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Souped-up amenities like gyms, spas and lounges have become givens in any luxury New York residential building. But with the much-anticipated return-to-office scenario being weaker than expected in the wake of COVID, sleek co-working spaces are the latest perk to join the list.
Based on data from Placer.ai from a sample of 50 Manhattan office buildings, employee workplace visits from January through May averaged 56% of 2019 levels on Mondays, and 68% from Tuesdays to Thursdays. Furthermore, the nonprofit Partnership for New York City cites that, as of late January, just more than 50% of Manhattan office workers are currently at their offices on an average weekday.
For some lucky locals, that might be because they have more attractive settings to clock in those hours right where they live.
Douglas Elliman agent Deepti Mittal says upscale buildings in New York are increasingly investing in creating such spaces as it becomes more apparent that a hybrid work model is here to stay. South Florida projects are also part of the trend.
“A few buildings even have work set-ups al-fresco,” she said.
Astoria West in Queens is a prime example. The property has a 3,000-plus-square-foot workspace that includes interiors with light oak wood floors, large windows overlooking its picturesque courtyard, desks, four conference rooms and individual offices. The area extends outdoors — a landscaped haven with flowers, trees, a lawn and a long communal desk, as well as individual work stations.
Craig Wood, the founder of Astoria West’s development company Cape Advisors, says the co-working space is among the property’s most-used amenities.
“We have many residents who are using it as their permanent offices,” he said. The on-site restaurant DAGNY, where they can buy everything from cardamom lattes to chicken wings, adds to the convenience.
Meanwhile, One Wall Street in the Financial District is home to a 6,500-square-foot co-working space, dubbed One Works by the One Club.
With its slick white aesthetic juxtaposed with pops of color, it has two large conference rooms, and two soundproof phone and podcast rooms. Residents can request equipment to record videos and are treated to coffee, fresh fruit and bottled water.
Jon Brandt, who works in venture capital, owns a studio in the building with his wife Donna and says that One Works serves as an extension of their apartment.
“Instead of renting a co-working space somewhere in the city, I walk down the hallway, and I’m at the office,” he said. “It’s a great place that sealed the deal for us to buy here and gives [us] space from each other while I’m working. And it’s so beautiful that I love being in there.”
The Set in Hudson Yards also has a jazzed-up co-working space, designed by Handel Architects with interiors by March & White. Situated on the development’s 44th floor, it has views of the city skyline and the Hudson River, and is outfitted with premium design pieces including B&B Italia furniture. Residents can chip away in the conference rooms, private phone booths and work stations that are both in and outdoors.
They can also tap the onsite director of experience to schedule business lunches, set up conference calls and troubleshoot any technology issues.
Resident Jessica Dang, the founder of the popular weight-loss brand The Essentialist Method, credits the space as a factor in the success of her business.
“Instead of grinding away at a coffee shop with my headphones on, I’m working in a luxury office with amazing views and service,” she said. “As the founder of a start-up, it’s an incredibly inspiring environment.”
Other posh work settings include Anagram Columbus Circle, where the co-working lounge was designed and styled by INC architecture — and has earth tones interspersed with accents of green. The space has a library, and offers snacks and coffee for free from the long-popular Breads Bakery. In an ode to a longstanding office tradition, happy hours featuring craft cocktails for no charge are a bonus, as well as an opportunity for “co-workers” to mingle.
That said, Mittal of Douglas Elliman says that communal working areas help foster a development’s sense of community. “They give residents an organic way to socialize and even network,” she said.
Itay Hajaj, a resident at The Shoreline at SoLe Mia in Miami, can speak to this firsthand. The building’s co-working lounge, which features coffee and office supplies as amenities, is his work base between two and three days a week.
“I have young kids at home, and working from there isn’t an option so I consider myself lucky to have this room right in my building,” said Hajaj, who is in the finance industry “I enjoy interacting with everyone in there and even found the perfect person and fellow resident to build my company’s website.”