Gold, marble and onyx: developers get exotic with finishes

Eager to woo buyers, developers are demanding distinctive designs

TRD New York /
April 02, 2016 03:00 PM

In the midst of what many claim is a slowdown at the high-end of the residential market, developers are trying to distinguish their luxury projects with exotic finishes.

“Words cannot describe what we’ve done,” Thierry Despont, told the New York Times, referring to the interior design at 53W53, a condominium building rising beside the Museum of Modern Art. Architect Jean Nouvel, designed the building. “It’s quite different from anything else that’s being built in New York City.”

Inside, the apartments have been outfitted with black walnut doors framed in bronze, glowing onyx sidelights and custom bronze door handles from E. R. Butler & Company.

Of course, every designer and developer claims that their project has the best finishes. The result has been a race to add top-of-the-line stone, flooring and cabinetry, according to the Times.

“There’s a lot of competition and the key from the developer’s standpoint is that they have to differentiate,” Jonathan Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, told the Times.

Miller added that in the last development cycle, many buildings used similar finishes, which made it diffuclt for buyers to distinguish between luxury apartments.

“Whether or not a building had a starchitect or a beautiful lobby, when you got into the apartments themselves, they all had almost the same finishes — what was initially unique and luxurious became generic,” Miller said. [NYT]Christopher Cameron