Taking in the River View From Both Banks
MAYBE it was the sun dancing on the water or the Statue of Liberty looking so majestic or the ferries making their way to and fro. I was dazzled by the views that two buildings — one in Jersey City, the other in Battery Park City — will have in common.
Sensing my “I hate to leave Manhattan” attitude, Stephen Faraday, a sales consultant at 77 Hudson Street, a 48-story glass tower in Jersey City, said, “TriBeCa can be your playground.” He quickly noted that Jersey City was readily accessible from Manhattan by PATH train, by car and by ferry.
The 420-unit condominium was designed by John Cetra and Nancy Ruddy of Cetra/Ruddy Inc., a Manhattan architecture firm, and developed by K. Hovnanian Homes.
Mr. Faraday steered me through the sales office for 77 Hudson, which is on the 17th floor of an office building a couple of blocks from the tower, now under construction. There were huge photographs of the Manhattan skyline.
“The idea was to maximize the number of homes that have incredible views of Manhattan and panoramic views that stretch from the Statue of Liberty to the George Washington Bridge, “ Mr. Faraday explained.
I had to struggle to look away from the views and concentrate on the building’s amenities. One thing caught my attention: the heated outdoor swimming pool (open May 1 through Oct. 1) that will be in what Mr. Faraday described as a half-acre park atop the building’s parking garage. The park will also include a quarter-mile running track, a dog run, a barbecue area, a fire pit and sloping lawns. Inside 77 Hudson, there will be 3,000 square feet of space for a fitness area, a children’s playroom, a spa, and a yoga and Pilates room.
“It’s resort lifestyle living, themed like a boutique hotel, and with the amenities included in the maintenance charges,” Mr. Faraday said. “Of course, services like massages and personal trainers are, well, extra.”
There’s also a pet spa and pet cleaning area. Considering the pristine model kitchens and bathrooms in the sales office, I would certainly appreciate not having to bring a wet dog into my apartment.
But I was already trying to figure out which of the three kitchen schemes I would choose.
Mr. Faraday rattled off the options: Atlantic Luxe (white Carrara marble, African wenge floors, white Pedini cabinets); Harbor Chic (silver cabinets, white-oak flooring and “Portuguese limestone,” Mr. Faraday whispered, running his hand over the counter surface); and Hudson Mod (“the most traditional, with eggshell quartz counters, exotic wood cabinets and American chestnut flooring.”)
The bathrooms are the same throughout. I was especially intrigued by the trough-shaped Lacav double sink outfitted with slim faucets designed especially for the building. Behind the tub, the wall was covered in textured chiseled stone tile that Mr. Faraday said was inspired by the rock surfaces found in European fountains.
“Imagine water trickling down,” he said, even though the only water in sight, with any luck, would be in the tub. There is also a separate glassed-in rain shower.
“I have not had anyone come in here and not say, ‘Wow!’ ” Mr. Faraday said. I felt I had to oblige.
Available apartments range from a 561-square-foot studio on the 18th floor for $422,000 to a 1,799-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit on the 45th floor for $1.57 million. Mr. Faraday said that five of the six three-bedroom penthouses, ranging in price from $2.1 million to $3.1 million, had been sold.
Meanwhile, back on the New York side of the Hudson, the tall and angular Visionaire, at 70 Little West Street in Battery Park City, a 251-unit 35-story condominium tower, is touting the platinum rating it expects to receive from the United States Green Building Council.
The building was designed by Rafael Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in New York and developed by the Albanese Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Albanese Organization in Garden City, N.Y.
Of course, there are the views, and amenities like an indoor lap pool, and fitness and spa areas. But here, it’s the eco-friendly building that’s the draw. I tried to get with the program.
At the sales office near the tower, Ann Froelich, a sales manager for the Marketing Directors Inc., ticked off the building’s green features: recycled-wood floors laid in a mosaic pattern in the lobby, the greenery on the 7,000-square-foot terrace that will retain rainwater, elevators with brakes that generate electric power, and solar panels made from used computers that will provide 5 percent of the energy needs.
“They did not miss a trick,” Ms. Froelich said, referring to the building’s creators. They include Tim Button of Stedila Design in Manhattan, who designed the distinctive kitchens (bamboo-covered cabinets, unusual shiny brown tile backsplashes from Waterworks, river-washed granite counters). He also designed the limestone master bathrooms outfitted with teak cabinets, as well as the refreshingly brisk all-white second baths, which have overscale subway-tile walls and white Waterworks geometric sinks.
The prices for available units — occupancy will begin in the fall — range from $680,000 for a 605-square-foot studio on the fifth floor to $2.96 million for a three-bedroom, three-bath apartment on the 23rd floor.
According to Ms. Froelich, about 45 percent of the units have been sold, and that’s from floor plans and simulated views. Soon, though, buyers will be able to go up in the building.
That might be the time for me to think more seriously about which side of the river I would like to look out from. One thing is sure: In either case, the Statue of Liberty will always be front and center.
By SUZANNE SLESIN