It’s a scorching 92 degrees in Manhattan and many city-dwellers are dreading the traffic-filled ride to the beach or the long bus or rail commute to the Hamptons. But for some lucky co-op and condo owners, relief—in the form of an in-house swimming pool—is just steps away.
A swimming pool is a rare and valuable amenity for any residential building, and a real treat in the summer—just ask the residents of 325 Fifth Avenue, or those living in the condo at 10 West Avenue or those lucky enough to go swimming each day at The Towers at Water’s Edge, a private waterfront community in the upscale Bay Terrace neighborhood of Bayside, Queens.
Over the past few years, there has been a boom in private swimming pools in New York City, as more and more luxury condominium developments include a pool in their design. Twenty years ago, these pools were mostly on rooftops—but today’s developers have learned that the real estate up there is put to much more profitable use by creating penthouses, so the majority of pools are now built indoors.
“Health clubs with pools are the biggest sellers these days, so of all the new condominiums going up, I would say 80 percent or more have pools,” says Don Amblo, vice president of operations for American Leisure in Nanuet, which services close to 70 pools in New York City.
Maintaining a safe, sanitary, and attractive pool area is no small undertaking. You can’t just have your super get out a vacuum and net and clean the pool himself. Depending on the size of your pool, your building may need a full pool staff to run the facility (and often the health club, sauna and steam room as well) and make sure that everything is up to code and in top shape for your residents.