By Roslyn Lo
Many famed pop culture references take place in Times Square, from the New Year’s Eve ball drop, Broadway musicals, the yellow taxi cabs, and even the “Naked Cowboy.”
The area has become iconic for the sheer amount of entertainment packed into a several blocks.
Just two short avenues west is an area most tourists don’t venture out to, as the silver screen confines all of NYC activity to Broadway and 42nd. As soon as you step foot across 9th Avenue and 42nd Street, it becomes a vastly different world.
The din of Times Square tourism fades, and the area becomes a calmer environment. Just as one may grow used to the change of scenery, a 63-story tower juts out.
The angular glass building on 450 West 42nd street is MiMA, and it commands attention upon first sight.
Developed by Related Rentals, the minds that imagined the Time Warner building, MiMA is an edifice of luxury rentals, condominiums and retail. It is named after its location, Middle of Manhattan, and boasts a long list of amenities. “Inspired by New York streets and style, MiMA was designed to reflect and cater to the lifestyle, personality and New York sensibility of our residents. If you work hard and lead a busy life, MiMA is both an oasis you’ll love to call home and a vibrant place where you can connect with family and friends,” senior vice president of Related Daria Salusbury said in a press release.
The 44,000 s/f of amenities sprawls out over an acre and includes so many destinations that its residents never have to run out of things to do. Whether it’s working out in the Equinox fitness center, or throwing a party for 100 friends in one of four party rooms, residents have it all under one roof.
The amenity space is aptly named the M Club, and its décor and ambience are highly stylized and trendy enough to make a movie set pale in comparison.
The swanky club room is dimly lit with a posh interior. Furnished with chic furniture and rich, dark colors that creates a Manhattan nightlife vibe, club music pumped in the background during a recent tour by this reporter.
A few steps away, smaller club rooms are available to rent for parties, with a minimalist interior comprising a bar, kitchen area and TV room for guests to lounge around. Four state-of-the-art kitchens are down the hallway, equipped to cater events in the party rooms.
Other entertainment rooms shared this motif of vibrant colors and sleek contrasts in shapes and textures. The whimsically decorated game room is decked out with cozy furniture, and features billiards and the new Xbox 360 Kinect.
If residents opt for a more laid back night, there are two places they can catch the latest movies.
The private screening room provides a spacious home movie theater, replete with cushy sofas, 360 degrees of surround sound, a bar area, and even a popcorn machine to complete the film experience.
For residents that enjoy a summer night breeze, they may choose to catch a movie screening in the outdoor theater. With a neatly manicured strip of grass reminiscent of outdoor film festivals held in NYC parks, a projector casts the movie onto a massive screen fixed to the building wall.
The entertainment in MiMA isn’t restricted to nightlife activities. There are outdoor terraces to relax in with grills, gardens and dining areas. There’s also the residents-only Equinox fitness center, which boasts 18,000 s/f of workout space. It has a 50-meter, glass-enclosed pool overlooking a terrace lined with lawn chairs reminiscent of a luxury resort.
Athletes craving a more competitive exercise experience may take a separate elevator that descends to a full-sized Equinox basketball court, where they can sign up for leagues, tournaments or a friendly pick-up game. Adjacent to the gymnasium is a room for yoga and boxing classes.
Rounding out the amenities is a unique feature for MiMA residents: Dog City. The space is solely dedicated to man’s best friend, including a grooming station, play area, a dog treadmill and even an outdoor dog park so that the owners aren’t the only ones that get to have fun outside. Should residents decide to go out of town for a week, the full service center in Dog City will make sure to look after their pets daily.
The amenities mantra that more is better carries through to the apartments, too.
With prices ranging from $3,390 a month for a studio to $5,995 for a two-bedroom, MiMA apartments are expensive but that hasn’t appeared to make a dent in the leasing pace at the tower.
The apartment spaces were designed by Ismael Leyva with interiors by the Rockwell Group. Decorated with neutral tones and high-gloss wood floors and cabinets, the units have a cozy yet avant-garde feel. Offering views of the city and The Hudson River, every unit comes equipped with a washer and dryer.
Even moving into MiMA is a luxury. Related offers a move-in coordinator to handle everything from utility hook ups to technology set-up. The building offers an electronic rent payment service, WiFi in all of the common areas, 200+ channel cable and/or satellite TV service, cable modem service, ethernet, DSL and wireless Web through Wi-Fi service.
MiMA is also one of the first buildings to feature a distribution antenna system which enhances cell phone service throughout the building and ensures residents on various carriers will have reception.
Bruce Beal Jr., Related’s executive vice president, described MiMA is “a 24/7 destination development.”
There’s no doubt the impressively decked out MiMA has the vibe of an urban resort. Not only is the five-star living space vast, but every room is also designed with utmost care to detail.
The finished product is an ultra-sleek, cosmopolitan feel that channels the mood of New York City. Even though it is a couple blocks removed from the entertainment-packed Times Square, the MiMA tower offers so many whimsical escapes that being inside certainly feels like being in the middle of Manhattan.