The days when dogs were a liability for apartment hunters in NYC appear to be done and buried like a bone in Central Park. It's still a city divided between dog owners and those who can't abide what they see as noisy filthy animals, but more buildings are seeking out dog owners by offering canine-centric amenities that make it unclear who is master tenant and who is loyal servant. The Wall Street Journal reported that while the city only has only 97,568 dogs licensed by the Dept. of Health, pet associations estimate that there may be 1.4 million dogs in the city wondering when their owner is getting home from work every night. The owner of a dog services company told the Journal that catering to dog owners is just smart real estate: "I think people have figured out that first and foremost if you exclude pet owners, you're excluding a large number of high net-worth people and prospective buyers."
In a bid to attract dog owners, however, building owners have to do more than hang up a sign that says "DOGS WELCOME", or borderline insultingly "ALLOWED". Developers have to get down on their hands and knees and prepare to sniff some canine butt. Following are five building amenities that show who is man's most pampered friend.
1) Concierge Service
Property manager Rose Associates will soon begin rolling out a canine concierge program at 20 of its properties in partnership with the company Spot Experience. Services will include drop off and pick up at residents' apartments, home training sessions for pets, and priority access to Spot Experience's other services like dental care for dogs.
2) Puppy Playgrounds
One of the white glove building amenities at 205 East 59th Street is a puppy playground for tenants with dogs. One Brooklyn Bridge Park features Wag Club, a daycare center and spa for dogs on the buildings ground floor.
3) Doggy Doors
The Caledonia on West 17th Street caters to four-legged tenants who might get a little mussed on their walks around The High Line. The building has a separate dog door entrance that opens into a groom facility, so dogs can wash or dry off after getting caught in bad weather or particularly dirty rolling-around sessions. 220 Water Street in Dumbo also features a dog-washing room, where pooches can clean up before heading into their lofts upstairs.
4) Total Immersion Care
Dog City at MiMA in Hell's Kitchen just pulls out all the stops and gives your dog everything. Dogs get walked, washed, groomed, fed, exercised, massaged, examined, pampered and hooked up with play dates. Will Dog City sniff your dog's butt? Probably.
5) The Kindest Cut
This is going to seem counterintuitive as an amenity, but The Ludlow loves dogs so much that it requires all resident animals to be fixed, that is "Barkered", i.e. spayed or neutered.