The Real Deal New York

Tunnels touted as latest luxury amenity

With wine cellars in every home, tunnels offer something unique

June 06, 2015 04:00PM

An "Alice in Wonderland Tunnel." Photo via Chad Holder/The Wall Street Journal.

An “Alice in Wonderland Tunnel.” Photo via Chad Holder/The Wall Street Journal

Step aside wine cellars, home theaters and Central Park views. The latest luxury amenity to hit private homes is tunnels.Fodder for the imagination and a place for the kids to play, private tunnels have become a huge selling point, according the Wall Street Journal. However, most home tunnels began their life as unadorned, utilitarian spaces intended for servants to come and go unnoticed.

Now, tunnels have re-emerged as a unique amenity that few other sellers can compete with.

“In the big markets, people who are paying cash for $3 million homes want something that no one else has,” Ron Syrnyk, an interior designer who recently designed and built a 20-foot tunnel as the entrance to a “wine cave,” told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s creating a feature that no one else has.”

Tunnels are even popping up in the Hamptons, because of a zoning loophole. Since zoning often prevents homeowners from building more than one house on their property, guesthouses or separate staff quarters can be connected with a finished underground tunnel. It “make[s] it one structure in essence,” Gary DePersia of the Corcoran Group, told the Journal. [WSJ] Christopher Cameron