Vincent deFilippo braved Hurricane Ida’s torrential rain on Wednesday as he headed home to New Jersey, only to find that his basement had flooded. His first thought: What had become of his two luxury townhouses in Manhattan, which hit the market for $16 million each just days before the storm?
The answer wasn’t long in coming. Neighbors had inches of water pooling their yard. Not so in either the Chelsea and Upper West Side homes.
“I was like oh my god this place is dry. What happened here?” said deFilippo, founder and CEO of Innovative Design & Development. “I guess all that money I put into it for extra add-on benefits was worth it.”
As climate change stirs more frequent tropical storms and life-threatening wildfires, protection from the elements is moving to the top of the agenda for some homebuilders. DeFilippo equipped the homes, at 224 West 22nd Street and 163 West 76th Street, with waterproofing reinforcements including a dual drainage system that triggers an alert when the secondary overflow drain is activated.
He also sealed the roofs with kemper and lead-coated copper, using a “drip method” that bends the copper around the edges so that water flows down and out rather than into the house, and placed so-called coping stones atop the copper to keep it from moving and provide extra protection. Steel window cases hold custom windows that provide soundproofing in the home, and electrostatic painting attaches itself to the steel to give it a more durable automotive finish.
The lead-coated copper drip finish cost as much as $75,000 for the home on 76th Street, even though he’d already met legal requirements for basic safety measures.
“We want homes that are safe, that are secure,” deFilippo said. “You know when you lock that door, nothing’s getting in.”
The Chelsea home previously belonged to former Access Hollywood correspondent and Today host Billy Bush, the New York Post reported. At $2,094 per square foot, the 7,640-square-foot home has seven bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, and three half-bathrooms as well as two private terraces and three balconies.
The other one, at 163 West 76th Street was originally designed by renowned architect Clarence True in a partnership with financier Henry Francis Cook in the late 19th century. At $1,998 per square foot, the 8,009-square-foot home has six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and three half bathrooms.
Diane Sender at Compass is marketing both homes.