By Dan Orlando
The upper tier residences of New York, whether they look upon the High Line or are nestled just above Union Square, provide those that inhabit them with a flood of amenities and bonus homey features.
Floor-to-ceiling windows next to the TV have become commonplace. Open floor plans that let a kitchen filled with stainless steel and granite spill out into the common area are expected.
These are rooms in which residents will spend a bulk of their waking hours when they are at home, so it’s not surprising that extra care and design are invested into creating these luxurious spaces.
However, a room that is traditionally known more for it’s functional capabilities as opposed to bearing relaxing or homey attributes is starting to get significantly more attention by both developers and buyers.
“The newer buildings get, the more it seems that each developer is trying to out do the next one,” Alex Mazalatis, co-owner of the Maz Group NY, told Real Estate Weekly when asked if an amenity-stacked bathroom had become more important to potential buyers in recent years.
“If the floor plan allows you’ll see floor to ceiling windows in a bathroom,” he continued.
A spokesperson for two of Manhattan’s prime Upper East Side residences, Sixty East Eighty Sixth and 155 East 79th, echoed those sentiments.
“Once overlooked as spaces used solely for utility purposes, more and more Americans are beginning to treat their bathrooms as spaces to relax and unwind. With 24 percent of Americans refocusing their attention on this long overlooked room, according to the Architects Institute of America, bathrooms are seeing an overhaul, increasing in size and level of design.”
Mazalatis said that his buyers who are shopping for some of the priciest homes in the city tend to share a list of desired selling-points when it comes to finding the perfect bathroom.
“At these prices, the bathrooms can’t be standard and if they are, the price will have to reflect that,” he said. “(Well-designed bathrooms) are key features in selling the apartments, along with kitchens and floor plans.”
“A soaking tub is a must,” said Mazalatis, adding that buyers “need to see greenery” when they are secluded in the bathroom.
“When buyers go into these apartments they want to see the light they want to see the view they want to see the scenery.”
“If you don’t have a window,” said Mazalatis, “it needs to be an absolute oasis.”
Of course, those windows must be carefully placed.
“A key feature is privacy,” he said. “If you do have those windows they don’t want to feel that they are exposed. They want to feel calm and relaxed.”
Mazalatis said that many of his buyers also prefer to have heated floors, as well.
“I think when marketing a property it’s really about the total package,” said TOWN broker, Steve Gold. “Bathrooms in particular are an interesting space.”
“There are certain cases where bathrooms can be a focal point and a selling point in marketing,” said Gold, who mentioned the penthouse at 8 Greene in SoHo, which he is currently representing.
Describing the room there as “extremely beautiful and glamorous,” Gold says it “draws buyers in.”
“(The bathroom has) exposed wooden beams that are a 100 years old, crystal chandeliers and a deep soaking tub.”
“Typically we might not photograph a bathroom,” said Gold. “That was one that was so special that we want to use it in advertising.”
“If the bathrooms are just not up to bar but they are a good enough size, I’d probably advise them to work with someone that I know that can turn these bathrooms into beautiful masterpieces.”
Gold said that buyers should not pass on a home simply because a large bathroom lacks amenities and said that investing in the room on one’s own could boost the property’s appreciation down the line.
At Sixty East Eighty Sixth, the most basic condominium runs in excess of $7 million.
Each master bathroom looks to pair function with serenity and is constructed using only natural materials.
Driftwood marble walls and floors set the tone for this space, along with fluted glass doors framed in polished nickel.
Renowned designer, Thomas Juul-Hansen chose rosewood cabinetry in an effort to capture warmth. The room is centered around the vanity countertop, which is carved from a single block of opulent marble.
155 East 79th also opted to invest heavily in its bathrooms. Developed by Anbau, this building’s master bathrooms are nearly half the size of the master bedrooms.
The generously proportioned bathrooms feature a double vanity as well as an oversized tub wrapped in Vanilla Cream onyx and accented by chrome fixtures.
With special attention to detail and finely sourced finishes, the space is completed with Vetro Bianco glass walls and honed Grecian marble flooring.
The most basic residence in this building costs over $9.5 million.
As luxury development in the city continues, it will be interesting to see what new twists that designers can add to some of the priciest bathrooms in the world.