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Community / Public space

The NYC residential skyscraper with three floors just for maids

Today in the US it’s National Skyscraper Day (woo!) – and, to celebrate, planners for a new tower in New York are acting like we’re still living in the gilded age. Plans leaked to NY NIMBY show that the new tower at 125 Greenwich Street will include 3 floors just for maids.

We know, this piece of information was also in the headline, so you’ve seen it at least twice at this stage, but just in case you’re having problems taking something quite so ludicrous in:

Three of the building’s floors will be purely for maids.

In fairness, the building will have 77 stories, so when you think about it, it’s really less than 4 per cent of the tower that’ll be given over to the help. At 1356 feet, the tower will stand only 12 feet shorter than One World Trade Center (not bad for an apartment block). And, like  similarly service-loving princesses on the Upper East Side, it’ll be skinny:


Like a great big needle, of the sort used by your maid. Image: Shvo/Bizzi & Partners/Vinoly, via NY NIMBY.

Commercial space on the bottom few floors will be topped by the 24 “maids’rooms”, spread over three stories (so that’s three stories just for maids). According to NY NIMBY, things get a little more luxurious as you move up the building:

“Ten full-floor penthouses will measure 5,300 square feet apiece, and the tower will be capped by a 10,600 square foot duplex, which could vie for the title of Lower Manhattan’s most expensive residence.”

That’s 11 penthouses, people. In one building. Is that even possible? Can you even do that?

The renderings also show that the ceilings will be up to 24 feet tall, and, with only 128 units spread over 77 floors, they’ll be pretty big, too. They’ll also be condominiums rather than apartments, a legal distinction meaning each residence is owned individually.

Looks like Michael Shvo, the building’s developer, will be on the lookout for some seriously cash-rich buyers, as the residences won’t come cheap: seven figures at least, and probably around $100m for the duplex penthouse. 

All that said, the project has yet to set a completion date, and NY NIMBY notes that the plans are still subject to revision.

The tower’s architect is Rafael Vinoly, whose other projects in the city have taken a rather different tone: a police station on Staten Island and a physical education centre and housing block in the Bronx. Guess there’s not that much difference between affordable housing and stacks of penthouses, right?

Oh, by the way: three floors just for maids.

Okay, we’re done.
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