Riverdale co-op creates its own Highline on the roof

Residents at The Whitehall, a high-rise co-op in Riverdale that opened in 1970 and has been home to Ed Sullivan and Willie Mays, are watching contractors put the finishing touches on one of New York City’s largest and most innovative apartment building amenities – a landscaped, park-like green rooftop encompassing more than two-thirds of an acre.

“We had this unbelievable asset that was severely underutilized,” explained Jeffrey Moerdler, president of The Whitehall’s Board of Directors, referring to the 30,000 s/f deck that sits one story above the street on the building’s health club and pool level. (It is also the roof of the underground garage and a 13,000 sq. ft. “school annex.”)

“We knew there was real potential to turn this neglected space into a tremendous amenity that would add value to the property and to individual units. So we came up with a world-class design and got total buy-in from the Board and sponsors.”

To achieve the vision of installing a green roof, the Board turned to Genie Masucci, principal of G. Masucci Architects, LLC, in consultation with Site Works, one of the major landscape architects of Manhattan’s High Line.

When completed this month, The Whitehall’s roof-top park will sit above the Henry Hudson Parkway at almost the same height as the High Line’s right-of-way above Manhattan’s West Village streets.

Its winding, tree lined walking path is long enough to wander and the landscaping comprises a variety of grasses, flowering shrubs and wildflowers indigenous to the Hudson Valley.

Because of its large area and off-street location, the rooftop park can support a range of activities from quiet and personal to large active groups.

For the co-op owners (who represent about half of the building’s 400+ apartments), it’s much more than a first-class amenity.

Financed with the proceeds of a major recapitalization of the building, the $6.5 million project is also a major boost in equity and cachet, increasing collective and individual property values, impressing prospective owners, and re-affirming The Whitehall’s status as Riverdale’s premier luxury co-operative apartment residence

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