West Side developers shore up against another Sandy

September 25, 2013 08:39AM

Almost a year has passed since Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on New York City, but the storm is still influencing real estate planning. Developers and designers of under-construction condominium buildings on the Far West Side are making storm-proofing a priority, and their brokers are being asked to tell buyers about what measures are in place to protect against natural disasters.

At Scott Resnick’s West Chelsea 19-story residential tower at 551 West 21st Street, for example, the developer moved the inner mechanical workings of the 44-unit condo to the second floor from the basement, to safeguard against potential flooding. And designers at the building added a waterproof concrete wall which will rise five to six feet above curb levels.

“We are building essentially a bathtub around the perimeter of our building,” Resnick told the Wall Street Journal. Condominiums at the tower hit the market next month and are being marketed by Brown Harris Stevens, with prices ranging from $5.75 million to $17.5 million and penthouses starting at $35 million, according to the newspaper.

These measures are important for buyers, and brokers are being told to highlight them when showing off a property as few buyers will sign contracts without this reassurance. At the Witkoff Group’s 15-story 150 Charles Street, for example, Douglas Elliman’s Leonard Steinberg informed buyers about the precautions the building had taken.

“The last thing we wanted,” Steinberg told the Journal, “was for people to fall in love with the building and then go home and say to themselves, ‘But what about flooding?'” [WSJ]  – Hiten Samtani