Forget Seamless. These days, residents of New York’s most luxurious buildings can get meals from top chefs delivered by calling the restaurant downstairs.
Developers looking to sell multimillion-dollar condos and rent out top-dollar offices are adding buzz to their buildings by tapping boldface culinary whizzes to run restaurants, cafeterias and event spaces that offer homeowners and tenants exclusive access to in-demand cuisine.
The Richard Meier Towers at 173-176 Perry St. in the West Village — home to Jean-Georges’ Perry Street restaurant, which opened in 2002 with priority reservations, delivery and catering for residents — were ahead of the curve. Now, a new wave of restaurants in elite buildings runs the gamut from publicly accessible to ultra-private.
Take 30 Park Place, which is home to 157 apartments above the 189-room Four Seasons New York Downtown. Residents can access Cut by Wolfgang Puck — the Austrian celebrity chef’s only Manhattan restaurant — via a secret door on the ground floor that connects the homes to the hotel.
They also get priority reservations and delivery orders charged to their house accounts on a monthly basis, along with any other hotel purchases like housekeeping, laundry or room service.
It might be the least developer Silverstein Properties can do, given that available condos start at $4.42 million for a two-bedroom and go up to $30 million for a three-bedroom penthouse, according to StreetEasy.
Over on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Waterline Square — a three-building complex where condos start at $1.9 million and top out at $17.25 million — will debut a 28,000-square-foot food hall by Cipriani with a market, restaurants and fast-casual options. It’ll be the first concept of its kind for the Cipriani brand, which traces its roots back to 1930s Venice and is known for its swanky 42nd Street and Wall Street locations that tend to attract suited-up power brokers.
The space will be open to the public, but residents will get perks like catering, delivery and private dining. Construction is projected to wrap up in the second half of 2019, with closings for the 263 units expected in early 2019.
Also on the West Side, the mixed-use Hudson Yards megaproject is gathering a group of chefs with some serious star power. Real estate giant Related tapped Thomas Keller — whose Per Se is in the Time Warner Center, which it also developed — to curate Hudson Yards’ culinary offerings, which include Keller’s own TAK Room and an outpost of Bouchon Bakery, a 5,800-square-foot restaurant and bar by London chef Dan Doherty, a 5,000-square-foot concept with a formal dining room and a takeaway counter by David Chang of Momofuku fame.
There will also be Mercado Little Spain, a 35,000-square-foot project by José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, which aims to do for Spanish cuisine what Eataly did for Italian food. The complex includes 4,000 residences, a 200-room hotel, more than 100 shops, a performing and visual arts center, a school and five office buildings. The shops and restaurants are slated to open in March 2019. A public relations representative for the project says that there will be affiliated benefits for Hudson Yards’ residents and employees, but that the specific perks aren’t yet available.
Delancey Street Associates recently inked a partnership with Daniel Humm’s hospitality group, Make It Nice, to open an event space on the top two floors of the International Center of Photography’s (ICP) new home, which is slated to open in 2019.
Part of the Essex Crossing development, which will include 1,079 apartments, 350,000 square feet of office space and 400,000 square feet of retail space, the art center will run an entire block between Ludlow and Essex streets and take two floors of the adjacent building at 242 Broome St., where condos range from $1.68 million for a one-bedroom to $6.25 million for the penthouse. Residents will get complimentary membership to the ICP and preferred access to its events, including openings and galas catered by Make It Nice.
While name recognition adds an intangible value to buildings — given our celebrity chef-obsessed culture — a few developers are going above and beyond to woo prospective residents.
Aby Rosen’s firm RFR already boasts an impressive roster of trendy restaurants among its real estate holdings — the Seagram Building’s the Pool, the Grill and the Lobster Club and 11 Howard’s Le Coucou among them — and in early 2019, it will add two more buzzy eateries to its portfolio. 100 E. 53rd St., where apartments start at $2.3 million, is getting not one but two restaurants by the world’s most Michelin-starred chef, Joël Robuchon. Residents will have a private entrance to the two connected restaurants, priority reservations, room service-style delivery and the option of bringing one of the restaurant’s chefs into their home to prepare a meal.
“Our prospective buyers have highly refined tastes that extend well beyond fine architecture and design, and outstanding food is included,” says Leonard Steinberg of Compass, who leads sales for the building. “Having this caliber of cuisine an elevator ride away is very appealing.”
For deep-pocketed individuals who can’t bear to dine with the riffraff, the best option is to scoop up one of the few remaining condos at 125-unit 432 Park Ave. It has 11 units available according to StreetEasy.
The price tags of the available apartments in the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere start at $5.95 million and rise to $82 million — and come with a restaurant by Australian Michelin-starred chef Shaun Hergatt that’s exclusively open to residents and their guests. The 12th-floor eatery has a 5,000 square-foot outdoor terrace overlooking 57th Street. According to the Wall Street Journal, residents pay a $3,500 annual fee for the privilege of eating Hergatt’s seasonal fare, which mixes fine dining with more casual options. The fee serves as a credit toward the cost of their meals that year.
Residential developments aren’t the only ones getting in on the top-chef action. Danny Meyer just opened Manhatta (open to the public) and the Bay Room (a space for private events) on the 60th floor of Financial District office building 28 Liberty. Outside guests enter via the street entrance, but office tenants have direct access to the space from within the building, as well as catering for their on-site functions. SL Green has tapped Daniel Boulud for a fine-dining restaurant and a new outpost of Épicerie Boulud in One Vanderbilt, the 1,041-foot tower currently rising next to Grand Central. For his first partnership with a real estate company, Boulud tells The Post he is most excited to “be a part of the artistic process and begin to conceptualize the space.” The building is scheduled to open in 2020; future tenants include TD Bank and law firm Greenberg Traurig.
Noma co-founder Claus Meyer also had a chance to design his own fantasy kitchen at 4 Times Square, where he runs a cafeteria solely for the building’s tenants, which include Nasdaq. The Durst Organization outfitted the space with an on-site bakery and wood grill just for him. “Tenants demand more from their offices, and we are attempting to provide more,” says Jordan Barowitz, Durst’s vice president of public affairs.
Even rental buildings are aiming for the big names. One of the biggest new developments in Brooklyn is Domino in Williamsburg, opening in phases on the riverfront site of the former sugar factory.
It’s the first of five buildings to open over the course of the next five or six years; thanks to developer Two Trees, the Domino site will eventually house 2,800 rental apartments, a 380,000-square-foot office campus, retail space and multiple dining and drinking outlets.
June brought the opening of Domino Park, where Meyer just debuted the taco stand Tacocina. Then, a new eatery by Michelin-starred chef Missy Robbins is coming late this summer to doughnut-shaped 325 Kent, where available rentals start at $2,565 per month.
Though Two Trees isn’t offering residents priority access to Tacocina or Robbins’ outpost, principal Bonnie Campbell says the firm includes small gifts — like a babka from Mekelburg’s, another retail tenant opening soon at 325 Kent — as part of a welcome package when people move in.
“It used to be that we would lease that retail space as an afterthought, but I think what we’ve learned is that what attracts those residents to the building is the personality of the building, and that’s the retail on the ground floor,” adds Campbell. “It helps you build the restaurant that meets the needs of these ‘personality chefs’; it’s actually designed for them.”