Outdoor Living in Manhattan


Could outdoor space make or break a purchase deal? Or make or break a city?

As the warm weather approaches, the importance placed on outdoor space in New York City is on the rise. However, at just what cost does the summertime indulgence come?

In Manhattan, the cherished outdoor space ranges from being a private terrace or roof deck, a building-wide shared rooftop, or the coveted backyard that comes with a townhouse. Often times outdoor space becomes a non-negotiable when purchasing an apartment and can lead to compromising the perfect interior or location in a potential unit.

Therefore, location may be sacrificed for the outdoor amenity. According to The Observer, in order to find a terrace in a Manhattan coop, buyers are forced by inventory and design decisions from the original prewar architects to focus their hunt on the Eastside. Accordingly, if outdoor space is a priority, Fifth Avenue may be the key to the prize.

However, developers of new condominiums throughout the city are responding to the zeal placed on having outdoor space. Buildings such as 5 Franklin Place in Tribeca not only offer residents a communal landscaped roof deck, but also provide additional amenities desired outdoors with a swimming pool and cabanas. Such elaborate outdoor spaces are common to conversions where the developers cannot alter the skeleton for the addition of private terraces, as seen in 737 Park Avenue's communal garden room.

Equally as important as having outdoor space incorporated into residential buildings are the public parks that provide a site for relaxation and recreation for the entire city and its visitors. In order to attract buyers, many buildings highlight the attractiveness of their proximity to the nearest park, such as Riverside Park, Hudson River Park, and Central Park. However, a former issue faced by the city--the threat of skyscrapers casting shadows over its parks--is being brought into the light again following the construction of many developments along Central Park.

Outdoor space and fresh air is a requirement for any viable city, especially in such a dense area as Manhattan. As both private residents and public councils request outdoor spaces, its significance is illuminated. The question remains at what price it comes.

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