The McMansionization of New York

With New Yorkers, and foreigners of means, increasingly smitten with the views afforded by the city's sprouting luxury residential towers, developers and brokers have found a novel way to sell lower-floor spaces - as 'mansions'.

"With the recession emphatically in the rearview mirror of the very wealthy, the mansion lifestyle is back in vogue," writes Robin Finn. 

"By sleight of description, developers and brokerages are marketing as mansions enormous and extravagant lower-floor spaces inside — or in a few cases alongside — top-shelf condo conversions. This is because, according to them, using words like 'maisonette' or 'town house' would unfairly diminish the product in the eye of the buyer/beholder."

"Also, according to the purveyors, the newfangled concept is superior to the traditional version precisely because, along with all that newness and potential for customization, it offers an option the old-timers can’t: an embarrassment of 24/7 white-glove amenities, security and service," he continues.

“Maybe,” said Pamela Liebman, the chief executive of the Corcoran Group, “this is New York City’s version of the McMansion, a grand multilevel space that is fully amenitized. This is a way to differentiate a product that hasn’t been offered in the past: but whatever it’s called, it still has to deliver.”

Full Story: Call Me ‘Mansion’

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