The Real Deal New York

Not your grandfather’s schvitz: Extell bringing infrared saunas to OMS

Gary Barnett turns up dial on amenities at 815-unit condo tower
By E.B. Solomont | July 28, 2017 08:30AM

One Manhattan Square and Gary Barnett

The actress Jennifer Aniston is a devotee. Comedian Chelsea Handler swears by regular sessions. Cindy Crawford, Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow have been known to partake in the name of good health and glowy skin.

Now, in the arms race for the hottest new condominium amenity, Extell Development is bringing infrared saunas to its forthcoming One Manhattan Square project.

The Gary Barnett-led firm said it is the first New York developer to offer residents the chic therapy — which uses radiant heat to warm the body’s core, stimulating the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems to help eliminate toxins. It’s a health benefit, but also a way for Extell to elevate the overall experience at the Lower East Side condo, said senior vice president of development Raizy Haas.

“You have every conceivable amenity in the project,” said Haas.

Located at 252 South Street, One Manhattan Square is Extell’s middle-market condo project and will have 815 units, with prices starting just north of $1 million. Thanks to the property’s large footprint, the developer is planning 100,000 square feet of amenities indoors and out, including a two-lane bowling alley, billiard room, golf simulator, 75-foot swimming pool, culinary lounge, covered dog run, 70-seat movie theater and cigar room.

The saunas are just the latest creature comfort offered to condo buyers in an era of private swimming pools, recording studios, helipads and paparazzi-proof driveways.

Back in 2014, Delos Living made headlines with its vitamin C-infused showers at 66 East 11th Street in the East Village. (However, the building’s wellness-focused amenities, which also included steam ovens and circadian lighting, didn’t justify a $50 million price tag for the penthouse, which ultimately sold for $26.1 million.)

Earlier this year, Barnett locked up financing for OMS with a commitment for a $163.2 million mezzanine loan from Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty. A consortium led by Deutsche Bank and French lender Natixis provided a senior loan for the $1.4 billion project.

As of March, the last time Extell offered an update on sales, the developer said 100 units are in contract. In recent months, the developer announced it would advance 50 percent of commissions on sales at its properties under construction, including OMS.

According to Haas, Extell is looking into installing the saunas throughout its portfolio at condos like the Kent on the Upper East Side and its latest endeavor, Central Park Tower, which will have more than 20 units priced at $60 million or more. “We’re not about the hype,” she said. “It would be sad for us if we spent all that effort — and real estate — to include an amenity and it’s not used.”