Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Private Shuttle is Newest Luxury Amenity for NYC Renters

Hampton Court, a luxury apartment bldg in Manhattan, had two challenges to overcome in attracting tenants - being located in East Harlem and its distance from the Lexington Ave. subway line. An 'amenity' - a shuttle to the subway - proved the answer.
January 9, 2013, 8am PST | Irvin Dawid
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

For smart growth advocates, a shuttle to transit stops and other services would be called a transportation demand management measure that reduces vehicle trips, particularly for properties further from public transit. But for the Glenwood Management company, it was an important addition to a list of "4-star amenities" for Hampton Court, along with a 24-hour doorman and a "private viewing garden that fills the center courtyard", as noted on its webpage.

Isabella Moschen writes about the shuttle for this new, 8-story luxury apartment building in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood - though Glenwood calls the area Gracie Point - from a marketing, tenant, and neighborhood perspective.

"The apartment building sits on a quiet stretch of 102nd Street, surrounded by clusters of public housing near the East River. Three avenues separate Hampton Court from the Lexington Ave. subway, and to catch the express train (@86th Street), residents must traverse an additional 15 blocks. (The shuttle also stops @96th St. - local subway, but not the closer stop at 102nd St.)

What began as a concern about security became an appreciation for the time-saving convenience of a private bus. The midsize vehicle picks up passengers and takes them to and from the subway from 7 a.m. to 8:50 p.m. weekdays, with increased frequency during rush hour."

Inevitably, the shuttle was noted by existing residents, adding a new dimension to the gentrification affecting the area.

For those "who live near these luxury buildings, the sight of a private shuttle cruising past can be an uncomfortable reminder of a changing neighborhood."

“Why move into the community if you don’t want to socialize with the community?” asked Ericka Martin, as she walked with a friend down East 102nd Street on a recent afternoon. Ms. Martin, 30, is a longtime resident of a city housing development a few blocks away. As she makes her daily commute to Midtown, she often notices the private buses cruising past.

“And why don’t you get picked up by a shuttle?” Ms. Martin’s friend asked her pointedly. “Because you live in the projects?”

Contributor's note: A phone call to the property revealed that there were 'about' 230 units; each is guaranteed one (auto) parking space @$275/month and two free bicycle storage spaces spaces in the building (as opposed to the garage). Visitors may park their bicycles in the garage for a nominal hourly fee. Rents for one-bedroom units may be less than $2,500.

Full Story:
Published on Saturday, January 5, 2013 in The New York Times - Real Estate
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email