Libraries are latest fashionable amenity in condos

April 06, 2012 08:30AM

State-of-the-art fitness centers and outdoor spaces double as the most sought after and most frequent amenities in luxury Manhattan residential buildings. But according to the New York Times a decidedly low-tech amenity is gaining traction among buyers and developers are responding. They’re bringing libraries to their buildings.

Extell Development is bringing one to its high-profile One57 condominium and the the Toll Brothers are doing the same with their forthcoming Touraine condo on the Upper East Side.

“A library increases the square footage of your own apartment because it gives an extra quiet place in the building you can get away to,” said Rutenberg Realty co-founder Kathy Braddock. “That’s a big deal in New York. Whether residents read the books on the shelves is irrelevant.”

For developers, libraries come at a low cost and don’t need to be stocked with volumes all at once. Many builders start the collection — the Toren was filled with 500 books from the Strand bookstore —and leave the residents to fill out the rest.

The Manhattan House at East 66th Street, the 1 Rector Park, the Caledonia on West 17th Street,Tribeca Tower On Duane Street, New York by Gehry on Spruce Street, the Toren condo in Fort Greene, the Avery on Riverside Boulevard and the Ardsley on Central Park West are just some of the buildings the Times named with libraries. [NYT]