With the city in bloom, many visitors and residents flock to Central Park, the High Line, and other public parks to enjoy Manhattan's flora and serene spaces. Those seeking something a bit more exclusive might consider noteworthy addresses below, which provide access to the summer's bounty in a more intimate setting.
The Oases on the Upper East Side
One of the largest private gardens in the city is the 1-acre plot exclusive to the iconic Manhattan House at 200 East 66thStreet, a legendary address since 1952 that rose to landmark status in 2007.
The gardens have undergone a "refreshing" by Sasaki Associates that's now in its third season, says Brian Fallon, president of the Manhattan House condominium and partner with its development agency, O'Connor Capital Partners. The project has included major replantings, an update to the exterior lighting, and revitalizing the gardens pathways. Last year, two prominent sculptures by internationally acclaimed artist Hans Van de Bovenkamp were added to the garden, complements to its already tranquil ambience.
"It really is a respite from the city," Fallon says of the garden. "It's almost like an oasis, which contributes to the whole quality of life."
Manhattan House's five interconnected towers rise independently, and each has an external expression of towers and terraces that allow for an abundance of natural light in residences and common areas. The residences are currently a mix of rental units and those being converted to condominiums. The conversion process, which has updated the building basic infrastructure and introduced new unit types, will take about another four years to complete, says Fallon. At its end, the property will boast 550 residences. As of May, about 10 percent of that inventory was available for immediate occupancy, and residences will become available as the conversion process progresses. Prices range from studios just shy of $1 million to penthouses past the $10 million mark.
"Everything begins and ends with location," says Fallon. "The Upper East Side is very convenient and offers a lovely lifestyle."
One of the largest private parks in the city belongs to the 515 East 72 Miraval Living property. The impressive space includes a yoga meditation platform and "great lawn," which serves as the residents' own backyard.
"There's a sense of tranquility that comes with the whole experience and lifestyle here, and the park is part of that experience," says Loretta Shanahan-Bradbury, the property's director of sales. "It's also the social center that helps solidify the sense of community within building."
From the lawn, residents have access to a café, fitness center, children's playroom, and third-floor deck, which
comprise some of the 40,000 square feet of the building's total amenity space. It also boasts a first-floor indoor pool.
As for residences, the building houses 329 units, ranging from studios to five-bedrooms, with more than 40 percent currently sold. The Tower Residences, 40 units located on floors 32-40, are larger, with panoramic views of the city. Price points range from $640,000 to upwards of $5 million.
Situated on a cul-de-sac on the water, the building boasts an almost unique location in the city. Plus, the neighborhood has something to offer everyone, says Shanahan-Bradbury, citing the proximity to Central Park as well as shopping on Madison and Lexington Avenues. "I can't think of a better neighborhood to live in."
Set for completion at the end of July, the crescent-shaped Griffin Court, at 800 Tenth Avenue, encloses a two-story, landscaped courtyard spanning almost 9,000 square feet. A project that cost three-quarters of a million dollars, the courtyard will include seasonal flowers for aesthetic appeal and 12 mature trees that will offer shaded seating areas. It's a communal space, says Kenneth Horn, a principal with the building's developer, Alchemy Properties, Inc., but it also provides secluded spaces for residents who value privacy.
"We're creating an amenity that's really peaceful from the confines of the city," says Horn.
Sales opened in early April, and residents have been moving quickly, Horn says. Studios start around $750,000, while the building's four penthouses, each with three bedrooms and a wrap-around terrace, are in the $3 million range. In addition to the building's courtyard, 16 residences feature private rooftop cabanas, complete with water and electricity.
Griffin Court is located near the 9th Avenue corridor between 55th and 43rd Streets, currently one of the most active areas in the city. "I think it's the most major up-and-coming hub in New York," Horn says, adding that residents of Griffin Court enjoy immediate access to the area without the hassle of living at its center.
The View from the Upper West Side
Billed as "The New Modern-Classic" building, The Corner at 200 West 72nd Street emanates an effortless elegance. While it possesses a score of luxury amenities, including a fitness center, lounge area, and children's playroom, the 10,000-square-foot rooftop terrace stands out. The landscaped space includes public and private seating areas as well as a gas fireplace, bar and barbecue areas, heaters, misting wall, sundeck, and a movie projection screen.
"It's a communal place to go and meet friends, but it also provides someone a serene atmosphere where they can reflect and meditate," says Jeffrey Kaye, vice president of Gotham Organization, the builder's developer.
Views from the terrace are nothing short of stunning, says Kaye. Still, the building is low enough-at 20 stories-that residents still feel as if they're part of the city.
The Corner, an eco-friendly building that has obtained silver certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, houses 196 residences that feature 47 unique unit types, ranging from alcove studios to three-bedroom layouts. In May, after six weeks on the market, the building was about 50 percent leased and moving quickly, according to Kaye.
"It's literally at the very epicenter and heart of the Upper West Side, which is arguably the best neighborhood in the city to live in," Kaye says, citing easy access to Central Park and Riverside Park along with Lincoln Center and the city's most popular museums.
A Waterfront Wonder
At West 64th Street and Riverside Boulevard, a waterfront property surrounded by 21 acres of parks provides the idyllic location for The Rushmore. The building's green sheath, which includes Riverside Park South, is complemented by two private outdoor spaces. The first is the ground-level garden atrium, a fully planted space at the center of the building that stretches just over 1,600 square feet. The area is surrounded by windows, which allow sunlight to flood the lobby-level corridors and gym area. "The building revolves around the garden atrium," says Melissa Ziwesli, director of sales. "It has a feeling of hushed awe that's suitable for quiet reflection."
The Rushmore's second outdoor space is a landscaped sundeck that sits atop the seventh-floor roof of the building's back portion. (Its front portion includes two towers that stretch up to 42 stories.) At seven stories, the 2,700-square-foot, fully furnished sundeck resides at tree-line level, overlooking a block-long park behind the building. This larger area serves as a more social space for residents, Ziweslin says.
The Rushmore houses 271 residences, from two- to five-bedroom units, priced between $1.4 and $7 million. About 25 percent of the residences are still available, Ziweslin says.
A Downtown Haven
As the last riverfront building site in downtown Manhattan, The Riverhouse's expansive water views and picturesque setting are endangered commodities. As if those features weren't enough to make for an enviable location, the property boasts its own extension of Teardrop Park. Complete with a cedar bridge, slate stonework walkways, and a variety of seasonal flora, the extension opened to the public in mid-May. Exclusive to Riverhouse residents is the building's second-floor, 3,800-square-foot landscaped terrace that overlooks the park, says Dan Tubb, the property's director of sales.
The Riverhouse's 258 apartments, ranging from one- to five-bedroom layouts, are more than 75 percent sold since the building's reopening in mid-April, Tubb says. Pricing ranges from about $1 million to $3.5 million.
Tubb says the sense of community in the area has been a draw for residents. He adds that while the energy of Tribeca is only two blocks away, residents can also take advantage of the green expanses right outside their door. "I think to buy a home that has its own outdoor space and is surrounded by 35 acres of parks is a fantastic choice of lifestyle," Tubb says.
Between the two towers of Soho Mews at 311 West Broadway lies a 4,000-square-foot courtyard garden designed by Peter Walker and Partners, the prominent landscape architecture company that is currently designing the World Trade Center memorial gardens and whose mark can be seen along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. "It's an amazing spot-an oasis in the middle of the city," says Albert Laboz, the building's developer, adding that it's a quiet, communal space for residents.
The building itself was one of the last great works of Charles Gwathmey, the renowned architect who passed away in August 2009, says Laboz. Its 68 residences include a combination of lofts, penthouses, and townhouses, which are currently about 65 percent sold, according to Laboz. Prices range from about $2 million to $5 million.
Since the building is located in the Soho Cast Iron Historic District, the property is governed by the New York City Landmarks Commission. "We're cognizant of that," Laboz says. "This is a modern interpretation of a cast iron historic building. Contextually, it fits exactly within the neighborhood."