In a neighborhood filled with synagogues, yeshivas and kosher restaurants, practicing Jewish Upper West Siders can still face challenges in their home during Shabbat.
Whether it’s using buttons on an elevator or opening the refrigerator, observant Jews are forced to find ways around daily activities during their day of rest.
But more residential buildings in the Upper West Side now come equipped with infrastructure that makes it easier to remain devout while still living comfortably.
Steps away from Upper West Side’s Broadway, The Chamberlain sits at 269 West 87th Street. Its beige brick and masonry façade attempts to match the nearby residential vibe and the bronze-finished double doors invite residents back home and into its two-story lobby. The 17-story luxury building offers 39 units of two- to five-bedroom apartments and was developed by Simon Baron Development, designed by FXFOWLE with interiors from Alexandra Champalimaud.
“We came to the conclusion very quickly that we wanted something very contextual,” Andrew Till, chief operating officer at Simon Baron, said. “It’s brand new but we really wanted it to blend in because we think that’s what the Upper West Side buyer is looking for.”
The lobby, with a 24-hour concierge and cold storage, also leads into the building’s nearby amenities. Descending the bronze staircase in the back leads tenants into The Chamberlain’s two levels of recreational and leisure spaces.
A garden courtyard is the centerpiece of the space with a nearby living green wall whose plantings will be rotated to match the season. Connected by the green wall, the fitness center is loaded with state-of-the-art equipment. For residents looking for more than just fitness, the amenities also include a sports court that can be used for basketball, soccer and rock climbing.
The sports court can also be reconfigured into a mini movie theater with its own A/V system and retractable screen.
And for those looking for some peace and quiet, the area also has a library lounge with a fireplace and a separate children’s playroom and pantry.
“The great thing about our amenities is you are in the cellar, but you’ve got great natural light coming in so you don’t really feel like you’re in a cellar,” Till said.
What really sets The Chamberlain apart from other Upper West Side Buildings is the apartments’ ability to adapt to Shabbat immediately. Tenants who lead an observant lifestyle can still make use of everything from the appliances to the apartment’s design.
According to Till, the smart refrigerators can be configured with Shabbat mode where it won’t activate its lights and there’s room in the apartments for two dishwashers to facilitate a kosher lifestyle.
Residents are also able to have everything hooked up to an A/V system where they can configure the lights, stereo, blinds and security to turn on and off automatically.
“We know a lot of the community here is from the Orthodox Jewish community, so we put a lot of infrastructure into the building that can allow for people who need it,” Till said.
The developer added that it was their goal to make their buyers’ lives as effortless as possible. To ensure their Shabbat accommodations fit the bill, they hired an A/V expert and Kosher consultants to guide them in their design.
“At the Chamberlain, we incorporated Shabbat technology to ensure this community has the ability to enjoy the perks and amenities of living in a luxury building without complication,” Till said.
Two duplex townhouses sit at the bottom of the building and offer 750 s/f private terraces that overlook the garden courtyard. Two penthouses on the top floors offer double-door Juliet balconies, walls of windows, and an oversized foyer for art displays. The highest penthouse comes with a spiral staircase that leads straight to the roof.
The other residences are designed with corner window bays, Juliet balconies, kitchen islands and marble bathrooms with soaking tubs.
Two-bedrooms start at $2.4 million, the three-bedrooms will cost at least $3.55 million, the four-bedrooms start at $4.84 million and the duplex townhouses start at $6.8 million. Till said that the building is expected to be complete by the end of the year. But he added that the interest has been booming as there aren’t many new developments on the Upper West Side for families looking to settle down, especially those that are Shabbos-friendly.
“This is not a building where we will have many investors buying,” Till said. “People are buying here to live here, to settle with their families and we want to provide whatever we can in terms of amenities and features.”