The Real Deal New York

Is a steampunk condominium “proof that New York is over?”

15 Renwick topped out last month

December 06, 2014 11:00AM
By Business Insider

15 Renwick Street

15 Renwick Street

This is the top for New York City. It’s all downhill from here. 15 Renwick in Hudson Square isn’t just any building: it’s a steampunk-themed luxury development. Steampunk-themed. Luxury. Development.

What is steampunk? It’s mostly a literary and artistic genre. Think Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd, but much less murderous, riding atop a floating, steam-powered sidecar.

15renwick_boxer-07.21.2014American novelist Caitlin Kittredge described it as “sort of Victorian-industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans,” according to the steampunk movement’s official website. An overly optimistic nostalgia for an earlier time … where have we heard that before?

American novelist Caitlin Kittredge described it as “sort of Victorian-industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans,” according to the steampunk movement’s official website. An overly optimistic nostalgia for an earlier time … where have we heard that before?

Condos are priced between $2 million and $7.5 million (with hefty maintenance fees, natch). The building’s amenities include the regular: parking, roof deck, laundry. But there are also on-brand steampunk touches: a “high design boxing gym,” a zen garden, and a 24-hour butler (listed as a feature in the lobby, so presumably more like a doorman in a puffy shirt?).

There’s never been a clearer sign that 21st-century New York is nothing but an amusement park for the world’s wealthy and their children. It has ceased to be a real place for the rest of us.

The building’s website is filled with model-like characters who appear to have just stepped off the set of Hollywood films, as if actually living in this building is also just a fantasy. Given the number of foreigners buying condos in New York at the moment, that it would be totally sold, but no one would actually live in this building is not all that far fetched.

The developer joked to DNAinfo’s Danielle Tcholakian that it was a building for “rich hipsters.” Here’s how the building is described on its website.

screen-shot-2014-12-02-at-4.53

Let’s talk about the fact that there are characters in an apartment building. Not staff, but characters. Not residents, but characters. Living in this building is all about not living a real life.

It is questionable that living in New York City these days bears any resemblance to reality.

It’s more like this:

07.23

  • jmb

    The building is lackluster to say the least. The “steampunk” marketing looks desperate.

  • art

    yea right!!! rich hipsters…ugh that term hipster is so played out…hipsters are not rich on their own will…more trust fund spoiled millenials with money not earned!

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