The 10 Best Residential Roof Decks in New York City — August 5, 2013 -

The 10 Best Residential Roof Decks in New York City - August 5, 2013 -

When you can’t afford your own private piece of outdoor real estate, it doesn’t hurt to share — here are the city’s best communal rooftops, whether you’re looking to rent or buy

New York is a city of views views that are best from the tops of buildings and all the better if that building is yours. Private outdoor space, of course, is pricey and hard to come by in a real estate market better known for cramped spaces and quirky layouts than grassy lawns and chaise lounges. New York City roof decks, then, are something to be cherished, and its not just the lookout that makes them so special. The best decks go beyond views with reflecting pools, professional barbecues, expansive greenery and eye-catching lawn furniture. For those who cant or dont want to pay for apartment units with these kind of private outdoor spaces, a communal roof deck is the next best thing as it provides benefits of outdoor living without the associated effort and cost.

Roof decks are always a desirable amenity, says Sarah Burke, the director of sales for Williamsburg at Douglas Elliman. People want to maximize their view and their outdoor space, and thats the purpose of a great roof deck. With that in mind, weve scouted the 10 best communal decks in the city right now. They pop up in neighborhoods from Long Island City to Harlem, in rental and condo buildings of various heights and at various price points and the view is always breathtaking.

The list of rooftop amenities at Chelsea condo 133 West 22nd Street runs long. The deck, on the 12th floor of the building, is equipped with a sparkling pool, grills, lounge chairs, a dining room, private grotto spaces and an outdoor shower. For parties, building residents put a catering island to good use. Tracie Hamersley, a resident of the building and a Douglas Elliman broker who is listing two units there, says residents throw a big roof party every Fourth of July. The views look out onto the Hudson River and the uptown skyline. Hamersley loves to show the deck to potential buyers, and oftentimes the space helps to sell a listing. In this market, most buyers desire some type of outdoor space, she says. Everybody wants a place to relax outdoors.

What itll cost you: Sale units are currently available starting at $1.35 million for a 763-square-foot one-bedroom and rental units currently start at $5,195 for a one-bedroom. For more details, search 133 West 22nd Street on

225 Rector Place, a luxury condo building in Battery Park City, lays claim to a roof deck of many faces. Clodagh, the interior designer of the condo building, arranged the 4,000-square-foot space into two different sections. One area, designed for relaxing, comes complete with chaise lounges. The other features a 500-square-foot, high-ceilinged rooftop cabana with a steel prep kitchen, seating, powder room, barbecue grilling station and dining for up to eight. Theres even more room to spread out: the cabana directly adjoins the rooftop sun terrace. Sherry Toback, the senior vice president for Related Companies and the director of sales at 225 Rector, says the roof cabana is constantly in use for resident parties. There are so many different options for the space, she says. You can relax, you can barbecue and party, or you can lay out and sunbathe. She calls the roof a tremendous selling point for potential buyers; the building is over 90 percent sold.

What itll cost you: Sale units are currently available starting at $572,250 for a 621-square-foot studio and rental units currently start at $3,500 for an 800 square-foot two-bedroom (see this listing for a $6,500 two bed, two bath ). For more details, search 225 Rector Place on

Twenty-five floors up at 20 Pine Street in the Financial District. youll find a serene and peaceful escape from the hectic Downtown below, made all the better by a narrow reflecting pool surrounded by landscaping. Relaxation options abound and include lounge chairs, low platforms that look perfect for an afternoon nap and shaded areas. In the evening, lighting accents the trees along the decks perimeter. Its the type of space that will make you forget you live in New York City that is until you look up and catch the striking view of the Chrysler Building.

What itll cost you: Sale units are currently available starting in the $800,000s for a 662-square-foot studio (see this listing for an $839,000 opportunity ) and for a rental units currently start at $2,800 for a 656-square-foot studio. For more details, search 20 Pine Street on

The crown jewel of the 51-story Downtown rental tower is unquestionably its sprawling roof deck. The space clocks in at 9,000 square feet with vistas in every direction. The rooftops grassy lawn is about the closest thing to a suburban backyard youll find in Manhattan. But of course, all backyards dont come so swanky. At the end of this lawn theres a shaded gazebo with patio chairs, and there are trees growing right along its edges. The space also has a gas fireplace, a wet bar, a catering kitchen and plenty of lounge furniture. Views look out onto the Financial District with the Freedom Tower in close view.

What itll cost you: Rental units are currently starting at $2,775 for a 619-square-foot studio. For more details, search 2 Gold Street on

Midtown is a neighborhood known for skyscrapers, although most of the nearby towering office buildings arent known for their lush roof decks. The Atelier, a 46-story condo building on West 42nd Street, boasts one of the best roof decks in the neighborhood. Its got 360-degree views of Manhattan. The outdoor space is landscaped and complete with plenty of high-end lounge furniture.  Unlike most other residential roof decks, theres a tricked-out indoor space as well. The indoor lounge has a billiards table, a big screen television and a kitchen for those rooftop munchies.

What itll cost you: Sale units are currently available starting at $775,000 for a 600-square-foot one-bedroom and rental units (see this listing for several rentals in the $3,000s ) For more details, search Atelier on

The views of Manhattan from Long Island City in Queens are worthy of a postcard, and they look even better from the top of a 10-story warehouse. The Powerhouse, a condo building right at the foot of the LIC waterfront, overlooks unobstructed views of Manhattan. When developers converted the former industrial building into a residential development they added a four-story rooftop. That means the roof deck is brand-spanking new and designed specifically for lounging. The roof has a tiered deck with trees and white lounge chairs and its perimeter is lined with plantings, flowers and bollard-style lighting. Those who want to throw private parties have not been forgotten as theres a cabana space residents can use for personal parties. And, of course, it isnt an outdoor party without the use of a stainless steel barbeque. Views (and hamburgers) are best enjoyed after the sun goes down.

What itll cost you: Sale units are currently available starting at $775,000 for an 890-square-foot one-bedroom and rental units currently start at $2,450 for a 608-square-foot studio. For more details, search The Powerhouse on

Gramercy Starck, the new rental and condo development at 340 East 23rd St. has a blossoming roof deck that takes inspiration from its famous park surroundings. The 3,000-square-foot deck brims with flowers, shrubbery and trees. The cushy outdoor furniture includes a shaded sun bed, the requisite lounge chairs and even fireplaces for those cooler spring and fall nights. The views look north, out onto the Empire State Building. And if a top-of-the-roof deck isnt enough for you, the building also has a second floor terrace with an outdoor gas fireplace.

The 10 Best Residential Roof Decks in New York City - August 5, 2013 -

What itll cost you: Sale units are currently available starting at $679,000 for a 435-square-foot studio and rental units currently start at $2,700 for the same studio size. For more details, search Gramercy Starck on

There arent many residential buildings in New York City where you can take a dip while taking in rooftop views, but the East Harlem condo building One Museum Mile at 1280 Fifth Avenue qualifies. The pool only goes down 4 feet, but its perfectly designed for relaxing and cooling off, while the deck is dotted with chaises, chairs, tables and umbrellas. Since more than 50 percent is plantable, it qualifies as a certified city green roof. Rosemary bushes, osteospermum, pansies and low-maintenance grasses are woven throughout. What isnt growing are any towering trees. Thats because the view, looking down onto the expanse of Central Park, is just too good.

What itll cost you: Sale units are currently available starting at $1.395 million for a 1,195-square-foot one-bedroom and rental units currently start at $3,200 for an 838-square-foot studio. For more details, search One Museum Mile on

Towering 76 stories high, New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street is the tallest residential building in all of New York City. The shiny, spiraling rental tower is outfitted with two different decks that look out onto the Financial District. The first is the pool deck, located on the seventh floor. The 50-foot indoor pool is located under a glass skylight and is surrounded by glass doors. The doors are left open in the summer and lead to an outdoor deck. The deck has lounge chairs, umbrellas and plantings for those who want a nip of sun. One story below, on the sixth floor, is the buildings swanky grilling terrace. The terrace has separate dining cabanas with large tables, chairs, shade and barbecues. Unfortunately, residents dont have access to the very top of the tower that space is reserved for building mechanicals. It just means youll have to make friends with a renter on the 76th floor to get a peek at those amazing views.

What itll cost you: Rental units are currently available starting in the $3,000 (check out NewYork.coms listing for a $3,450 for a one-bedroom unit ). For more details, search New York by Gehry on

111 Kent

111 Kent Avenue

111 Kent Avenue is located right across the street from the East River State Park and features the Manhattan views that Williamsburg is famous for. The fifth floor roof deck looks about as cool as the hipster denizens that roam the streets below.  On the lower level of the deck is an outdoor plunge pool thats 3 feet, 6 inches deep. The upper level sundeck is filled with plantings and lounge chairs. Certain sections of the deck even have green grass, a rare commodity in New York. Throw in a barbecue grill and some intimate areas to sit and dine, and you have the recipe for one awesome Brooklyn rooftop party.

Leave a Reply