Boutique Buildings Are Taking Over the Luxury Real Estate Market

SoHo's 42 Crosby, a 10-unit condo designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf, is giving Midtown supertowers a run for their money.There was a time not long ago—oh, at least a few months back—when all people could talk about were the sky-high sales on Manhattan’s Billionaire’s Row. And suddenly those same apartments are being deeply discounted. Midtown supertowers might offer private dining rooms, wine cellars, and spas, but smaller boutique buildings are starting to grab a big chunk of the luxury real estate market.

The interior of the Fitzroy.Take SoHo’s 42 Crosby, a seven-story doorman building with just 10 condos, which start at $8.25 million (sales are being handled by Core). Among the new development’s modern touches are underground parking, automated window shades, and direct elevator access to each unit, plus the pedigreed stamp of high-profile architect Annabelle Selldorf, who just got the nod to renovate the Frick Collection. “The overall scale of the building,” she says, “allowed us to maintain a sense of intimacy.”

The Cast Iron House in Tribeca.Other diminutive structures downtown include the Cast Iron House in Tribeca (13 units), 152 Elizabeth in Nolita (seven), the d’Orsay on West 14th Street (21), and the Fitzroy, along the High Line in Chelsea (14). According to City Realty’s November 2016 market report, prices for downtown condos are outpacing those farther north, averaging $2,397 per square foot, as opposed to $1,996 per square foot for a condo in Midtown. It appears that good things actually do come in small packages—and at a higher price, even. At least for the time being.