The mere ability to access one's rooftop in New York City is a cause to be celebrated. Especially in the sweltering summer months, the ability to escape a cramped hot apartment and look out upon the town from a breezy perch, get some sun, or maybe have a cocktail with some friends, is a privilege for which many would fight tooth and nail. But this is America where bigger is better, so inevitably some innovator was destined to come along and figure out how to wring more use out of rooftops than simple relaxation.
Take 550 Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn near the Barclays Center, for example. As reported in Grubstreet, this luxury condo property will feature not some simple garden, but a legitimate farm on its roof come next year. Apparently, unit owners will be able to rent plots filled with soil “suitable for high-altitude farming” at the start of harvesting season and grow in them what they so choose. And lest one think that this is simply a passing folly of several wealthy Brooklynites, serious horticulturists like Ian Rothman, co-owner of celebrated Prospect Heights restaurant Olmsted, has already claimed several plots to “grow hot peppers for their aji-dulce sauce.”
And this is but one example of rooftop ambition. There are myriad ways that those who can afford it are maximizing the use of their rooftop spaces. One may feel inclined wonder where the limit lies.
Home Is Where Everything Is
One frequent aim of luxury is stylish convenience – taking something that is usually accessed outside of the home, and incorporating it therein in a sleek and alluring way. Condo and co-op properties have long featured amenities like gyms and pools, but it's fairly recent that these features have been moving upward--even roof-ward..
Green roofs and gyms are not outrageous concepts in multi-family living, but rarely do you see the two combined into one uber-amenity. This is the case at 689 Myrtle Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant – a.k.a. The Chocolate Factory. According to Thomas Thibodeaux, the chief financial officer of New Bedford Management Group, the rooftop gym features glass walls looking out to the green roof, which in turn looks out onto Brooklyn, offering panoramic views of the city and a place to work out while reducing the property's carbon footprint. Quite the hat trick as far as perks of living go.