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Hotel living is the norm at wealthy NYC apartments

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 28, 2013 at 1:52 am •  Published: March 28, 2013

Duane Davis, 29, who works in finance, recently enlisted Abdul's help in planning an upcoming tropical getaway to Anguilla. He relies upon her to get reservations at trendy restaurants and keep him informed about where to take business clients.

"You can have the nicest gym, but if the person at the front desk is rude and inattentive, then you don't really have a sense of a tie to the building," Davis said. "I ask her a question and she gets back to me in 10 minutes."

International residents who only drop in from time to time expect the concierge to run their households while they're away, mastering the finest of details.

"Do you want white tulips in your room every time you arrive?" said Lydia Sussek, a sales associate for Corcoran Group. "Do you want appointments with fashion designers for consultations?"

There's a dizzying array of amenities at New York by Gehry, a building designed by iconic architect Frank Gehry near City Hall that is the tallest residential building in the city's history. One two-bedroom apartment there is available for $10,154 a month.

Inside the 76-story tower's rippled steel exterior lies a lifeguard-manned swimming pool and sun deck, a boxing studio, a children's library, a grilling terrace with "dining cabanas," a billiards room, a squash court and a golf simulator, just to name a few.

Want to order room service from the restaurant down the block? That's one perk at 150 Charles Street, an old West Village warehouse with a 75-foot pool that is being converted into luxury condominiums selling for up to $35 million.

About 85 percent of the units were sold within a month — worth half a billion dollars in contracts — a sales record for Douglas Elliman. The building won't even open for another two years.

"We expected it to sell fast, but we were shocked at the velocity and the volume," Steinberg said.

Occupants of The Mark Residences, high-end condominiums attached to The Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side, can have meals cooked by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten delivered to their living rooms. The penthouse is currently on the market for $60 million.

"One night, the hotel restaurant was booked and somebody wanted to have a dinner for some friends, very important people," Sussek said. "Jean-Georges personally came up and cooked for them in their apartment."

But having a concierge is the first and foremost demand of prospective luxury buyers surveyed in recent months by Bjorn Hanson, a professor of hospitality management at New York University who has been researching the luxury market.

"Fifteen years ago people started worrying about having very high-end branded kitchen equipment," Hanson said. "This is kind of next in the evolution."