Park City that features a 75-foot-long indoor, sky-lit pool with a lounge area — "geared toward the buyer who lives an active lifestyle."
"In a large-scale, luxury building, a pool is a necessity," a Shvo sales representative Ariel Cohen, said. "When kids want to go swimming, and they’re in they’re two-bedroom cookie cutter apartment, the nanny can take them for a dip — and that makes a world of difference."
A senior vice president and managing director of Brown Harris Stevens, Paula Del Nunzio, said swimming pools tend to draw would-be buyers with young children.
So if you’re seeking a building with a swimming pool, there doesn’t appear to be a list anywhere that is all inclusive of these "wet" condos. That said, I just did a search and came up with more than 500 available units in buildings with swimming pools. Dip anyone?