The Real Deal New York

What does “penthouse” really mean?

December 28, 2010 08:59AM

Has the penthouse begun to lose its cachet? It used to be that penthouse literally meant the apartment on the top floor of the building, and according to New York City building code, it is “an enclosed structure on or above the roof of any part of a building, which is designed or used for human occupancy.” But according to the New York Times, that definition has been stretched in recent years by developers seeking to make the most out of their new construction. At the Vere condominium in Long Island City, there are eight penthouses spanning three floors, but they all technically meet the building code definition because of setbacks in the roof. “It’s become such a generic term for anything on or near the top of the building with outdoor space,” said Barbara Fox, president of Fox Residential Group. [NYT]


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