Developers swapping penthouses for top floor amenities

The East tower of JDS's 626 First Avenue features a pool, bar, cabanas and grills
December 04, 2015 11:43AM

A luxury Manhattan penthouse is one of the world’s great status symbols, but some developers are forgoing whole-floor units at the top of their buildings and instead creating shared amenities spaces for all residents.

JDS Development’s two-towered rental building at 626 First Avenue in Murray Hill will offer tenants access to a rooftop deck and an infinity pool, a fitness center and a spa on the top floor of its East tower.

The project, set to be completed in 2017, will be composed of two “dancing” towers – one 40 stories and the other 49 stories – leaning into one another, with a sky bridge connecting them. SHoP Architects is designing the project. Studio apartments there will start at around $2,800, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In July of last year, JDS secured a $390 million loan from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors, a division of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. JDS bought the property from Sheldon Solow for $172.1 million in 2013.

The Zaha Hadid-designed One Thousand Museum in Miami will also feature a “public penthouse space” with a sunbathing terrace, a bar, a private dining room, and a theatre, according to the developer Louis Birdman. [WSJ]Ariel Stulberg