[Photos: Will Femia]
And now for something completely different, a bit of Stuyvesant Town news that has nothing to do with pets, walls, mortgages, key cards or laundry thieves. For the past few months, four building lobby spaces surrounding Stuy Town's centerpiece?the fountain and grassy oval?have been hidden behind plywood, awaiting conversion to the Oval Amenities spaces: a children's play room, library, TV/billiards lounge and screening room. Rob Speyer himself was recently spotted checking out the scene, and the Oval Amenities have already been humorously savaged by some Stuy observers. Amidst this somewhat tempestuous climate, the Oval Amenities finally made their debut with a series of open houses for residents of the rental complex.
For those who aren't members of Stuy Town's new concierge service and gym, a "membership" for the four amenities spaces costs a one-time $250 fee per household, and then a $20 monthly fee per person. Certainly not cheap, but the previews we witnessed when Tishman Speyer had us over to take some pictures earlier this week were packed with Stuy Towners young and old (the free food probably had something to do with it). The spaces are operated by American Leisure, and will be staffed full time. Each space has its own programming schedule (more on that in the gallery above), and they can also be rented out for private events whether someone is an Oval Amenities members or not?though pricing varies based on membership. According to a Tishman Speyer rep, there are already waiting lists to book each of the four for parties and book clubs and other social affairs.
Cetra/Ruddy designed the floor-to-ceiling glass spaces (they also did the new Stuy Town apartments), each of which has an outdoor patio that's equal to the interior size. This could lead to a few awkward confrontations, because nothing but a bit of landscaping separates the outdoor seating areas from the path that rings around the Oval, but only members may sit down at the tables and chairs. Have the American Leisure staff been trained in how to handle the saucy youth of Stuy Town? We'll find out when the first illicit tush touches chair. As for casual observations, Oval Kids will certainly be a hit with parents who crave a climate-controlled playground for their offspring to run wild. It remains to be seen whether enough of the other inhabitants of Stuy Town's 11,000+ apartments will be convinced to fork over the cash and improve that bottom line.
· Stuyvesant Town [Official Site]