Multigenerational housing hits NYC

September 28, 2013 12:00PM

The newest New York real estate trend to buck the typical logic of city living is nothing short of multigenerational family complexes. A handful of wealthy families are piecing together Manhattan homes where grandparents can live down the hall from their grandchildren.

“Citywide,” Leonard Steinberg of Douglas Elliman told the New York Times, “there is a trend toward much larger apartments, where families want to create a suburban scale here in the city. The very wealthy in Manhattan today look at the very wealthy in other cities like Boston and see that their friends have 20,000-foot-houses — they want the same thing here and don’t want to compromise.”

For instance, at 10 Madison Square West, a 125-unit condominium building, four separate families are putting together multigenerational homes, undeterred by the building’s $4,000 per square foot asking prices, according to the Times.

And again at the West Village’s 150 Charles, a luxury condominium, two families are each buying two units to house multiple generations of their families.

“We think it is fabulous, just a beautiful, special thing that the families will eat meals together, spend time together,” Steven Witkoff, the developer of both 150 Charles Street and 10 Madison Square West, told the Times.

However, co-op boards are not always as amiable. Due to concerns over one family controlling too many of the building’s shares, co-op boards sometimes pass rules restricting owners from acquiring more than two apartments, according to Mary Ann Rothman, executive director for the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums. [NYT] Christopher Cameron