A home, a museum: Developers tailor new luxury pads for art

Walls instead of windows to display Koons and Warhols

TRD New York /
Mar.March 03, 2016 03:35 PM

UPDATED: Mar. 7, 3:11 p.m.: Forget location. Forget windows. What buyers really want in luxury real estate is walls — lots of them — and developers are eager to oblige.

Developers are now tailoring high-end projects for customers who want to display their costly Koons and pricey Picassos, and need certain features to accommodate and flaunt their art.

At Ian Schrager’s 160 Leroy Street 50-unit condo project in the West Village, blank walls are dubbed art walls, Bloomberg reported.

“These are walls large enough and with high ceilings that can accommodate the large paintings of modern art, as well as art from other periods,” Schrager told Bloomberg via e-mail, “It also allows for a visually prominent display with appropriate lighting.”

Joe McMillan, of DDG Partners, told Bloomberg, “Every grand room now needs at least one art wall.” Condos at his 50-story tower at 180 East 88th Street will make putting up paintings a snap as walls feature a picture rail system similar to the one the Met uses.

At SR Capital’s 20-story, 44-unit building at 551 West 21st Street on the High Line, the condos feature a custom glass that filters out the sun’s rays to safeguard art that’s displayed, Bloomberg reported.

Temperature is also a concern with some buildings, like 152 Elizabeth Street, designed by Tadao Ando, featuring commercial-grade humidity systems to protect fragile works. Then there’s getting the masterpieces to the apartment itself — developers are ensuring service elevators are large enough to take big pieces up.

Luxury has changed in the past 10 years as an increasing number of developers double as art collectors and the two worlds — art and real estate —become intertwined. In 2006, the entry point for luxury was $1,200 per square foot. It is now $3,000, according to Roy Kim of Douglas Elliman. [Bloomberg]Dusica Sue Malesevic

An earlier version of this post said the building at 180 East 88th Street will be 32 stories. A DDG representative said the tower will be 50 stories, not 32.


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